Jury Selection Begins In Rajaratnam Trial

Mar 8 2011 | 2:16pm ET

The hedge fund trial of the century opened today, as a federal judge began vetting the jurors who will decide the fate of Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam.

Jury selection began this morning in Rajaratnam's trial on insider-trading charges, nearly 17 months after the former hedge fund billionaire was arrested. U.S. District Judge Richard Holwell is questioning about 150 potential jurors at the federal courthouse in lower Manhattan, based on a questionnaire they filled out last week.

About half of the 300 people who completed the questionnaire were excused for hardship reasons; Holwell warned—and elicited and audible groan from—the remaining potential jurors that the trial could last as long as two-and-a-half months, up from earlier estimates of six to eight weeks.

Holwell began with a panel of 40 potential jurors, asking them for their feelings on Wall Street, people of Indian descent (Rajaratnam is a native or Sri Lanka) and the wealthy. Only eight of the first 40 indicated that they had heard about the Rajaratnam case.

Among the questions Holwell asked were, "Does that fact that the case involves the financial industry, Wall Street executives, hedge funds, mutual funds and the like, make it difficult for anyone to render a fair verdict?" and "Does anyone have any feelings, for or against the insider-trading laws, that would make it difficult to render a fair and impartial verdict?"

Holwell also read a list of potential witnesses, including both of Rajaratnam's brothers, Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein and former McKinsey & Co. chief Rajat Gupta. There are more than 100 possible witnesses in the case.

Rajaratnam sat as far from the jury as he could, on the far left of the second table allotted for his seven-member defense team, led by John Dowd. The prosecution table featured six people, including three assistant U.S. attorneys.


In Depth

Whisky Business: The Ultimate Liquid Alternative Investment

Sep 15 2014 | 7:02am ET

David Robertson knows his single-malt whisky—he was the Master Distiller at the...

Lifestyle

Hedgies Rock Out For Children's Charity

Sep 15 2014 | 8:40am ET

It's that time of year again—when hedgies trade in their spreadsheets for guitars...

Guest Contributor

The Cult of Loss Aversion: A Call to Rethink Risk in Global Macro Investing

Sep 4 2014 | 5:45am ET

In the wake of a traumatic loss, whether it is financial or personal, it is just...

 

Editor's Note

    Get A Sneak Peak Of The Alpha Pages

    Aug 25 2014 | 11:21am ET

    As many of you know, FINalternatives was recently acquired by the owners of Futures magazine, a firm called The Alpha Pages LLC. Today marks the soft-launch of a new sister site for both publications. As its name suggests, The Alpha Pages will cover all types of alternative investments, going far beyond the more well-known ones such as hedge funds and private equity. Read more…

 

Futures Magazine

July/August 2014 Cover

In search of the ‘new normal’ at the Fed

The Federal Reserve keeps baby-stepping toward a “normalization” of monetary policy. But just what is normal?

The Alpha Pages

TAP July/August 2014 Cover

The Alpha Pages Interview: Senator Rand Paul

Senator Paul sat down in the debut series of the Alpha Pages Interview to discuss the broken tax code, regulation surrounding Bitcoin, and his plans for the 2016 Presidential election.