Goldman Banker Implicated In Squash Court Insider Trading Ring

The millennial saga of a not-so-sophisticated insider trading ring has come to light.  An Ex-Goldman Sachs banker was accused of passing insider trading information to a squash buddy, part of a group of nine people charged Monday by federal prosecutors in New York.

Brijesh Goel, 37, worked at the bank in New York from 2013 until about 2021, eventually reaching the position of vice president. Through his role, Goel received confidential emails from the bank’s Firmwide Capital Committee about potential mergers, according to court documents. Prosecutors allege he passed tips to another person, who traded on the information and split profits with Goel.

“The 2017 and 2018 insider trading alleged by the government is egregious conduct,” Goldman said in a statement. “The firm condemns such behavior, which violates our standards of conduct and business principles. We are fully cooperating” with the SEC and the DOJ.

According to prosecutors, the trading included several major takeover deals, including T-Mobile and Sprint, Spirit Airlines and Frontier Group.

In one instance, prosecutors said that when Goel received an email about a potential takeover target for EQT Partners, he texted his friend, “Let’s play Squash after work,” and that evening suggested that his friend buy call options in the target company.

The next day, he followed up, “Did you book the court?” Prosecutors allege this was his “coded way of asking” whether the friend had purchased call options.

In a separate court filing, the SEC said Goel passed tips to a FX trader and longtime friend named Akshay Niranjan, 33, with whom he often played squash.

According to the SEC complaint, Goel and Niranjan met as graduate business students in California and moved to New York together in 2013. In addition to playing squash, they frequently took overseas trips together and, at times, lived in the same apartment building.

Goel is among nine people charged, including former Republican member of Congress Stephen Buyer, who represented Indiana from 1993 to 2011. Buyer is accused of taking confidential information from two of his consulting business’s clients and trading on it.

Prosecutors also named Seth Markin, alleging he was an FBI agent trainee when he made more than $1.4 million in 2021 after he “stole” inside information from his then girlfriend, who at the time was an associate “at a major law firm in Washington DC.”

Source: Bloomberg