Raj Rajaratnam Sets Record for Insider Trading Prison Sentence

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Photo: Louis Lanzano/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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]