The High Cost Of Mounting A White-Collar Criminal Defense

It was estimated that Raj Rajaratnam spent over $40 million to defend himself against charges of insider trading, argue a 9-week trial and wait for 6 days of jury deliberations …. oh, and now there’s the ongoing appeal. Raj, a billionaire, can certainly afford it but he’s probably not happy to be sitting in a federal prison near Boston despite his investment in his legal defense. Rajat Gupta, who is currently having his legal fees paid by Goldman Sachs (former Board Member), has spent over $30 million in legal fees. Gupta was also found guilty and was sentenced to 2-years in prison …. he is free pending appeal. Another high-profile case was that of Bill Ruehle, CFO at BroadCom, who successfully defended himself on charges that he backdated stock options. Ruehle told me in an interview that the legal tab, paid for by BroadCom, was in the tens of millions of dollars. So what does it cost mere mortals to defend themselves when the Feds come knocking? A lot. If you have been diagnosed with a rare, potentially life-threatening disease, what kind of doctor would you get? The answer is, “The best money can buy!” The stakes are just as high for white-collar criminal charges, which can put a defendant in prison for life. More in Forbes here.

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