November 5, 2015 / 8:00 PM / in 3 years

Ex-Goldman employee pleads guilty over N.Y. Fed leaks

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) employee pleaded guilty on Thursday to illegally obtaining confidential information from a former colleague at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

The Goldman Sachs logo is pictured on their post as traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in New York August 4, 2014. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Rohit Bansal, a former associate at Goldman Sachs, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of theft of government property, days after Goldman Sachs reached a related $50 million settlement with the New York Department of Financial Services.

“I accept full responsibility for my actions and am deeply sorry for what I’ve done,” a visibly emotional Bansal said at the plea hearing.

Bansal is scheduled to be sentenced on March 9. He faces up to a year in prison.

Following the plea, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors announced that Bansal would be permanently banned from the banking industry.

Bansal’s plea came a day after Jason Gross, a former bank examiner at the New York Fed, likewise pleaded guilty and admitted to providing confidential information to Bansal, who had previously worked with him as a supervisory manager.

The case highlighted the so-called revolving door on Wall Street, in which regulators take new jobs at the banks they formerly oversaw.

According to prosecutors and New York regulators, Bansal, 30, obtained documents from Gross on several occasions after joining Goldman Sachs in July 2014.

Those documents included some pertaining to examinations of a bank that Goldman was advising about a potential transaction, regulators said.

Bansal shared some of the documents with others at Goldman, regulators and prosecutors said, telling them in at least one instance, “Please don’t distribute.”

Goldman has said that after discovering Bansal obtained the confidential supervisory information, it notified regulators and fired him and a more senior employee who failed to escalate the issue. The New York Fed also fired Gross.

As part of its $50 million settlement announced on Oct. 28, Goldman admitted to failing to supervise for banking law violations.

The bank also agreed to a three-year ban on accepting new consulting work that requires regulators to authorize disclosing confidential information.

Goldman additionally agreed to implement reforms to help ensure it complies with revolving-door restrictions and prevents the improper use of confidential regulatory information.

Editing by Bernard Orr and Matthew Lewis

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