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Goldman Sachs 'poker-addict' V-P transfers Rs 38 crore from company's account to pay off debt

Ashwani Jhunjhunwala, the firm's vice president, has been arrested and will be produced in court.

ET Bureau|
Updated: Sep 11, 2019, 12.09 PM IST
BENGALURU: The police on Tuesday recovered Rs 38 crore ($5.4 million) that they said a Bengaluru-based employee at Goldman Sachs had tried to fraudulently transfer to an account in a Chinese bank.

Ashwani Jhunjhunwala(36), the vice president (settlement) at the US financial services firm’s local office, allegedly tried to transfer the company’s money to an account in Industrial and Commercial Bank of China using the computers of junior employees, police said.

Jhunjhunwala and his former colleague Vedanth Rungta (28), who allegedly helped him in swindling the money, have been arrested, they said.

“Our police quickly acted on coming to know of the beneficiary account number and had the transaction reversed by evening even as it (transaction) was under process,” Bengaluru police commissioner Bhaskar Rao told ET.

Police said the money was being transferred to a private account, but didn’t say who held that account.

Goldman Sachs said it dismissed Jhunjhunwala. “In addition to the immediate dismissal of this employee, we are engaged with the authorities to activate criminal proceedings," it said in an emailed statement.

The company had fired Rungta for a similar attempt some time ago, police said.

“Both accused are in our custody. We are going to dig deep into this to know if more people are involved,” Rao said.

Police said Jhunjhunwala had suffered financial losses in gambling and was trying to recoup the money. He resorted to transferring the money last Wednesday. The company’s legal head in India, Abhishek Parsheera, filed a case at the Marthahalli police station on Friday.

According to the FIR, Jhunjhunwala approached three junior employees — Gaurav Mishra, Abhishek Yadav and Sujith Appaih — offering to train them. After they had logged in to their systems, he sent them out on various errands and tried to transfer the money in two transactions, it alleged.

Mishra later found records of the transactions and informed the firm’s legal department. CCTV footage showed Jhunjhunwala using Mishra’s computer, police said. Rungtha had made a similar bid to transfer money to an account in Poland in the past, they added.

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