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Former Goldman Sachs Board Member Surrenders To Feds In Hedge Fund Insider Trading Case

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FILE - Rajat Gupta (Photo credit: ERIC PIERMONT/AFP/Getty Images)

FILE – Rajat Gupta (Photo credit: ERIC PIERMONT/AFP/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – A former Goldman Sachs board member has surrendered to federal authorities to face criminal charges involving a massive hedge fund insider trading case.

LISTEN: 1010 WINS’ Juliet Papa reports

Rajat Gupta appeared in Manhattan federal court on Wednesday.

“Today’s surrender is the latest step in an initiative launched by the FBI in 2007 targeting hedge fund insider trading,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Janice Fedarcyk said in a statement.

According to the indictment that was released Wednesday, Gupta is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and five counts of securities fraud.

“Today we allege that the corruption we have seen in the trading cubicles, investment firms, law firms, expert consulting firms, medical labs, and corporate suites also insinuated itself into the boardrooms of elite companies,”
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement.

To read the full indictment, click here.

The indictment charges Gupta with sharing valuable boardroom secrets with former billionaire hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam.

Bharara described Gupta as the illegal eyes and ears in the boardroom for his friend and business associate.

Prosecutors used wiretap evidence in the Rajaratnam trial they say showed Gupta would leave a crucial board meeting at Goldman Sachs and rush to the phone to spill money-making secrets to his friend.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reports

In phone records produced by prosecutors at that trial, Gupta called Rajaratnam less than a minute after one of those meetings ended. The next morning, Rajaratnam sold his entire position in Goldman and saved millions of dollars.

“The conduct alleged is not an inadvertent slip of the tongue by Mr. Gupta. His eagerness to pass along inside information to Rajaratnam is nowhere more starkly evident than in the two instances where a total of thirty-nine seconds elapsed between his learning of crucial Goldman Sachs information and lavishing it on his good friend. That information (captured by the FBI) was conveyed by phone so quickly it could be termed instant messaging,” Fedarcyk said Wednesday

Rajaratnam also made nearly $1 million when prosecutors said Gupta told him that Goldman received an offer from Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway to invest billions of dollars in the company.

Rajaratnam was convicted of five conspiracy counts and nine securities fraud charges in May and sentenced to 11 years in prison.

Now, Gupta is charged with playing a crucial role in the massive insider trading scheme that put Rajaratnam behind bars.

Gupta’s lawyer says the allegations are “totally baseless.”

If convicted, he faces a potential penalty of up to 105 years in prison.

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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