Ex-Goldman board member to stay free during appeal
NEW YORK (AP) — A former Goldman Sachs and Procter & Gamble board member convicted of insider trading charges can remain free on bail pending the appeal of his insider trading conviction, a federal appellate panel said Tuesday.
Rajat Gupta, surrounded by family members including his four daughters, watched the arguments before leaving the Manhattan courthouse visibly pleased, breaking into a smile as a cameraman positioned himself before him. He was sentenced to two years in prison and fined $5 million in October.
The two-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals didn't immediately explain its reasoning for allowing Gupta to be freed on $10 million bail. A lower court judge previously had said he must begin serving his sentence before the appeal is heard.
Circuit Judge Jose A. Cabranes told lawyers for Gupta and the government to be ready to file written arguments within 45 days, indicating the court will hear the appeal on an expedited schedule.
Before Cabranes spoke, Gupta's lawyer Seth Waxman told the judges that the appeal raised significant issues, entitling Gupta to remain free.
Waxman said the trial judge, Jed Rakoff, had refused to let the jury see "classically admissible evidence that went to the very heart of the case." He said the testimony, if permitted at trial, would have countered government's claims that Gupta fed Raj Rajaratnam inside information just seconds after Goldman Sachs' board calls.
The lawyer said Gupta's daughter was not permitted to explain to jurors that her father was angry with Rajaratnam, because Gupta believed the billionaire hedge fund founder had cheated him of $10 million in an investment.
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