Hedge-Funder Raj Rajaratnam Got Cranky When People Refused to Partake in His Insider-Trading Scheme

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Photo: Patrick McMullan

This morning, 51-year-old Raj Rajaratnam, the billionaire founder of the Galleon Group, a major New York hedge fund, and No. 551 on Forbes’ 2009 list of the world’s richest people, was charged with insider trading in the stocks of several companies, including Hilton, Clearwire, and Google. Transcripts of conversations between a confidential witness for the FBI and Rajaratnam going back to 2007 reveal not only a wide-ranging, long-running scheme but that Rajaratnam could get a little crabby when things did not go his way.

For instance:

On or about January 14, 2008, during a phone call between R and the CW that was consensually recorded by the CW, Rajaratnaram asked the CW if he had heard anything about Google. "I told you that lady won't speak to me," the CW said. Ratnaram replied: "Idiot."


Well, who's an idiot now? Apparently Rajaratnam, who had been tipped off that one of his contacts was wearing a wire, had a ticket to Switzerland for October 22. We guess he won't be making his flight.

Insider Trading Charges Against Galleon Group Founder [DealBook/NYT]