Goldman Sachs VP Steals Money to Cover Online Poker Losses

Ashwani Jhunjhunwala had a cushy career as a Goldman Sachs vice president. However, he had a serious online poker problem lurking beneath his professional success.

Jhunjhunwala was recently arrested after attempting a $10 million scam. The primary motivation on his part was to repay debts that he’s accrued through playing online poker and taking out bank loans.

How Did Jhunjhunwala’s Scam Work?

Jhunjhunwala worked as the VP of equity and forex settlements at Goldman Sach’s Bengaluru, Indian office. He tried to transfer 380 million rupees ($5.3 million) to a Chinese bank account through his subordinates’ PCs.

He enlisted the help of a colleague named Vedanth Rungta. Jhunjhunwala promised him $400,000 if he could help complete the scam. The two then concocted a scheme to steal $10 million, which was plenty to get Jhunjhunwala out of his mounting debts.

“When a former colleague, Vedant Rungta, suggested a way to defraud the company [of] $10 million or more,” said a police investigator, “he thought he’d found a way to wriggle out of the colossal mess that he’d created for himself.”

How Did Jhunjhunwala Get Busted?

Goldman Sachs caught on to what Rungta and Jhunjhunwala were doing in September. An employee noticed two very large transactions come out and alerted their boss about the matter.

Three employees also reported that Jhunjhunwala asked to review their work during the caper. He made the requests as an excuse to make the transfers through their computers. He was able to make $5.4 million worth of transfers in just 10 minutes.

Jhunjhunwala was caught well before he and Rungta could enjoy the spoils of their crime. Sentencing in the case will take place at a later date. Considering the scale and seriousness of the crime, both could be looking at lengthy prison sentences.

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