I hope Rajat is a big boy: Rajaratnam
New York: The jury in the high-profile insider trading trial of Rajat Gupta heard a 2008 wiretap in which now-jailed hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam apparently admitted he deceived Gupta over a USD 10 million investment and expected him to react like a "big boy" to the loss.
The wiretap was the last evidence former Goldman Sachs director Gupta`s defense team presented in US district court here yesterday before it rested its case. Closing arguments by both sides will be made later today after which the case will go to the jury.
In the brief phone conversation on October 2, 2008, Galleon Group portfolio manager Sanjay Santhanam asks Rajaratnam about the Voyager Capital Partners fund, in which Gupta had invested about USD 10 million.
Gupta alleges he lost all his investment in Voyager and that Rajaratnam took his money behind his back, which led to a falling out between the two.
For the fund, Rajaratnam had borrowed USD 300 million from Lehman Brothers, which filed for bankruptcy in September 2008. "Under the circumstances, how are you holding up?" Santhanam asks Rajaratnam in the phone conversation.
"Look it`s part of the game. I mean, when you take leverage you, you know. My problem is I, I`m a big boy. I hope Rajat is a big boy. You know," Rajaratnam tells Santhanam, who was working on the portfolio at Galleon.
Rajaratnam goes on to say, "And then I didn`t, I, I, I didn`t tell him that I took that equity out. Right. "What I want to do is show him… and I might say things like this instead of 20 million, 30 million in Lehman that we put a claim against and we have to wait for it."
64-year-old Gupta has pleaded not guilty to one count of conspiracy and five counts of securities fraud. He faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.
Earlier testifying on behalf of her father, Gupta`s eldest daughter Geetanjali told the court he was "stressed, frustrated and angry" that Rajaratnam had taken his money out of the Voyager fund without telling him and that he was considering suing the Galleon co-founder.
The 33-year-old Harvard law and management graduate said she had a conversation with her father about the Voyager fund in September 2008 and later during Thanksgiving that year.
"He was quite upset, running his hand through his hair, like he does when he is stressed. He is usually a very calm and collected person," she said when asked by Judge Jed Rakoff to describe her father`s demeanour during the conversation.
She said when the family met again at Gupta`s Connecticut home for Thanksgiving in 2008, everyone was aware about the USD 10 million loss incurred by Gupta, who appeared "different from his normal self, depressed and withdrawn."
She said her father was "having difficulty" getting information from Rajaratnam about what had happened to his money and how all his investment in Voyager had become zero.
Defense attorney Gary Naftalis also showed to the jury an October 29, 2008 e-mail from Gupta`s daughter to him in which she addressed him as "baba" and asked him "how bad are things with the Rajaratnam fund."
Another defense witness, Berkshire Hathaway`s India born re-insurance head Ajit Jain had also said in his video deposition that Gupta told him he had been "gipped, swindled and cheated" by Rajaratnam, when he lost his money in Voyager.
On cross examination, prosecutor Reed Brodsky asked Geetanjali Gupta in a barely audible tone if she loved her father and if she would do anything for him. "Yes I love my father and I would do anything for him. But I would not lie though on the stand," she replied.