12 May 2011

Billionaire convicted of insider trading

8:41 am on 12 May 2011

A court in New York has convicted US hedge fund billionaire Raj Rajaratnam of insider trading after a rial lasting eight weeks.

Rajaratnam, 53, the founder of the Galleon hedge fund, was found guilty on 14 charges of securities fraud and conspiracy.

The BBC reports the vedict was unanimous.

Prosecutors said he used illicit confidential information to make trading profits of more than $US63.8 million.

He was released on bail of $US100 million. Prosecutors had asked for him to be kept in custody, saying he may flee to Sri Lanka.

Rajaratnam faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on 29 July. He plans to appeal against his conviction.

The jury decision was postponed for several days after one juror fell ill and had to be replaced, forcing the jury to restart its deliberations from the beginning.