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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.
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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.
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.
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