India born Rajat K. Gupta, the former Goldman Sachs director convicted of insider trading, was sentenced to two years in prison on Wednesday by a United States District Court judge in Manhattan. He was also fined $5 million.
Delivering the verdict, judge Jed S. Rakoff said: "He is a good man. But the history of this country and the history of the world is full of examples of good men who did bad things."
Gupta, the former global head of elite consultancy McKinsey & Co, was convicted for leaking boardroom secrets to the former hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam.
The Prosecution had sought a prison term of 8-10 years for Gupta.
Gupta in a statement in the court room said: "The last 18 months have been the most challenging of my life since I lost my parents as a teenager. I regret terribly the impact on my family, friends and institutions that are dear to me."
Gupta, who was charged with divulging confidential information to Raj Rajaratnam, was found guilty of conspiracy and securities fraud.
The verdict, guilty of three counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy, was reached by a jury in a federal court in Manhattam on June 15, following a day of deliberation in the trial that began on May 22.
Gupta surrendered to the Federal Bureau of Investigation last year in Oct on criminal charges of leaking inside information to Galleon Group hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam.
Gupta, who also was once director at investment banking and securities firm Goldman Sachs, had been named by prosecutors as an unindicted co-conspirator in the criminal case against Rajaratnam earlier in 2011.
Kolkata-born Gupta is by far the highest-ranking corporate executive to be caught up in the government´s wide-ranging insider-trading probe that resulted in 51 convictions or guilty pleas since late 2009.
Gupta has long maintained that he is innocent. He "has always acted with honesty and integrity" and "did not tip Mr. Rajaratnam so he could trade, and did not share in any profits as part of any quid pro quo", a statement from his lawyer Gary Naftalis had said.
Several of Gupta´s famous friends like Bill Gates and even former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan had written to the judge for showing leniency to Gupta.
Gupta is also a philanthropist whose altruist and charitable activities were on the areas of education, global health, and global business.
The judge said: "The court can say without exaggeration that it has never encountered a defendant whose prior history suggests such an extraordinary devotion, not only to humanity writ large, but also to individual human beings in their times of need."
Rajat Gupta was born in Kolkata to Pran Kumari Gupta and Ashwini Kumar Gupta. His father was a journalist and a prominent freedom fighter. Gupta has three siblings.
When Gupta was five the family moved to New Delhi, where his father went to start the newspaper Hindustan Standard. Gupta´s father died when Gupta was 16 while his mother also died two years later.
He was a student at Modern School in New Delhi. After high school, Gupta ranked 15th in the nation in the entrance exam for the Indian Institutes of Technology, IIT JEE.
He received a Bachelor of Technology degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT-Delhi) in 1971. Declining a job from the prestigious domestic firm ITC Limited, he received an MBA from Harvard Business School (HBS) in 1973, where he was named a Baker Scholar.
It was in 1973 that Gupta joined McKinsey & Company as one of the earliest Indian-Americans at the consultancy.
Gupta began his career in New York before moving to Scandinavia to become the head of McKinsey offices in 1981.
Elected senior partner in 1984, he became head of the Chicago office in 1990. In 1994 he was elected the firm´s first managing director (chief executive) born outside of the US, and re-elected twice in 1997 and 2000.
In this capacity, he was considered the first Indian-born CEO of a multinational organization.