NY court rejects Rajat Gupta's appeal against conviction

  • Yashwant Raj, Hindustan Times, Washington
  • Updated: Mar 26, 2014 01:18 IST

A New York federal appeals court on Tuesday confirmed the conviction of former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta on charges of insider trading.

Gupta, who was also head of McKinsey, had appealed against his conviction arguing that the prosecution should not have used wiretap evidence against him.

Rejecting his plea, Circuit Judge Amalya Kearse ruled there was "ample evidence" to prove Gupta had indeed passed on insider information as Goldman Sachs director.

Gupta was convicted in July 2012 of one count of conspiracy and three of securities fraud. And was sentenced two years in jail, but was allowed out on bail for appeal.

In a 48-page order, Judge Kearse also rejected Gupta's plea that he deserved another trial as the trial judge, district judge Jed Rakoff, had prevented him from defending himself fully.

Born in Kolkata and raised in Delhi, Gupta went on to become the first Indian American to head a major US corporation.

After leaving, he had joined the boards of Goldman Sachs and Proctor and Gamble, and came under scrutiny because of his business ties with hedge fund billionaire Raj Rajaratnam.

Read: Rajat Gupta faces 45 yrs in jail for insider trading

Rajaratnam was under investigation for insider trading and his phone was under surveillance. He has since been convicted and is serving 11 years in jail.

Gupta was charged with passing two tips about Goldman Sachs to Rajaratnam --- one, about losses the bank was to declare and, two, about a $5 billion investment by Warren Buffet.

About the losses, on a wiretap used against Gupta, Rajaratnam told an associate, "I heard yesterday from someone who's on the board of Goldman Sachs that they're going to lose $2 a share, the market has them making $2.50."

"I'm going to whack it," he added.

On Buffet's investment plans, Rajaratnam was heard telling a trader that he had just heard from a caller that "something good might happen to Goldman".
There was no information on when he starts his sentence now.

Read: Rajat Gupta challenges $13.9 mln insider trading fine

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