In just over two months, Raj Rajaratnam will learn how much time he'll have to spend in jail on his insider-trading conviction, which he is appealing. The Galleon Group founder faces between 15½ years and 19½ years.
At least one person thinks that's unfair: His younger brother (and, according to prosecutors, unindicted co-conspirator) Rengan.
Rengan Rajaratnam last week sent out a plea to his Rolodex, asking friends of his brothers to give U.S. District Judge Richard Holwell a reason or two for giving Raj a break. Rengan asked that the letters be sent by early this week; it is unclear how much participation he may have gotten.
After thanking his friends and associates for their "calls, emails, texts and inquiries" during this "tragic time," he gets to the heart of the matter:
"The guidelines are harder and less flexible than many prison sentences for violent and predatory offenders," the former Galleon trader explains. "This is simply unfair, and we are praying for leniency from the judge while we prepare the appeal."
How can you help?
"If you can find it in your hearts to write a personal letter to Judge Holwell," that could "play a pivotal role in helping persuade the Hon. Judge Holwell to be fair, and lenient, during Raj's sentencing," Rengan writes in the letter, obtained by Dealbreaker.com.
How personal? Well, not very, as Rengan offers an eHow.com link showing "how to properly write a character reference." Of course, "it is important that the letter come from you, and paints Raj in a positive light." And "the longer you can state you have known Raj, clearly the better."
Rajaratnam is scheduled to be sentenced on July 29, although it is likely that it will be postponed.