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Anil Kumar plays down Rajaratnam ties

world Updated: Mar 17, 2011 20:48 IST

IANS
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Anil Kumar, star Indian American prosecution witness, has testified that he was rarely consulted by Galleon hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam and ex-Goldman Sachs group director Rajat Gupta about the launch of a private equity fund investing in South Asia.

Taking the stand again in the biggest insider trading case in the US in decades on Thursday, Kumar, a former McKinsey & Co. partner, denied a suggestion by Rajaratnam's lawyer that he was being paid for legitimate consulting work, including a role in the launch of New Silk Route.

"I did very little work in the beginning," Kumar said during cross examination in a New York court by John Dowd, who is defending Rajaratnam, charged with making $45 million from tips leaked by corporate insiders and hedge fund traders.

Kumar, who has pleaded guilty to leaking information to Rajaratnam, said he was rarely consulted by Rajaratnam and Gupta, who were among the financial backers of the new fund.

Kumar testified that he and Gupta created Mindspirit LLC in 2001 as a vehicle for their two families to make investments, not as a consulting company, as suggested by Dowd.

Suggesting that Rajaratnam paid Kumar more than $1 million for legitimate work at the Galleon Group, Dowd showed the jury a Galleon investor presentation that named Kumar as an adviser to the fund.

Dowd also contended that Kumar was paid money by Rajaratnam for his involvement with another fund, Taj Capital, which was started by Rajaratnam and a group of investors that included Gupta. "You were paid $1 million because of work you did for Galleon and Taj Capital."

Kumar said he received no money for his time spent working on the Taj Capital fund, because the team had agreed he would be compensated only if he left McKinsey and joined the firm.