Inquiry into leaks in Rajaratnam case

FEDERAL investigators are examining possible improper leaks about the federal insider trading case against Raj Rajaratnam, the Galleon Group founder’s legal team said yesterday.

The US Department of Justice’s Office of Professional Responsibility has opened an inquiry into allegations of misconduct by individuals in the US Attorney’s office and the FBI, a 11 May letter to Rajaratnam’s lawyer John Dowd shows.

David Kotz, inspector general for the US Securities and Exchange Commission, phoned Dowd this month to advise he would look into the matter, the defence team said.

The Justice Department, the office of US Attorney Preet Bharara in New York, the SEC and Kotz declined to comment. A spokeswoman for The Wall Street Journal, which the defence said published several articles with improperly leaked material, said: “We stand by the fairness and accuracy of our reporting.”

A former billionaire, Rajaratnam is the central figure in a hedge fund insider trading case in which 21 traders, executives and lawyers have been charged in connection with the alleged illegal trading of dozens of stocks. Eleven have pleaded guilty to criminal charges.