Bharara, Rajaratnam Prosecutor, Makes Cover Of 'Time'

Feb 3 2012 | 12:24am ET

Raj Rajaratnam may want to steer clear of the magazines at the Devens Federal Medical Center library next week.

The man who put him behind bars for 11 years, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, is Time magazine's cover boy on the issue that comes out today. Bharara's face is only partially covered by the bold, white-lettered headline announcing him: "This Man Is Busting Wall Street: Prosecutor Preet Bharara collars the masters of the meltdown."

Bharara may well be the first U.S. Attorney to make the magazine's cover in that role—a predecessor in the Southern District of New York, Rudy Giuliani, accomplished the feat in a different job.

The honor comes just days after Bharara's office announced charges against three Credit Suisse employees accused of inflating the value of mortgage-backed securities during the financial crisis. Two of the men charged have pleaded guilty.

But Time is no doubt more impressed by the 60-some convictions for insider-trading, including that of Rajaratnam and dozens of his co-conspirators, that Bharara's office has won in the past two years. Many of those convictions—most of them guilty pleas—were achieved with the help of wiretaps.

"One of Bharara's characteristics is his combination of blue-collar, former mob-prosecutor attitude with an unabashed moralist's talk of high standards," authors Massimo Calabresi and Bill Saporito write. "In my interview, for example, he said he learned the value of wiretaps as a line prosecutor in Manhattan:"

"'When you're trying to make a racketeering case that involves charges of extortion, which by definition include threats of violence, and you have a guy saying, like you might see on The Sopranos, 'I'm going to staple your eyeball,' that's pretty good evidence. And you get that all the time." In the same conversation, he talked about the need for high standards among prosecutors. "In this office, we talk every day about doing what is right by the law and by our conscience and try to use the most aggressive technique that is appropriate to the task at hand, within limits of the law," he said."


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