据《华尔街日报》（the Wall Street Journal）报道，古普塔的律师盖里•纳夫塔利斯的辩护立场非常鲜明。古普塔“没有进行过任何证券交易，没有为拉贾拉特南提供过内幕信息，让他从事交易，也没有从中获得任何作为投资报酬的分红，”纳夫塔利斯说。
News of this story first broke almost a year and a half ago, when Gupta abruptly stepped down from Goldman's board. (He also stepped down from his board seat at Procter & Gamble (PG) Many at McKinsey supported Gupta in that "he's innocent until proven guilty" kind of way—but the shock was still palpable. When actual wiretaps emerged this March, the firm decided to cut off relations with Gupta entirely. Current managing director Dominic Barton personally called Gupta to tell him he was now persona non grata at the firm. Needless to say, Gupta was not happy.
Which brings me to my final point. If this doesn't mean much for Goldman or McKinsey, despite the urgent wishes of some, what does it mean for Gupta himself? I'd say it's only going to get worse form here. The indictment against Gupta, released this morning, is pretty damning. The man could barely put the phone down after telephonic board meetings ended at Goldman before speed-dialing Rajaratnam to (allegedly) give him the news. In one instance, it took him 16 seconds. In another 23 seconds. (The man is 62. Give him a break if he loses a step or two as time passes.)
Specifically, the government has alleged that Gupta told Rajaratnam about Warren Buffett's $5 billion investment in Goldman in September 2008, after which Rajaratnam quickly bought Goldman shares. Second, that Gupta tipped Rajaratnam about Goldman's first-ever quarterly loss as a public company in October of that same year.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Gupta's lawyer Gary Naftalis has drawn a very clear line in the sand when it comes to his defense. Gupta "did not trade in any securities, did not tip Mr. Rajaratnam so he could trade, and did not share in any profits as part of any quid pro quo," Mr. Naftalis said.
Here's where this kangaroo court comes out on those claims. One: he probably didn't trade in any securities. That's too bad for him. If he had, he might be using some of those profits to pay for his own defense. Two: he almost certainly did tell Rajaratnam things he shouldn't have. On October 24, 2008, for example, wiretaps had Rajaratnam telling a colleague "I heard yesterday from somebody who's on the board of Goldman Sachs that they are going to lose $2 per share. The Street has them making $2.50."
The most interesting part of Gupta's apparent defense revolves around what one means by the word "profit." Naftalis keeps repeating that because Gupta never received any money or direct benefits from Rajaratnam, he can't possibly be guilty of insider trading. Naftalis is being a lawyer here, and nothing more. Because he was technically an insider, Gupta will likely be charged in the "classical" definition of insider trading, where pecuniary benefit is a necessary prerequisite to guilt. But there's precedent in other kinds of insider trading cases—the so-called "misappropriation" type—in which "personal benefits" can mean much more than money.
Which brings me to the obvious fact about Gupta, and, by extension, McKinsey. Unlike the Wall Street trader who wants nothing but money, Gupta was a consultant. And the coin of consultants is influence, not cash. Unfortunately for Gupta, the man whose influence he was currying is now in jail. Perhaps Rajaratnam will be able to do him some favors if they find themselves on the same cellblock.