- Latest reports speak of a fresh victim of America’s famous and dreaded prosecutor Preet Bharara’s mission against white collar crime. Coincidentally this is another high profile person of Indian origin: Mathew Martoma, who hails from Kerala, who had worked for hedge-fund billionaire Steven Cohen that has been sentenced to a 9 year prison sentence on charges of insider trading.
- The Indian press is calling this yet another instance of Preet Bharara putting someone of Indian origin in prison. This is hardly the first time since the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York seems to make it his business to find people of Indian origin to prosecute.
- Indians first heard of Preet Bharara during the Devayani Khobragade imbroglio, when the episode caused a strain on Indo – US relations. Preet Bharara got Khobragade arrested on charges of Visa fraud and underpayment of a domestic employee.
- While US Ambassador to India, Nancy Powell expressed her regret at the circumstances surrounding the arrest of Ms Khobragade, Bharara seemed keen to continue his vendetta against the Indian diplomat.
- Even after the US judge dismissed charges against Ms Khobragade, Bharara saw to it that there was a fresh indictment against her. The charges had been dismissed on the grounds that Ms Khobragade had diplomatic immunity against prosecution, but Bharara decided to re-prosecute regardless.
- Bharara’s single minded pursuit of individuals hailing from the same general geographical area as he himself has created the perception that Bharara tends to favour the pursuit and prosecution of Indians as a part of his many crusades. According to the British publication, the Daily Mail, Bharara has been under the scanner for targeting Indians.
- It has been widely discussed and debated whether is it only coincidence that causes Preet Bharara to go gunning after people who hail from the same country of origin as he himself. Commentators have referred to him variously as “Uncle Tom” or someone who takes on the kind of cases that he does to “Serve his Indian Masters” (Source – Salon.com)
- In 2011, Bharara had targeted another person of Indian origin – Raj Rajaratnam, hedge fund billionaire was found guilty and convicted on 14 counts largely to the efforts of the US attorney.
- More recently the brother of Raj Rajaratnam, Rengan Rajratnam was found not guilty of conspiracy to commit securities fraud but the episode reveals yet another bid by Bharara to go after immigrants, more particularly of Indian origin.
- In 2012, Bharara went after Rajat Gupta for insider trading. The MD of consulting company McKinsey was also sent to jail largely through his tireless efforts. (Source – Economic Times)
- Rashmikant Patel is another victim of Bharara’s zeal; who indicted along with 3 Pakistanis on four counts of forced labour conspiracy and visa fraud. (Source – First Post)
Image source Preet Bharara on Wikipedia
Related articles across the web