| NEW YORK, June 25
NEW YORK, June 25 A former driver for Raj
Rajaratnam has sued the one-time billionaire, claiming he was
fired for complaining about secret wire transfers the founder of
the Galleon Group hedge fund made to fellow prisoners following
his conviction for insider trading.
Peter Malaszuk, a longtime assistant to Rajaratnam, sued his
former boss, his wife, and a company she owns, saying the wire
transfers were made to 20 inmates at the prison for several
months, in violation of federal law.
The transfers were done at Rajaratnam's direction "in order
to control such prisoners and obtain special treatment and
accommodations in prison," according to the lawsuit, filed
Friday in federal court in New Haven, Connecticut.
Malaszuk contended he was wrongfully fired for both
complaining about the wire transfers as well as the use of an
improperly notarized immigration document he said was used for
He said he learned about the transfers from his former boss
during visits to see him at the Federal Medical Center at Devens
in Ayer, Massachusetts, where Rajaratnam is incarcerated.
Malaszuk also said Rajaratnam used an improperly notarized
document in an effort to obtain a visa for his son, and the
defendants had failed to pay him for $275,000 in overtime.
The lawsuit seeks unspecified actual and punitive damages.
Terence Lynam, a lawyer for Rajaratnam, in a statement
called the lawsuit "patently false," saying it stemmed from a
"long-running effort by an embittered former employee to extort
money from Mr. Rajaratnam and his family."
Joseph Tacopina, Malaszuk's attorney, did not respond to a
request for comment, nor did representatives for the U.S. Bureau
of Prisons. A spokesman for Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet
Bharara declined comment.
Rajaratnam, 57, is serving an 11-year prison term following
his conviction in May 2011 of nine counts of securities fraud
and five counts of conspiracy. ID:nL2N0OX0I3]
His younger brother, Rengan Rajaratnam, currently is on
trial in New York on related insider trading
Malaszuk's lawsuit also names as defendants Rajaratnam's
wife, Asha Pabla, and Synamon Management Group LLC, a South
Carolina-based company she owns that the complaint says was
created to invest Rajaratnam's assets.
In the complaint, Malaszuk said he worked for 15 years as
Rajaratnam's assistant at Galleon. After it closed, he said he
was hired by Synamon as a caretaker for real estate in
Greenwich, Connecticut, and a driver for Rajaratnam's family.
During prison visits, Malaszuk said Rajaratnam would often
give him pieces of paper with names and inmate numbers for
prisoners and contact information for family members to wire
money through Western Union.
Rajaratnam told Malaszuk to use false names with Western
Union for identifying the sender of the funds and told him to
destroy the paper he gave him with the names, the lawsuit said.
Such conduct violated federal law and was prohibited by
Devens, the lawsuit said.
The case is Malaszuk v. Synamon Management Group LLC, U.S.
District Court, District of Connecticut, No. 14-00908.
(Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by Noeleen
Walder and Leslie Adler)