Raj Rajaratnam, the Sri Lanka-born US billionaire charged in the largest ever hedge-fund insider trading case in America, has now been dragged to court for allegedly financing the LTTE for over seven years through a fake charity.
In a federal lawsuit, 30 people, who claim to be victims of LTTE actions, from New Jersy alleged that the 52-year old Rajaratnam, provided financial support to the Tamil Tigers from 2000 to 2007.
However, Rajaratnam’s lawyer Jim Walden has dismissed the charges as “flatly untrue and libellous“.
“We are confident that the court will dismiss these baseless charges.
“Rajaratnam has the greatest sympathy for all victims of violence in Sri Lanka and has a long history of helping Sri Lankans of all ethnic groups through substantial charitable donations over many years,” he said in a statement.
Rajaratnam is the founder of US hedge fund firm Galleon Group.
The lawsuit alleged that from 2000 to 2007, Rajaratnam gave more than USD five million to a US—based charity, called the Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation. It was blacklisted by the US in 2007 for raising money for the Tamil Tigers.
Rajaratnam, one of richest men in America, was last week charged in a $20 million hedge fund insider trading case.
He is the richest Sri Lankan with an estimated net worth of $1.3 billion. Rajaratnam is a major investor in the Lankan stock market and has large stakes in blue-chip companies. Forbes magazine places the hedge fund owner as the 559th wealthiest individual in the world.
Court documents reveal that Rajaratnam is facing 13 charges, four counts of conspiracy and eight counts of security fraud.
Out of the $20 million, Rajaratnam allegedly made $12.7 million in illegal profits for Galleon Group, the hedge fund with up to $7 billion in assets under its management.
However, prior to the recent accusations, Rajaratnam has been investigated by federal authorities for allegedly funding the LTTE.
In a case in US District Courtin Brooklyn, Rajaratnam’s name was cropped up in connection with funnelling money to the militants through a fake charity.
The counsel for the plaintiffs from the Motley Rice law firm, Michael Elsner, said: “The defendants, we allege, have the plaintiffs’ blood on their hands because those who paid for murder are just as culpable as those who committed the acts.”