SEC Charges Goldman Sachs With Fraud

Charges related to mortgage markets and "undisclosed" interests that helped hedge fund pocket $1 billion.

More On Legal & Compliance

from The Advisor's Professional Library
  • Client Commission Practices and Soft Dollars RIAs should always evaluate whether the products and services they receive from broker-dealers are appropriate. The SEC suggested that an RIA’s failure to stay within the scope of the Section 28(e) safe harbor may violate the advisor’s fiduciary duty to clients, so RIAs must evaluate their soft dollar relationships on a regular basis to ensure they are disclosed properly and that they do not negatively impact the best execution of clients’ transactions.
  • Advertising Advisor Services and Credentials Section 206 of the Investment Advisers Act contains the anti-fraud provision of the statute and ensures that RIAs’ advertising and marketing practices are consistent with the fiduciary duty owed to clients and prospective clients.   
This news article originally appeared on WealthManagerWeb.com on 4/16/2010. The SEC charged Goldman Sachs & Co. (GS&Co), and an employee, Fabrice Tourre, with fraud on April 16, "for making materially misleading statements and omissions in connection with a synthetic collateralized debt obligation ("CDO") GS&Co structured and marketed to investors," according to the SEC complaint. The SEC demanded a jury trial in this case.

The underlying portfolio of securities that backed the synthetic collateralized debt obligation (CDO), named "ABACUS 2007-AC1," was connected to the performance of residential subprime mortgage backed securities (RMBS). The SEC complaint alleges it was not disclosed to investors that "a large hedge fund, Paulson & Co. Inc. ("Paulson"), with economic interests directly adverse to investors in the ABACUS 2007-AC1 CDO, played a significant role in the portfolio selection process."

http://www.sec.gov/litigation/complaints/2010/comp-pr2010-59.pdf

The SEC further alleges that Paulson & Co., Inc., "effectively shorted the portfolio," by creating credit default swaps (CDS), with Goldman Sachs, and that Paulson, because of this "short interest," had "economic incentive" to pick RBMS that it expected would drop in value for the portfolio.

Comments? Please send them to kmcbride@wealthmanagerweb.com. Kate McBride is editor in chief of Wealth Manager and a member of The Committee for the Fiduciary Standard.
Reprints Discuss this story
This is where the comments go.