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‘Rajat Gupta’s jail term to be a deterrent’

‘Rajat Gupta’s jail term to be a deterrent’
Manhattan’s India-born top federal prosecutor Preet Bharara has termed former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta's two-year sentence on insider trading charges a ‘sad occasion’ that will deter others from breaching their corporate duties and leaking boardroom secrets.

Gupta, 63, was sentenced by US District Judge Jed Rakoff on Wednesday to two years imprisonment followed by a year of supervised release and a $5 million fine.

The IIT and Harvard educated former McKinsey head is one of the most prominent Wall Street titans to be charged by fellow Indian and Harvard alumnus Bharara in the US government's large scale crackdown on insider trading on Wall Street.

His conduct has forever tarnished a once-sterling reputation that took years to cultivate,' Bharara said in a statement.

'We hope that others who might consider breaking the securities laws will take heed from this sad occasion and choose not to follow in Gupta's footsteps,' he said.

Bharara has had a very successful stint so far in bringing to book prominent hedge fund traders and corporate executives who made millions of dollars in illegal profits by sharing secret corporate information.

Investigations spanning over three years have resulted in convictions of more than 70 traders, bankers, lawyers and corporate executives on insider trading charges.

Among the Wall Street big fish netted by Bharara is former billionaire hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam, who is currently serving 11 years in prison.

FBI acting assistant director-in-Charge Mary Galligan said Gupta not only violated ethical standards and terms of his service on the Goldman Sachs board but also broke the law when he passed insider information to Rajaratnam.

'That is what he has to answer for today. The sentence imposed should send a clear message: providing a tip to a friend, when the tip is insider information, has consequences,' Galligan said.

Prominent Indian-American lawyer Ravi Batra said the two year prison sentence for Gupta is 'just and fair' and Bharara has shown yet again that the 'law cannot be trifled with even by masters of the universe.'

'This sentence, after hearing the shattered icon's carefully calibrated statement of regret without culpability, serves to warn others, in whose soul lurks criminality and above-law arrogance, that Wall Street must honestly serve Main Street or face ruin, shame and jail,' Batra said.

Anil Sood, who had been a character witness at Gupta's trial, said the appeal in the case will be the next thing that Gupta would focus on.


‘I LOST MY REPUTATION... I AM EXTREMELY SORRY’

Rajat Gupta apologised to the institutions he had worked with over the course of his career, including McKinsey, which he said had to deal with negative publicity because of his insider trading case.

'I spent my entire professional career at McKinsey. It is a close-knit, values driven partnership, known for the highest standards of integrity, for always keeping client confidences, for always acting in the client's best interest.

'I am extremely sorry for the negative comments from clients and the press that McKinsey has had to deal with. I take some comfort that, given the strength of the firm, I hope that it will not suffer any long-term reputational harm,' he said.

Gupta said during the course of the legal case, he has thought about the institutions and people he had worked with and mentored and feels 'terrible' that they had to deal with 'undeserved' negative attention.

'I had the privilege of touching many lives in many fields. I mentored many young people, and many more view me as a role model. I served on many boards and many advisory positions with institutions that I hold in the highest regard.

'I have given a lot of thought to them during these last 18 months. These are extraordinary institutions and outstanding people, and I feel terrible that they have been burdened with totally undeserved negative attention. I apologise to them and ask for their forgiveness.'

The IIT and Harvard educated said he also often thought about three not-for-profit organisations – the Indian School of Business, the Public Health Foundation of India, the America India Foundation, which he had helped create.'These are very young institutions and in the early years of developing a reputation. I love these institutions as if they were my own children.
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