Raj Rajaratnam, the face of the biggest trading scandal in a generation, was sentenced Thursday to 11 years in prison, one of the longest ever sentences handed down for an insider case.
Prosecutors had sought a sentence of 19 years and seven months to 24 years and five months behind bars for the former hedge fund titan. Rajaratnam’s lawyers – citing health problems, among other factors – had been urging the judge to consider a much more lenient sentencing range of six-and-a-half years to eight years and one month.
“His crimes and the scope of his crimes reflect a virus in our business culture that needs to be eradicated” US District Judge Richard Holwell said in imposing sentence. The judge also ordered Rajaratnam to pay a $10 million fine.
The 54-year-old co-founder of Galleon Group, who was convicted of five counts of conspiracy and nine counts of insider trading in May, was accused by prosecutors of being at the center of the one of the biggest insider trading schemes ever unearthed.
Rajaratnam, who wore a dark suit with a blue and silver striped tie at his sentencing hearing, is the highest-profile person to be prosecuted so far as part of a broad US government crackdown.
Source: New York Post website, 13 October 2011