'Sheriff of Wall Street'

'Sheriff of Wall Street'

As United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, Mr Preet Bharara has taken down terrorists, drug traffickers and at least 75 insider traders since his appointment in 2009, earning him the title "Sheriff of Wall Street".

Mr Bharara is also most recently responsible for the arrest of Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade, who allegedly submitted false documents to obtain a work visa for her helper.

One of his most notable insider trading cases resulted in the 2011 conviction of billionaire hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam, the head of Galleon Group who is in jail for 11 years, and former McKinsey chairman and Goldman Sachs board member Rajat Gupta, who was sentenced to two years' jail last year.

But putting away individuals is not enough. Last month, Mr Bharara extracted a guilty plea from hedge fund SAC Capital for insider trading, along with a record US$1.8 billion (S$2.3 billion) fine.

A naturalised United States citizen whose father is Sikh and mother Hindu, India-born Mr Bharara moved to the US when he was two. His father built a paediatric practice in New Jersey. Mr Bharara attended Harvard University and Columbia Law School.

As his profile has risen, he has downplayed talk of political aspirations, saying he hopes to be in his job for as long as possible.

simlinoi@sph.com.sg


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