Rich Guys Who Face Jail Time Can Still Get a Break

Rajat Gupta, the former CEO of McKinsey & Co., was convicted of securities fraud last month, and has until October 18 before he’s sentenced by Federal Judge Jed Rakoff.

Cases like these are a real eye-opener on how things really work if you’ve got a lot of money and a bunch of friends in high places.

When Joe SixPack gets caught on some transgression like cheating on his taxes, little Joe, Jr. may wind up going through grade school without dad making it to his Little League games. But Joe SixPack doesn’t have lawyers like Gupta’s Gary P. Naftalis, who gets his name on those “super lawyer” directories the way some people get their names on the Police Benevolent Association cold-call list. The trick at this point is for Gupta to either win an appeal on his case, or to figure out a way to get Rakoff to hit him with the smallest possible term in prison.

In my Bloomberg View column published today, I discuss the ways that rich people who are found guilty of crimes attempt to influence the judge so that prison terms are minimal. One way to get a judge to go a little easier is to get the right people to make a case that you’re a good citizen who’s done great deeds for society. A web page supporting Gupta, friendsofrajat.com, gives a hint at what Rakoff may be hearing from Gupta’s supporters. Read article

I’m always happy to hear from readers. Please email me at susan.antilla15@gmail.com or send me a message at @antillaview.

 

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