Rajat Gupta was found guilty of insider trading in June 2012. His sentencing is on 24/10/2012. Sentencing should follow immediately after someone is found guilty. Keeping a gap of several months is not good. In Rajat Gupta’s case, many people including Bill Gates, Kofi Annan, Rajat Gupta’s wife and four daughters have written to the judge Jed Rakoff to let off Rajat Gupta lightly. Trying to influence the judge should be an offence and anyone who does that should be sentenced to minimum one year imprisonment.
Bill Gates has exaggerated Rajat Gupta’s work as chair of Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria by writing many millions of people are leading better lives – or are alive at all – thanks to the efforts he ably supported. Kofi Annan wrote “I urge you to recognise Rajat for the good he has done in the world, to give him the credit that he deserves for helping others and to take into account his efforts to improve the lives of millions of people.”
Rajat Gupta’s humanitarian work is irrelevant to the trial. He revealed secrets of Goldman Sachs investments in September-October 2008 to Raj Rajaratnam who is serving 11 years jail sentence. That was the time when many banks and companies including Goldman Sachs lost billions of dollars and were rescued by bail-outs at the cost of taxpayers. Many people lost their jobs and homes. The judge should consider only the crime and proper punishment. He should issue a public warning to people who wrote him letters that trying to influence a judge will invite punishment.