On June 17, jury selection concluded in the trial of a hedge-fund trader accused of multiple white-collar crimes. The trial is scheduled to begin on June 18 in a Manhattan federal court.
The trader, a 43-year-old man, faces charges of securities fraud and conspiracy to commit insider trading. The charges stem from the man’s alleged use of insider tips received from his brother, a billionaire hedge-fund manager who is currently serving a prison sentence for similar white-collar crimes. According to authorities, the jury consists of five men and seven women with diverse backgrounds.
Moreover, authorities reported that prosecutors won a significant victory in the case when they gained permission to play several of the telephone wiretaps that led to the conviction of the 43-year-old man’s brother. Allegedly, authorities had obtained some 45 court-authorized wiretaps on phone calls relevant to the case of the 43-year-old man’s brother, and several of the phone calls were between the two brothers.
If convicted, the 43-year-old man may face significant jail time. Penalties for these types of white-collar crimes can be severe. A conviction on each count of securities fraud carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years, and a conviction on the conspiracy to commit insider trading charge could result in a maximum of five years in prison. The 43-year-old man’s brother is already serving an 11-year prison sentence for his white-collar convictions.
It is important to remember that people accused of all crimes, including white-collar crimes, are innocent until proven guilty, and that the prosecutors must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt to obtain a conviction. For this reason, people accused of white-collar crimes often retain a criminal defense attorney to help mount an aggressive and multi-pronged defense that raises doubt concerning the prosecution’s case.
Source: Bloomberg, “Rengan Rajaratnam’s Jury Picked to Decide Insider Case“, Patricia Hurtado, June 17, 2014