Insider trading victory emboldens prosecutors

Galleon hedge fund partner Raj Rajaratnam departs Manhattan Federal Court after a bail hearing November 5, 2009, in New York City. Rajaratnam is facing insider trading charges.

Jeremy Hobson: The biggest insider trading case ever is over. I'm talking about yesterday's conviction of Galleon hedge-fund manager Raj Rajaratnam. The government made its case against Rajaratnam using wiretaps. That was a first for an insider trading case. And a warning shot by government regulators who want to show Wall Street they're serious about enforcing the rules.

Our New York bureau chief Heidi Moore says the Rajaratnam case is just the beginning.

Heidi Moore: On Monday in New York, four more Galleon employees are scheduled to start their trial on securities fraud. They opted to face a jury rather than strike a plea deal like 21 of Rajaratnam's other accused associates.

Mark Rifkin: They're going to have to reassess their willingness to go to trial now that they've seen Rajaratnam convicted.

That's Mark Rifkin, a partner with Wolf Haldenstein. He says it's not just Galleon. This spring and summer will see the fruits of a three-year government effort to chase down insider traders. Here's Tony Barkow. He's a former U.S. attorney who teaches at New York University's law school.

Tony Barkow: There are already a lot pending. A victory at trial often tends to embolden the government to bring more cases.

Several big hedge funds -- including SAC Capital, a giant in the industry -- are in the sights of government investigators. But one big triumph doesn't mean they'll win them all.

In New York, I'm Heidi Moore for Marketplace.

About the author

Heidi N. Moore is The Guardian's U.S. finance and economics editor. She was formerly the New York bureau chief and Wall Street correspondent for Marketplace.


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