A day after it was reported that a Vice President of Goldman Sachs in Bengaluru was arrested for allegedly attempting to swindle Rs 38 crore ($5.4 million) from the company, it has come to light that his accomplice has also been nabbed. Incidentally, he is a former employee of the global investment bank. He has been identified as 28-year-old Vedanth Rungta. Both of them got in touch through Facebook.
It was earlier reported that Ashwani Jhunjhunwala, the vice-president (Foreign Exchange and Equity Settlements) of the investment company’s Bengaluru office was accused of logging on to computers belonging to his juniors and carrying out these illegal transactions.
“Vedanth used to work for Goldman Sachs and was fired from the company for carrying out a similar fraud last year. That fraud was not reported. Ashwani had got in touch with Vedanth as he accrued losses in his online poker games. After they got in touch, Vedanth suggested to Ashwani that he should transfer the company’s money to an international account controlled by him. Vedanth was currently working in Synergy,” Whitefield DCP Anuchet told TNM.
Senior officials added that Jhunjhunwala, had taken personal loans of around Rs 20 lakh. He also had a loan to clear, which he had taken from HDFC Bank that amounted to Rs 25 lakh. He had taken these loans to pay off the poker debt. "This meant that Jhunjhunwala could not continue living his life in luxury and he contacted Vedant Runtga, to ask him about ways to get out of the mess. Vedant had given Jhunjhunwala a loan of Rs 7 lakh as well. The two men were in touch and when Vedanth suggested that he skim money from the company, Jhunjhunwala jumped at the chance to be rid of the mess he was in," the senior police official said.
According to investigating officials, Rungta had worked for eight years in Goldman Sachs. He was working as a VP in Poland when he was allegedly caught trying to access company accounts to commit fraud. The company fired him in 2018. "Rungta had also used his juniors' computers to gain access to the company's funds. He asked Jhunjhunwala to go through the same route. Runtga knew how the company's systems worked and he told Jhunjhunwala what had to be done to transfer money to an off shore account," the investigating official said.
According to the FIR, a copy of which is with TNM, Ashwani allegedly accessed the computers of his juniors – Gaurav Mishra, Abhishek Yadav and Sujith Appaiah, on the pretext of training them. Jhunjhunwala had incurred debt of over Rs 50 lakh by playing online poker and he had also taken private loans from people. He told the police that he wanted to clear these debts.
Ashwani was booked under Sections 34 (common intention), 408 (criminal breach of trust), 419 (cheating by impersonation), 420 (cheating) and 409 (criminal breach of trust by a banker) of the IPC. The FIR had mentioned Vedanth’s role in the case.
The international bank account was in Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ASIA) Limited.
Whitefield police said an alert request was raised to the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China where the money was fraudulently transferred, to stop and prevent the transfer of money. Accordingly, the bank has stopped the transfer and sent the entire amount back to Goldman Sachs.