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Hedge Fund Guys Applaud Raj Verdict, Nervously

Wednesday, 11 May 2011 | 11:35 AM ET
Raj Rajaratnam
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Raj Rajaratnam

A handful of hedge fund managers and traders were gathered around a table in Las Vegas for breakfast Wednesday morning when Raj Rajaratnam was convicted on all 14 counts in his insider trading trial.

Everyone went silent as the news broke.

Like many of their hedge fund colleagues, the managers are in Las Vegas this week for the Skybridge Alternative Investment conference.

Finally, the youngest hedge fund guy at the table spoke up.

"I never liked the guy. He was giving us a bad name," he said.

By "us" he meant hedge funds.

This quickly became the consensus.

"It's good for honest guys when dishonest guys go away," another breakfast attendee said.

So were they surprised by the verdict?

"I think some of us were just hoping that the jury would somehow rebuke the government for treating insider trading like the mafia. Maybe let him off on some charges," one said.

"I guess, we're all wondering what this means going forward. How many phones get tapped? What info is out of bounds?" said another trader.

No one wanted to be named for this story.

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