Friday, 24 March 2017
Last updated 19 hours ago
Apr 25 2011 | 12:50pm ET
The jury in the Raj Rajaratnam case is expected to begin deliberating on the Galleon Group founder's fate today.
U.S. District Judge Richard Holwell is expected to charge the jurors today after prosecutors finish their final rebuttal. That rebuttal began on Thursday after Rajaratnam's lawyer, John Dowd, completed his nearly five-and-a-half hour closing argument.
Dowd hammered home the defense's theory that the allegedly confidential information Rajaratnam traded on was "public."
"You must acquit," he implored the seven women and five men on the jury.
Dowd said prosecutors painted a "make-believe" picture of life on Wall Street. There is "nothing wrong with" what Rajaratnam did, he said. "That happens every day on Wall Street."
Dowd also savagely attacked the government's string of star witnesses, calling one, former Intel Corp. executive and alleged Rajaratnam tipster Rajiv Goel "the worst liar to ever take the stand in any courtroom in this building." He mocked several others, saying that former Galleon trader Adam Smith received "a free ride" from prosecutors in exchange for his testimony and "changed his story so many times he doesn't know if he's coming or going." Dowd also ssentially called Anil Kumar, a former McKinsey & Co. director and Rajaratnam friend, stupid.
"This is a perfect example of why you can't listen to wiretaps in a vacuum," Dowd said. "If Kumar couldn't find the size of the layoffs" at EBay, in one case, "he hadn't read the newspaper."
Dowd also ridiculed other aspects of the government's case, calling it "probably the first insider-trading case in history where the government says the defendant lost $67 million."
On rebuttal, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Streeter blasted Dowd's assertion that Rajaratnam had only used public information in his trading. While the defendant did wade through a "blizzard" of public information, he also had "a huge advantage to the ordinary investor. That advantage is called insider-trading. It's a crime."
Streeter came to the defense of his star witnesses, asking jurors to "put aside whether or not you like them."
"Think about whether they're corroborated. These people are corroborated by wiretaps calls, they're corroborated by phone records, they're corroborated by trading records."
If convicted, Rajaratnam faces decades in prison.