New York:  Rajat Gupta’s plea seeking stay of his surrender to prison next month on insider trading charges and to be free on bail till his case is reheard has been opposed by US prosecutor Preet Bharara who said the former Goldman Sachs director’s arguments lack merit.

Bharara submitted a 20-page opposition to Gupta’s motion to stay the district court’s order that he surrender to prison on June 17.

Bharara has also asked the US Court of Appeals to deny 65-year-old Gupta’s motion, filed earlier this month, that his bail be continued pending resolution of his petition for rehearing the insider trading case.

He said the surrender date of June 17 was proposed by Gupta’s counsel following discussions with the prosecution after Gupta’s convictions were upheld by a federal court.

The district court’s order directing Gupta to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on June 17 was “issued on Gupta’s consent,” Bharara said in the motion.

“Gupta’s motion to stay the surrender date and continue bail pending his anticipated petition for certiorari should be denied….(His) motion… lacks merit. Gupta’s motion curiously omits any reference to the fact that he consented to the District Court’s entry of the surrender order that he now asks this Court to stay,” Bharara said.

“Gupta’s decision to agree to surrender and negotiate an acceptable surrender date, rather than contest the prospect of surrendering and risk having a less favorable surrender date set over his objection, was a strategic choice that constitutes a complete waiver of any challenge to the surrender order that the District Court thereafter issued,” the motion added.

After a federal jury had found Gupta guilty in 2012 of passing confidential boardroom information to his hedge fund friend Raj Rajaratnam, he was sentenced to two years in prison, ordered to pay USD five million in fine and a separate USD six million in restitution to Goldman Sachs.

Gupta had challenged his conviction, contending that he is entitled to a new trial on the grounds that the trial court erred by admitting statements of a co-conspirator, recorded in wiretapped telephone conversations to which Gupta was not a party, and by excluding relevant evidence offered by Gupta.

The Harvard-educated former McKinsey head however lost his appeal to overturn his conviction and was ordered in April to surrender and begin his two-year jail sentence on June 17.

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