Ex-Goldman director Rajat Gupta is going to jail for two years for insider trading, where he’ll be joining some of his former peers.
There’s the infamous Bernie Madoff, who is currently serving a 150-year prison sentence for his decades-long multi-billion dollar Ponzi scheme that wiped out the life savings of millions of people. But most in the finance industry doing time for white collar crime aren’t dealing with a sentence as stiff as Madoff’s. That’s because his crime represents “extraordinary evil,” according to the judge that sentenced him — deserving of a prison term on par with that of terrorists, traitors and violent criminals.
More often, white collar criminals serve much shorter terms, similar to Gupta’s. One example: Jerome Kerviel was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison and ordered to pay a $7 billion fine for trading fraud.
Of course, some critics say more bankers should be going to jail, but it’s unlikely that bankers and executives that played a major role in the financial crisis will end up behind bars. And if they’re punished at all, those debts to society will likely be paid in dollars, not years behind bars.