By Faraz Shauketaly
Billionaire hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam, 54, who was found guilty by a New York court on 14 charges of insider trading, has divested all his holdings on the Colombo Stock Exchange and the CSE expects zero-impact on the market here.
Brokers confirmed that Rajaratnam had divested his various holdings over a period of time after his initial arrest.
Rajaratnam who was listed by Forbes magazine as the richest person ever born in Sri Lanka headed the hugely successful Galleon Fund. In Sri Lanka at the time of his arrest sources within the government confirmed that they were looking at his possible involvement in funding sections of the LTTE network. No further information was available thereafter and authorities in the United States had not pursued those matters at the time of his conviction for insider trading.
Rajaratnam: Guilty of 14 counts of insider trading
The Rajaratnam case has drawn worldwide interest as it is the first time that evidence from wiretaps were used in a legal case involving Wall Street. The US Authorities have for long been suspicious of the illegal practice but it is with this particular case that the US government has been emboldened in its fight against the sinister world of insider trading.
Raj Rajaratnam who is not as well known in his land of birth – Sri Lanka – as he is in New York, led a flamboyant lifestyle complete with luxury homes and apartments at the most sought after locations. His principal home in Connecticut is a veritable billionaire’s playground complete with outhouses for his staff and full sized tennis courts. His homes in Florida and Washington were equally plush.
To complete the hero to zero case was the news that Rajaratnam’s conversations with a former colleague, a blonde by the name of Danielle Chisei, 45, was the principal cause of his undoing. Ms. Chisei had pleaded guilty to the charges against her but did not testify against Rajaratnam. Danielle Chisei is expected to be given a lengthy sentence as is Rajaratnam himself. US Press reports stated that the offences carried a maximum 20-year sentence and that Raj Rajaratnam was expected to receive a sentence of between 10 and 12 years. Chisei caused maximum embarrassment to the giant IBM Corp., when she revealed that she had used her “womanly charms” to extract inside information from IBM Chairman, Robert Moffat. Moffat was not only horrified, he broke into tears when told of Chisei’s actions.