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Taped phone chats played at Galleon trial

NEW YORK CITY — Prosecutors have played taped phone conversations at the start of the evidence phase of the insider trading trial of a one-time billionaire hedge fund boss.

Conversations between Raj Rajaratnam  and his alleged co-conspirators were played for a jury Thursday, one day after opening statements in the trial in federal court in Manhattan.

Prosecutors have said the probe of Rajaratnam and others was the biggest hedge fund insider trading case in history. Rajaratnam had pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and security fraud charges.

In all, more than two dozen people have been charged. Nineteen have pleaded guilty.

Rajaratnam is the only person to go to trial so far. He remains free on $100 million bail.