Goldman Sachs banker arrested for insider trading



WASHINGTON – A banker at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. was arrested Thursday and charged with insider trading after authorities alleged he traded before mergers and acquisitions he learned while working at the bank.

Woojae "Steve" Jung, 37, earned approximately $ 140,000 for illegal stock transactions and bull buying options, the Securities and Exchange Commission said in a separate civil lawsuit filed in federal court in Manhattan.

Mr. Jung

allegedly traded in shares of at least 12 companies, including SanDisk Corp. and WebMD Health Corp., with mergers and acquisitions pending or expected, according to the SEC. He used a South Korean friend's account to hide his participation in the transactions, the SEC said.

Mr. Jung's illicit trade lasted from 2015 to 2017, the SEC said. The bank's internal records show that it accessed information about the deals during the period in which it carried out its operations, according to the federal criminal complaint. Mr. Jung accessed his friend's brokerage account more than 600 times, the SEC said.

Mr. Jung joined Goldman in 2012 and has worked in both New York and San Francisco for the bank. A LinkedIn profile that bears his name says that he managed business in the technology, media and telecommunications sectors and obtained an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. A spokesman for Goldman said on Thursday that Mr. Jung was fired from the company.

Mr. Jung did not respond to a message seeking comment. The court records do not show a lawyer for him.

Mr. Jung faces a possible prison sentence if he is found guilty in the criminal case. The SEC's civil suit asks a court to order Mr. Jung to hand over the ill-gotten gains and pay a monetary fine.

The SEC also wants Mr. Jung's friend,

Sungrok Hwang

of Seoul, to give up their commercial benefits of the plan. Mr. Hwang could not be reached for comment. The SEC complaint says that the men attended the same university in South Korea.

"Jung attempted to isolate himself by allegedly placing transactions in the brokerage account of a friend who was living abroad," he said.

Joseph Sansone,

Head of the SEC Market Abuse Unit. "Like others before him, Jung's supposed scheme failed when our data badysis uncovered the suspicious business pattern of the account and, despite Jung's attempted evasion, tracked the trade towards him"

Write to Dave Michaels at [email protected]

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