New Delhi: Former Goldman Sachs vice president Brijesh Goel has been indicted of insider trading and could face years in prison.
A grand jury in the Southern District Court of New York found Monday that the former Sachs employee participated in an insider trading scheme from February 2017 till September 2021.
He misappropriated material and non-public information (MNPI) about potential takeovers to which he had access as an employee and provided MNPI to foreign exchange trader and longtime friend named Akshay Niranjan, 33, who used it to execute securities transactions.
Goel and Niranjan met as graduate business students in California and moved to New York together in 2013.
While working at the investment bank, Goel received confidential, internal emails that contained detailed information and analysis about potential, non-public mergers and acquisitions, including transactions where the bank was acting as a financial adviser.
From February 2017, Goel tipped Niranjan about names of target companies during in-person meetings. Niranjan used misappropriated material to trade call options, including short-dated, out-of-the-money call options, in brokerage accounts that were in the name of a close relative. Goel agreed to split the profits from this trading.
Total illegal profits of approximately $280,000 resulted from this arrangement. Subsequently — between May and June 2022 — Goel sought to obstruct investigation by deleting electronic communication related to his and Niranjan’s insider trading.
Goel met Niranjan during squash games, on foreign trips and even lived together with him. Further, in order to justify the cash inflow from splitting the trades, he wrote emails to his partner asking for loans. One such email read, “Can you please extend a $80-$90k loan to me? I will try and transfer it by the end of next year or the year after.”Goel has been charged with four counts of securities fraud and one count of obstruction of justice, each of which carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison. He has also been charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud and tender offer fraud, which carries a maximum term of 5 years in prison.
Goel’s indictment was announced Monday by federal prosecutors in New York. He made his initial court appearance in San Francisco later that day, where a magistrate judge ordered his release on an unsecured bond of $500,000, according to a court filing. Other terms of his bail remain confidential.
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