good ship galleon

Rajaratnam Closing Arguments Feature Cochran Impersonation, Hipster Eye Roll

As we’ve come to expect from the insider-trading trial that brought us flirty wiretaps and the image of Lloyd Blankfein with his fist pressed against his mouth, yesterday’s closing arguments against Galleon hedge-fund founder Raj Rajaratnam did not disappoint. The defense got through only the first hour of its last words, but prosecution rested after a four-and-a-half-hour run that involved a slide presentation titled “The Cover Up.” Prosecutor Reed Brodsky, who knows his boss’s reputation — and a 25-year sentence — are on the line, tried his best to switch it up for the jury. Brodsky “shouted, whispered and punctuated his arguments with emphatic gestures.” He tried to make it seem like it was Rajaratnam’s fault they had been there for seven weeks by saying he wouldn’t be able to review all the evidence against Galleon’s founder “or else we’d be here for days.” And he tried to appeal to the mostly working class jury’s non-billionaire roots.

The appeal to the common man worked on at least one member in the stands: flannel-shirted, unkempt-coiffed, sometimes-musician “hipster” juror No. 18. According to Business Insider:

When Brodsky gave an example of Raj getting inside information from Rajat Gupta, a member of Goldman’s board, Brodsky said, “… and when a member on the board of Goldman Sachs, one of the most prestigious…”

Not a Lloyd fan, we take it?

Rajaratnam’s lawyer, John Dowd, also tried pandering to the folks in the stands. But like his opening arguments, Dowd’s awkward Johnnie Cochran impersonation hit the wrong note when he tried to argue that Rajaratnam made those trades on publicly available intel:

The short-sightedness in drawing comparisons between your client and O.J. Simpson aside, couldn’t you do better than a slant rhyme?

Prosecutors Cite Tapes of Galleon Chief as ‘Devastating’ Proof of Guilt [DealBook]
The “Hipster” On The Raj Jury Gave Himself Away In Court Today [BI]
Rajaratnam Sought to ‘Conquer’ Wall Street, U.S. Says as Defense Responds [Bloomberg]

Rajaratnam Closing Arguments Feature Cochran Impersonation, Hipster Eye Roll