Bloomberg reports that brandname defense attorney Gary Naftalis has submitted a proposal to Judge Rakoff that convicted insider trader Gupta be given probation and sent to Rwanda to perform community service. Naftalis had already done some logistical work on having this proposal okayed by the bigwigs in Rwanda. That area is plagued with poverty and disease. With his management skills Gupta could be a game-changer.
Naftalis contends that the insider trading was an aberration in Gupta's establishment career and participation in philanthropy. However, those who have followed this saga know that isn't exactly true. When Gupta was at McKinsey the organization prohibited consulting on the side. Gupta consulted on the side. That is, even back then he risked a very good job for a bit of incremental gain.
The bigger question here, of course, is what signal will a lenient sentence send to Wall Street. Will others with a sterling record for achievement and charitable deeds also think the odds are with them to pursue some incremental gain and, if nailed, have a soft landing? Of the 70 scooped up in the net for insider trading, Gupta is the biggest fish. It is his sentence which is being closely watched. That sentence will be handed down on October 24.
Meanwhile, we human beings have to wonder if Judge Rakoff perceives all this input about the sentence helpful or irritating. I keep looking back to the flood of amicus briefs supporting the plaintiff which went to the Rhode Island Supreme Court when it was reviewing the verdict in the lead paint public nuisance litigation. Turns out the Supremes tossed the case Download Statev.LeadIndustriesAssoc.,Inc.