Chiesi Says ‘Not Even A Chance’ She, Rajaratnam See Jailtime

Feb 9 2010 | 12:27pm ET

A defiant Danielle Chiesi is speaking out, proclaiming that she and Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam are innocent of the insider-trading charges against them.

Defiant and confident: Chiesi, a former portfolio manager at hedge fund New Castle Partners, predicted that “there is not even a chance we will do one day in jail” in a Reuters interview.

Chiesi and Rajaratnam are at the center of the one of the largest insider-trading cases in Wall Street history. Twenty-one people have been charged and nine have pleaded guilty, including Chiesi’s former boss at New Castle, Mark Kurland. Chiesi would not comment on Kurland, who is not cooperating with prosecutors.

Chiesi called Rajaratnam, with whom she faces 17 fraud charges, a good friend and “the most generous man in the world.” She also said it was “an honor and a privilege” to be his co-defendant in a case that could send both to prison for decades if convicted.

But Chiesi, who said she has remained silent since her October arrest on the advice of counsel, said she and Rajaratnam “didn’t do anything wrong” and “didn't hurt anybody.” Still, she would not comment on the thousands of wiretaps and taped conversations that are at the heart of the government’s case against her. She did say that she and Rajaratnam were always wary of “enemies.”

“When you are flying, you always check six,” she told Reuters. “You check to see if your enemy is behind you.”

“Apparently, we have a lot of them.”

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