A former McKinsey & Co partner who assisted Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. on its recent purchase of a financial technology company has been sentenced to 24 months in prison for insider trading on the takeover.
Puneet Dikshit, 41, was sentenced in federal court in Manhattan on Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon.
He had pleaded guilty on Dec. 15 to one count of securities fraud in connection with his scheme to commit insider trading based on material, nonpublic information regarding the upcoming public announcement that the Goldman Sachs Group, Inc—which he and his management consulting firm were advising—would be acquiring fintech lender GreenSky Inc.
Dikshit, who was one of the McKinsey partners leading the engagements, was also ordered by McMahon to forfeit $455,017, representing his illegal profit.
The defendant 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.
“With today’s sentence, Puneet Dikshit must face the consequences of his egregious crime. We will continue to vigorously protect the integrity of our capital markets and hold accountable those who cheat by trading on inside information,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement.
“This conviction shows Wall Street and Main Street that corporate advisors who steal information entrusted to them and use it for their personal gain will be caught and prosecuted,” Williams added.
The Department of Justice noted that Dikshit had access to material nonpublic information, which he “misappropriated” and, in violation of the duties that he owed to Goldman Sachs and his firm, used to trade GreenSky call options between July 26 and Sept. 15, 2021.
GreenSky’s share price rose 53 percent on the day the merger was announced. Goldman announced on March 29 that it had completed the merger. The bank was not charged or accused of wrongdoing.