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OCTOBER 25, 2012

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Rajat Gupta, the ex-CEO of McKinsey, has been convicted of the insider trading charges stemming from the Raj Rajaratnam Galleon Group case.  Gupta was found guilty on three counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy. Though the jury is yet to announce the sentence, speculation is rife that he could get a 25-year jail term. The jury were in tears at the end of the keenly-watched trial and said that they wanted him to come out innocent but the evidence was just "too strong". The jury was impressed with his many philanthropic activities, but  found the evidence too compelling. The fall from grace marks practically the end of a remarkable corporate career, so far untouched by any instnace of criminal wrongdoing.


Gupta, the poster-boy of globe-trotting Indian CEOs, was the first India-born CEO of McKinsey.  Having come from a typical middle-class background, he took the IIT route to the typical American dream.  After leaving McKinsey, he served many notable organizations like Goldman Sachs, Procter and Gamble,  The Gates Foundation and the International Chamber of Commerce. Rajat Gupta was also the co-founder of the Indian School of Business, New Silk Route and Scandent.

In 2011, the US Attorney's Office had filed criminal ch
arges against Gupta, who was arrested in New York City by the FBI. It was alleged that he shared confidential information as a board member and passed it on to his colleagues and friends instantly for profit-making. It was further alleged that the tips generated 'illicit profits and loss avoidance' of more than $ 23 million. Rajat Gupta was on the boards of several corporate and had access to confidential information, which he was supposed to use to advise and counsel them.

Though the jury is yet to deliver the sentence, speculation is rife that he could get a 25-year jail term. Raja Ratnam, the Sri Lankan CEO of the Galileon Hedge Fund, is already in jail, serving his 11-year sentence in the same case.


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