- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 4, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) - A former Federal Reserve Bank of New York examiner on Wednesday admitted leaking confidential information to a Goldman Sachs employee that led to a $50 million penalty against the investment bank.

Jason Gross entered a guilty plea in Manhattan federal court to a misdemeanor theft of information charge, admitting giving information in August 2014 to former supervisor Rohit Bansal, who prosecutors say was trying to make a good impression after moving to his new job at Goldman Sachs.

Bansal, who had worked with Gross at the Federal Reserve until April 2014, is scheduled to enter a plea Thursday in Manhattan. His attorney, E. Scott Morvillo, declined to comment on Wednesday.

Prosecutors said the documents Gross shared with Goldman Sachs were used to assist it with client banks.

In court papers, Bansal was referred to by prosecutors as Individual-1. They said one of the documents Gross sent to Bansal pertained to a bank that Bansal had supervised when he worked at the Federal Reserve.

Prosecutors said Bansal emailed the document to other Goldman Sachs employees, telling them it “gives you (an) idea of what (the) Board was looking at. … Please don’t distribute.”

Sentencing for Gross, 37, was scheduled for March 2, when he could face up to a year behind bars.

Although federal sentencing guidelines call for Gross, of Bellmore, to serve from 10 months to a year, defense attorney Bruce Barket said he will argue for no jail time.

“He’s a relatively young man who obviously made an error that caught the attention of … the U.S. attorney’s office,” Barket said. “We don’t think jail is appropriate.”

Goldman Sachs agreed last week to pay $50 million to the New York State Department of Financial Services to resolve an enforcement action.

The Department of Financial Services, without identifying Bansal by name, said he had worked at the Federal Reserve as a bank examiner from 2007 until 2014 before joining Goldman in May 2014 as an associate in the Financial Institutions Group within the Investment Banking Division.

Goldman Sachs said it fired two employees after discovering and reporting the issue to authorities.

“We have zero tolerance for improper handling of confidential information,” it said in a statement. “We have reviewed our policies regarding hiring from governmental institutions and have implemented changes to make them appropriately robust.”

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