Rajaratnam's ex-driver sues, claims secret payments to prisoners

Wed Jun 25, 2014 1:39pm EDT
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By Nate Raymond

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former driver for Raj Rajaratnam has sued the one-time billionaire, claiming he was fired for complaining about secret wire transfers the founder of the Galleon Group hedge fund made to fellow prisoners following his conviction for insider trading.

Peter Malaszuk, a longtime assistant to Rajaratnam, sued his former boss, his wife, and a company she owns, saying the wire transfers were made to 20 inmates at the prison for several months, in violation of federal law.

The transfers were done at Rajaratnam's direction "in order to control such prisoners and obtain special treatment and accommodations in prison," according to the lawsuit, filed Friday in federal court in New Haven, Connecticut.

Malaszuk contended he was wrongfully fired for both complaining about the wire transfers as well as the use of an improperly notarized immigration document he said was used for Rajaratnam's son.

He said he learned about the transfers from his former boss during visits to see him at the Federal Medical Center at Devens in Ayer, Massachusetts, where Rajaratnam is incarcerated.

Malaszuk also said Rajaratnam used an improperly notarized document in an effort to obtain a visa for his son, and the defendants had failed to pay him for $275,000 in overtime.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified actual and punitive damages.

Terence Lynam, a lawyer for Rajaratnam, in a statement called the lawsuit "patently false," saying it stemmed from a "long-running effort by an embittered former employee to extort money from Mr. Rajaratnam and his family."   Continued...

Galleon hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam departs Manhattan Federal Court after his sentencing in New York October 13, 2011.  REUTERS/Lucas Jackson