Galleon Founder Rajaratnam Charged With Insider Trading

Oct 16 2009 | 12:11pm ET

Raj Rajaratnam, the founder of hedge fund Galleon Group, has been arrested and charged with a $20 million insider-trading scheme.

The billionaire—who earlier this month took 236th place on the Forbes magazine list of the 400 richest Americans with a net worth of $1.5 billion—and five others, including two other hedge fund executives, have been accused of using non-public information to trade in several big-name stocks, including Google Inc. and Hilton Hotels Corp. between 2007 and this year.

A pair of former Bear Stearns Asset Management executives, who worked at hedge fund New Castle Partners, were also charged in the two complaints, filed today in Manhattan federal court. They are Danielle Chiesi and Mark Kurland. Also charged were Rajiv Goel, formerly of Intel Capital, Anil Kumar, formerly of McKinsey & Co., and Robert Moffat of IBM Corp.

Rajaratnam has been charged with four counts of conspiracy and eight counts of securities fraud. According to the complaints, Rajaratnam placed illegal trades on behalf of a Galleon fund, and also passed the information on to others. The allegedly illicit deals earned the Galleon fund more than $12.7 million and New Castle more than $2.4 million. In addition to Google and Hilton, Rajaratnam and the others also made illegal trades in Polycom Inc., Clearwire Corp. and Advanced Micro Devices securities.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has scheduled a 1 p.m. press conference to offer further details of the case.

New York-based Galleon manages about $7 billion.

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