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According to the Collins English Dictionary 10th Edition fraud can be defined as: "deceit, trickery, sharp practice, or breach of confidence, perpetrated for profit or to gain some unfair or dishonest advantage".[1] In the broadest sense, a fraud is an intentional deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual; the related adjective is fraudulent. The specific legal definition varies by legal jurisdiction. Fraud is a crime, and also a civil law violation. Defrauding people or entities of money or valuables is a common purpose of fraud, but there have also been fraudulent "discoveries", e.g. in science, to gain prestige rather than immediate monetary gain
*As defined in Wikipedia

Friday, March 4, 2011

How Goldman Sachs Influences the Economy in Ever Widening Circles

A Goldman Sachs guy is on the hot seat again. Here, in all its glory, is the accusation from the SEC. We wonder whether the people who work at Goldman Sachs learn how to use the system to their advantage and carry their efforts far and wide or whether Goldman Sachs's mantra that money is all makes ethics passe.

Goldman Sachs now has an additional legal proceeding to consider as part of its legacy (page 31 of Annual Report...).

Board Member of Goldman Sachs and Procter & Gamble Charged in Insider Trading Scheme


Washington, D.C., March 1, 2011 – The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced insider trading charges against a Westport, Conn.-based business consultant who has served on the boards of directors at Goldman Sachs and Procter & Gamble for illegally tipping Galleon Management founder and hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam with inside information about the quarterly earnings at both firms as well as an impending $5 billion investment by Berkshire Hathaway in Goldman.

The SEC’s Division of Enforcement alleges that Rajat K. Gupta, a friend and business associate of Rajaratnam, provided him with confidential information learned during board calls and in other aspects of his duties on the Goldman and P&G boards. Rajaratnam used the inside information to trade on behalf of some of Galleon’s hedge funds, or shared the information with others at his firm who then traded on it ahead of public announcements by the firms. The insider trading by Rajaratnam and others generated more than $18 million in illicit profits and loss avoidance. Gupta was at the time a direct or indirect investor in at least some of these Galleon hedge funds, and had other potentially lucrative business interests with Rajaratnam.

Additional Materials

The SEC has previously charged Rajaratnam and others in the widespread insider trading scheme involving the Galleon hedge funds.

“Gupta was honored with the highest trust of leading public companies, and he betrayed that trust by disclosing their most sensitive and valuable secrets,” said Robert Khuzami, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “Directors who violate the sanctity of board room confidences for private gain will be held to account for their illegal actions.”

In the order that institutes administrative and cease-and-desist proceedings against Gupta, the SEC’s Division of Enforcement alleges that, while a member of Goldman’s Board of Directors, Gupta tipped Rajaratnam about Berkshire Hathaway’s $5 billion investment in Goldman and Goldman’s upcoming public equity offering before that information was publicly announced on Sept. 23, 2008. Gupta called Rajaratnam immediately after a special telephonic meeting at which Goldman’s Board considered and approved Berkshire’s investment in Goldman Sachs and the public equity offering. Within a minute after the Gupta-Rajaratnam call and just minutes before the close of the markets, Rajaratnam arranged for Galleon funds to purchase more than 175,000 Goldman shares. Rajaratnam later informed another participant in the scheme that he received the tip on which he traded only minutes before the market close. Rajaratnam caused the Galleon funds to liquidate their Goldman holdings the following day after the information became public, making illicit profits of more than $900,000.

The SEC’s Division of Enforcement alleges that Gupta also illegally disclosed to Rajaratnam inside information about Goldman Sachs’s positive financial results for the second quarter of 2008. Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein called Gupta and various other Goldman outside directors on June 10, when the company’s financial performance was significantly better than analysts’ consensus estimates. Blankfein knew the earnings numbers and discussed them with Gupta during the call. Between that night and the following morning, there was a flurry of calls between Gupta and Rajaratnam. Shortly after the last of these calls and within minutes after the markets opened on June 11, Rajaratnam caused certain Galleon funds to purchase more than 5,500 out-of-the-money Goldman call options and more than 350,000 Goldman shares. Rajaratnam liquidated these positions on or around June 17, when Goldman made its quarterly earnings announcement. These transactions generated illicit profits of more than $13.6 million for the Galleon funds.

