1. Say Goodnight Gupta
The jury has spoken and, in case you missed it, here's what it said: Rajat Gupta is the biggest moron in the universe.
Well, it didn't use those exact words, but that was essentially the message.After two days of deliberations in the highly watched insider trading case, a jury convicted Gupta, the former head of consulting firm McKinsey & Co. and board director of Goldman Sachs (GS - Get Report) and Procter & Gamble (PG), on four felony counts last Friday. Gupta was convicted on three counts of securities fraud regarding tips made about Goldman Sachs and one count of conspiracy in an insider trading scheme run by hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam. The former corporate titan turned disgraced tipster will remain free on bail until his sentencing on Oct. 1, after which he could spend a maximum of 25 years behind bars. Once again for those still in disbelief that the government whiffed on Rogers Clemens perjury rap Monday: Gupta is going from the Goldman Sachs board room to prison. Seriously, how dumb can a supposedly smart person be? Gupta's fall from grace is nearly unfathomable. In fact, had we not lived through the monster known as Bernie Madoff and the equally atrocious Allen Stanford, we never would have believed it to be possible for an individual to attain such heights only to fall even further. And all because he wanted to show his buddy Raj Rajaratnam what a big shot he was. "Having fallen from respected insider to convicted inside trader, Mr. Gupta has now exchanged the lofty board room for the prospect of a lowly jail cell," said Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for Manhattan, in a statement. "Almost two years ago, we said that insider trading is rampant, and today's conviction puts that claim into stark relief." Hey, let's not get cocky Preet. There's still way too much evidence of monkey business among Wall Street's elite to hang a Mission Accomplished sign over the New York Stock Exchange. But like the Hall of Fame hurler Clemens, maybe this victory will give you a temporary shot in the arm. --Written by Gregg Greenberg in New York.
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