Daniel Rajaratnam, a Sri Lankan-American Hedge Fund Managing Director
Early Life and Education
Daniel Rajaratnam was born and raised in Sri Lanka where he attended University of Colombo. Later he immigrated to the US where he earned an MBA at University of Texas at Dallas. Early business ventures for Rajaratnam included working for McKinsey & Company and Intel Capital before making contributions to Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO), an offshoot of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam which had banned donations. Rajaratnam was eventually charged with insider trading before spending 7 1/2 years in prison before being released in 2020.
Achievement and Honors
Rajaratnam managed the multibillion-dollar Galleon Group hedge fund and was widely respected on Wall Street. When arrested, he was one of a select few traders with access to inside information on major mergers and acquisitions.
Khan kept his sources secret and tried to conceal illegal trading activity using code names and instant-messaging software to conceal signs. To foil investigators, however, the FBI eventually obtained a wiretap order on Khan’s phone which led to other conspirators such as an employee from McKinsey & Company and Intel Capital.
Judge in Rajaratnam’s case sentenced him to at least 24 years at Butner Prison in North Carolina – best known for housing Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff – without alteration in expression as he stood before her and looked straight ahead.
Judge Susan Bohrer spared Rajaratnam from facing some of the more serious securities fraud charges that prosecutors were seeking against him, citing both his older brother’s charitable endeavors as well as his own charitable efforts that help global communities.
She noted the fact that Rajaratnam, who wasn’t present for the verdict, faces imminent kidney failure due to advanced diabetes and did not believe his actions constituted an “unequivocal and convincing case of conspiracy. She advised him to return home where he is resident – Brazil in particular.
Rajaratnam, former co-founder of Galleon Group LLC, was found not guilty by a jury after only four hours of deliberation – marking an unprecedented feat by prosecutors involved in his case that involved some of America’s leading corporations such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc and McKinsey & Co consultancy.
Rajaratnam was reported to be worth around $300 million before he was charged with insider trading in 2009. Since his arrest on these allegations, he has written the book Uneven Justice about his experiences, as well as developing his new hedge fund Voyager Capital.
He has made generous donations to charitable causes and political campaigns of Democratic candidates like Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer and Bob Menendez. Additionally, he has given money to promote development in India’s subcontinent as well as programs assisting low income South Asian youth living near New York City.
On Wednesday, a former correctional counselor at the Federal Correctional Institution in Devens, Massachusetts pled guilty to accepting thousands of dollars from an inmate identified by sources as Rajaratnam – not listed in his plea deal but believed by authorities.