Thursday afternoon marked a turning point in the Raj Rajaratnam trial. While jurors had already been played tapes of Raj complimenting Danielle Chiesi on how she "played" a tech exec into giving her material non-public information and one of him telling a friend he knew to buy shares of a company because "one of our guys is on the board," been told that his brother felt the need to destroy his "private notebooks," and heard testimony from a former McKinsey exec that Raj paid him $1 million for his tip about AMD's acquisition of ATI, they'd yet to be shown evidence of the Galleon founder's massive pair. Until yesterday.
As we briefly discussed, during the cross-examination of defense witness Richard "Rick" Schutte, Galleon's former head of research, prosecutors asked if it was true that Raj was a big investor in Schutte's new fund and if, after an initial investment of $10 million several months back, the Rajaratnam family pitched in another $15 million just two weeks back? Indeed he was and they had! Since then followers of the case have suggested, by saying outright, that Schutte was paid off to say things like he never saw Raj asked for inside information, Raj was just really "well-educated on the issues," and so on and so forth, and that the jury will surely see this a window into Raj's corrupt soul.
Or will they?
Perhaps, instead, the initial reaction by members of the jury was, "Paying a guy scheduled to speak about your character millions of dollars before he took the stand in your insider trading case, a gift you'd had to have known people would find out about? That took balls. I like it."
Or not! It's all relative. In any event, it's time to start taking bets.
And if yes, for how long will he go away for and how much time will he actually serve? (Closest without going over on the potential sentencing wins an 'I love Dealbreaker' button or a red item of apparel of our choosing.)