Judge Nixes Change Of Venue For Accused Calif. Hedge Fund Manager

Mar 1 2012 | 3:55am ET

Hedge fund manager Doug Whitman will have to suffer an unwanted vacation in New York City this summer, a judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff rejected a request by the Whitman Capital founder's lawyers to move his trial on insider-trading charges from the Big Apple to California, where Whitman lives and where most of the companies whose stock he is alleged to have traded illegally are based.

Whitman's lawyers had argued that, "at its heart, this is a Silicon Valley case and not a Wall Street case," and that most of the witnesses live in California. But Rakoff brushed them aside, noting that it was really as much a "cyberspace" case as anything. And, the judge added, the trial, set to begin on July 30, would only last about two weeks.

According to prosecutors, Whitman earned more than $900,000 participating in two insider-trading schemes. One allegedly involved Roomy Khan, the former Intel Corp. employee who helped bring down Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam and a former neighbor of Whitman's in Atherton, Calif., and the other expert-network consultant Karl Motey.

If convicted of securities fraud and conspiracy, Whitman faces up to 50 years in prison.

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