SEC brings new insider trading charges against Raj Rajaratnam

The SEC’s complaint additionally alleges that Gupta illegally disclosed to Rajaratnam inside information about P&G’s financial results for the quarter ending December 2008. Gupta participated in a telephonic meeting of P&G’s Audit Committee at 9 a.m. on Jan. 29, 2009, to discuss the planned release of P&G’s quarterly earnings the next day. A draft of the earnings release, which had been mailed to Gupta and the other committee members two days before the meeting, indicated that P&G’s expected organic sales would be less than previously publicly predicted. Gupta called Rajaratnam in the early afternoon on January 29, and Rajaratnam shortly afterwards informed another participant in the insider trading scheme that he had learned from a contact on P&G’s board that the company’s organic sales growth would be lower than expected. Galleon funds then sold short approximately 180,000 P&G shares, making illicit profits of more than $570,000.

The SEC’s complaint charges each of the defendants with violations of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, and Section 17(a) of the Securities Act of 1933. The complaint seeks a final judgment permanently enjoining the defendants from future violations of the above provisions of the federal securities laws, ordering them to disgorge on a joint and several basis their ill-gotten gains plus prejudgment interest, and ordering them to pay financial penalties. The complaint also seeks to permanently prohibit Gupta from acting as an officer or director of any registered public company, and to permanently enjoin him from associating with any broker, dealer or investment adviser.

The SEC previously instituted an administrative proceeding against Gupta for the conduct alleged in today’s enforcement action, but later dismissed those proceedings while reserving the right to file an action against Gupta in federal court.

The SEC previously charged Rajaratnam and others in the widespread insider trading investigation centering on Galleon, the multi-billion dollar New York hedge fund complex founded and controlled by Rajaratnam.

The SEC has now charged 29 defendants in its Galleon-related enforcement actions, which have alleged widespread and repeated insider trading at numerous hedge funds, including Galleon, and by other professional traders and corporate insiders in the securities of more than 15 companies. The insider trading generated illicit profits totaling more than $90 million.

The SEC’s investigation, which is continuing, has been conducted by John Henderson of the SEC’s Market Abuse Unit in New York together with Diego Brucculeri and James D’Avino of the New York Regional Office. The SEC’s litigation effort will be led by Kevin McGrath and Valerie Szczepanik of the New York Regional Office. The SEC acknowledges the ongoing assistance and cooperation of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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