| NEW YORK, June 10
NEW YORK, June 10 Former Goldman Sachs Group Inc
director Rajat Gupta asked the U.S. Supreme Court to let
him stay free while he appeals his insider trading conviction,
in a last-ditch bid to avoid beginning his two-year prison term
on June 17.
In a request to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Gupta, 65, said
he should remain free on bail, saying his appeal is "likely" to
result in a reversal of his conviction and a new trial, and that
he presents no risk of flight or danger to the community.
The U.S. Department of Justice had no immediate comment.
Gupta's request was made public on Tuesday, 11 days after
the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York rejected his
bid to stay free.
The full appeals court has yet to decide whether to rehear
Gupta's appeal of his conviction. He intends to ask the Supreme
Court to review his case if the appeals court refuses.
Ginsburg handles emergency applications from the 2nd
Circuit. She may rule herself on Gupta's request or refer it to
the full, nine-member Supreme Court. There is no deadline.
Lawyers for Gupta include Seth Waxman, a former U.S. solicitor
Gupta, also a former global managing director of the
consulting firm McKinsey & Co, is the highest-ranking corporate
official to be convicted in the government's multiyear probe
into insider trading in the hedge fund industry.
A federal jury in Manhattan in June 2012 convicted him of
passing tips about Goldman to his friend Raj Rajaratnam, founder
of the Galleon Group hedge fund firm.
Prosecutors said Gupta leaked inside information in 2008
about Goldman's results and an unexpected $5 billion investment
from Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc.
In appealing his conviction, Gupta argued that wiretap
evidence used against him should have been suppressed because
the government failed to show probable cause and a necessity to
Gupta also argued that his trial judge, Jed Rakoff, should
have told jurors that good character could raise a reasonable
doubt of guilt and that federal appeals courts are divided about
when to give such instructions.
Rajaratnam is appealing his conviction to the Supreme Court.
He is serving an 11-year prison term.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Jonathan