TIME Crime

NY Jury Acquits Ex-Hedge Fund Founder’s Brother

Rengan Rajaratnam exits the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in Lower Manhattan
Rengan Rajaratnam exits the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in Lower Manhattan on July 8, 2014. Brendan Mcdermid—Reuters

(NEW YORK) — The brother of an imprisoned ex-billionaire hedge fund founder was acquitted of conspiracy on Tuesday.

A Manhattan jury returned the verdict at the federal insider trading trial of Rengan Rajaratnam. The smiling defendant hugged his lawyers and relatives when the verdict was read.

His brother, Raj Rajaratnam, is the founder of the Galleon Group of hedge funds and is serving an 11-year sentence for making up to $75 million illegally.

Two dozen other defendants have pleaded guilty or were convicted in the case.

Federal Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald had dismissed the two most serious charges in May.

Prosecutors had alleged that Rengan Rajaratnam, 43, joined with his brother to cheat in the stock market in 2008 on the securities of two technology companies.

Defense attorney Daniel Gitner said the prosecution had “failed on every score” to prove its case.

After he was charged in the case last year, Rengan Rajaratnam came to the United States from Brazil, where he had been living.

The charge against him was an extension of charges against his brother and others in a prosecution in which the government touted its novel use of wiretaps to catch portfolio managers talking about their inside information.

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