Rajaratnam Brother Rejects Plea Deal

Jun 2 2014 | 6:30am ET

Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam’s brother has been on a winning streak—and he’s pressing his luck.

Rengan Rajaratnam has rejected a proposed plea agreement, prosecutors said Friday. The younger Rajaratnam, who is accused of illegally trading with his brother, is set to go on trial later this month. The elder Rajaratnam was convicted of fraud three years ago and is serving an 11-year sentence.

In recent weeks, prosecutors have dropped four of the seven charges against Rengan Rajaratnam. Terms of the proposed plea were not disclosed.

Rajaratnam worked at Galleon and is accused of conspiring with his brother to trade shares of Clearwire Corp. and Cisco Systems in 2008 based on insider information. He returned to the U.S. from Brazil to face the charges, and has denied wrongdoing, arguing that prosecutors have not alleged that he knew his alleged tipsters benefitted personally by passing confidential information.

Lawyers for both sides and the judge also discussed evidentiary matters during Friday’s hearing, with Rajaratnam’s lawyer saying it would be all-but impossible to avoid mention of Raj Rajaratnam’s conviction. “The name Rajaratnam is now synonymous, unfortunately, with this kind of case,” Daniel Gitner said.

U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald appeared to agree with that assessment, and prosecutors said they did not oppose evidence about the elder Rajaratnam’s conviction.

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