The white-collar criminals he has put behind bars may find it hard to believe, but Preet Bharara has a soft side, at least when it comes to his son and Bruce Springsteen.
The United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, best known for bringing down Raj Rajaratnam and other inside traders, wishes he were better known for going after violent gang leaders.
“The rich people didn’t kill anybody,” he said of the wrongdoers in the world of finance.
He was not minimizing their crimes, only contrasting them to the blood spilled by killers, drug traffickers, organized crime leaders and others of their ilk. Indeed, as India West noted in reporting on Bharara’s recent appearance in San Francisco, “His office has made more than 100 indictments since May 2010 on charges of murder, racketeering, drug distribution, firearms offenses and witness tampering” in a multi-agency anti-gang operation in Newburgh, N.Y.
On Dec. 14, India West noted, Bharara’s office announced indictments against suspected members of the Trinitario gang, “believed responsible for bloody turf battles with rival gangs over control of drug trafficking in upper Manhattan and the Bronx.”
“Today’s charges remind us that the gangs of New York are alive and well, but that we are dedicated to extinguishing them one by one,” Bharara said in a Dec. 14 statement. “With today’s takedown, the Trinitarios may not yet be extinct, but they are without question an endangered species.”
Bharara, featured on the cover of Time magazine early this year (see Main Justice’s report), recently got another tribute he seemed to prize at least as much: he was singled out by music giant Springsteen, whose concert he was attending. Bharara’s 9-year-old son, one of the prosecutor’s three children, said he thought the Springsteen tribute was “cool.”
But when he New York Daily News reported Springsteen’s remarks tribute, his son found an error in the article, according to India West. “He told me, ‘Dad, that was not the first time that I thought you were cool,’” Bharara said.