Belfast Telegraph

Billionaire is jailed over US's biggest insider trading case

A former billionaire who was the primary target of what prosecutors called the biggest hedge fund insider trading case in US history has been sentenced to 11 years in prison.

Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam was also fined $10m (£6.36m). US District Judge Richard J Holwell announced the sentence after concluding that Rajaratnam made well over $50m (£31.8m) in profits from his illegal trades.

"His crimes and the scope of his crimes reflect a virus in our business culture that needs to be eradicated," Judge Holwell said.

The judge also said Rajaratnam needs a kidney transplant and suffers from advanced diabetes, an illness he took into consideration in giving him leniency.

And he credited Rajaratnam's charity work, which he called "the defendant's responsiveness to and care for the less privileged". The judge cited Rajaratnam's work to help victims of the earthquake in Pakistan and September 11.

The sentencing culminates a series of convictions and sentencings that followed the October 2009 announcement of Rajaratnam's arrest.

More than two dozen people were arrested - all were convicted. The other defendants got sentences ranging from a few months to 10 years.

The prosecution placed Rajaratnam's profits from illegal trades between $70-75m (£44-£48m).

Lawyers for the prosecution called the defendant the "modern face" of insider trading. "There's no one who's Rajaratnam's equal in terms of the length and breadth of his insider trading crimes," said Assistant US Attorney Reed Brodsky.