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Indian-American accused of insider trading found dead in apparent suicide

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Sanjay Valvani

Sanjay Valvani

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — Sanjay Valvani, a partner at Visium Asset Management who last week was charged with insider trading, was found dead at the age of 44 inside of his Brooklyn home in an apparent suicide.

New York City police were called to his home on Monday evening, where they found a knife near his body and a suicide note. Valvani died after an apparent, self-inflicted slash to the neck, a spokeswoman said.

“We mourn the tragic loss of Sanjay, a devoted father, husband and friend,” Jacob Gottlieb, Visium’s founder, said in a statement Tuesday.

After Valvani’s arrest last week, Visium liquidated four of its hedge funds. Vilvani, considered to be Gottlieb’s right-hand, brought in more than $32 million from trades in drug companies using secret tips, according to federal prosecutors. His lawyer, Barry Berke, maintained his client’s innocence against the charges.

At Visium, Valvani was responsible for overseeing a portfolio of specialty-pharmaceutical stocks. His consistent outperformance of other hedge funds led competitors to question Visium employees about the confidence Valvani had in specific trades he made, according to a former colleague. Valvani managed as much as $2 billion, including borrowed money, before he was placed on leave in April.

A child of Indian immigrants, Valvani had been a presence at Visium since its inception in 2005. He began his career as a sell-side associate at Solomon Smith Barney and partnered with Gottlieb as an analyst at Balyasny Asset Management in 2003. Just two years later, Gottlieb spun out his health-care strategy, bringing along a team of 20 investment professionals including Valvani, to start Visium.

“I really had to convince Jacob Gottlieb that I was hungry to join his hedge fund,” Valvani said in a profile by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, where he got an MBA. “I work hard and try to be the best at what I do, which is why a hedge fund is so suitable for me — here I have a lot of control over my own destiny.”

At its peak earlier this year, Visium managed a portfolio of $8 billion. Last week, the company told clients that it had come to terms of an agreement to sell a multi-sector hedge fund to AllianceBernstein LP, and plans to close its other funds.

Valvani is survived by his wife, Harjot Sandhu, a former first-grade teacher and his children.

Visium becomes the largest hedge fund in the industry to have employees linked to criminal activities since the government began investigating billionaire Steve Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors. That firm pleaded guilty to federal insider-trading charges in 2013, agreeing to pay $1.8 billion and was forced to shut its doors.

Stefan Lumiere, a former money manager at Visium, was also charged in the case. He’s been accused of mismanaging securities at Visium, and a third former Visium employee, Chris Plaford, pleaded guilty to securities fraud charges.

Since he passed away before his case was resolved, the court was forced to drop the charges against Valvani, meaning he died an innocent man.

“This is a horrible tragedy that is difficult to comprehend,” Berke, Valvani’s lawyer, said. “Sanjay Valvani was a loving father, husband, son and brother and committed friend, colleague and mentor. We hope for the sake of his family and his memory that it will not be forgotten that the charges against him were only unproven accusations and he had always maintained his innocence.”

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New Zealand eliminates India in cricket World Cup

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New Zealand wins Cricket

MANCHESTER, England (Diya TV) — After a rain delay stopped play between New Zealand and India, when play resumed, the Kiwis held on to win by 18 runs, knocking India out of the Cricket World Cup. It’s on to the championship round for New Zealand.

The United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raided an Indian restaurant in Washington DC, detaining several employees.

Airbnb, the Silicon Valley couchsurfing startup turned hospitality behemoth, says they made a direct economic impact of around $150 million in India in 2018.

Indian Airbnb hosts collectively made almost $28 million and welcomed nearly 800,000 guests last year. 

Chennai-based speech recognition startup, Uniphore Software Systems, raised $38 million as part of its Series C round. They’ve received funding from California venture capital firm March Capital Partners and former Cisco CEO John Chambers. 

And Indo-Australian Priya Serrao was crowned Miss Universe Australia 2019.

The 26-year-old policy advisor from the state of Victoria said she will use her new platform to promote multiculturalism. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Trump says tariffs by India are ‘No longer acceptable’

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Tariffs no longer acceptable

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — In a tweet, President Trump targeted India once again, saying “India has long had a field day putting Tariffs on American products. No longer acceptable.”

Yet earlier this year, the Trump administration stripped India of a preferential status that exempted billions of dollars worth of products from U.S. levies.

One of the most unique characters ever to run for President has died. Billionaire businessman Ross Perot was 89. Many give his independent campaign in 1992 credit for helping Bill Clinton beat incumbent George H.W. Bush.

A day after Democratic Congressman Eric Swalwell got out of the race, another billionaire businessman, Tom Steyer, jumped into the Presidential fray.

India’s OlaCabs recently launched its ride-sharing services in London. And now Ola Electric, their electric vehicle spinoff, just raised a $250 million Series B round at a $1 billion valuation. It plans to bring 10,000 vehicles to the road this year.

And the world will have to wait another day to find out who will play for the Cricket World Cup, after a rain delay stopped play between New Zealand and India.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Trump meets Modi & Abe in Japan

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OSAKA, Japan (Diya TV) — President Donald Trump held a trilateral meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. According to Ivanka Trump, the conversation encompassed 5G technology, working through details on trade and ongoing national security interests for each party.

From Japan, President Trump went to South Korea and entered the demilitarized zone between South Korea and North Korea. He then walked into North Korea to meet with Chairman Kim Jong Un, becoming the first sitting President to ever to enter North Korea.

Silicon Valley startup Fungible announced they’ve raised $200 million from a group of investors including Softbank, taking their total raise to $300 million. A leader in data-centric computing, Fungible is led by CEO Pradeep Sindhu, who previously founded Juniper Networks.

The NBA free agency signing period kicked off with a bombshell: Kevin Durant is leaving behind the team he won two championships with, The Golden State Warriors, for the upstart Brooklyn Nets. Kyrie Irving will join him there. The Warriors traded for the Nets player most impacted by those deals, D’Angelo Russell.

And England beat India by 31 runs in the Cricket World Cup, giving Team India its first loss of the Cup. India will face Bangladesh next.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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