Ex Goldman Sachs employee charged With Insider Trading, Passed Tips Via X-BOX

In a twist that could rival a Wall Street thriller, federal prosecutors have accused Anthony Viggiano, a former employee of the financial giants Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Blackstone Inc., of securities fraud. The plot thickens as Viggiano is alleged to have tipped off two friends about over six deals he was privy to during his time at the two firms. The trio apparently made a cool $400,000 from trades discussed on messaging apps like Signal and Xbox chat. Talk about taking game night to a whole new level!

Viggiano stands accused of betraying his employers’ trust. But fear not, the authorities are on the case, committed to tracking down and prosecuting those who attempt to cheat the system. This incident is not the first of its kind, marking at least the fifth involving a Goldman Sachs employee in recent years.

Both Goldman and Blackstone are playing ball and cooperating with prosecutors. Viggiano, who worked in the asset and wealth management division, had previously resigned from a post at Blackstone after the firm discovered he had been trading without pre-clearance. It seems our protagonist forgot the first rule of Fight Club: don’t talk about Fight Club.

Viggiano’s childhood friend, Christopher Salamone, pleaded guilty on Sept. 21 and is now cooperating with prosecutors. The plot thickens as the SEC alleges that Viggiano sent tips about deals from 2021 through May 2023 involving companies such as American International Group Inc., Harmony Biosciences Holdings Inc., and CDK Global Inc., to his friends Stephen Forlano and Salamone. These two allegedly traded on the tips, making hundreds of thousands of dollars in profits.

In an attempt to cover his tracks, Viggiano passed tips to Salamone, asking him to download the encrypted messaging app Signal to communicate and then used the disappearing message feature. He also supplied Salamone with cash for trading. Salamone made a whopping $322,000 from the tips, gave Viggiano $35,000 in cash, and planned to hand over more money. The former Goldman employee had suggested that the illegal trading profits be split 50-50. It seems greed really is good, at least in this Wall Street sequel.

The other friend Viggiano tipped — Forlano — not only traded off that information, but also passed it to five friends and family members. The men all had close relationships dating back years. Viggiano and Salamone are friends dating back 20 years and Salamone’s mother and Viggiano’s father are dating. Forlano went to college with Viggiano and Nathan Bleckley, a US Army captain who is a defendant in the SEC suit, but wasn’t charged by the DOJ. It’s a small world after all!