Ex-Goldman Sachs Banker Bansal Pleads Guilty Over Fed Leak

  • Misdemeanor plea tied to 2014 leak from Fed to Goldman Sachs
  • Goldman Sachs agreed to pay $50 million as part of U.S. accord

A Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker admitted violating one of the golden rules meant to protect the confidentiality of the Federal Reserve’s supervisory work from prying eyes at Wall Street banks.

Rohit Bansal pleaded guilty Thursday to a misdemeanor tied to stolen Fed documents that included information from the regulator about a midsize New York bank his group was advising. Jason Gross, a former employee at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, pleaded guilty Wednesday to passing him the secret information.

"I recognize the gravity of my mistake," Bansal, 30, told U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein in Manhattan. "I have learned from it and would like to move forward."

Bansal faces up to 12 months in jail when he’s sentenced March 9. The Federal Reserve Board permanently barred Bansal from the banking industry after his guilty plea.

Goldman Sachs got the nickname “Government Sachs” because of the number of executives who moved into public posts, including former Chief Executive Officers Robert Rubin and Henry Paulson, who went on to be treasury secretaries, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney and Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley.

Bansal obtained about 35 documents on approximately 20 occasions from his friend at the New York Fed, according to a settlement last week between New York-based Goldman Sachs and the New York Department of Financial Services. Gross would send confidential Fed documents to Bansal’s personal e-mail address, and Bansal forwarded those to his Goldman e-mail account, the regulator said.

When Goldman Sachs’s management learned Bansal got confidential information from the Fed, it fired him along with his boss and started an investigation.

Goldman Sachs agreed to pay a $50 million fine and accepted a three-year ban on some advisory work in New York as part of a settlement with the state regulator. The bank admitted it failed to properly supervise the employee.

Bansal will remain free without bail until his sentencing.

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