Raj Rajaratnam Sets Record for Insider Trading Prison Sentence

Raj Rajaratnam, the Galleon Group co-founder accused of insider trading, arrives at federal court in New York, U.S. on Monday, March 14, 2011. Last week, under questioning by a prosecutor, former McKinsey & Co. director Anil Kumar told jurors that he was pressured by Rajaratnam to leak stock tips. This week, defense lawyers will try in cross-examination to depict Kumar as a "monstrous" liar. Photographer: Louis Lanzano/Bloomberg via Getty Images Photo: Bloomberg/2011 Bloomberg

Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam, convicted in the spring on fourteen counts of securities fraud and conspiracy for insider trading, was sentenced today to eleven years in prison, the longest sentence ever for such a crime. The hedge-fund billionaire was facing 19 to 24 years, but his attorneys argued that he wasn't quite Bernie Madoff, and should therefore get off much easier.

While eleven years is certainly less than nineteen, DealBook reports, "gone, for the most part, are the days of slap-on-the-wrist sentences and 'country club' prisons where white-collar defendants would serve short stints in relatively comfortable quarters" thanks to federal sentencing guidelines that take into account the money involved in the crime. Those connected to Rajaratnam's case have received an average of three years in prison, with a high of ten, which at the time matched the record for longest insider-trading prison term. The top spot is now Rajaratnam's alone.

Rajaratnam Is Sentenced to 11 Years [DealBook/NYT]