Bloomberg News

Rajaratnam Suffered ‘Severe’ Stroke in 2007, Defense Says

October 13, 2011

(Updates with details of Rajaratnam’s medical condition beginning in second paragraph.)

Oct. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Convicted inside-trader Raj Rajaratnam suffered a “severe cryptogenic stroke” in 2007, according to court papers, more than two years before he was arrested for masterminding the biggest hedge fund insider- trading scheme in U.S. history.

Phillip Wise, a former warden at federal prison facilities in Minnesota and West Virginia, said he was consulted by Rajaratnam’s defense team to review records showing that the co- founder of Galleon Group LLC suffered from a “severe cryptogenic stroke” in February 2007, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and sleep apnea, according to filings unsealed today in federal court in Manhattan.

“His diabetes remains under poor control,” Wise said in a July 11 court filing. “As a result he has suffered diabetic nerve damage, diabetic eye damage, advanced diabetic kidney damage and chronic anemia.”

Wise said all of the physicians interviewed concurred that Rajaratnam’s need for dialysis is imminent. One doctor said dialysis should begin right away, according to the July filing.

Rajaratnam was diagnosed with Type II diabetes in 1992 and became insulin-dependent in 2003, Wise said. Doctors working for the defendant have begun the process for obtaining a kidney transplant, Wise said.

Wise previously was a warden at the Federal Medical Center at Rochester, Minnesota, and at the Federal Prison Camp at Alderson, West Virginia.

‘Significant Challenges’

“In my opinion, based on review of the medical records, Mr. Rajaratnam and the Bureau of Prisons will face significant challenges and will result in an overall lower level of medical care should Mr. Rajaratnam receive a period of incarceration,” Wise wrote in the court filing.

Rajaratnam, 54, was sentenced today to 11 years in prison, which prosecutors said is the longest term ever imposed for insider trading, though less than half of the maximum sought by the government. U.S. District Judge Richard Holwell cited Rajaratnam’s condition as a reason for imposing a term of less than the 15 years recommended by U.S. Probation officials.

Ellen Davis, a spokeswoman for Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, declined to comment on Rajaratnam’s medical condition.

The case is U.S. v. Rajaratnam, 09-01184, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

--Editors: Peter Blumberg, Michael Hytha

To contact the reporter on this story: Patricia Hurtado in New York at pathurtado@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net


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