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Court may hand down longest insider trading jail term ever

Emmanuel Dunand / AFP - Getty Images

Hedge-fund manager convicted of insider trading Raj Rajaratnam arrives at court to hear his sentence in New York, October 13, 2011.

A former hedge fund tycoon who was once one of America's richest men may be slapped Thursday with the stiffest sentence ever for an insider trading conviction.

If federal court judge Richard Holwell follows sentencing guidelines, Raj Rajaratnam, 54, could receive up to 24 years in prison. A jury convicted Rajaratnam in May of fraud and conspiracy charges for running a massive insider trading ring out of his Galleon Group fund.

His defense attorneys have said that the maximum sentence is excessive for the crime and for someone who they argue is in poor health.

CNBC's Scott Cohn has the details on the sentencing for Raj Rajaratnam happening today. The government sentencing memo says Rajaratnam is the modern face for illegal insider trading.