The rise, the fall and the busting of Raj Rajaratnam, the hedge fund owner sentenced on Thursday to 11 years in jail, was largely a South Asian affair played thousands of miles away on the Walled Street.
When the FBI busted Rajaratnam in 2009, he was at the top of that world, with a personal fortune of $1.3 billion, and his hedge-fund Galleon was ranked among the top 10 in the US.
Here are his South Asian connections.
Rajaratnam himself is a Tamil from Sri Lanka, who boasted to his friends how his family lived dodging bullets during the civil war there.
McKinsey’s Anil Kumar and Intel’s Rajiv Goel, the two men who provided Rajaratnam tips that earned him millions, were both from India. The three met at University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
Roomy Khan, the one-time employee of Galleon who ratted on Rajaratnam and cooperated with investigators to bring down his insider trading empire, has roots in Bangladesh.
And the team that successfully prosecuted Rajaratnam and friends, busting the largest insider-trading case in the history of the US, was led by Indian Preet Bharara, the Manhattan US Attorney known to be a fiercely private person.
The other person authorities are investigating for allegedly tipping Rajaratnam was former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta, also from India. His lawyers have denied these allegations and said Gupta lost $10 million because of Rajaratnam.
In all seven people charged with Rajaratnam have pleaded guilty, including all his South Asian connections, with the exception of Gupta, charges against whom were dropped by the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier.
“It is a sad conclusion to what once seemed to be a glittering story,” Bharara said in a statement after the sentencing on Thursday.