The Raj Rajaratnam Circle Of Friends

Raj Rajaratnam galleon

Being friends with accused hedge fund inside trader Raj Rajaratnam isn’t so great any more. Pete Carey of the San Jose Mercury News has an excellent run-down of those in the Rajaratnam entourage caught up in their buddy’s scandal.

  • Ali Far, 47, co-founded the Spherix hedge fund in San Jose in January 2008 after four or five years at Galleon as a portfolio manager and semiconductor analyst. Spherix lasted less than a year before its operators were tripped up by the federal investigation of Galleon. Far has plead guilty, covering insider trading charges from 2003 to 2009. Most of that time he worked for Galleon. 
  • Spherix co-founder Richard Choo-Beng Lee, 53, of San Jose, also pleaded guilty to insider trading charges and, like Far, has become a cooperating witness in the case. Lee was also at SAC Capital during part of the time he’s accused of insider trading.
  • Ali Hariri, 38, a vice president of Santa Clara-based Atheros Communications and friend of Ali Far, now faces his own insider trading charges. He has been placed on leave pending an investigation, the company said. 
  • Rajiv Goel, 51, of Los Altos, was a classmate of Rajaratnam’s at the Wharton School, in the class of 1983. Goel went on to become a top Intel finance executive. Now on leave from Intel while the company investigates, Goel faces charges of leaking information to Rajaratnam about Intel, and about his employer’s negotiations with wireless broadband company Clearwire.
  • Another Wharton classmate is Anil Kumar, 51, of Saratoga. Kumar began covering the semiconductor industry in 1986 and became a top executive at McKinsey, a global consulting firm. He is charged with tipping Rajaratnam about AMD negotiations on a major deal. Rajaratman said Kumar is a friend who never gave him inside tips on AMD. Kumar’s lawyer said he emphatically denies the charges. Kumar is no longer working at McKinsey, the consulting company said Friday.

Read the whole San Jose Mercury News report.

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