|By Maureen O'Gara||
|August 16, 2011 11:02 PM EDT||
Billionaire hedge fund trader Raj Rajaratnam, 54, convicted of making millions on insider trades, lost a bid Tuesday to have his 14-count conviction for securities fraud and conspiracy overturned.
His lawyers claimed the evidence presented at trial was insufficient for a conviction although Raj was caught in flagrante delicto trading on insider tips by government wiretaps. The judge in a 49-page opinion disagreed, finding that any "reasonable jury" would have found him guilty.
Rajaratnam is supposed to be sentenced September 27. The prosecution is asking for a stiff 19-and-a-half to 24-and-a-half years sentence. Whatever he draws he's expected to appeal. His lawyers claim he is sick and will die in prison if he pulls a long stretch. Rajaratnam and his circle trafficked mostly in brand name high-tech stocks and the corruption ran up to the top of IBM.
Raj's confederate Danielle Chiesi recently drew two-and-a-half years.
He is supposed to have made almost $64 million over seven years.
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