Gupta may be headed to Rwanda
Former Goldman Sachs Group Director Rajat Gupta has issued an appeal, through his lawyer, to carry out part of an expected prison sentence as probation and community service – in Rwanda.
The somewhat surprising request comes as Gupta, an American, awaits sentencing on the 24th this month for insider trading, which is the illegal practice of trading on the stock exchange to one’s own advantage through having access to confidential information.
Gupta’s Lead Attorney Gary Naftalis made the request in a sentencing memo to U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff, who is presiding over the case.
The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. is an American multinational investment banking firm that engages in global investment banking, securities, investment management, and other financial services primarily with institutional clients.
Gupta, who was also formerly a managing partner of McKinsey & Co., was convicted by a federal court jury in Manhattan on June 15 of three counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy.
He faces a sentence of up to ten years in prison for his crimes.
The Rwandan government has reportedly expressed interest in harboring the white-collar criminal, undoubtedly seeking to learn a thing or two from the savvy business guru.
“The Rwandan government has expressed support for a program of service in which Mr. Gupta would work with rural districts to ensure that the needs to end HIV, malaria, extreme poverty, and food security are implemented,” Naftalis said in his memo.
Indeed the proposed move has the blessing of Justice Minister and Attorney General Tharcisse Karugarama, who promised Gupta would be closely supervised by the government.
“It is our belief that this kind of arrangement would be a rare, unique but very important example of international legal cooperation and that it might provide future precedent to other situations of similar nature and that this would be good for international justice,” Karugarama wrote in an Oct. 5 letter to the judge.
Naftalis also recommended that Gupta volunteer at Covenant House, an emergency shelter in New York for homeless and runaway youth.
Gupta, 63, was considered an against-all-odds success story. Orphaned as a teenager in India, he nevertheless made it to and graduated from Harvard Business School in 1973 and became a U.S. citizen in 1984. He became head of McKinsey in 1989 and served on the boards of Goldman Sachs, P&G and AMR Corp among others.