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Wednesday, March 23, 2011 - 05.55 GMT

Rajaratnam trial: Jurors listen to wiretaps


Jurors at the insider trading trial of Raj Rajaratnam have listened to more wiretaps.

On Monday, the prosecution played a secretly recorded phone conversation between former Intel executive Rajiv Goel and Mr Rajaratnam, who is the main accused in the biggest insider trading case to hit US courts in decades.

In a March 19, 2008 call, Mr Goel told the Galleon Group founder, Mr Rajaratnam, that Intel was planning to make a $1-billion investment in a new joint venture with Clearwire and others to develop an ultra-fast wireless Internet service, The New York Times reported.

Mr Rajaratnam allegedly purchased through a Galleon technology fund 125,800 shares of Clearwire on March 24, 2008, based on the inside information provided by Mr Goel about the venture, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“Intel has a board meeting, in fact, today,” Mr Goel can be heard telling Rajaratnam. Mr Goel has already pleaded guilty to giving Mr Rajaratnam insider tips.

The main question of this case is whether Mr Rajaratnam, 53, made $45 million by using leaked confidential information. His lawyers say that Mr Rajaratnam conducted his business based on the information that was already in the public domain and through research.

Out of the 26 people arrested in this case, 19 have pleaded guilty. Mr Rajaratnam, however, denies any wrongdoing but could face up to 20 years in prison, if found guilty.

A Government witness, Mr Sriram Viswanathan, a senior Intel executive, told the jury that Mr Goel had access to confidential information regarding a deal — nicknamed “Project Rain” — that Intel was having about creating a new 4G wireless network.

The information included details like how much money Intel might invest, which Mr Goel shared with Mr Rajaratnam, the NYT reported.

Earlier in the day, Ms Margaret Holloway, a senior credit analyst for Moody’s Investors Service, testified that she gave confidential information about Hilton’s planned sale to Blackstone Group LP to a junior analyst, Mr Deep Shah, the WSJ reported.

Mr Shah is believed to be in India.

Mr Rajaratnam allegedly got the information from a woman called Ms Roomy Khan, who got it from the Moody analyst, and then he bought up shares in the hotel chain before the 2007 buyout, reported PTI.







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Last modified: March 23, 2011.

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