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Thursday, 23 November 2017
Thursday, 23 November 2017 | Sri Lanka Watch
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SL billionaire Rajaratnam arrested PDF Print E-mail

World’s 559th wealthiest Manl and hedge-fund owner, Sri Lankan born Raj Rajaratnam was arrested in New York Friday by FBI agents for insider trading. Raj Rajaratnam is the founder of the Galleon Group.

Accused Rajaratnam is the highest single U.S. doner to the charity organization TRO.

According to reports Rajaratnam, a Tamil originally from Colombo, has given more than $3.5 million to the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization (TRO). Their assets were frozen by the U.S. Treasury Department in Nov. 2007 because of its alleged ties to the Tamil Tigers.

His contribution to the TRO has been in 2005 and 2006 through a separate charity, which he founded in the wake of the tsunami which hit Sri Lanka in Dec. 2004. The US Treasury describes the TRO charity as "a front" for Tamil Tigers fundraising and procurement in the United States.

The private house of TRO President Mr. Nagaratnam Ranjithan in USA was raided by the FBI 2006. Later in 2008 he told ABC News that his organization has nothing to do with terrorism: "I think we got into trouble because we did so much work after the tsunami, and the Sri Lankan government was not all appreciative of it. The people are suffering because we have a few people who told us to stop."

Adam Szubin director of the US Treasury foreign assets control department at that time said „TRO passed off its operation as charitable, when in fact it was raising money for designated terrorist group responsible for heinous acts of terrorism".

During the last US election campaign Rajaratnam and his wife were major contributors to number of Democratic party candidate campaigns. Among them Hillary Clinton Chuck Schumer and Barack Obama received donations from Rajaratnams. They spent a total of $118,000 for the US campaigns.
One democrat involved in fund raising said "He was big with Hillary and then jumped over to Obama after Hillary lost“.

“Tamils for Clinton” was formed by Rajaratnam’s associates raising funds for Clinton’s presidential campaign. They lobbied her with the hope of getting the Tamil Tigers taken off the State Department's Designated Terror List. Later they became “Tamils for Obama”.

"You shouldn't lump all terrorists together," said Sen. Clinton in 2007. Members of the Tamils for Clinton met with former President Bill Clinton in Dec. 2007 to press their case.

Rajaratnam is also a major trustee of the American India Foundation, which is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative. President Clinton is the Foundation's honorary chair, and has publicly thanked Rajaratnam and his wife for their multi-million dollar support.

Raj Rajaratnam is accused of operating an elaborate insider trading operation through his Galleon Group hedge fund, which made him one of the wealthiest men in America with an estimated net worth of $1.3 billion.

The case against Rajaratnam and the five others indicted alleges they netted over $25 million in profits and marked the first time a court authorized wire taps were used in a hedge fund case.

A spokesman for Galleon said in a statement: “Galleon was shocked to learn today that Raj Rajaratnam was arrested this morning at his apartment. We had no knowledge of the investigation before it was made public and we intend to cooperate fully with the relevant authorities. Galleon continues to operate and is highly liquid.”

U.S. Attorney for Southern District of New York Preet Bharara called the hedge fund insider trading case brought by his office today, "the largest hedge fund insider trading case ever charged."


Facts about Raj Rajaratnam

US citizen residing in New York. Born in Sri Lanka, 1957.
Undergraduate degree: University of Sussex (Britain).
MBA: Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Hedge-fund trader who started his career at Needham & Co., becoming its president in 1991. Founded Galleon Group in 1997.
Net worth: $1.3 billion. (World’s 559th wealthiest person, according to Forbes.)
Background: One of the most successful businessmen among a diaspora of Tamils who left Sri Lanka to prosper overseas. After the 2004 tsunami hit Sri Lanka, he set up a local charity and urged others to contribute to rebuilding. This year he gave $1 million for the reintegration in society of Tamil fighters, whose military movement was defeated in May.
Politics: Contributed to a number of Democratic campaigns, including $30,800 to Barack Obama and $4,600 to Hillary Clinton in the last presidential election.

 
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