A former banker at Goldman Sachs Group has been accused of passing stock tips to a squash buddy by Federal prosecutors this week. The allegations come amongst insider-trading charges against nine different people revealed this week.
Brijesh Goel worked at Goldman from 2013 until about 2021, and is accused of passing along information he received about potential merger and acquisition activity to a friend, and then splitting the profits from a trade with him, according to Bloomberg Law.
Damian Williams, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said the charges “should send a strong message to anyone who is even thinking about committing insider trading: Cut it out. Because we're watching.”
Goldman stated in response this week: “The 2017 and 2018 insider trading alleged by the government is egregious conduct.”
This follows several others at Goldman who have been charged with insider trading, including "a trio of charges against people who had worked at Goldman over just 18 months", according to Bloomberg Law.
After the allegations, Goldman said that Goel was placed on leave: "Upon learning of the allegations for the first time this morning, Mr. Goel was immediately placed on indefinite leave.”
“Let’s play Squash after work,” Goel texted one of his friends, Akshay Niranjan, after learning about a takeover for EQT Partners, Inc.. The next day, he asked his friend “Did you book the court?”, which prosecutors allege was code for asking if the person had bought call options.
Goel is also being charged with obstruction of justice for allegedly destroying evidence, prosecutors note.
The pair made $291,735 from the scheme, the SEC alleges.
“...we have zero tolerance -- zero tolerance -- for cheating in our markets,” Gurbir Grewal, head of the SEC’s enforcement division, said.