New York – Hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam was found guilty Wednesday on all 14 counts of conspiracy and securities fraud in the largest insider-trading case involving those funds ever tried in the United States.
The jury returned its verdict Wednesday after two weeks of deliberations, siding with federal prosecutors who argued that the defendant earned $63.8 million by making trades based on privileged information.
The founder of the Galleon Group, who has consistently maintained his innocence, will be sentenced July 29. He faces a maximum of 205 years in prison.
Rajaratnam, who ranked 236th last year on a Forbes magazine's list of the 400 wealthiest Americans with a net worth of $1.5 billion, used a nationwide network of traders and company executives who provided him with confidential information that led to multi-million-dollar investment gains.
"Rajaratnam was among the best and the brightest - one of the most educated, successful and privileged professionals in the country. Yet, like so many others recently, he let greed and corruption cause his undoing," U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement after the verdict was announced.
The case was followed closely on Wall Street because executives of top companies such as former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta - accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of funneling confidential information to his friend, Rajaratnam - were implicated in the scheme.
Goldman's chairman and CEO, Lloyd Blankfein, testified during the eight-week trial.
A total of 26 people have been charged in a larger crackdown on securities fraud, 21 of whom have already pleaded guilty.
Rajaratnam, a 53-year-old native of Sri Lanka, was found guilty of trading on confidential information about companies such as Intel, IBM, Hilton, eBay, Akamai Technologies, Polycom, Google, Sun Microsystems, Clearwire, AMD, ATI Technologies and PeopleSupport.
The fraud was discovered thanks to wiretapped phone conversations among those implicated in the scheme.