India-origin billionaire Rajaratnam slapped with $92.8m penalty in insider-trading case

   Nov 9, 10:19 am

New York, Nov 9 (ANI): Billionaire Indian American hedge fund boss Raj Rajaratnam, who was sentenced to over 11 years in prison for insider trading, has been ordered to pay a record financial penalty of 92.8 million dollars.

According to the New York Times, combined with the fines and forfeitures ordered last month for Securities and Exchange Commission insider trading, Rajaratnam will be paying a total of 156.6 million dollars.

Legal experts believed that the SEC fine against Rajaratnam is noteworthy because in many cases judges would not impose such substantial civil penalties against a defendant who has already been sentenced and ordered to pay stiff criminal fines.

Rajaratnam's lawyers, however, argued that given the financial penalties imposed in the criminal case, a 10 million dollar fine and 53.8 million dollars in forfeited profits, additional civil penalties were unwarranted.

But Judge Jed S. Rakoff, the presiding judge in the SEC's case against Rajaratnam, rejected that notion.

"This misapprehends both the nature of this parallel proceeding and the purposes of civil penalties," the paper quoted the Judge, as saying.

"SEC civil penalties, most especially in a case involving such lucrative misconduct as insider trading, are designed, most importantly, to make such unlawful trading a money-losing proposition not just for this defendant, but for all who would consider it," he added.

According to the paper, the judge arrived at the 92.8 million dollars figure by imposing the maximum penalty under the law of three times Rajaratnam's illegal gains at his hedge fund, the Galleon Group.

"This case cries out for the kind of civil penalty that will deprive this defendant of a material part of his fortune," he said. (ANI)

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