Juror in Rajaratnam Case Says "We Prayed for Raj"

by Derek Loosvelt | May 16, 2011

Yesterday one of the 12 jurors that found billionaire hedge fund trader Raj Rajaratnam guilty on 14 counts of consiracy and fraud spoke to reporters in the lobby of her apartment building, giving an inside account of the jury's deliberation process as well as the jury's experience during the two-month-long trial.

rajaratnam juryLeila Gonzalez Gorman, a second-grade teacher in the Bronx and mother of two, said the jury wasted little time in finding Raj Raj guilty during deliberations. It wasn't just the damning wire-taps that did Raj in, she noted, but all of the evidence, including expert testimony and the timing of his short and long bets. Gorman added that not one of the 12 original jurors (or the one replacement) ever questioned Raj Raj's guilt. By deliberation day two, they'd convicted him on the first of the 14 counts.

Gorman did note that talks among the jurors during deliberation at times grew tense, remembering that one juror told her they were going to "whip" her butt. Gorman also told reporters that she and the other female jurors thought the lawyers on the prosecution team were hotter than a stock tip from a McKinsey managing director. "We called them all gorgeous," Ms. Gorman said.

Gorman had a less favorable view of Raj Raj, even from the start. She said that the name of his firm, Galleon, gave her premonition that she might soon be voting for Rajaratnam to walk the plank. "Galleon buccaneers, those are pirates, and he named his company after pirates," Gorman said. "And if you look at the history of pirates, they're thieves."

Perhaps surprisingly, one person Gorman didn't think was a thief was Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein. "When he actually talked [on the stand]," Gorman says, "I thought, 'Oh good, he's honest.'" (Note to Goldman: if you're in need of a new PR employee, give Gorman a look.)

In the end, Gorman and the other jurors who had to convict Rajaratnam felt pretty sad about the whole ordeal. This is how she describes the events on the last day of deliberation when deciding whether to convict Raj on the final count:

"Everybody raised their hand for Count 14. Wilson [the 39-year-old replacement juror] said we should say a prayer for Raj's family and everyone's family. Wilson said it out loud."

(DealBook: Stack of Evidence Sealed Galleon Case, Juror Says)

(Bloomberg: Raj Rajaratnam Was Deemed Guilty by Day Two of Deliberations, Juror Says)

(Related: 6 Unresolved Questions in the Wake of the Rajaratnam Guilty Verdict)

Filed Under: Finance


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