Raj Rajaratnam Trial Wiretaps Fascinate Jury: ‘Oh, Dude, We’re F—–‘

NEW YORK — Jurors at a closely watched federal trial are learning that the high-stakes world of hedge funds sometimes sounded like this:

“I need to get back to basics. I’m gonna become Mr. October.”

“Yeah, I love that.”

And: “Hey get me a job with one of your powerful friends, man. I’m tired of this company.”

Also: “Oh dude, we’re f—–.”

The recordings – some crude and silly, others complex and confusing, all allegedly illegal – are key evidence in the case against Raj Rajaratnam, the former hedge fund manager who before his arrest in 2009 made a fortune for himself and others with his mastery of the technology and other markets. Prosecutors say the calls, combined with the testimony of cooperators, pull back the curtain to reveal how Rajaratnam was cultivating friendships with cash, trading advice and family vacations while committing his crimes.

The trial, which is entering its fourth week, has become a showcase for what prosecutors say is the stepped-up use of FBI wiretaps in white collar cases.

Wall Street insiders “who are considering breaking the law will have to ask themselves one important question: Is law enforcement listening?” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara warned when he announced the Rajaratnam case.

The FBI was listening to Rajaratnam, founder of the Galleon Group, and a nefarious network of other fund managers and public company executives nonstop in 2008 before he was charged with earning more than $50 million illegally by trading on inside information – what prosecutors have billed as the largest hedge fund insider trading case ever.

In his opening statement, defense attorney John Dowd insisted there was nothing incriminating about the calls, only “a lot of self-promotion and gibberish. … Just a lot of drama.”

But the government says it was more than just trash talk.

Prosecutors have twice played a tape of a July 29, 2008, telephone call in which Rajaratnam grills former Goldman Sachs board member Rajat Gupta about whether the board had discussed acquiring a commercial bank or an insurance company.

“Have you heard anything along that line?” Rajaratnam asked Gupta.

“Yeah,” Gupta responded, “This was a big discussion at the board meeting.”

NEW YORK — Jurors at a closely watched federal trial are learning that the high-stakes world of hedge funds sometimes sounded like this:

“I need to get back to basics. I’m gonna become Mr. October.”

“Yeah, I love that.”

And: “Hey get me a job with one of your powerful friends, man. I’m tired of this company.”

Also: “Oh dude, we’re f—–.”

The recordings – some crude and silly, others complex and confusing, all allegedly illegal – are key evidence in the case against Raj Rajaratnam, the former hedge fund manager who before his arrest in 2009 made a fortune for himself and others with his mastery of the technology and other markets. Prosecutors say the calls, combined with the testimony of cooperators, pull back the curtain to reveal how Rajaratnam was cultivating friendships with cash, trading advice and family vacations while committing his crimes.

The trial, which is entering its fourth week, has become a showcase for what prosecutors say is the stepped-up use of FBI wiretaps in white collar cases.

Wall Street insiders “who are considering breaking the law will have to ask themselves one important question: Is law enforcement listening?” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara warned when he announced the Rajaratnam case.

The FBI was listening to Rajaratnam, founder of the Galleon Group, and a nefarious network of other fund managers and public company executives nonstop in 2008 before he was charged with earning more than $50 million illegally by trading on inside information – what prosecutors have billed as the largest hedge fund insider trading case ever.

In his opening statement, defense attorney John Dowd insisted there was nothing incriminating about the calls, only “a lot of self-promotion and gibberish. … Just a lot of drama.”

But the government says it was more than just trash talk.

Prosecutors have twice played a tape of a July 29, 2008, telephone call in which Rajaratnam grills former Goldman Sachs board member Rajat Gupta about whether the board had discussed acquiring a commercial bank or an insurance company.

“Have you heard anything along that line?” Rajaratnam asked Gupta.

“Yeah,” Gupta responded, “This was a big discussion at the board meeting.”  More via: Raj Rajaratnam Trial Wiretaps Fascinate Jury: ‘Oh, Dude, We’re F—–‘.

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Every day someone violates a federal law governing Wall Street insider trading.  Were Congress capable of closing these loopholes, life would be better for the man on the street around the world! 

 

 

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