Dec. 16 (UPI) — A former McKinsey partner pleaded guilty Wednesday to using information he gained as an adviser to place bets ahead of Goldman Sachs‘ acquisition of fintech lender GreenSky.
Puneet Dikshit, 40, pleaded guilty to one count of securities fraud as he was accused of insider trading for earning $450,000 by using his knowledge of the pending deal to place call option bets ahead of the acquisition, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement.
“Barely a month after he was charged, Puneet Dikshit admitted in court today that he used his access to material nonpublic information about a pending acquisition of GreenSky Inc., to trade in Greensky call options,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said. “This conduct, which netted the defendant nearly half a million dollars in tainted profits, broke the law and violated the defendant’s duties to his firm and its client.”
The charge of securities fraud carries a maximum prison sentence of 20 years. Dikshit is scheduled to be sentenced March 30.
Dikshit was one of the McKinsey partners that led the firm’s advising on the deal from November 2019 to July 2020 and again from April 2021 to September 2021.
From about July 26, 2021, to Sept. 15, 2021, Dikshit purchased and sold “relatively small numbers” of GreenSky call options with expiration dates weeks or months from the time of purchase.
Two days before the public announcement of the acquisition, Dikshit sold the longer-dated options and purchased about 2,500 out-of-the-money Green Sky call options due to expire a few days later and then sold those after the deal was announced.
“He had access to material nonpublic information, which he misappropriated and, in violation of the duties that he owed to the Investment Bank and the Consulting firm, used to trade GreenSky Call options,” the Justice Department said.