Tension Rises In Rajaratnam Case As Witness, Defense Lawyer Match Off

Mar 17 2011 | 1:45pm ET

Former McKinsey & Co. director Anil Kumar's fourth and final day on the stand in the Raj Rajaratnam insider-trading trial proved a bruising battle between the admitted tipster and Rajaratnam's lead lawyer.

Kumar and John Dowd battled yesterday, at times talking over one another and seemingly on the verge of a shouting match. Dowd, who accused Kumar of "making up" the things he said on the stand, sought to show that the information Kumar said was confidential was, in fact public, and at other times simply attacked his client's former friend and business school classmate.

At one point, discussing Kumar's receipt of $1 million, which he said was for a valuable tip about Advanced Micro Devices, Dowd, frequently waving papers or stabbing in Kumar's direction with his glasses, said that the money was for legitimate consulting work done for New Silk Route Partners, a private equity firm set up by Rajaratnam and former McKinsey chief Rajat Gupta, while at the same time accusing Kumar of trying to get "something for nothing" from New Silk Route.

"Mr. Rajaratnam paid you for legitimate business ventures you were working on," Dowd accused.

"Wrong," Kumar, who has pleaded guilty in the case, shot back.

Kumar gave as good as he got, acidly noting at one point that he "was not worth $2 billion like Mr. Rajaratnam" and that Rajaratnam and Kumar "treated me pretty poorly."

"They treated me like I was irrelevant."

As for the $1 million being for work at New Silk Route, Kumar said, "I did very little work at the beginning." He had previously testified that Rajaratnam had offered him the money after the AMD deal he allegedly tipped the Galleon Group founder off about was announced.

"You a star," Kumar testified Rajaratnam told him. "I want to give you a million dollars."

Earlier, Dowd hammered at Kumar's allegation that the information he gave Rajaratnam was public, pointing to e-mails and news clippings discussing the possible AMD deal before it was announced in 2008, as well as EBay Inc.'s plans to fire 10% of its staff.

"So the deal was public?" Dowd asked.

"No, sir," Kumar responded.

Later, Dowd asked, "You didn't provide Mr. Rajaratnam with any confidential, non-public information about EBay, did you?"

After Dowd finished with Kumar, prosecutors, on redirect examination, sought to explain the difference between news reports and confidential information. Kumar said the difference was "night and day." He said the press reports were "speculative" and that he offered "more accurate facts than a journalist would."

"It's between actually knowing if an event is going to happen and being part of the noise in the system."

After Kumar's testimony ended, prosecutors called former Intel Corp. investor relations man Alexander Lenke, who testified that Rajiv Goel, a former Intel executive who has also pleaded guilty to passing confidential tips to Rajaratnam, asked for information about the company's performance in 2007. Lenke said that he provided Goel with the information before it was publicly released.

In spite of the action in the courtroom, one juror—dubbed the "Hipster Juror" by The New York Times on account of his "scruffy beard, ironic glasses" and lack of employment—found a quiet moment for a nap. Juror No. 18, an alternate, dozed off a little after noon yesterday before falling into "a full-on midday snooze." The Times reports he was out for a few minutes before he woke up.


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