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拉杰获罪,美国政府终获胜

拉杰获罪,美国政府终获胜

Katie Benner 2011年05月13日
当当当!美国政府终于将一个华尔街骗子送进了监狱。在很多人将养老希望寄托于金融市场之时,这个骗子通过内幕交易大量非法获利。

    美国联邦法庭一陪审团本周三做出判决,对冲基金经理拉杰•拉贾拉特南所受的所有14项共谋及欺诈罪指控均成立;在这之前,拉贾拉特南通过长期内幕交易共获利6,400万美元。

    现年53岁的拉贾拉特南将面临20年监禁。或许很多人心里还在暗暗想,要是这辈子都出不来,就更好了。

    这是美国政府的一次高调胜利。说实话,美国政府在对那些差点毁灭了全球市场、谎话连篇的华尔街嫌犯宣战以来一直缺乏持续跟进,有时还被弄得灰头土脸。

    自从2008年迪克•福尔德和约瑟夫•卡萨诺将金融界带至悬崖边以来,美国政府只提起了一宗高调诉讼,即指控贝尔斯登(Bear Stearns)两位对冲基金经理犯有欺诈和内幕交易罪。但说实话,与其从保护投资者角度起诉这两人,还不如起诉他们将次贷资金弄得一团糟。

    美国政府灰溜溜地输掉了这场官司,两天内陪审团都判定无罪。这次挫败以及美国政府未起诉其他显而易见的作恶者,似乎让其他罪犯壮起了胆子。

    当2009年拉贾拉特南被起诉时,他放言自己无罪。当时,他管理的70亿美元的Galleon对冲基金在投资科技和医疗保健业时如获神助。

    当然,现在我们知道了原因所在。拉贾拉特南和他的同伙们当时是利用了内幕消息进行投资——在从董事会和其他非公开渠道获得利好/利空消息后,买入/卖出相关股票。

    拉贾拉特南的辩护律师可笑地辩解,拉贾拉特南接到高盛(Goldman Sachs)及宝洁(Procter & Gamble)董事会成员在会议结束后不久打来的电话,并非内幕交易证据。他们声称,拉贾拉特南等人只是汇集了公开数据,拼凑成了信息杂烩或集锦,任何有心人都能做到这一点。

    与贝尔斯登案不同,这次陪审团认为绝不应被表象所蒙蔽。

    “在这个指控罪名如此多的案子的审判过程中,每项指控都进行了充分辩论,审判耗时漫长,认定被告人所有14项罪名均成立,说明陪审团充分确信政府的指控,”Baker Hostetler的白领辩护律师、此次担任公诉人的乔纳森•纽表示。

    是的,迪克、安吉洛和所有这些道貌岸然的家伙仍逍遥法外,本案并不会让这些人得到应有的惩罚。但本周三的宣判确实是一个好消息,毕竟我们中很多人的养老金在一定程度上还有赖于证券市场的回归有序,不能再被拉贾拉特南这样贪婪、胆大妄为的家伙所骗取。希望对他的宣判不是这场风暴的终结。

    A federal jury on Wednesday found hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam guilty of all 14 counts of conspiracy and fraud, after he scored $64 million in a long-running insider trading scam.

    Rajaratnam, 53, now faces 20 years in prison. Here's hoping they throw away the key.

    Because the decision hands the government a high-profile victory in what has been, let's face it, a rarely joined, often humiliating battle with the Wall Street creeps who nearly blew up the world and more than lived to tell the tale.

    Since the Dick Fulds and Joseph Cassanos of the world brought the financial world to the edge of the abyss in 2008, the feds had managed to bring just one high-profile case: a fraud-and-insider prosecution of two Bear Stearns hedge fund managers who were, let's say, less than forthcoming with their investors as they drove their subprime funds into the ground.

    The government lost that one in ignominious fashion, with the jury returning an innocent verdict in all of two days. That setback, and the government's failure to even bring cases against a whole cast of other obvious miscreants, seems to have emboldened other wrongdoers, as if they needed any prompting.

    When Rajaratnam was indicted in 2009, he defiantly declared his innocence. His Galleon hedge fund, with $7 billion in funds under management, was considered the smart money in tech and health care investing.

    We now know why, of course. Rajaratnam and his confederates were using insider information to bet on sure things -- buying stocks that would rise after news they gleaned from boardrooms and other nonpublic sources, selling those that were about to take a big hit.

    Rajaratnam's defense team argued, absurdly, that the calls Rajaratnam took from a board member at Goldman Sachs (GS) and Procter & Gamble (PG) shortly after meetings ended there weren't a sign of insider trading. No, they claimed, Rajaratnam et al. were simply assembling what you might call a melange -- perhaps a pastiche? -- of public data that anyone motivated enough could put together.

    In contrast to the Bear Stearns case, the jury this time found the good sense to see through this.

    "In a case where there are so many different counts, where those counts were so hotly contested, and where there was such a long trial, to see him found guilty on all 14 counts shows that the jury was totally convinced by the government's arguments," says Jonathan New, a white collar defense attorney at Baker Hostetler who worked as a prosecutor.

    So yes, Dick and Angelo and all those cool guys are still on the loose, and this case is not going to put any of them where they belong. But Wednesday's verdict is good news for those of us whose retirements depend in part on preventing securities markets from getting milked by greedy, nihilistic jerks like Rajaratnam. Let's hope his conviction isn't the end of that story.

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