Lawyers for hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam, convicted of insider trading crimes earlier this year, have asked the sentencing judge for leniency.
US federal prosecutors are currently seeking a prison term of up to 24 years in prison, claiming that 'such a sentence is necessary to punish Mr Rajaratnam for his extensive criminal activities, and to send a clear and unambigous message to hedge fund and money managers that insider trading will not be tolerated'.
They claim that Rajaratnam, 54, is 'arguably the most egregious violator of the laws against insider trading ever to be caught', and that he is 'the modern face of illegal insider trading'. Prosecutors have also described the hedge fund manager's behaviour as 'brazen, arrogant, harmful and pervasive', adding that 'he has no respect for the law and has not accepted responsibiliy for his crime'.
Rajaratnam's lawyers say, however, that a lengthy jail term 'will constitute a death sentence' for their client, given the fact that he is not a well man who has 'a unique constellation of ailments ravaging his body'.
The lawyers point to his many previous charitable works, saying 'the crimes of his conviction had not a single identifiable victim, (but) his charitable acts enriched countless lives'. They say that Rajaratnam has been unfairly portrayed 'as the poster child for every wrongful act that has ever been associated with Wall Street'.
Rajaratnam is scheduled for sentencing on September 27th.