A Jury of Raj's Peers? Maybe Not

A motley crew of teachers, municipal workers and a stray unemployed band member will decide the fate of hedge-fund billionaire Raj Rajaratnam.

The group of 12 jurors and six alternates was picked from a pool of 300, from eight surrounding counties in New York.

Rajaratnam is the central figure in the largest crackdown of insider trading in U.S. history. He’s been charged with 14 counts of conspiracy or securities fraud and faces up to 25 years in prison.

The nearly two-month trial has produced some moments of levity from jurors.

Among the standouts is Juror 18, an alternate, from Manhattan. He is unemployed and lives with his girlfriend and two roommates.

When asked by federal Judge Richard Holwell how he spent his down time, he replied, “When I get my drummer situation worked out, I’m in a band.”

This was the same juror who said his favorite TV show was “Judge Judy,” and was the first to fall asleep during testimony. That happened March 16. He woke up a few moments later after hearing reporters laugh.

When discussing his criminal history, he told the court he had been charged with a misdemeanor for receiving stolen property and pleaded guilty.

“It was a street sign that was in my room and they threw as much of the book as they could at me, but I got away with it,” he said.

Juror 2 has also raised some eyebrows. The 70-year-old retired bookkeeper said she was briefly a volunteer with the Israeli Defense Forces and said her favorite TV show is “Two and a Half Men.”

Juror 3, a 27-year-old woman from the Bronx, is an activities therapist for a private nursing home. She spends her time watching “Grey’s Anatomy” and “True Blood.”