Rajaratnam's lawyers insist insider case info was in public domain

The Raj Rajaratnam insider trading case twists and turns some more.

The accused Galleon group founder’s lawyers sat down with jurors to explain the ins and outs of more than 12 research reports and news articles, which they said backed up Mr Rajaratnam’s claims that the information he obtained was already available in the media.

Rajaratnam is on trial for 14 counts of insider dealing in a trial that has gone on and on. 

Prosecutors in New York have him under the spotlight, claiming that the hedge fund manager was embroiled in paying company insiders for tips which allowed him to make sure fire investments.

Companies caught up include AMD, Intel and ATI. It is claimed Rajaratnam made serious money from inside information ahead of deals.

It is thought the illicit deals earned the Galleon founder over $22 million and helped him to avoid losses of $63.8 million.

However, the trader’s lawyers dispute that he did anything wrong and maintain that the information was publicly available.

In efforts to prove Rajaratnam’s innocence the lawyers brought in papers from an internal Galleon analyst – who reportedly predicted that ATI was going to sell its stock months before anything happened. To prove that the information was already in the media – something Rajaratnam has been saying all along – they also showed a range of news stories which speculated the AMD and ATI merger.

The prognosis, however, does not look so good. There are a range of witnesses claiming they all helped with illegal wheeling and dealing.

One is former Intel employee Rajiv Goel, who told the courts that he gave Rajaratnam details of Intel’s billion dollar investment in a joint-venture between Clearwire and Sprint in 2008 to build a global 4G platform. He told the courts that the information was given before it was publicly announced.

Adam Smith, a former Galleon analyst and portfolio manager, also testified against the Rajaratnam, claiming that one Kamal Ahmed, a Morgan Stanley investment banker, told him the ATI-AMD deal was happening. Smith says he passed this information along to Mr Rajaratnam.

More witnesses seem to be coming out of the woodwork. These include former Galleon analyst Stephen Granoff; and Geoffrey Canada, the president and chief executive of Harlem’s Children’s Zone.