All things considered, Rajat Gupta would still prefer not to go to jail.
Rajat Gupta, a former Goldman Sachs board member, has asked a federal appeals court to reverse his conviction on insider trading charges, arguing that a judge made a series of incorrect rulings during his trial.
“This court should reverse the convictions in view of the court’s serious evidentiary errors, which decisively tipped the scales in this case,” wrote Mr. Gupta’s lawyers in its brief to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in Manhattan, which was filed late Friday.
As with the other appeals in this recurring series, the former McKinsey & Co. chief’s lawyers don’t think that the wiretaps used by prosecutors during the trial were kosher, even though every other trial judge who’s presided over an insider-trading case agrees that they are. Raj Rajaratnam, whom Gupta is accused of tipping, has made the same argument before the same court; said court has yet to rule.
On the other hand, Gupta’s lawyers have one weapon at their disposal that Rajaratnam’s don’t: that RajRaj is a lying liar who lied even to his own eventual detriment about having insider information.
On one wiretap – perhaps the most damning piece of evidence presented at trial – Mr. Rajaratnam tells a colleague, “I heard yesterday from somebody who’s on the board of Goldman Sachs that they are going to lose $2 per share.”
Mr. Gupta’s lawyers argued that Mr. Rajaratnam’s statement is the unreliable hearsay testimony “of a known fabulist.”
“Without a proper basis for admission, these untestable, unreliable hearsay statements had no place in a criminal trial, and their admission alone compels reversal,” Mr. Gupta’s lawyers wrote.
* At least two of these descriptors is inarguably accurate.