Billionaire hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam and five executives from some of the most prestigious U.S. companies were charged on Friday with the largest hedge fund insider-trading scheme ever.

Investigators said they used court-approved telephone wire taps for the first time in a Wall Street insider trading case, sending shivers through the hedge fund industry which has traditionally picked up and shared trading tips to make big profits.

At the center of the case are executives from hedge funds Galleon and New Castle, which was a unit of Bear Stearns Asset Management, and executives from major American companies such as IBM, top consulting firm McKinsey & Co and chip giant Intel Corp.

U.S. charges billionaire Rajaratnam with record insider trading | U.S. | Reuters

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Former Freehand Freelance Graphic Illustrator... been online since 2004 ( late starter ), blogging since 2005, presently writing a suspense-thriller e-book that began as a screenplay.