Rajat Gupta, a former Goldman Sachs director and former head of McKinsey, surrendered to authorities this morning to face insider trading charges. According to the NY Times, "Mr. Gupta, 62, is accused of leaking corporate secrets on Goldman Sachs to the hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam, the Galleon Group co-founder who was sentenced to 11 years in prison this month for making tens of millions of dollars through insider trading. A federal grand jury in Manhattan charged Mr. Gupta with one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and five counts of securities fraud, all related to Goldman tips in 2008."
While Gupta's lawyer said that his client "has always acted with honesty and integrity" and pointed out that he "did not trade in any securities, did not tip Mr. Rajaratnam so he could trade, and did not share in any profits as part of any quid pro quo," the feds contend that after a Goldman Sachs board conference call in 2008, discussing a potential $5 billion investment from Warren Buffett, Gupta immediately called Rajaratnam. Rajaratnam's firm then bought thousands of shares and eventually cleared a $900,000 profit.
Gupta was at McKinsey after graduating from Harvard Business School, eventually climbing his way to the top, and becoming an adviser to many business leaders, and expanding its business before leaving in 2003. He later went to work in the finance sector as an adviser and board member of various firms. Dealbook offered this possible insight on Gupta's motivation, "Though he had an enviable résumé and earned millions of dollars a year at McKinsey, Mr. Gupta became fixated on the extraordinary wealth showered on hedge fund managers and private equity chiefs, according to trial testimony. Consultants are well paid, but the compensation pales in comparison to those Wall Street titans."