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Lankan sentenced to 18 months in prison

16 September 2011 03:40 am - 5     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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A Sri Lankan born U.S. citizen account manager at a semiconductor company who pleaded guilty in the government's campaign against insider trading was sentenced to 18 months in prison on Thursday.

Manosha Karunatilaka, 37, had previously pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to passing tips about Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co to Primary Global Research, a so-called "expert network" that provides information to investors and hedge funds.

Karunatilaka, a naturalised U.S. citizen from Sri Lanka, is the latest defendant to be sentenced as a result of crackdown by federal prosecutors on insider trading.

Speaking to a contrite and apologetic Karunatilaka, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff said "just because his unlawful activities can be purchased cheap so to speak does not mean that he was not engaged in a corrosive activity that is hard to detect, hard to deter."

Upon pleading guilty in May, Karunatilaka admitted to receiving more than $35,000 from Primary Global for providing inside information between January 2008 and June 2010.

Judge Rakoff imposed a heavier sentence than the one-year of split prison and home detention time Karunatilaka's lawyer had requested. Prosecutors had called for a 37 to 46 month sentence.

Last month, a Manhattan federal court judge sentenced a former trader at the Galleon Group hedge fund to 5-1/2 years in prison.

That man, Craig Drimal, who pleaded guilty to insider trading charges, used to work in the Galleon offices, but not at the time of his arrest. Galleon's chief, Raj Rajaratnam, was convicted in May and is scheduled to be sentenced on September 27.

The case is: USA v. Shimoon et al, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 1:10-mj-02823. (Reuters) 
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  • Roshan Friday, 16 September 2011 04:37 AM

    Poor fellow, he should have done it in Sri Lanka, where he will be just warned by the SEC.

    Choppe Friday, 16 September 2011 06:32 AM

    This is something like innocent spying, what about the punishing for a real spies, in CIA. RAW etc. SL government should catch local and foreign spies within the country who pass informations hostile west and neighbours and give them very harsh punishments.

    Sinhalaya Friday, 16 September 2011 06:34 AM

    It surely happens every where. When caught they are punished except in this country where some prominent buisnesman openly advoctes the practice of insider trading and goes on without any punishment, thats why we are the miracle of asia

    Fair N Square Friday, 16 September 2011 08:27 AM

    LQQking for greener pastures.... Most who travel abroad do not earn in an ethical way.... Sadly the reputation of Sri-Lanka is tarnished. Now that he is a US citizen why nto state so instead of bringing in his former country. He chose to relinquish his SL citizenship...... When something good is doe its teh US that comes to light and when a negative thing happens its the FORMER country thats tarnished....

    Calistus Jayatilleke Friday, 16 September 2011 10:12 AM

    Cant understand all this fuss in USA. In our Paradise island, this is not such a big deal as it is a routine practice carried out by some men who get away with just a feeble warning. We are, indeed, the Miracle of Asia.


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