Gupta makes last-ditch bid to U.S. Supreme Court to avoid prison

Tue Jun 10, 2014 12:35pm EDT
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By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N: Quote) director Rajat Gupta asked the U.S. Supreme Court to let him stay free while he appeals his insider trading conviction, in a last-ditch bid to avoid beginning his two-year prison term on June 17.

In a request to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Gupta, 65, said he should remain free on bail, saying his appeal is "likely" to result in a reversal of his conviction and a new trial, and that he presents no risk of flight or danger to the community.

The U.S. Department of Justice had no immediate comment.

Gupta's request was made public on Tuesday, 11 days after the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York rejected his bid to stay free.

The full appeals court has yet to decide whether to rehear Gupta's appeal of his conviction. He intends to ask the Supreme Court to review his case if the appeals court refuses.

Ginsburg handles emergency applications from the 2nd Circuit. She may rule herself on Gupta's request or refer it to the full, nine-member Supreme Court. There is no deadline. Lawyers for Gupta include Seth Waxman, a former U.S. solicitor general.

Gupta, also a former global managing director of the consulting firm McKinsey & Co, is the highest-ranking corporate official to be convicted in the government's multiyear probe into insider trading in the hedge fund industry.

A federal jury in Manhattan in June 2012 convicted him of passing tips about Goldman to his friend Raj Rajaratnam, founder of the Galleon Group hedge fund firm.   Continued...

Former Goldman Sachs Group Inc board member Rajat Gupta leaves Manhattan Federal Court in New York June 8, 2012.   REUTERS/Andrew Kelly