Rajaratnam Appeal Scheduled For Next Month

Sep 10 2012 | 12:52pm ET

Raj Rajaratnam has been in prison for nine months of his 11-year sentence for insider-trading. His lawyers will get a chance to try to spring him next month, however, when they seek to have his conviction overturned.

The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals will hear Rajaratnam's bid to have his conviction thrown out next month. The Galleon Group founder's lawyers will argue that the wiretaps at the center of the government's case against him were improperly obtained.

Rajaratnam's legal team will use the same arguments that they unsuccessfully presented when they sought to have the recorded phone calls suppressed at trial last year. They claimed that the government misled the judges that gave permission for the taps.

Rajartatnam's lawyers and the government will each have 15 minutes before a three-judge panel of the appeal court on Oct. 25. It could take that court months to issue a decision on whether or not Rajaratnam's conviction should be vacated and a new trial ordered; legal experts have suggested that Rajaratnam has little chance of success on appeal.

"The government argues that this court must close its mind to the truth and accept its pervasively misleading affidavit at face value because it was not 'outright false'; it was just filled with intentionally misleading 'omissions,'" Rajaratnam's lawyers wrote. The U.S. Justice Dept. countered that the "issuing judges' findings were validated by the wiretap investigation, which uncovered highly incriminating evidence of wide-ranging insider-trading schemes involving Rajaratnam and others."

Rajaratnam was convicted of 14 counts of fraud and conspiracy in May 2011 and sentenced to 11 years in prison. He reported to the Federal Medical Center in Ayer, Mass., on Dec. 5; the Federal Bureau of Prisons web site said the 55-year-old is expected to be released on July 4, 2021.

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