En Route To Prison, Gupta Seeks Lower Fine

Jun 17 2014 | 8:29am ET

With just hours to go before reporting to prison, Rajat Gupta lodged one last appeal—not to keep him free, but to save a few million dollars.

Gupta is due to being a two-year sentence for insider trading at a federal prison camp in Massachusetts today. Yesterday, he was more concerned with the nearly $14 million levy against him from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The $13.9 million civil penalty is excessive, Gupta’s lawyers argue, given the $11 million in restitution to Goldman Sachs and fines he has already been ordered to pay as part of the criminal case. Gupta was convicted in 2012 of passing confidential information about Goldman, on whose board he served, to Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam.

Seth Waxman also argued that a lifetime ban on serving as an officer of a public company should be shortened.

During the hearing before the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals, the SEC’s David Lisitza insisted that the penalty was appropriate, calling the Galleon scam “the insider-trading case of our century so far.”

The hearing was Gupta’s second before the Second Circuit; the court in March rejected his appeal of his conviction and last month ordered him to prison today. Gupta has asked the full court to rehear his appeal.

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