Raj Rajaratnam has already completed part of his sentence for insider-trading.
The Galleon Group founder's lawyer said Friday that his client has already paid the $63 million in restitution and fines ordered when he was sentenced on Oct. 13. That, of course, was the easy part for the former billionaire; Rajaratnam is to report to prison to begin his 11-year sentence at the end of next month.
William White, Rajaratnam's lawyer, made the revelation as part of Rajaratnam's fight to avoid having to pay even more. The Securities and Exchange Commission is seeking some $96.4 million in civil penalties.
"The thrust of our argument is that it would be appropriate to seek civil penalties if not for a criminal case where the punishment was so significant," White said. Rajaratnam paid more than $53 million in forfeitures and a $10 million fine.
U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff responded that the insider-trading laws are written to ensure "you will lose your shirt if you are caught," but said he'd take Rajaratnam's ability to pay into account.
"I'm not a big fan of symbolic gestures," he said. "I'd like there to be a reasonable possibility that it gets paid."
Rakoff said he'd rule on the issue of civil penalties by Nov. 7.