by Kyle Colona on May 8, 2012
The legal team representing former Goldman Sachs managing director Rajat Gupta hopes to have “wiretap evidence” excluded from the trial.
As has widely been reported, these tapes include fallen Galleon Group big wheel Raj Rajaratnam asserting on a bugged call that a managing director had tipped him off about pending Goldman financial news that had yet to become public.
While prosecutors contend that the managing director may be Mr. Gupta, Team Bharara apparently do not have voice recordings of Mr. Gupta in their arsenal. So they are relying on the Rajaratnam tapes along with other evidence to tie Mr. Gupta into the “expert network” ring.
However, the defense team argues that the 26 recorded phone conversations do not relate to the charges being brought against him, according to Bloomberg.
A review of the motion by Bloomberg said in part that “it appears that the government seeks to reprise the Rajaratnam trial in order to shore up its weak circumstantial case against Mr. Gupta, resorting to evidence about other companies and other alleged conspiracies.”
Further, in another filing, lawyers petitioned the court to exclude a July 2008 recording between Gupta and Rajaratnam because it does not contain “direct evidence” of insider trading and that the tape is “prejudicial” and could “confuse” the jury. Of course, one hopes that the jury is smart enough not to be confused.
Moreover, one hopes that the information being reported in the media is not prejudicial as well. After all, Mr. Gupta is innocent until proven guilty, and the beyond a reasonable doubt threshold is on his side. Much like reasonable doubt was on Jay-Z’s side back when he was still a holla back rapper from downtown BK long before he became the self appointed King of New York.
But let me not digress.
At the end of the day, DealBook notes that the prosecutors have presented recordings of Rajaratnam speaking with his colleagues and employees about Warren Buffet’s intended investment of $5 billion into Goldman Sachs before that became public information. Galleon, in turn, made upwards of $43 million in ill gotten gains by trading on that info.
The case against Mr. Gupta is slated to commence on May 28th, and one way or another, it will have a serious impact on the ongoing “expert-network” probe of the hedge fund sector.
Kyle Colona is a New York-based freelance writer and a Feature Writer for CompliancEx and the Wall Street Job Report. He has an extensive background in legal and regulatory affairs in the financial services sector and his work has appeared in a variety of print and on-line publications as well as his blog, “Colonaville.”
You can find him on linkedin.