[dropcap]A[/dropcap] federal appeals court upheld the conviction of former Goldman Sachs Group Inc director Rajat Gupta, one of the biggest successes in federal prosecutors’ long-running probe to stop insider trading on Wall Street.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Gupta’s claim that wiretap evidence should not have been admitted to show that he leaked news about Goldman’s finances, including a crucial investment by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc, by phone to Galleon Group hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam.
Circuit Judge Amalya Kearse said the timing of Gupta’s calls, coming just one minute after he learned “extraordinary” news about Goldman’s finances, followed by Rajaratnam’s fast and large trades in Goldman shares, were “powerful evidence that Rajaratnam was given the confidential information by Gupta.”
Tuesday’s decision upholding Gupta’s conviction and two-year prison term for securities fraud and conspiracy was a fresh endorsement of the aggressive tactics that prosecutors have used to thwart insider trading, in a probe unveiled in October 2009.
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