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Trial begins for former hedge fund owner's brother

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 18, 2014 at 1:23 pm •  Published: June 18, 2014

NEW YORK (AP) — A prosecutor tried to portray a stock trader and his brother, an imprisoned hedge fund owner, as close as twins Wednesday during opening statements in an insider trading trial, but a defense lawyer said they could not have been more different in how they plied their craft.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Frey pointed at the defendant, Rengan Rajaratnam, 43, as he accused him of teaming up with his brother, Raj, to cheat in the stock market in 2008 on the securities of two technology companies.

He promised jurors they would hear taped phone conversations between the brothers, "calls that provide a very revealing window into their corrupt relationship."

Raj Rajaratnam is the founder of the Galleon Group of hedge funds and a onetime billionaire. He is serving an 11-year sentence for making up to $75 million illegally.

The charges against Rengan Rajaratnam are an extension of charges against his brother and two dozen defendants who pleaded guilty or were convicted in a prosecution in which the government touted its novel use of wiretaps to catch portfolio managers talking about their inside information.

Defense attorney Daniel Gitner said the government would be proven wrong.

He said the brothers were "very different people, led very different lives, lived in very different circles ... and behaved very differently."

Yet Frey promised to play tapes of conversations between the defendant and those providing him inside information as well as chats between the brothers.

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