Gupta found guilty of insider trading

June 15, 2012 at 2:43 PM
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NEW YORK, June 15 (UPI) -- A federal jury in New York convicted former Goldman Sachs Group and Procter & Gamble director Rajat Gupta on insider trading charges Friday.

Gupta, 63, is arguably the most prominent businessman convicted in the insider trading case that produced an 11-year sentence for convicted billionaire Raj Rajaratnam, the founder of the Galleon hedge fund who allegedly received tips from Gupta after board meetings at both Procter & Gamble and Goldman Sachs.

The trial included critical tapes of Rajaratnam bragging at one point that he had good information on Goldman Sachs' business intentions. It also included a tape of Gupta spilling secrets to Rajaratnam. But in that tape, the one with the direct evidence, Rajaratnam did not make any trades, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The jury concluded Rajaratnam's conviction and his close friendship and timely contacts with Gupta meant the two were in cahoots, the Journal said.

Rajaratnam did, on other occasions, make trades directly after hearing from Gupta, but those conversations were not caught on tape.

By the time the dust settles, there could be 120 people caught in the wide-ranging investigation that has already earned prosecutors 61 other convictions.

The Gupta conviction could result in 20-year sentences on each of three convictions on securities fraud and five years for a conviction on passing along insider information.

Gupta was acquitted on two other security fraud charges.

Sentencing was set for Oct. 18.

Gupta resigned from the boards of Procter & Gamble and American Airlines parent AMR Corp. in March 2011 when the charges were filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission. He had resigned from Goldman Sachs before then.

In a statement, attorney Gary Naftalis said, "This is only round 1. We will be moving to set aside the verdict and will if necessary appeal the conviction."

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