The jury, which convicted one of the most prominent Indian-Americans in the US Rajat Gupta of securities fraud, said it wanted him to walk a free man after the trial, but the evidence against him and his "need for greed" was just too "overwhelming."
Former Goldman Sachs director Gupta, 63, sat expressionless, flanked by his lawyers, in Manhattan federal court as the jury read out its guilty verdict yesterday.
It was a difficult day not just for Gupta and his family but for the jury of eight women and four men as well.
As the 12-member jury left the courtroom after delivering its verdict in Gupta's month-long insider trading trial yesterday, two were in tears.
Gupta's four daughters broke down and sobbed loudly as the guilty verdicts were pronounced while his wife rested her head on her hand and leaned on the courtroom bench.
Gupta looked at his family now and then, giving them a consoling glance. After the jury left the courtroom, he hugged his lawyers and walked up to his wife and daughters. The emotional family stood in a huddle for a long time. Gupta did not speak to the press as he left the courthouse, mobbed by journalists and camera persons.
Jury foreman Richard Lepkowski, 51, who read out the verdict in court said he had not wanted to convict Harvard-educated Gupta of insider trading.
"I wanted to believe the allegations weren't true," Lepkowski told reporters after US District Judge Jed Rakoff adjourned the case yesterday afternoon.
"Here was a man who came to this country and was a wonderful example of the American Dream."
"But at the end of the day, those allegations on which we found guilt -- the evidence was overwhelming," said Lepkowski, a New York resident and an executive at the nonprofit Children’s Tumor Foundation.
Incidentally, it was Lepkowski's 51st birthday the same day he had handed out a guilty verdict to Gupta which could land the former McKinsey head for up to 25 years in jail.
Lepkowski said it was a "difficult decision" for the jurors, who felt Gupta had lived a "story-book life" and "the American dream" but the case was just too strong.
Another juror, 53-year-old Ronnie Sesso told the media persons that she had "struggled" to reach the verdict.
"I was trying to determine the outcome of this person's life," said Sesso, a youth advocate who works for New York City's Administration of Children's Services.
"We wanted him to walk, go home to his family and live a very prosperous life," she added.
Lepkowski and Sesso described that motive and the circumstantial evidence was a key concern for the jurors as they weighed the evidence.
The jury focussed on what would prompt Gupta, who according to a prosecution witness had a net worth of USD 80 million and had an enviable career, to pass inside information to Rajaratnam.
One reason was that Gupta wanted Rajaratnam's help in building his private equity fund, New Silk Route, they felt.
"What did Gupta get out of this by giving Rajaratnam the information? Was it the future, was it cash?" Sesso said.
"Ultimately, it was his need for greed: 'I could get away with it once and I'll do it again,'" she said.
Gupta was manipulated by Rajaratnam, Sesso said calling Rajaratnam "a snake in the grass."
"Raj Rajaratnam was a very manipulative man, and he made it easy for Gupta to share this information," Lepkowski said.
"For Raj and Galleon, this was normal operating procedure ... Rajaratnam made it easy for Gupta to break the law."
The jurors convicted Gupta of one count of conspiracy and three counts of securities fraud, which carried a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. They acquitted him of two counts of securities fraud.
Evidence Against Gupta's Greed Overwhelming: Jurors
Yoshita Singh/New York
THE LATEST ISSUE
- 'Solidarity, But Impact Of Lockdown Will Amplify Covid-19 Death Toll': Rahul To PM Modi
- Coronavirus Natural, Not Engineered, Says New York-based Genomics Expert
- Coronavirus: Seal Borders To Stop Exodus Of Migrants, Centre Tells States
- Coronavirus Live Updates: 7th Death Reported In Maharashtra; BSF Jawan Tests Positive In MP
- What India Has Now Is A Clone Emergency: Just Ask The Police
- Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayan Then and Now: Politics Of An Epic Kind
- Blog: Kashmiris Have Lived Through Many A Lockdown. They Could Advise World On How To Face One
- Dipak Misra Was Reviled As CJI But Ranjan Gogoi Beguiled His Way To Power
- Taking Up Hijab Against Coronavirus
- Seemingly Happiest People Often Suffer From Depression
- Blog | Not Music Or Art, But It's 'Fear' That Binds Us Together
- Flights Grounded, Here's What Happens To Your Air Ticket
- 55-yr-old Man From Kashmir Dies Due To COVID-19; UT Has 33 Cases
- Nawanshahr, Punjab's 'NRI Belt', Has Half Of State's Total Covid-19 Cases
- Coronavirus: 'Battle For Life And Death,' Says PM Modi On 'Mann Ki Baat'
- What India Could Have Done To Better Handle The Deadly Coronavirus
- Hockey Coach Reid Says Quarantine Has Been A Blessing in Disguise
- Tokyo Olympics Organisers Consider July 2021 For Opening Ceremony
- ICC Hails Joginder Sharma For Contribution In Fight Against COVID-19