Goldman Sachs Ordered by FINRA to Pay $650K Fine For Not Disclosing that Broker Responsible for CDO ABACUS 2007-ACI Was Target of SEC Investigation

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority says it is fining Goldman Sachs $650,000 for failing to disclose that the government was investigating two of its brokers. One of the brokers was Goldman vice president Fabrice Tourre. FINRA says Goldman did not have the proper procedures in place to make sure that this disclosure was made.

The SEC had accused Tourre of being “principally responsible” for Abacus 2007-AC1, a synthetic collateralized debt obligation, and selling the bonds to investors, who ended up losing more than $1 billion while Goldman yielded profits and hedge fund manager John A. Paulson made money from bets he placed against specific mortgage bonds. The SEC contends that Goldman failed to notify investors that Paulson had taken a short position against Abacus 2007-AC1. This summer, Goldman settled for $550 million SEC charges that it misled investors about this CDO, just as the housing market was collapsing.

Regarding Goldman’s failure to disclose that the SEC was investigating two of its brokers, even though investment firms are required to file a Form U4 within 30 days of finding out that a representative has received a Wells notice about the probe, FINRA says that Tourre’s U4 wasn’t amended until May 3, 2010. This date is more than 7 months after Goldman learned about his Well Notice and after the SEC filed its complaint against the investment bank and Tourre. FINRA also says that Goldman’s “employee manual” for brokers does not even specifically mention Wells Notices or the need for disclosure after one is received.

By agreeing to settle with FINRA, Goldman is not admitting to or denying the charges.

Goldman Sachs to Pay $650,000 for Failing to Disclose Wells Notices, FINRA, November 9, 2010
Related Web Resources:
Goldman Fined $650,000 for Lack of Disclosure, New York Times, November 9, 2010
Goldman Sachs Settles SEC Subprime Mortgage-CDO Related Charges for $550 Million,
Stockbroker Fraud Blog, July 30, 2010
Goldman Sachs, Institutional Investor Securities Blog
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