Preet Bharara was born in
Ferozepur, Punjab, and raised in
New Jersey since the age of two
The man who makes The man who makes
He shot into the limelight with
his fierce fight against insider trading,
but that’s just one aspect of
what makes US Attorney Preet Bharara
a legend in the making.
Aziz Haniffa digs deeper
He may be one of the most powerful people in New York and ubbed ‘The Sheriff of Wall Street’ for his fierce prosecution of insider trading violators, but there is a reason why it took the general public so long to take note of Preet Bharara, 43, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, who’s probably been one of the toughest prosecutors in the city’s — if not the country’s — history.
It’s because Bharara scrupulously keeps a low profile and hardly rises to the
level of flamboyance of some of his more illustrious predecessors like Rudy
Giuliani. It’s perhaps also because he makes few public appearances and
rarely grants interviews (at a Fordham Law School lecture last October, he
quipped, ‘If you live by the press, you die by the press.’), although there’s plenty for him to crow about — from having prosecuted some of the country’s most
important cases, ranging from terrorism to organized crime and public corruption to Wall Street shenanigans.
It was only last year that this Ferozepur-born, New Jersey-raised (since the
age of two) highest law enforcement officer in the annals of the Indian-American experience, seemingly came into the consciousness of the community. He successfully prosecuted Sri Lankan American billionaire and Galleon
hedge fund founder Raj Rajaratnam and his office brought charges against
Indian-American icon Rajat Gupta, whose trial is on the anvil this year.
But Bharara had come into his own a decade ago, when after a stint in private practice — following graduation from Harvard in 1990 and the Columbia
Law School in 1993 — as assistant US attorney in New York, he prosecuted
the organized crime syndicate headed by the Colombo and Gambino Mafia
crime families, as well as Wall Street frauds, drug-trafficking, money-laun-dering and other major criminal activities.
His star began shining brightly when he served as chief counsel and staff
director of the US Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Administrative
Oversight and the Courts. During this tenure, he helped lead an investigation
SHANNON S TAPLETON/REU TERS