Jury Deliberates In Gupta Insider Trading Case


The insider trading case against Rajat Gupta is in the jury's hands. Gupta was a former member of the board of directors of Goldman Sachs and a close associate of Raj Rajaratnam, the hedge fund manager who was convicted of insider trading last year.

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And this morning a federal judge in New York gives final instructions to a jury considering whether to send a one-time top Wall Street executive to prison.

From member station WNYC, Ilya Marritz reports on the final day of the insider trading trial of Rajat Gupta.

ILYA MARRITZ, BYLINE: In closing arguments, government lawyers showed phone logs and trading records that seems to tell the same story again and again. As a member of the board of directors of Goldman Sachs and Procter and Gamble, Gupta was regularly given non-public company information. Phone logs suggest he passed those secrets to a friend who had a hedge fund. And records of stock trades seem to confirm the hedge funds used that knowledge to make lots of money.

Gupta's attorneys responded that this evidence is purely circumstantial. Their client was already rich, and never profited from the alleged tips, they said. The law says for it to be insider trading the tipper must profit or believe he will profit from making the tip.

But former judge and prosecutor Margaret Finerty says that's not always so clear cut.

MARGARET FINERTY: The judge's instructions, with respect to the requirement that some gain or benefit be experienced, is going to be very, very key in this case.

MARRITZ: Early on in the trial, Judge Jed Rakoff signaled the importance of that question by asking lawyers on both sides to submit their own definition of insider trading. If convicted, Gupta could face a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.

For NPR News, I'm Ilya Marritz.

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