Monday, 27 February 2017
Last updated 3 hours ago
Oct 4 2011 | 3:12am ET
When it comes to the "unique constellation of ailments ravaging his body," Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam wants leniency when he is sentenced next week. But he'd rather keep the details a secret.
Rajaratnam's lawyers yesterday filed a motion opposing a government request to release information about Rajaratnam's health. Prosecutors argued last week that, if Rajaratnam is going to use his medical issues, which have never been publicly disclosed, in an effort to win a more lenient sentence than that suggested by federal sentencing guidelines, then the public has a First Amendment right to know what's wrong with him.
Not so, his lawyers argue.
"The idea that Mr. Rajaratnam's interest in keeping his medical conditions private must yield to the public's prurient interest in such intimate details is absurd," Rajaratnam's legal team wrote. "No defendant should be forced to choose between providing the court with medical information relevant to sentencing and making himself the subject to a salacious and morbid media feeding frenzy."
Rajaratnam was convicted in May of insider-trading. Prosecutors have asked U.S. District Judge Richard Holwell to sentence him to between 19½ and 24½ years in prison, a term that Rajaratnam's lawyers have called "grotesquely severe" and an effective death sentence for the 54-year-old.
Separately, Holwell will hear arguments today about how much Rajaratnam actually made on his illegal trades, a figure that could play a major role in determining how long he spends in jail. Prosecutors say he made $63.8 million, while the defense counters the number was closer to $36.3 million.
What's more, Rajaratnam's lawyers plan to argue today, his own "culpability" is only about $7.5 million—the amount Rajaratnam would have earned in fees on the illegal trading. And even that is too much, they say, since Rajaratnam earned no fees at all during the financial crisis in 2008.