From insider to inmate: Rajat Gupta does dishes in jail

  • Yashwant Raj, Hindustan Times, Washington
  • Updated: Aug 04, 2015 09:08 IST

Former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta seems to have accepted his incarceration as his destiny and washed dishes at the prison cafeteria briefly, in a first account of his life in prison.

Gupta is serving two years in jail for insider trading and is due to come out in March, 2016. He is housed at the same facility as one-time business partner Raj Rajaratnam, who is serving an 11-year term.

In an account based on interviews with their lawyers and inmates, the New York Times said the two do run into each occasionally, and exchange pleasantries, but not much more.

Rajaratnam told an inmate he considered Gupta innocent and that he declined to give him up. Gupta was the big prize for prosecutors led by South New York attorney Preet Bharara.

The inmate, a man called David Morgan, who was in jail for insurance fraud, told NYT that Rajaratnam, who considered Gupta a friend, said, “I had an opportunity to give up Gupta and I didn’t.”

Anil Kumar, a mutual business partner, gave them up both in a plea deal with prosecutors, who called him one of the best and most important cooperating witnesses. He is now a free man.

Gupta and Rajaratnam are incarcerated at Federal Medical Center Devens, Massachusetts.

Gupta was rumored to be snitch when he was to begin his term. But that changed soon, and he became popular. Inmates asked him for stocks, and even for investments.

He was punished twice — once for grabbing an extra pillow, and the second time for not standing during a roll call. He was sent to the isolation unit, called the “shoe”.

When confined to a part of the facility more open, he would have his twin granddaughters visit him — “He lights up from ear to ear when the babies come”, according to Morgan.

But stopped seeing them when he was moved to another part of the facility accessible to visitors only through large clanging doors with steel bars — it would frighten the children.

Last winter, he started writing a book.

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