U.S. top court declines to hear Rajaratnam appeal

WASHINGTON Mon Jun 16, 2014 2:46pm BST

Rengan Rajaratnam, the younger brother of imprisoned hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam, departs Manhattan Federal Court in New York, March 25, 2013. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Rengan Rajaratnam, the younger brother of imprisoned hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam, departs Manhattan Federal Court in New York, March 25, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Brendan McDermid

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday left intact the insider trading conviction of Galleon Group hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam.

The court declined to hear Rajaratnam’s appeal, meaning a June 2013 decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York upholding the conviction is the final word in the case.

The appeals court rejected Rajaratnam’s argument that wiretap evidence was used improperly to convict him.

Rajaratnam is serving an 11-year prison term. A federal jury convicted him in May 2011 of nine counts of securities fraud and five counts of conspiracy.

The government said Rajaratnam, whose firm once managed $7 billion (4.12 billion pounds), made as much as $63.8 million in illicit profit from 2003 to March 2009 trading on stocks including eBay Inc(EBAY.O), Goldman Sachs Group Inc(GS.N) and Google Inc(GOOGL.O).

Prosecutors said the Goldman trades included trades during the 2008 financial crisis, just after Rajaratnam got a tip from Goldman director Rajat Gupta of an infusion in the bank from Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc(BRKa.N).

An insider trading trial involving charges against Rajaratnam’s younger brother Rengan, is expected to begin on Tuesday, also in Manhattan federal court. Since October 2009, 81 people have pleaded guilty or were convicted at trial in insider trading cases in Manhattan.

The case is Rajaratnam v. United States, U.S. Supreme Court, No. 13-1001.

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Additional reporting by Nate Raymond and Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Howrad Goller)