The Division of Enforcement further alleges that Gupta tipped Rajaratnam with confidential information that he learned during a board posting call about Goldman’s impending negative financial results for the fourth quarter of 2008. The call ended after the close of the market on October 23, with senior executives informing the board of the company’s financial situation. Mere seconds after the board call, Gupta called Rajaratnam, who then arranged for certain Galleon funds to begin selling their Goldman holdings shortly after the financial markets opened the following day until the funds finished selling off their holdings, which had consisted of more than 120,000 shares. In discussing trading and market information that day with another participant in the insider trading scheme, Rajaratnam explained that while Wall Street expected Goldman Sachs to earn $2.50 per share, he had heard the prior day from a Goldman Sachs board member that the company was actually going to lose $2 per share. As a result of Rajaratnam’s trades based on the inside information that Gupta provided, the Galleon funds avoided losses of more than $3 million.

Gupta served as a Goldman board member from November 2006 to May 2010, and has been serving on Procter & Gamble's board since 2007.

As it pertains to insider trades by the Galleon funds in the securities of Procter & Gamble, the Division of Enforcement alleges that Gupta illegally disclosed to Rajaratnam inside information about the company financial results for the quarter ending December 2008. Gupta participated in a telephonic meeting of P&G’s Audit Committee at 9 a.m. on Jan. 29, 2009, to discuss the planned release of P&G’s quarterly earnings the next day. A draft of the earnings release, which had been mailed to Gupta and the other committee members two days before the meeting, indicated that P&G’s expected organic sales would be less than previously publicly predicted. Gupta called Rajaratnam in the early afternoon on January 29, and Rajaratnam shortly afterward advised another participant in the insider trading conspiracy that he had learned from a contact on P&G’s board that the company’s organic sales growth would be lower than expected. Galleon funds then sold short approximately 180,000 P&G shares, making illicit profits of more than $570,000.

The Division of Enforcement alleges that by engaging in the misconduct described in the SEC’s order, Gupta willfully violated Section 17(a) of the Securities Act and Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder. The administrative proceedings will determine what relief, if any, is in the public interest against Gupta, including disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, prejudgment interest, financial penalties, an officer or director bar, and other remedial relief.

Read the full document here


Anonymous said...

Prosecutor: Ex-Goldman Director in Galleon Conspiracy

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Streeter said that "the government is going to show that on at least two occasions that Mr. Gupta attended Goldman Sachs board meetings" and that "within minutes of the meetings, he called Mr. Raj Rajaratnam."

Following the calls, Mr. Rajaratnam bought or sold his Goldman stock, Mr. Streeter said.

The alleged inside information included details of a $5 billion investment by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc., made at the height of the financial crisis in September 2008, before it was publicly announced. The alleged inside information also included Goldman's first reported loss as a public company in fall 2008.

Anonymous said...

The only Chinese wall is the one in China.....

Is this like home court advantage?

The Exchange Stabilization fund is not a fund in the normal sense. It is a trading account, I believe at Goldman Sachs, with some partner there as the designee of the Secretary of the Treasury who is able to trade in gold as they sees fit.

Anonymous said...

après nous le déluge

The Golden Calf or materialism is the ultimate value that is worshipped and no means are eschewed to attain material goals. Since most of the prosperity that has been achieved in the last 40 years is based on printed money and debt, it is totally false and unsustainable. A major part of the Western world has improved their living standard, by exchanging services and swapping houses at ever rising prices financed by printed paper and credit. The perceived wealth that is created out of this is illusory and ephemeral. We have created a world economy which is based on debt and thin air.

Joyce said...

Thank you, Jon, for the links. I'm familiar with the Quantitative Easing cartoon. Nice!

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