BUSINESS

Raj Rajaratnam Jury Selection Questionnaire: 'How Honest Do You Think Wall Street Executives Are?'

03/07/2011 03:40 pm 15:40:03 | Updated May 25, 2011

Jury selection starts Tuesday in the biggest insider trading trial in a generation, and the questions put to potential jurors get right to the heart of the matter: "How honest do you think Wall Street Executives are?"

Raj Rajaratnam, the billionaire Galleon Group founder accused of making $45 million trading on illegal stock tips, plans to take the witness stand himself during the trial, the NYT reports. If convicted, Rajartnam faces up to 20 years in prison.

Meanwhile, Rajartnam's defense team is trying to weed out any jurors who might feel any antipathy towards Wall Street. Another hurdle the defense faces is finding jurors who are still unfamiliar with the case, which is sure to be one of the most closely watched in Wall Street's history.

The New York Post reports that defense lawyer John Dowd has already criticized the timing of the SEC's complaint against former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta -- accused of passing tips about Warren Buffett's investment plans in Goldman Sachs to Rajaratnam -- saying it was intended to taint the jury pool. From the Post:

Dowd says he tried in vain to stop the action with a letter to SEC chief Mary Schapiro on Monday, saying the SEC action against Gupta the week before the trial would "play havoc with jury selection and Mr. Rajaratnam's Sixth Amendment rights" to a fair trial.

In addition to more standard questions concerning jurors' educational level and background, the form (printed in full below) asks:

*Hedge Funds have been reported in the news over the past few years. Do you
have any feelings concerning this industry? ____ Yes ____ No
If Yes, please describe your feelings:

*Have you ever invested in a Hedge Fund(s)?
____ Yes ____ No

If Yes, were you satisfied with your investment?
____ Yes ____ No

*How honest do you think Wall Street Executives are?
1 Not at All Honest
2 Below Average Honesty
3 Average Honesty
4 Above Average Honesty5 Extremely Honest
Please explain your answer.

*Do you have any feelings about Wall Street Executives?
____ Yes ____ No
Do you feel it more likely than not that, if accused of impropriety, a Wall
Street Executive is probably guilty?
____ Yes ____ No
Do today's Wall Street Executives lack integrity?
____ Yes ____ No
Are today's Wall Street Executives greedy?
____ Yes ____ No
If accused of insider trading, is it more likely than not that a Wall Street Executive is guilty?

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