By Jonathan Stempel
NEW YORK (Reuters) – A former McKinsey & Co partner who helped advise Goldman Sachs Group Inc on its recent purchase of fintech lender GreenSky Inc was sentenced on Wednesday to two years in prison for insider trading on the takeover. The defendant, Puneet Dikshit, 41, had pleaded guilty in December to a securities fraud charge.
U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon, who imposed the sentence in federal court in Manhattan, also ordered Dikshit to forfeit $455,017, representing his illegal profit.
Dikshit admitted that he bought GreenSky call options, a bet that the company’s stock price would rise, shortly before the $2.24 billion merger was announced on Sept. 15, 2021, and said he was “profoundly sorry.”
Prosecutors said the Manhattan resident purchased his 2,500 call options without receiving pre-clearance from McKinsey, and sold them soon after the merger was announced.
Dikshit had led McKinsey’s unsecured lending practice in North America and been a lead partner advising Goldman, prosecutors said.
The married father of two young children will be deported after serving his sentence. A native of India, Dikshit had lived in the United States for more than a decade.
“This conviction shows Wall Street and Main Street that corporate advisors who steal information entrusted to them anduse it for their personal gain will be caught and prosecuted,”U.S. Attorney Damian Williams in Manhattan said in a statement.
Lawyers for Dikshit did not immediately respond to requestsfor comment.
GreenSky’s share price rose 53% on the day the merger wasannounced. Goldman announced on March 29 that it had completed the merger. The bank was not charged or accused of wrongdoing.
The case is U.S. v. Dikshit, U.S. District Court, SouthernDistrict of New York, No. 21-cr-00760.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler)