NEW YORK, April 25, 2011 (AFP) – A jury began deliberating Monday in Wall Street’s biggest insider trading court case in years, targeting Galleon hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam, accused of profiting from insider information. Federal Judge Richard Holwell instructed jurors to use “fairness and impartiality” and said they are “the soul” of the case.
“Remember at all times you are not partisans,” the judge told the 12 jurors. “You must decide on each of 14 counts if Mr. Rajaratnam is, beyond reasonable doubt, guilty or not.”
Rajaratnam, 53, faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted on all charges in a case seen as the biggest assault on alleged insider trading in years.
Prosecutors said he used insider tips to make $45 million in illegal profits between 2003 and 2009.
More than two dozen others have been caught up in the Galleon probe, which — unusually for a financial fraud case — featured extensive use of telephone wire taps. The government says Sri Lankan-born Rajaratnam and his Galleon hedge fund made tens of millions of dollars by trading on secret company information, like quarterly results or merger plans, that was leaked by corrupt tipsters.
But defense attorney John Dowd has attacked the cr