Insider trading trial: Jury hears more tapes

Raj Rajaratnam
New York, Mar 22: Jurors at the insider trading trial of Raj Rajaratnam have listened to more wiretaps that prosecutors say show disgraced former Intel executive Rajiv Goel provided secret information about pending technology industry deals to Sri Lanka-born billionaire.

The prosecution yesterday played a secretly recorded phone conversation between Goel and Rajaratnam, who is the main accused in the biggest insider trading case to hit US courts in decades.

In a Mar 19, 2008 call, Goel told Galleon Group founder, Rajaratnam, that Intel was planning to make a USD 1 billion investment in a new joint venture with Clearwire and others to develop an ultra-fast wireless Internet service, The New York Times reported.

Rajaratnam allegedly purchased through a Galleon technology fund 125,800 shares of Clearwire on Mar 24, 2008, based on inside information provided by Goel about the venture, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"Intel has a board meeting, in fact, today," Goel can be heard telling Rajaratnam.

Goel has already pleaded guilty to giving Rajaratnam insider tips. The main question of this case is whether Rajaratnam, 53, made USD 45 million by using leaked confidential information.

His lawyers say that Rajaratnam conducted his business based on information that was already in the public domain and through research.

Out of the 26 people arrested in this case, 19 have pleaded guilty. Rajaratnam, however, denies any wrongdoing but could face up to 20 years in prison, if found guilty.

A government witness, Sriram Viswanathan, a senior Intel executive, told the jury that Goel had access to confidential information regarding a deal -- nicknamed Project Rain  that Intel was having about creating a new 4G wireless network.

The information included details like how much money Intel might invest, which Goel shared with Rajaratnam, NYT reported.

Earlier in the day, Margaret Holloway, a senior credit analyst for Moody's Investors Service, testified that she gave confidential information about Hilton''s planned sale to Blackstone Group LP to a junior analyst, Deep Shah, WSJ reported.

Shah is believed to be in India. Rajaratnam allegedly got the information from a woman called Roomy Khan, who got it from the Moody analyst, and then he bought up shares in the hotel chain before the 2007 buyout.

Rajaratnam's lawyers argued that information about the deal was already in the public domain.


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