14 charged in US hedge fund scam

14 charged in US hedge fund scam

Galleon hedge fund partner Raj Rajaratnam leaves Manhattan Federal Court after a bail hearing on Thursday. AP

Besides hedge fund managers, lawyers and corporate insiders, the newly charged persons included former employee of Moody's Investor Service Deep Shah who has been charged with conspiracy and securities fraud, the FBI said in a statement.

Of the 14, eight were arrested on Thursday while a ninth was being sought. Five other defendants had already been charged and have pleaded guilty in federal court in New York to insider trading crimes.

Atheros Communications Inc executive Ali Hariri has been charged with passing on confidential information to a hedge fund manager Ali Far who has pleaded guilty of fraud and is now reportedly cooperating with the investigators.

"People will probably ask just how pervasive is insider trading these days? Is this just the tip of the iceberg? We aim to find out," said Preet Bharara, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

Besides Tamil-origin billionaire Raj Rajaratnam, the founder of Galleon Group, the two Indian Americans identified as Anil Kumar and Rajiv Goel (both 51) were arrested last month for allegedly committing the fraud.

Rajaratnam received 13 charges, four counts of conspiracy and eight counts of security fraud.

Five others have been arrested in the case involving the passage of insider information to trade securities in several publicly traded companies, including Google Inc and Hilton Hotels between 2006 and 2007.

Others arrested include Rajiv Goel, director in strategic investments at Intel Corp's investment arm and Anil Kumar, a director at global management-consulting firm McKinsey & Co.

Galleon Group is a hedge fund with up to USD 7 billion in assets under management. Out of the USD 20 million, Rajaratnam alone made USD 12.7 million in illegal profits for Galleon.

This is the first case to use authorised wiretaps and the investigators are still on the job.

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