The U.S. is cracking down on the possibility of insider trading at Goldman Sachs, and not among the peons.
The FBI is investigating David Loeb, 41, a managing director at Goldman Sachs, for allegedly passing on secret information about technology companies to hedge funds, so that they would have an opportunity to trade on that information before other investors, The Wall Street Journal reports. Loeb is one of Goldman Sachs' top middlemen between the bank and technology hedge funds.
In addition to Loeb, the FBI is also investigating Henry King, a technology analyst at Goldman Sachs, for allegedly offering insider tips to hedge fund clients, according to the WSJ.
The probe into Loeb and King comes as the FBI ramps up its crackdown on insider trading. The agency is trying to build insider-trading cases against about 120 people, the WSJ reported in a separate article on Monday. The FBI has arrested at least 64 people in their insider-trading probe since 2007, and 59 people have pleaded guilty or have been convicted at trial since 2009, according to Bloomberg.
This isn't the first time the FBI investigated people for insider trading with deep connections to Goldman Sachs. Rajat Gupta, 63, an ex-director at the firm, was arrested last October and charged with passing on secret tips to Raj Rajaratnam, a former hedge fund manager who is serving an 11-year prison sentence for insider trading.
The government alleges that Gupta told Rajaratnam about billionaire investor Warren Buffett's $5 billion investment in Goldman Sachs the day before it was announced -- during the height of the financial crisis -- according to The New York Times.
Simultaneous with the probes is the FBI's attempt to build publicity around its insider-trading probe, which it calls "Perfect Hedge." The agency announced on Monday that it has enlisted Michael Douglas, famous for his starring role as Gordon Gekko in the 1987 film Wall Street, to encourage Wall Street employees and ordinary Americans to report suspicious financial activity.
But whistleblowers who report just to the FBI may be getting a raw deal. The FBI isn't obligated to give whistleblowers any financial compensation, according to David Colapinto, a whistleblower lawyer interviewed by The Washington Post. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), on the other hand, gives whistleblowers between 10 and 30 percent of the money that it collects if the whistleblower's tip leads to more than $1 million in sanctions, according to The Washington Post.