Rajaratnam's brother in plea talks over insider charges

Mon Jun 3, 2013 5:36pm EDT
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By Jonathan Stempel

(Reuters) - Rengan Rajaratnam, the younger brother of imprisoned hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam, is negotiating with prosecutors on a possible resolution to his criminal insider trading case, including a possible plea, a court filing shows.

U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald in Manhattan agreed to delay a scheduled conference to July 30 from June 4, which federal prosecutors in a May 30 letter said would "permit the defendant and the government to continue discussions that may lead to the resolution of this case before trial."

Prosecutors said they had already provided trading records, wiretap transcripts and other "significant" evidence to Rengan Rajaratnam "to facilitate plea discussions," and that both sides "agree that it would be very helpful to have additional time for these discussions."

The government said the delay would also give the defense more time to review evidence it has already received.

Vinoo Varghese, a lawyer for Rengan Rajaratnam, had no immediate comment. A spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan declined to comment.

Prosecutors had accused Rengan Rajaratnam of conspiring with his brother to trade illegally in the stocks of technology companies Advanced Micro Devices Inc. AMD.N and Clearwire Corp.CLWR.O in 2008, resulting in $1.2 million of illegal profit.

Rengan Rajaratnam pleaded not guilty on March 25, entering his plea after voluntarily returning to the United States from Brazil, where he had lived and worked for the prior year.

He was freed on $1 million bond and surrendered his passport. The defendant is a U.S. citizen born in Sri Lanka.   Continued...

Rengan Rajaratnam, (L) the younger brother of imprisoned hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam, departs Manhattan Federal Court with his lawyer Vinoo Varghese (R) in New York, March 25, 2013. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid