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Sentencing is a wildcard in busy NYC courthouse
NYC insider trading cases show luck of the draw in judges is big factor in sentencing outcome
By The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) ' One of the biggest factors in how much prison time a hedge fund founder convicted of insider trading charges faces at sentencing this week may have been decided within days of his arrest two years ago.

That's because federal Judge Richard Holwell (HALL'-well) was assigned to the case shortly after the October 2009 arrest of Raj Rajaratnam (rah-juh-RUHT'-nuhm). The sentencings of the more than two dozen people convicted in the case show that prison terms vary considerably depending on the judge.

Besides sentencing guidelines, judges are supposed to take into account various other factors. Those include the defendant's personal history and the need to deter others from committing similar crimes.

Rajaratnam will be sentenced Thursday. Prosecutors want a prison term of at least 19 years. Defense lawyers say less than seven years is appropriate.

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