Rajat Gupta gets support from Gates
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Bill Gates and Kofi Annan are among several prominent businessmen and humanitarians asking a U.S. judge to show fairness when he sentences former Goldman Sachs Group Inc board member Rajat Gupta for his insider trading conviction later this month.
Gupta, 63, the most influential and best-known corporate figure to be caught in a broad insider trading crackdown of the last four years, moved in elite business and philanthropic circles for decades. He is also a former head of the McKinsey & Co management consultancy.
A jury convicted Gupta in June of tipping his friend and business associate, Galleon Group hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam, about Goldman's boardroom secrets during the financial crisis. He was found not guilty of divulging the quarterly earnings in January 2009 of Procter & Gamble Co , where he also served as a board member.
Microsoft Corp co-founder Gates, in one letter among about 200 written to U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff, wrote that he wanted to help round out Rajat's profile as you consider the appropriate sentence for him.
Gates worked with Gupta when Gupta was chair of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Gates wrote that many millions of people are leading better lives - or are alive at all - thanks to the efforts he so ably supported.
The judge released the letters on Friday night ahead of the Oct. 24 sentencing in Manhattan federal court at the request of a reporter from the Wall Street Journal. Prosecutors and Gupta's lawyers gave their consent, the judge said.
The letters came from company heads, academics, friends and family, including his wife and four adult daughters.
Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in his letter, said: I urge you to recognize Rajat for the good he has done in the world, to give him the credit that he deserves for helping others and to take into account his efforts to improve the lives of millions of people.
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