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Indian-origin manager loses bid to stay out of jail

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New York, Oct 22 (PTI) An Indian-origin portfolio manager, sentenced to nine years for his role in the most lucrative insider trading scheme in US history, has lost his bid to stay out of jail after a judge ruled that evidence against him was “overwhelming”, weeks before he has to start his prison term.

Mathew Martoma, 40, was sentenced in federal court last month by US District Judge Paul Gardephe for his role as the “central figure” in the most lucrative insider trading scheme ever charged involving 275 million dollars in illegal profits and avoided losses.

Martoma was also ordered to forfeit a USD 9.3 million bonus he earned through the insider trading as well as his interests in his?Florida home and several bank accounts.

Martoma, who was ordered to surrender on November 10, had earlier this month moved the court for bail pending appeal saying his appeal will raise “several other close questions including that evidence was improperly excluded and his sentence was both procedurally and substantively unreasonable.”

He had also requested that the court extend his surrender date to December 2 to allow him to file a motion for bail pending appeal in Court of Appeals.

In an order yesterday, Gardephe denied Martoma’s motion saying the “evidence of his guilt at trial was overwhelming”.

“None of Martoma’s arguments regarding the sufficiency of the evidence or legal error at trial are persuasive,” the judge said, adding that Martoma has not articulated any basis for finding that his sentence was procedurally or substantively unreasonable.

“Because Martoma has not demonstrated that his appeal is likely to raise a substantial question of law or fact, his motion for bail pending appeal, or alternatively for an extension of his surrender date, is denied,” Gardephe said.

Martoma’s prison sentence, among the longest handed down for insider trading, was in line with what Manhattan’s top federal prosecutor Preet Bharara had sought ahead of the hearing.

The India-born federal attorney had described Martoma’s role in the insider trading scheme as “central” and sought a prison term of over eight years along with forfeiture of his bonus saying the sentence should be “commensurate with the seriousness of the offense conduct and the unprecedented ill-gotten gains that it generated.” PTI YAS UZM AKJ

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