“Where’s the beef in this case?” wondered the defence lawyer of former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta as he presented the closing arguments in the high-profile insider trading case against him saying no “dishonest dime” went into the Indian-American’s pockets.
The prosecution and defence presented their closing arguments in the trial of Gupta in Manhattan federal court yesterday and the case will now go to the jury, which will get instructions on the law from presiding judge Jed Rakoff.
The group of eight women and four men will then begin its deliberations later today on the fate of Gupta, one of corporate America’s most successful Indian-Americans and the most high-profile Wall Street executive fighting criminal charges in the government’s crackdown on insider trading. Using graphics, emails, phone records and wiretaps, federal prosecutor Richard Tarlowe summarised for the jury charges and evidence that 63-year-old Gupta “violated his duty” as a Goldman and Proctor and Gamble board member to tip now-jailed hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam.
Gupta’s lawyer Gary Naftalis, speaking softly and slowly, blamed the government of presenting to the jury an “illusion” even though it had no direct evidence against his client. “With all the power and majesty of the United States government, they found no real, hard, direct evidence,” Naftalis said.
“They didn’t find any because it didn’t happen… As they say in that old commercial, where’s the beef in this case? “We have had no real first-hand knowledge of the crimes alleged to have been committed here.” Gupta, a onetime global head of McKinsey & Co management consultancy, is charged with securities fraud and conspiracy over allegations that he leaked boardroom secrets to Rajaratnam and his Galleon Group between March 2007 and January 2009.
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