NEW YORK – A defense lawyer says New York prosecutors "gamed the system" to wiretap a wealthy hedge fund operator's phone so they could accuse him of insider trading.
Attorney John Dowd made the charge Monday at a hearing to support his argument that key evidence against Raj Rajaratnam (rah-juh-RUHT'-nuhm) should be tossed because the government acted unfairly. He said prosecutors convinced a judge that wiretaps were necessary even though a lengthy investigation had produced a blizzard of potential evidence.
Prosecutor John Streeter said in Manhattan federal court that the government acted fairly. He said wiretaps were essential because a Securities and Exchange Commission probe had failed to produce adequate criminal evidence. Prosecutors say Rajaratnam earned as much as $50 million illegally. He has pleaded not guilty.