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Rajaratnam to pay $1.45 mn to settle SEC suit

December 28, 2012 14:02 IST

Jailed hedge-fund founder Raj Rajaratnam has agreed to pay $1.45 million to settle a civil lawsuit filed by US regulator SEC against him and India-born former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta for their roles in one of the largest insider-trading schemes in US history.

55-year-old Rajaratnam, Galleon Group's Sri Lanka-born co-founder, has also agreed to waive his right to appeal this judgement, court papers showed.

US District Judge Jed Rakoff yesterday approved the final judgement in the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC's) case against Rajaratnam, who is serving 11 years in prison for insider trading, and 64-year-old Gupta.

Under the consent agreement signed by Rajaratnam earlier this month, he would pay a total of $1.45 million, which includes $1.3 million in disgorgement and about 147,000 dollars in prejudgment interest.

Rajaratnam has been ordered to pay the amount within 90 days.

The final judgement in the SEC's case orders Rajaratnam to disgorge his share of the profits gained and losses avoided as a result of the insider trading as well as the prejudgment interest on that amount.

The SEC's claims against Gupta remain pending. The US regulator had filed its complaint in October 2011, alleging that Gupta had passed on to Rajaratnam confidential information he had learned as Goldman board member about Berkshire Hathaway's $5 billion investment in the

financial giant in September 2008, as well as about Goldman's financial results for the second and fourth quarter of 2008.

Rajaratnam used the information he learned from Gupta to trade profitably in certain Galleon hedge funds.

"By engaging in this conduct, Gupta and Rajaratnam violated" federal rules under the Securities Exchange Act, the SEC said.

Rajaratnam was convicted last year of running one of the biggest insider trading schemes in US history and is currently serving an 11 year sentence in a Massachusetts jail.

The Sri Lanka native has appealed his conviction. Gupta was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and three counts of securities fraud in June this year.

He has been sentenced to two years in prison and one year of supervised release, and ordered to pay a $5 million criminal fine.

Gupta won his bid to stay out of prison while he appeals his conviction. The SEC has said he should pay a maximum $15 million penalty in its civil case against him.

Last year, Rajaratnam had been ordered to pay a record financial penalty of more than $92 million in a separate civil insider-trading lawsuit brought by the SEC.

The lawsuit related to the broader insider trading scheme and is separate from the one SEC brought against him and Gupta.

Rajaratnam's SEC penalty is separate from the $63 million he was ordered to forfeit in the criminal case brought against him by the federal government.

Rajaratnam is appealing the $92.8 million penalty arguing that he should not have to pay SEC's fines because the judge in the criminal case ordered him to pay a total of $63 million, including $10 million as fine and a forfeiture of $53.8 million.

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