American Greed

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The Beauty Queen Turned Source

Danielle Chiesi was a former beauty queen turned hedge fund trader. Chiesi became one of Rajaratnam’s best sources, sending him tips that led to big profits on inside deals. Her top-secret information helped Rajaratnam make millions.

“I just got a call from my guy,” Chiesi said in a recorded phone conversation. “I played him like a finely tuned piano.”

Chiesi had the inside scoop on Akamai. She told Rajaratnam the technology company would miss earnings, information that wouldn’t become public for six days. In turn, Rajaratnam shorted the stock, allowing him to profit should Akamai’s share price fall.

When Akamai finally did announce an earnings miss, its stock tumbled 25 percent and Rajaratnam made more than $5 million.

Photo: Landov Media