Raj Rajaratnam, the hedge-fund billionaire convicted of insider trading, has just been given what's said to be the longest-ever prison sentence in the U.S. for that crime.
He's due to spend 11 years behind bars, The New York Times' DealBook blog and other news outlets are reporting. And he's been fined $10 million.
As NPR.org has previously reported, Rajaratnam made a fortune "by coaxing a crew of corporate tipsters to give him an illegal edge on blockbuster trades in technology and other stocks in what prosecutors called the largest insider trading case ever involving hedge funds."
Prosecutors said he made profits and avoided losses totaling more than $60 million thanks to those tips. Rajaratnam ran the Galleon Group of hedge funds.
Prior to today's sentencing, prosecutors had been seeking to have the 54-year-old Rajaratnam sent away "for at least 19 1/2 years," The Associated Press reported. They said, AP adds, that Rajaratnam lacks remorse. Rajaratnam's attorneys, though, argued he "should receive leniency with a sentence substantially below the guidelines range because of his failing health and his extensive community service."
According to the AP, U.S. District Judge Richard J. Holwell said he took into account that Rajaratnam needs a kidney transplant and suffers from advanced diabetes.
Update at 1:10 p.m. ET. Lawyers Ask That He Be Sent To Madoff's Prison:
"The Sri Lanka-born Rajaratnam, 54, was ordered to report to a yet-to-be-designated prison on Nov. 28," the AP adds. "His lawyers asked that he be allowed to report to the medical facility at the Butner Federal Correctional Complex in North Carolina, where Bernard Madoff is serving his 150-year sentence after admitting to a fraud that cheated thousands of people out of billions of dollars."