Rajat Gupta convicted on insider trading charges (Second lead)

Syndicated from IANS | Published on Fri, Jun 15 2012 22:39 IST | Add comment
New York, June 15

The one time poster boy of Indian business in America, Rajat Gupta was convicted Friday of four of six counts on charges of providing insider tips to convicted hedge-fund billionaire Raj Rajaratnam.

A jury at federal court in Manhattan convicted the former Goldman Sachs' India-born director of three counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy. He was acquitted on the remaining two counts of securities fraud.

Each of the three securities fraud charges he was convicted of carry maximum sentences of 20 years each. He was also found guilty of one count of conspiracy, which carries a five-year maximum.

The jury reached its verdict on the second day deliberations concluding a four-week trial that started on May 21.

Gupta, 63, did not testify in his own defence. It was the highest-profile conviction yet in a wave of federal cases focused on Wall Street misconduct.

Adult daughters of Harvard educated Gupta hugged and wept as the verdict was read. He showed no visible reaction.

The outcome was seen as a victory for Manhattan's Indian-American US Attorney Preet Bharara, who has led a wave of insider trading probes over the last two-and-a-half years that have yielded 66 indictments and 60 convictions.

"Having fallen from respected insider to convicted inside trader, Gupta has now exchanged the lofty board room for the prospect of a lowly jail cell," Bharara said in a statement.

"Violating clear and sacrosanct duties of confidentiality, Mr. Gupta illegally provided a virtual open line into the board room for his benefactor and business partner, Raj Rajaratnam."

Rajaratnam, who co-founded Galleon Group LLC, was convicted at trial last year and sentenced to 11 years in prison, a record at the time for insider-trading crimes. He is appealing the verdict.

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