Prosecutors: Witnesses Offer Evidence Of Rajaratnam's Insider Trading

Feb 8 2011 | 12:41pm ET

The noose around Raj Rajaratnam appeared to tighten further this week as prosecutors revealed some of the evidence they plan to use against the Galleon Group founder.

At least three cooperating witnesses have provided evidence of insider-trading by Rajaratnam, assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Streeter wrote in court documents. Two of those three are former Galleon employees.

One, Michael Cardillo, pleaded guilty to insider-trading charges last month as part of a plea deal. Streeter said that he approached prosecutors in October to discuss cooperating.

"Members of the trial team met with Cardillo and debriefed him about evidence he had against Rajaratnam," Streeter wrote. "This included Rajaratnam's trading based on inside information relating to Proctor & Gamble, as well as Cardillo had against another co-conspirator not previously identified by the government to the defendant."

Streeter made the filing in response to a bid by Rajaratnam's lawyers seeking to exclude discussion of four stocks from the trial, including Procter & Gamble. The trial is set to begin on Feb. 28.

According to another cooperating witness, former McKinsey & Co. consultant Anil Kumar, Rajaratnam went to jail just days after another deal about which he had advanced knowledge. While it is unclear whether Rajaratnam traded or sought to trade on that information, about Cisco System's acquisition of Starent Networks, prosecutors said that Rajaratnam told Kumar that he knew about the deal.

Cisco announced its purchase on Oct. 13, 2009, three days before Rajaratnam's arrest.

Streeter said Kumar's claims "had very recently been corroborated through evidence supplied by Adam Smith," another former Galleon trader who is cooperating in the investigation.

Kumar himself made a filing this week, asking a judge to junk a subpoena from Rajaratnam's lawyers seeking documents from his McKinsey days. McKinsey has also objected to the subpoena.

Kumar called the request "excessively burdensome," and another, seeking his tax returns and personal trading records, "at most…an attempt to impeach Mr. Kumar's credibility."

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