Gupta ordered to pay $13.9 million in insider-trading case

Rajat Gupta (Source: Bloomberg) Rajat Gupta (Source: Bloomberg)

Rajat Gupta, the former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. director who was found guilty of passing confidential tips to jailed billionaire hedge-fund manager Raj Rajaratnam, was ordered to pay $13.9 million in a related U.S. regulatory lawsuit.

Gupta, 64, was also permanently barred from acting as an officer or director of a public company and from associating with any broker or investment adviser, the Securities and Exchange Commission said yesterday, citing an order by U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in Manhattan.

Gupta was found guilty on June 15, 2012, of divulging confidential information to the Galleon Group LLC co-founder about Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s $5 billion investment in Goldman Sachs as well as nonpublic details about the bank’s financial results for the second and fourth quarters of 2008. In October, Gupta was sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay a $5 million criminal fine. He is free pending his appeal of the decision.

“The sanctions imposed today send a clear message to board members who are entrusted with protecting the confidences of the companies they serve,” George Canellos, co-director of SEC enforcement, said in a statement. “If you abuse your position by sharing confidential company information with friends and business associates in exchange for private gain, you will be prosecuted to the fullest extent by the SEC.”

The order couldn’t immediately be located in the court’s electronic records. Gary Naftalis, Gupta’s attorney at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP, Frankel LLP, confirmed that Rakoff sent an order to lawyers in the case last night imposing the penalty of $13.9 million on Gupta. He declined to comment on Rakoff’s order. Gupta has appealed his conviction and the fines and penalties could be vacated if he wins on appeal.

Broader Crackdown

The case against Gupta, who was previously a managing partner at McKinsey & Co. Inc. and a board member of Procter & Gamble Co. and American Airlines Inc., became a centerpiece of a broader insider-trading crackdown by the SEC and federal prosecutors in New York. While the investigations mainly targeted hedge funds trading on confidential information, Gupta was the highest-profile corporate figure ensnared in the probe.

Rajaratnam in June lost an appeal of his 2011 conviction for conspiracy and securities fraud. He was ordered to pay a record $92.8 million penalty in the SEC matter, and to forfeit more than $53.8 million and pay a $10 million fine in the criminal case. Rajaratnam, 56, is serving an 11-year prison sentence at the Federal Medical Center Devens in Ayer, Massachusetts.

Gupta’s appeal is U.S. v. Gupta, 12-4448, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (Manhattan).

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