The story of billionaire hedge fund mogul Raj Rajaratnam, which shocked the investment community and led to the indictment this week of former Goldman Sachs board member Rajat Gupta, is headed to the big screen.
A New York production company says it is in pre-production for "Billion Dollar Raja," billed as "an investigative financial mafia drama," to be written and directed by New York filmmaker Nayan Padrai, who says he hopes to begin filming next fall. No word yet on the cast.
Rajaratnam was convicted in May on 14 criminal counts in what authorities called the largest hedge fund insider trading case in history. Earlier this month, he was sentenced to eleven years in prison. This week, his attorneys filed formal notice he plans to appeal.
The case has had no shortage of storylines or characters — many of them captured on undercover FBI audio recordings.
They include the seductive former trading consultant Danielle Chiesi, now serving a two-and-a-half year prison sentence for supplying illegal tips to Rajaratnam, as well as Gupta, who rose from humble beginnings in India to become one of the most powerful, well-connected business leaders in the U.S. Gupta pleaded not guilty this week to six criminal counts for allegedly passing confidential information to Rajaratnam on Goldman Sachs and Procter and Gamble.
The case also included an aggressive prosecution team overseen by Indian-born U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, and an equally pugnacious defense team.
No release date has been scheduled, and there is no word yet on financing or distribution for the movie. A previous film by Padrai, "When Harry Tries to Marry," had a limited theatrical release this year.