Millennium Post

Court listens to Gupta-Rajaratnam calls

The FBI wiretapped over 2,000 calls made to convicted hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam's mobile phone for eight months in 2008, of which only two conversations were between him and former Indian-American Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta. Government witness Special FBI Agent Thomas Zukauskas told the Manhattan court that the agency wiretapped 2,191 calls made to Galleon founder Rajaratnam's mobile between March 2008 and December 2008 from six in the morning to midnight everyday of the week.

The jury heard one of those two phone calls toward the end of the third day of the trial on Wednesday as the prosecution tried to establish the level of relationship between Gupta and Rajaratnam, who have been netted by the government in its biggest ever crackdown on insider trading on Wall Street.  

Of those wiretaps, only 285 were classified as 'pertinent' to the investigation and two calls were between Gupta and Rajaratnam, which the defence described as a 'low percentage.'

One of the two phone calls, made on 29 July 2008 was played for the jury. In the conversation, Rajaratnam is heard asking Gupta if he had heard a 'rumour' that Goldman is looking to buy a commercial bank.

Gupta, 63, replied that there was a 'big discussion' at a Goldman board meeting about whether the financial firm should buy a commercial bank.
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