Goldman VP tricks juniors, steals Rs. 38cr to pay poker-debt
On Tuesday, Bengaluru Police arrested a senior executive of Goldman Sachs for allegedly swindling the firm of Rs. 38 crore after incurring losses while playing online poker. Ashwani Jhunjhunwala, Goldman Sachs Vice President (Foreign Exchange and Equity Settlements), has been accused of using his juniors' computer to siphon off money. He has been held for cheating and criminal breach after a complaint was filed.
According to a complaint filed by Goldman Sachs legal head in Bengaluru, Abhishek Parsheera, with the Marathahalli Police, Jhunjhunwala allegedly gained access to the computers of three juniors- Gaurav Mishra, Abhishek Yadav, and Sujith Appaiah- under the pretext of training them. Jhunjhunwala then "helped" Mishra, who was new to the firm, create a Settlement Reconciliation Service (SRS) for payment recall, the police said.
After managing to log on to computers belonging to his juniors, Jhunjhunwala "kept sending them out on errands to get water, food and such," the Marathahalli Police told The News Minute. The police added, "During this time, in a matter of minutes, he used their computers to try and transfer the money belonging to the company into a private bank account."
Mishra then told Yadav and Appaiah about the irregular transactions and the three approached the legal team. After questioning the three employees, the legal team suspected Jhunjhunwala's involvement and matched the timing of the VP using the juniors' systems through CCTV footage to the timestamp on the transactions. Reportedly, the illegal transaction was made in two installments.
According to the legal team's complaint, Jhunjhunwala said a former Goldman Sachs' employee, Vedanth Rungta, helped him commit the fraud. Jhunjhunwala and Rungta were booked under IPC Sections 34 (common intention), 408 (criminal breach of trust), 419 (cheating by impersonation), 420 (cheating) and 409 (criminal breach of trust by a banker). Jhunjhunwala will be produced before the magistrate today, said DCP (Whitefield) MN Anucheth.
According to News18, Rungta, a 28-year-old Bengaluru resident, is suspected to have motivated Jhujhunwala to commit the crime. Rungta was reportedly fired from the company for siphoning off money in the past. He has also been arrested, the report added.
Notably, Jhunjhunwala had recently lost Rs. 50 lakh while playing online poker and was itching to repay the debt. He had also taken a personal loan of Rs. 25 lakh. According to News18, he had even tried to increase the personal loan limit from the bank, however, the application was rejected since he defaulted on six earlier payments. Jhunjhunwala eventually decided to commit fraud.