Former Investment Bank Associate Pleads Guilty in Manhattan Federal Court to Theft of Confidential Information fom the Federal Reserve Bank of New York
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Diego Rodriguez, Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced today the guilty plea of ROHIT BANSAL, who was formerly employed as an associate at an investment bank headquartered in New York, New York (the “Investment Bank”), to the theft of confidential information from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (“FRBNY”). Between July and September of 2014, at the direction of BANSAL, another individual, Jason Gross, without authorization, took confidential information from the FRBNY, which related to the FRBNY’s supervision of banks, and which Gross obtained during the course of his employment with the FRBNY, and sent that information to BANSAL. BANSAL then used the confidential information in an effort to further his employment at the Investment Bank. BANSAL entered his guilty plea today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein. Gross, who was charged with the same offense as BANSAL, pled guilty yesterday before Judge Gorenstein.
According to the Information filed today in Manhattan federal court:
The Federal Reserve System (“Federal Reserve”) fulfills several roles in the nation’s economy, including managing the nation’s money supply through monetary policy, supervising and regulating banking institutions, and generally overseeing the stability of the financial system. The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve (the “Board”) is the Federal Reserve’s main governing body, and the FRBNY is one of the banks that is part of the Federal Reserve. Among other things, the FRBNY supervises and conducts examinations of banks that are members of the Federal Reserve and bank holding companies. Federal regulations protect the disclosure of certain “confidential supervisory information” (“CSI”) related to the Board’s and the FRBNY’s supervision of banks, including reports of examination of banks and information derived from, related to, or contained in, such reports.
From in or about August 2007 up to and including in or about March 2014, BANSAL was employed as a supervisory manager at the FRBNY, where he had responsibility for supervising certain banks. Thereafter, from in or about July 2014 until in or about October 2014, BANSAL was employed as an associate at the Investment Bank, which, among other things, provided advice on regulatory issues to certain client banks, including banks supervised by the FRBNY. During the relevant time period, Jason Gross was employed by the FRBNY and, prior to April of 2014, BANSAL and Gross had worked together at the FRBNY.
From at least in or about July 2014, up to and including in or about September 2014, at the direction of BANSAL, who had left the FRBNY and had begun to work at the Investment Bank, Gross e-mailed documents containing CSI (the “Confidential Documents”) to BANSAL. Gross sent the Confidential Documents, which he obtained during and through his employment at the FRBNY, to BANSAL without authorization from the Board or the FRBNY. Upon receiving the Confidential Documents from Gross, BANSAL utilized certain of the Confidential Documents in an effort to further BANSAL’s employment at the Investment Bank. In particular, BANSAL disseminated certain of the Confidential Documents to other Investment Bank employees for the purpose of assisting with the Investment Bank’s work for its client banks.
For example, on or about August 10, 2014, BANSAL sent Gross a text message asking Gross to send to BANSAL particular Confidential Documents regarding two banks (“Bank-1” and “Bank-2”). BANSAL further asked Gross to send the documents to BANSAL’s personal e-mail account. Thereafter, on or about August 19, 2014, Gross sent from his personal e-mail account to the personal e-mail account of BANSAL one of the Confidential Documents (“Confidential Document-1”). Gross knowingly sent Confidential Document-1, which was labeled as confidential, to BANSAL without authorization from the Board or the FRBNY. Confidential Document-1 related to the supervision of Bank-2, a bank that BANSAL had previously been responsible for supervising when he worked at the FRBNY. Notwithstanding that BANSAL knew that he was not entitled to receive or disseminate any Confidential Documents, BANSAL sent Confidential Document-1 from his e-mail account at the Investment Bank to the e-mail accounts of other individuals employed by the Investment Bank. In a cover e-mail attaching Confidential Document-1, BANSAL told these employees that, with respect to certain supervisory issues, Confidential Document-1 “gives you [an] idea of what [the] Board was looking at . . . Please don’t distribute.”
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BANSAL, 30, of New York, New York, pled guilty to one count of theft of government property the value of which property did not exceed $1,000 and faces a maximum sentence of one year in prison. The maximum potential sentence in this case is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge. BANSAL is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Gorenstein on March 9, 2016, at 10:00 a.m.
Mr. Bharara praised the investigative work of the FBI and thanked the FRBNY and the Board for their support and assistance with the investigation.
This case is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Drew Johnson-Skinner and Sarah E. Paul are in charge of the prosecution.