Rajaratnam, Chiesi Trials Split

Dec 15 2010 | 2:47am ET

There will be not one, but two, Galleon Group insider-trading trials next year, after a federal judge decided to separate the cases against Galleon founder Raj Rajaratnam and his now-former co-defendant Danielle Chiesi.

Rajaratnam's trial will begin on Feb. 28 with Chiesi's to follow, beginning on April 25. Rajaratnam and Chiesi have long pushed to separate the trials, and U.S. District Judge Richard Holwell ruled partially in their favor last month—while dealing both a much bigger setback when he refused to throw out the wiretaps at the heart of the government's case.

Prosecutors and the two defense teams subsequently struck a deal to separate the trials.

Rajaratnam and Chiesi are at the center of the largest insider-trading case in U.S. history, one that has already produced 14 guilty pleas. Both have pleaded not guilty to the fraud charges; if convicted, the face decades in prison.

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