New York: India-born former Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta has petitioned that a three-judge panel, which upheld his conviction on insider trading charges, should reconsider its decision and the court rehear the case, arguing that “critical evidence” in his favour was excluded at trial.
“If the panel declines to reconsider its decision, the Court should rehear the case en banc,” the petition added.
In a unanimous ruling last month, the panel of the appeals court had rejected Gupta’s bid for a new trial and upheld his 2012 conviction and sentence.
After a federal jury found Gupta guilty in 2012 of passing confidential boardroom information to his hedge fund friend Raj Rajaratnam, he was sentenced to two years in prison, ordered to pay $5 million in fine and a separate $6 million in restitution to Goldman Sachs.Gupta’s team of lawyers led by Seth Waxman and Gary Naftalis are seeking re-hearing of the case because they feel the panel was wrong in affirming the district court’s decision to exclude testimony by Gupta’s eldest daughter Geetanjali.
They further say that the district court did not take into account evidence provided by Gupta that Goldman Sachs Vice-President David Loeb could have been an “alternative” source of inside information for Rajaratnam, with whom Loeb had shared close relations.
The lawyers say Geetanjali’s testimony, that was central to Gupta’s defence, was curbed during the trial as she was not allowed to tell the jury that her father believed Rajaratnam had stolen money from him.
Gupta’s lawyers argued that he would not have tipped Rajaratnam since he was “furious” with him for cheating him out of millions of dollars through a joint investment fund Voyager.
“The panel should reconsider its decision to affirm the district court’s exclusion of testimony by Geetanjali Gupta that her father told her on September 20, 2008 — before either of the alleged tips for which he was convicted — that ‘he was angry that (Rajaratnam) had taken money out of [their joint] fund without telling him.’
“This testimony was critical to the defence because it established — unlike any other trial evidence — that Gupta believed he had been swindled by Rajaratnam before the alleged tips in September and October,” the lawyers said in petition.