Some prominent philanthropists in the business world have rallied in support of convicted inside trader Rajat Gupta.
Microsoft Corp. Chairman Bill Gates and former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan are among the individuals who recently wrote letters to U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff asking him to be fair when he sentences former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. board member and head of McKinsey & Co. Rajat Gupta later this month.
In June, a jury convicted Gupta of inside trading for passing confidential Goldman Sachs financial information to Galleon Group hedge fund co-founder Raj Rajaratnam, who was sentenced to 11 years in prison last October for inside trading. However, the jury found him not guilty of sharing confidential financial information about Procter & Gamble Co., where he also was a board member.
Gupta has a history of involvement in philanthropy, and others in the humanitarian world are asking Rakoff to consider his good deeds when sentencing him.
In his letter to Rakoff, Gates wrote that “many millions of people are leading better lives—or are alive at all” because of Gupta’s involvement in the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Similarly, Annan urges Rakoff in his letter to “recognize Rajat for the good he has done in the world, to give him the credit that he deserves for helping others and to take into account his efforts to improve the lives of millions of people.”
Gupta’s wife, Anita, also wrote a letter to Rakoff in which she laments the fact that the judge put a limit on what the jury could hear about her husband’s philanthropic activity. “I know I have to accept the decision of the jury but I cannot but feel that who my husband is and what he stands for did not fully come out at the trial,” she wrote.
According to Thomson Reuters, Gupta faces a maximum sentence of 25 years. Rakoff is scheduled to sentence Gupta on Oct. 24.
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