Rajaratnam Prison Conditions Disputed

Aug 28 2013 | 12:07pm ET

Raj Rajaratnam is serving an 11-year sentence for insider-trading, but is he really doing hard time?

That depends on who you ask: The New York Post reported this week that the Galleon Group founder is “doing his time in the lap of luxury compared to the other inmates,” an assertion disputed by others.

At the heart of the issue is Rajaratnam’s assignment to the top floor of the Federal Medical Center Devens in Ayer, Mass., where inmates have access to a private toilet, outdoor balcony, television and adjustable beds. Rajaratnam has diabetes and is in need of a kidney transplant.

According to the Post’s source, that’s no reason for him not being housed with the general population at Devens, which is a medical facility. “Up there, diabetes is like a common cold,” the source said. “He’s getting special treatment.”

Among his perks, the Post alleges, is a “manservant,” whom the source called “a very delightful guy doing all sorts of stuff for him,” including cooking. The prison employee in question “became enamored of Raj, and Raj started talking about how much he once paid his chauffeurs. Now Eddie wants to be Raj’s driver when he gets out.”

But CNBC spoke to a different source, someone who has visited Rajaratnam, and that source calls the Post report “rubbish.” The so-called “manservant” is actually responsible for assisting all inmates in Rajaratnam’s ward.

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