Rajaratnam Co-Conspirator Chiesi Freed

May 20 2013 | 12:20pm ET

After 15 months in prison, former hedge fund analyst Danielle Chiesi has been released to a halfway house.

Chiesi, who pleaded guilty to insider-trading in the Galleon Group scandal in 2011, returned to New York City in January to complete her sentence. She'll spend six months at a halfway house in the Bronx. After she leaves the halfway house, Chiesi will move back to Manhattan and serve two years of supervised release.

"When my family picked me up, you cannot even believe the feeling," Chiesi told Bloomberg News. "I had my mom, my brother, my sister, my nieces. They drove outside of the Alderson gates, and I jumped out of the car. It was surreal."

"It's good to be back," she said. "I feel good. I feel great."

Chiesi was released early for good behavior and for participating in a drug and alcohol program. She said her time a the West Virginia prison camp was "very difficult," but was made easier by the fact that she didn't cooperate with prosecutors in the case against her former co-defendant, Galleon founder Raj Rajaratnam, who was convicted and is now serving an 11-year prison sentence.

"Not being a rat works," she said. "I didn't talk. I didn't speak. I kept to myself."

She did say that she "was complicit" in the interview, adding that she is working for her brother—without giving any other specifics about the job. "I don't have a career anymore, but I have drive and ambition, and will make it work," she said. "I'm back."

She also asked about her former lover, New Castle Funds co-founder Mark Kurland, who was sentenced to 27 months in prison for his role in the case. "I want to know what Mark Kurland is doing now," she said.

"Life is hard," Chiesi noted. "I didn't come back to something that's perfect."

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