Gupta Seeks to Exclude Rajaratnam Wiretaps From Insider Trial
Rajat Gupta, the former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) director facing trial over an alleged insider-trading scheme, asked a judge to exclude as evidence wiretap phone recordings that he said don’t relate to the charges against him.
Gupta said in a filing yesterday in federal court in Manhattan that 26 recorded phone conversations of convicted former hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam that the government put on the exhibit list for the trial are about stocks and conspiracies that aren’t part of the indictment against him. The trial is scheduled for May 21.
“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,” Gupta said in his request to exclude the 26 recordings.
Gupta in a separate filing yesterday asked the judge to exclude the recording of a July 29, 2008, call between him and Rajaratnam because, he said, it doesn’t contain direct evidence of insider trading and would be prejudicial because it could confuse the jury.
Ellen Davis, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in Manhattan, declined to comment on Gupta’s filings.
The U.S. has said three recordings of Galleon Group LLC co- founder Rajaratnam speaking with his colleagues and employees should be allowed as evidence against Gupta at his trial, because the fund manager was a co-conspirator in the insider- trading scheme.
The conversations highlight how Rajaratnam advanced the scheme and show that he found Gupta’s tips reliable to trade on, prosecutors said. Rajaratnam was convicted by a jury last year of insider trading and sentenced to 11 years in prison.
Gupta is accused of leaking illegal tips to Rajaratnam about the bank as well as Procter & Gamble Co. (PG), where Gupta was also a director. Gupta has pleaded not guilty to six counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy.
Prosecutors allege that Gupta told Rajaratnam on Sept. 23, 2008, that Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A) was about to invest $5 billion in New York-based Goldman Sachs, a tip that allowed Galleon to earn $43 million.
The case is U.S. v. Gupta, 11-cr-00907, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
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