Book Review: Raj Rajaratnam’s ‘Uneven Justice’ is a must-read

The title, “Uneven Justice”, is unique, isn’t it?  This book is about a man who bravely fought for justice in America. This book comes after two years of silence, after being released from seven and a half years in jail.  This is about someone who lost his two years fight to prove his innocence, and was sentenced to serve eleven years in jail.  The writer conveyed his experiences in the book.  He explained how the case against him was formed, how it was conducted, who were involved, how the testimonies were planned, and a false narrative created against him, all in the name of justice.

Why did he write this book? This book exposes the facts and justifies him, warning everyone, especially his colleagues and experts in the fields of economics or finance.  The author also reveals that, even though he is the citizen of the United States, his basic human rights were violated through illegally wiretapping his conversations and monitored his movements. Everyone in the world should know that the author was trapped by an ambitious attorney who was looking for an escape goat for the financial crisis that plagued the United States in 2008.  This attack shattered his dignity and the media stories gave him stress leading to depression.  Second, but most importantly, the author wants to start a public debate by creating awareness among the citizens about the flaws of the law.  How these flaws are abused by some aggressive lawyers, and how FBI agents are able to escape criminals charges.  The author argues very emphatically that there are no balances in the American Justice system.

Okay, so who is this author? The author is Rajakumaran Rajaratnam, better known as Raj Rajaratnam, one of the best finance managers in American history.  He was born in Sri Lanka; at the age of eleven he left his country with his family and settled in England.  He obtained a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Sussex.  He completed his master’s degree in business administration in 1983 from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in the United States.  Soon after, he began his career as a bank lender in the USA. He joined Needham & Co in 1985.  Through his hard work and extraordinary talent, he rose through the ranks to become its chairman by the age of 34. A hedge fund that was formed in 1992 in association with Neetham & Co. was acquired by Mr. Raj Rajaratnam and renamed Galleon Group.  His company grew exponentially in a very short period of time and had established itself as one of the top ten hedge fund companies in the world.  This exponential growth was produced by incorporating the best analysts and closely following the legal framework of the United States.  Is it any wonder then that the Galleon Group has caught the eye of others?

Known as the Wall Street Super Star, Mr. Raj Rajaratnam was named one of the 400 richest people in the United States by Forbes Magazine in 2009 and the 559th richest man in the world. He was arrested on October 16th of the same year by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on charges of engaging in illegal insider trading.  They gave him three choices:

  • Firstly, accept the imposed offense and receiving a lesser sentence,
  • Secondly, becoming a witness for the government, in exchange for the dismissal of the charges, and
  • Thirdly, fighting in court to prove his innocence.

Mr. Raj was a man of integrity and couldn’t agree to accept a crime that he didn’t commit.  Having set up his life in an honest way, he doesn’t want to be manipulated by the government, and is reluctant to let anyone else fall into the trap of deception.  So the only choice before him was to prove his innocence in court.

He knew that this journey would cost millions of dollars and face many challenges. He, maybe naively, had great faith in the American judiciary, and believing in his innocence, dared to fight for justice. He was willing to pay any price for it regardless of what the ultimate cost was going to be.

He has stated very clearly about the surprising things he has found on the path of justice and the many different people he has met.  He also explained about how the U.S. Department of Justice operates.

He did not succumb to any intimidation. He and his lawyers investigated each of the accusations filed against him and provided numerous pieces of evidence.  Much of the evidence was ignored, and only five witnesses testifying on his side were admitted.  Unfortunately none of the twelve jurors had any knowledge of his investment field.  He questioned how those who have no knowledge of financial management and investment could be aware of the intricacies of its legal systems?  How could they rightly be called jurors of his peers?  Mr. Raj was convicted by the jury and sentenced to eleven years in prison and fined $150 million.  He also mentions that he wrote the manuscript of this book himself while in prison.

There is no doubt that this book, available on Amazon, is a must-read book for everyone.  Mr. Raj said that the money raised from the sales of the book would be used to help those who are fighting for justice.  His words echo the pain of being embittered by the judiciary and imprisoned for seven and a half years for a crime he did not commit.  This book is not only his painful voice, but also the voice of all those who were imprisoned for a crime for which justice has been denied. Not all prisoners are criminals.  Not all freemen are righteous.

Raji Patterson

CEO International United Women Federation

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