Gupta trial could feature big corporate stars

Thu May 17, 2012 7:50pm GMT

* Blankfein, Buffett, Chenault may testify or be mentioned

* US says Gupta leaked Goldman, P&G secrets to Rajaratnam

* Gupta denies charges, trial set to begin on Monday

By Grant McCool and Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK, May 17 (Reuters) - Lloyd Blankfein, Warren Buffett and other well-known chieftains of corporate America might be called to testify at the insider trading trial starting on Monday of former Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Procter & Gamble Co director Rajat Gupta.

Blankfein, who runs Goldman, and Buffett, who runs Berkshire Hathaway Inc , are among dozens of people that lawyers for the government and for Gupta said on Thursday might be mentioned or might testify at the trial, which is expected to last about three weeks.

Others on proposed witness lists filed on Thursday in the Manhattan federal court are A.G. Lafley, a former P&G chairman and chief executive, and Kenneth Chenault, the chairman and chief executive of American Express Co and a P&G director.

Gupta, the former chief of consulting firm McKinsey & Co, is the most prominent corporate executive charged in a government crackdown on insider trading centered on hedge funds.

He was charged last October with leaking confidential information to his onetime friend, Galleon Group hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam, while serving on the Goldman and P&G boards in 2007 and 2008.   Continued...

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