, the Galleon Group founder who was convicted of insider trading and was sentenced to 11 years this month, gave his first interview since his arrest to Newsweek
Raj Rajaratnam Talks About His Arrest and Interrogation
Raj Rajaratnam told Newsweek he was interrogated for eight hours. Rajaratnam told Newsweek that he refused to cooperate with the investigators and did not phone an attorney. Newsweek reports of Rajaratnam, "They wanted him to turn in other hedge-fund managers. They wanted him, especially, to wear a wire and tape his conversations with Rajat Gupta
, the former CEO of McKinsey. Gupta, whom Rajaratnam refers to as a “first-class guy,” was the most respected Indian executive in the U.S." Rajaratnam was led to believe that if he pled guilty and wore a wire, he would be offered a much lighter sentence of 5 years and that under the terms of the deal he could be out in 85 percent of that time with good behavior.
Raj Rajaratnam Discusses Plea Bargains
To date, more than 50 people have been charged in the insider trading scandal. "Most everyone that's been charged has pled guilty," says Rajaratnam. “Nobody’s fought it. They’ve taken the plea.” Rajaratnam explains the pleas offered. “There are two types of plea bargains. One is, you cooperate with the government. You finger 10 other people. The other is a plea bargain without cooperation...The South Asians all did the plea bargain with fingering. The Americans stood their ground. Every bloody Indian cooperated—Goel, Khan, Kumar.” Rajaratnam pled not guilty. He was convicted of 14 counts of insider trading and received a sentence of 11 years. According to Newsweek, "As late as two weeks before the sentencing, Rajaratnam was still being asked by the government to turn on Gupta. But he wouldn’t wear a wire, he says, so he could sleep at night."