Thursday, 23 March 2017
Last updated 19 min ago
May 30 2012 | 12:51pm ET
As the prosecution in the Rajat Gupta case continued to systematically build its case against the former McKinsey & Co. chief and the defense sought eagerly to poke holes in it, the judge warned both sides to "sharpen" things to avoid losing the jury to boredom.
"I'm in awe of our jury because they have managed to remain attentive through the vast bulk of today," Rakoff said, noting that much of the case so far had been witnesses reviewing telephone logs, boardroom minutes and electronic communications.
"We need to find a way to sharpen the presentation on both sides and get it more focused."
Rakoff's comments came after a day of testimony about Galleon Group's trading on confidential information about Procter & Gamble. Prosecutors allege that Gupta, who served on the company's board, was Galleon chief Raj Rajaratnam's source, while the defense spent much of the day trying to show the Rajaratnam had a wide range of sources.
Yesterday began with Procter CFO Jon Moeller on the stand. Moeller's testimony was most notable for an exchange with defense attorney Gary Naftalis over Procter's sale of its Folgers Coffee business to J.M. Smucker. Moeller admitted that dozens of people could have been aware of the deal in the weeks before its public announcement.
Prosecutors countered with former Galleon trader Michael Cardillo, who resumed his testimony after Moeller left the stand. Cardillo told the jury that he bought Smucker shares for the first time in June 2008 on orders from Rajaratnam's brother, R.K.
Cardillo, who has pleaded guilty to insider-trading in the Galleon case, said R.K. Rajaratnam told him Smucker was about to buy Folgers. "He said the information was coming from Rajaratnam's guy at P&G," Cardillo testified.
Naftalis took aim at Cardillo's credibility during his cross-examination, which will continue today. Cardillo acknowledged that he sold insider information to two former Galleon colleagues, but that it had nothing to do with Smucker.
Still, Naftalis pressed, "that wasn't the end of his paying you off for your participation in this criminal scheme the two of you were involved in, was it?"
"No, that wasn't," Cardillo, who is cooperating with prosecutors, admitted.
With the jury out of the room, the two sides sparred over what a future government witness will be allowed to say when he takes the stand. Anil Kumar, a former McKinsey director and friend of both Rajaratnam and Gupta, who has pleaded guilty in the case, would testify about illegal payments the Galleon chief made to him and about Rajaratnam's request that Gupta approach Reliance Industry's Mukesh Ambani, India's wealthiest man, for insider information if prosecutors get their way. Rakoff is weighing whether to admit testimony about the payments, which prosecutors say Gupta knew about, and an e-mail between Kumar and Gupta.
Separately, Rakoff dismissed a second juror from the trial. As with the first, dismissed last week, the reason was a family emergency.
Yesterday's departing juror, number four, is an executive assistant at a hospital, who was replaced by a publishing marketing manager. There are only two alternates left to fill the spots of any future jurors who are dismissed in a trial likely to last another week-and-a-half.