Raj Rajaratnam had a ready response for those inquiring about the success of his hedge fund, the Galleon Group, that of a strong desire for winning.
"It is pride, I want to win," Rajaratnam said in "The New Superstars," a book by Lois Peltz published in 2001. "After awhile, money is not the motivation. I want to win every time. Taking calculated risks gets my adrenaline pumping."
Prosecutors claim that this zeal for winning crossed the line into criminal activity according to a report by Michael J. de la Merced and Zachery Kouwe of the New York Times.
At dawn on Friday, November 16, Rajaratnam was arrested at his expensive Manhattan home. He was charged with running the biggest insider trading scheme involving a hedge fund.
In 2007 Rajaratnam's name surfaced in connection with an inquiry into fund raising for the Tamil Tigers, the Sri Lankan rebel group that was defeated in May after a quarter century of violence. He has always remained close to his homeland. After the island was struck by a tsunami in 2004 he organized a charity to raise money to rebuild homes.
The charity he created, Tsunami Relief, gave $1.5 million to the Tamil Rehabilitation Organization, a group officially dedicated to helping victims of the fighting. Prosecutors have since charged the charity with aiding the rebel group and its non-profit status has been suspended.
News of Rajaratnam's arrest has shaken the secretive hedge fund world in which intelligence on companies is often shared among Wall Street analysts, traders, and other investors.
"The defendants operated in a cozy world of 'you scratch my back, I'll scratch your back,'" Preet Bharara, United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said on Friday. Bharara stated that the case should serve as a wakeup call for hedge fund managers considering insider trading.