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by Derek Loosvelt | March 14, 2011

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Last Friday, in testimony played during the U.S. v. Rajaratnam insider trading trial in Lower Manhattan, the jury heard accused felon Raj Rajaratnam speculate on why accused informant Rajat Gupta wanted to leave Goldman Sachs to take a position at private equity firm KKR. The following was taken from a wiretapped conversation between Raj Raj and Anil Kumar (who has already pleaded guilty to insder trading); both Raj Raj and Kumar were close buds with Gupta, whom they are discussing:

RAJARATNAM: Goldman is one board right. And he's, you know, he's essentially an observer status, right? He's not in there, you know, rolling up his sleeves ... And the issue is the perceived conflict of interest.

KUMAR: But is it really that he was so greedy for the $12 million that KKR has offered him?

RAJARATNAM: He ran the numbers with me, right, it was about $5 million a year with upside ... My analysis of the situation is he's enamored with Kravis, and I think he wants to be in that circle. That’s a billionaire circle, right? Goldman is like the hundreds of millions circle, right ... And I think here he sees the opportunity to make $100 million over the next five years or 10 years without doing a lot of work.

(DealBook: Figure in Insider Trading Case Sought to Quit Goldman)

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