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First Insider Trading Loss for Prosecutors in Years

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Back in 2007, a case began involving Rengan Rajaratnam that centered around insider trading, according to The New York Times. Rajaratnam is a hedge fund trader. When the case began in 2007, it started a string of 85 consecutive insider trading convictions won by prosecutors without a loss.

The first loss suffered by prosecutors for insider trading came to Rajaratnam on Tuesday of this week. It took a federal jury of eight women and four men just under four hours to find Rajaratnam not guilty of conspiracy to commit insider trading with his brother.

“They took their time and they had this evidence years ago,” said Richard J. Holwell, according to the New York Times. Holwell is a private practice lawyer and a former federal judge who presided over the trial for Rajaratnam’s brother. He sentenced the brother to 11 years in prison. “You can say that the government in the final analysis overreached, and that’s what the jury is for.”

The remaining insider trading charges were dismissed when the judge presiding over the case said that the prosecutors did not produce enough evidence to show Rajaratnam knew his brother had inside information about Clearwire in 2008.

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Reed Brodsky, who tried the elder Rajaratnam and is now a partner at Gibson Dunn in New York, said, “Federal prosecutors and the F.B.I. will likely be very careful about charging downstream tippees where evidence of the tippee’s knowledge of the illicit benefit to the tipper is ambiguous or uncertain.”

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