Another charge filed against Gupta

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The trial of former Goldman Sachs director and ex-head of MicKinsey Rajat Gupta is set to begin March 21 under the watchful eye of Judge Jed Rakoff in New York. It's going to be a barn burner.

As of now, Gupta--the highest profile defendant in the on-going insider trading crackdown--appears bent on defending himself in court rather than settle. The latest is that prosecutors have added another fraud charge to the case. The government has accused Gupta of leaking to convicted insider trading kingpin Raja Rajaratnam sales forecasts for Procter & Gamble in late 2008. Gupta allegedly tipped Rajaratnam off about internal organic sales growth forecasts prior to public announcement. That makes five specific instances in which Gupta allegedly gave insider information to Rajaratnam.

The most sensational charges so far relate to Goldman Sachs specifically. Gupta allegedly tipped off his hedge fund buddy about in investment in Warren E. Buffett's $5 billion investment in Goldman and about earnings. The trial could be spectacular, and could include some interesting testimony by high-ranking Goldman Sachs officials. There is little direct wiretap evidence implicating Gupta. The case will turn on circumstantial evidence, which means the government will be on new ground. Absent wiretap information, this might be as toss-up.

For more:
- here's a DealBook article

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