NEW YORK: Former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta had sought permission to visit India last month for a family wedding but a U.S. court denied his request citing "strong motivation" for the India-born convicted executive to use the occasion to flee to his native country.
Federal prosecutor Richard Tarlowe had submitted in court that Gupta should not be allowed to travel to India for the 11 days.
Gupta had made the request to travel to India in February while his appeal to throw out his conviction on insider trading charges was still pending in federal court.
The IIT and Harvard Business School alumnus suffered a setback after the U.S. Court of Appeals yesterday upheld the verdict of the trial court that had sentenced him to two years in prison on insider trading charges.Rakoff, who had presided over Gupta's trial in the summer of 2012, said in his February 24 order denying Gupta's request to travel to India that there is significant flight risk if Gupta is allowed to travel to his homeland, with which he has "immense ties".
"While the court is sympathetic to Gupta's desire to be at his nephew's wedding, and while the court has previously held that Gupta, if confined to the U.S. presents a low flight risk, the risk of flight would materially increase if he were permitted to go to India at this time," Rakoff had said.
Rakoff said Gupta's "motivation to flee is inherently strong at this juncture" when the "only thing" that stands between him and his imprisonment was his pending appeal.
"The court has independently considered whether any additional conditions could materially reduce this enhanced risk of flight, but finds that no condition or set of conditions would adequately do so. Accordingly, the court denies defendant's motion to modify his release conditions to permit him to travel to India," Rakoff's order said.
Gupta was found guilty by a jury of one count of conspiracy and three counts of securities fraud, in connection with providing material non-public information to hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam.
He was sentenced in October 2012 to two years of imprisonment, to be followed by one year of supervised release.