BY SCOTT SHIFREL
Hedge fund kingpin Raj Rajaratnam was convicted of 14 counts of insider trading.
The biggest pirate on Wall Street was also a major terrorist fund-raiser, Vanity Fair magazine reported Friday.
Hedge fund kingpin Raj Rajaratnam, convicted of 14 counts of insider trading, openly gave chunks of money to the Tamil Tigers terror group in his native Sri Lanka, a story on VanityFair.com. said.
"They're terrorists. We're terrorists. We are all freedom fighters," Rajaratnam is quoted as telling a crowd gathered to raise money for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in 2002.
"They're our terrorists, and you all must support this struggle."
Rajaratnam's lawyer called the story "utterly false" and noted that it comes shortly before the hedge-funder is sentenced on conspiracy and securities' fraud charges.
""Raj never made the speech attributed to him. He was never at an LTTE fund raiser," his lawyer, John Dowd, said when asked about the story.
"Raj completely cooperated with FBI agents from the Terrorism Task Force about Tamil Tigers. No allegation has ever been made by the FBI regarding his conduct."
The Tamil Tigers are a militant group in Sri Lanka. (Lakruwan Wanniarachchi/Getty)
Rajaratnam, the 54-year-old former head of the Galleon Group, was convicted in May in one of the biggest ever insider trading cases and faces up to 24 1/2 years in jail when sentenced Tuesday.
It was part of an investigation at the center of Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's efforts to clean up Wall Street.
Vanity Fair quotes a former FBI agent as saying Rajaratnam was mainly targeted because of his support of a group the U.S. government declared a terrorist organization.
"It was a conscious decision, to treat Raj the terrorist the way they treated Al Capone when they got him for tax evasion," the story quotes former Joint Terrorism Task Force member Jay Kanetkar as saying.
Rajaratnam gave $1 million to the group in the year 2000 and is suspected of giving millions more to another front group that then gave money to the Tamil Tigers, the story says.
The U.S. attorney's office declined to comment.
Courtesy - http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/raj-rajaratnam-hedge-fund-kingpin-convicted-insider-trading-funds-terror-group-report-article-1.958586