NEW YORK (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein and Chief Financial Officer David Viniar could be asked to testify in former board member Rajat Gupta’s civil insider-trading case, according to court documents.
The Goldman executives are among 10 people “whom we would most want to depose,” ahead of trial, Gupta’s defense attorney Gary Naftalis said in court papers made public on Monday.
Gupta, 62, was charged on October 26 with leaking Goldman boardroom secrets to his friend Raj Rajaratnam, the central figure in a broad U.S. crackdown on insider trading at hedge funds. Besides Rajaratnam, Gupta is the most prominent executive to face insider-trading charges in the case.
Gupta faces criminal charges brought by the Justice Department and a civil case filed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He is fighting the charges.
The letter, dated November 15, listed Blankfein, Viniar, Goldman Sachs Chief Operating Officer Gary Cohn, Managing Director David Loeb and lead board member John Bryan. Blankfein testified as a government witness at Rajaratnam’s criminal trial.
Neither the influential Wall Street bank nor any of its executives has been accused of wrongdoing.
Gupta stepped down from Goldman’s board earlier this year. He also is a former director of Procter & Gamble Co and former global head of the McKinsey & Co consultancy.
Rajaratnam was convicted in May and sentenced last month to 11 years in prison. U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff also ordered him to pay $92.8 million to the SEC. The market regulator named him as a defendant in its case against Gupta.
In a separate letter to the judge, lawyers for Rajaratnam said the Goldman Sachs employees they want to depose include Cohn and Loeb.
A Goldman Sachs spokesman, Michael DuVally, declined to comment.
The names of Cohn and Loeb came up on Friday in court at oral arguments over whether or not depositions in the regulator’s case should be taken until a criminal case against Gupta is completed.
The SEC said in a separate letter to the court that it wanted to interview Gupta and his wife, Anita Matto Gupta, and Rajaratnam and his brother, Rengan.
The judge has scheduled April 9, 2012 for the start of Gupta’s criminal trial and October 1, 2012 for the civil trial.
The cases are SEC v Gupta and Rajaratnam, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 11-07566 and USA v Rajat Gupta No. 11-907 in the same court.
Reporting by Grant McCool