Ex-Goldman Sachs Director Rajat Gupta Pleads Not Guilty to Insider Trading Charges

After surrendering to federal authorities today, Rajat Gupta has entered a not guilty plea to the criminal charges against him involving insider trading. Gupta, who was a former Proctor and Gamble and Goldman Sachs director, is accused of multiple counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud. He allegedly gave Galleon Group cofounder Raj Rajaratnam corporate secrets about Goldman. Our stockbroker fraud law firm has been following Rajaratnam’s criminal case on our blog site. (See below.) Earlier this month, he was sentenced to 11 years in prison over an insider trading scam that illegally garnered $63.8 million.

Gupta, who also once was a global head at McKinsey & Co., came under close scrutiny during Rajaratnam’s trial when he was brought up in testimony and phone conversations that were recorded in secret. He is also now facing civil charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which contends that he provided Rajaratnam with illegal tips about both Proctor and Gamble and Goldman Sachs’ quarterly earnings and an approximately $5 billion investment that Berkshire Hathaway was planning to make in the financial firm. Based on Gupta’s tips, Rajaratnam avoided losses of/made illegal profits of over $23 million. Rajaratnam made over 800,000 in illegal profits from the Berkshire Hathaway tip when, after first having Galleon funds buy over 215,000 Goldman shares, he ordered the liquidation of the Goldman holdings a day after the information and Goldman’s public equity offering became public.

Rajaratnam also made over $18.5 million in illegal profits for Galleon funds after Gupta allegedly told him that Goldman had positive 2008 second quarter financial results. Rajaratnam then had the hedge fund buy Goldman securities but liquidated them when Goldman made news of its earnings for that quarter public. Other charges stem from Gupta allegedly notifying Rajaratnam that fourth quarter results for that same year were negative. The Goldman holdings were sold off, allowing Rajaratnam to avoid over $3 million in losses. When Gupta allegedly tipped him about P & G’s 2008 4th quarter earnings, Rajaratnam had Galleon funds sell short about 180,000 P & G shares, generating over $570,000 in illicit profits.

According to the SEC, Gupta got his confidential information from board conversations while serving as director at both companies. At the time, Gupta had numerous business ties with Rajaratnam and was seeking to strengthen that relationship. Not only had Gupta invested in Rajaratnam’s hedge funds, but they also began a number of financial ventures together.

The SEC had recently dropped its previous administrative action against Gupta over the insider trading allegations. Following that move, he vowed to drop his lawsuit claiming that the regulatory proceeding had violated his constitutional rights.

Of the 56 people that the government has charged with its crackdown on insider trading, 51 either were convicted or pleaded guilty.

With Gupta’s Arrest, Insider Inquiry Goes Beyond Wall St., Dealbook, October 26, 2011
SEC Files Insider Trading Charges against Rajat Gupta, SEC, October 26, 2011
Rajat Gupta, SEC Agree to Drop Galleon-Related Suit, Administrative Action, Bloomberg, August 5, 2011

More Blog Posts:
Galleon Group LLC Co-Founder Raj Rajaratnam Sentenced to 11 Years in Prison Over Insider Trading Scam, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, October 13, 2011
Ex-Goldman Sachs Board Member Accused of Insider Trading with Galleon Group Co-Founder Seeks to Have SEC Administrative Case Against Him Dropped, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, April 19, 2011
Dallas Mavericks Owner Mark Cuban’s Allegations of Misconduct Against the SEC Enforcement Staff are Without Merit, Says Inspector General’s Report, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, October 18, 2011
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