Bill Gates and Kofi Annan are standing up for convicted ex-Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta.
Ahead of sentencing on Oct. 24, Gates and Annan are among at least 200 to write letters to U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff on Gupta’s behalf, according to Bloomberg’s Patricia Hurtado and David Glovin.
Gupta was convicted in June on three counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy for leaking stock tips to Galleon Group co-founder Raj Rajaratnam, the mastermind behind the biggest hedge fund insider trading scheme in U.S. history. Gupta faces 20 years in prison on the most serious of the counts.
Gates noted Gupta’s service as chairman of an organisation fighting AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria:
“I wanted to add my voice to those of other friends and colleagues of Rajat Gupta who are writing to you in order to round out Rajat’s profile.”
Annan wrote of Gupta’s work to reform the UN’s management:
“I urge you to recognise Rajat for the good that he has done in this world, to give him the credit that he deserves for helping others, and to take into account his effort to improve the lives of millions of people.”
At Gupta’s trial, a federal jury said he tipped Rajaratnam about Goldman’s dealings, including information about a $5 million investment by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.
Tomorrow, by the way, is the anniversary of Raj Rajaratnam’s arrest.