Page last updated at 00:55 GMT, Friday, 8 January 2010

Giant fraud insider trading case director pleads guilty

Hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam is led away by FBI agents in New York, 16 October 2009
Raj Rajaratnam (centre) is alleged to have made $36m from insider tips

Anil Kumar, a former director of global management consulting firm McKinsey, has pleaded guilty to fraud charges.

He says he made $2.6m (£1.6m) giving inside market information to one of America's richest men, Raj Rajaratnam.

Prosecutors allege a list of crimes, including that Mr Rajaratnam paid Kumar between $1.7-$2m for his tips.

Kumar entered the plea in a US District Court in Manhattan in a co-operation deal aimed at strengthening the government case against Mr Rajaratnam.

Secret tip-offs

The billionaire hedge-fund operator is said to have made $19m from investments after Kumar, a former senior partner and director at McKinsey & Co fed him tips between March and July 2006 about the acquisition of ATI Technologies by Advanced Micro Device.

But this week, John Dowd, Mr Rajaratnam's lawyer, said: "An analyst's prediction that AMD would acquire ATI was widely reported in the press more than seven weeks before the acquisition was announced."

The government filed papers this week in Mr Rajaratnam's case to say they planned to file additional charges against him after learning about the $19m, which prosecutors say raises the amount Mr Rajaratnam made from illegal deals to at least $36m in profits.

Household names

He is free on $100m bail after his arrest in October on charges he led a massive insider trading ring that involved key executives at several US companies.

Raj Rajaratnam founded the Galleon Group. Forbes magazine has featured Mr Rajaratnam on one of its rich lists and estimated that he was worth $1.3bn.

Twenty one people, including employees of some of America's biggest companies, including IBM and Intel, have been criminally or civilly charged in the complex case involving at least two insider trading networks.

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