Remember, back in 2008, how Warren Buffett agreed to loan his friends at Goldman Sachs $5 billion to muscle through the financial crisis? And how McKinsey partner and Goldman director Rajat Gupta was on the call in which the details were discussed? And how he hung up the phone, counted to 23, and then called his friend Raj Rajaratnam with the news? And how Raj Rajaratnam then put said good news, which some might describe as material non-public information, to use at his hedge fund? Gupta presumably remembers all this, because he did 19 months on the inside for it. Now, he's hoping a judge will reconsider the whole securities fraud conviction label, as he was apparently just telling Rajaratnam about the investment in a "two guys shooting the sh*t" type way, and not at all in the hopes of some sort of financial gain, the mere thought of which actually sickens him.
The U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan on Thursday agreed to reconsider its rejection of the 67-year-old Gupta’s request to throw out a 2012 conviction for passing tips to billionaire hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam. Insider-trading cases are coming under renewed scrutiny since the appeals court in Manhattan threw out the convictions of two hedge fund managers in December 2014, ruling a person passing inside knowledge had to at least potentially get some benefit of value, such as money. The decision upended the convictions of another 12 people. Gupta was convicted of passing tips to Rajaratnam in 2008 about Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s $5 billion investment in Goldman Sachs and the bank’s financial results. He had asked U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff to overturn the jury’s verdict, arguing the U.S. didn’t prove he got a personal benefit for the tips. Rakoff denied the request, and the appeals court in December declined to overturn Rakoff’s decision.