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Wall Street's top cop talks first insider trading loss

Preet Bharara
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Preet Bharara

Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, may have just lost his first insider trading case, but he said he is keeping the defeat in perspective.

Bharara reflected on his loss in court, and his plans for the future in an interview with CNBC at the Delivering Alpha conference Wednesday.

"When you bring a case where you think you had proof beyond a reasonable doubt, and you thought it was the right thing to do and that justice required bringing the case, and you lose it, it's always disappointing," he reflected. "And I said it was disappointing after the fact, but I think 85 and 1 is still a pretty good record."

"There have been times when people have criticized us for having a perfect record... noting that it might mean that you're not bringing hard cases. We brought a lot of hard cases," he said.

Read MoreJury finds Rengan Rajaratnam not guilty of conspiracy

Bharara's office lost its first insider trading case last week when a jury declared Rengan Rajaratnam—younger brother of convicted insider trader Raj Rajaratnam—not guilty of conspiracy. In light of the defeat, Bharara reflected on his career thus far.

"When you lose a case, I think it puts a little bit into perspective the accomplishment by the folks at my office and the FBI and the SEC at a lot of these cases because you can't win every case in our system—that's not how it works," he said.

Bharara told CNBC that his office will continue to prosecute insider trading cases, including some currently in the pipeline. He denied suggestions that his office has concluded with the bulk of its undertakings, explaining that "people are still committing bad acts."

Read MoreNo one is too big to jail, Wall Street cop says

Bharara made headlines at the 2013 Delivering Alpha event when he proclaimed that no Wall Street executives were too big to jail.

—By CNBC staff

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