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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

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Blankfein and Others Lawyer Up at Goldman Sachs

Finally, Blankfein is sharing something with Worldcom's CEO Bernard Ebbers and Enron's Richard Causey, that is, defense attorney Reid Weingarten. This may signal that justice will be done, that the rule of law will triumph and that the perpetrators of the financial meltdown will receive their just comeuppance!

We live in a shabby world when CEOs at the mere mention of being interviewed by the DOJ immediately hire a lawyer. Maybe Blankfein will finally explain the difference between hedges and betting "against the products they were selling to clients."

Maybe the predator will be stopped from stealing the wealth of the public and be tried in a criminal, not a civil, case.

Under Fire, Goldman Sachs CEO Hires Top-Notch Attorney
By Elizabeth MacDonald - FOXBusiness

Goldman Sachs’ shares nosedived nearly 5% after it confirmed that its chief executive, Lloyd Blankfein, has hired Reid Weingarten, a high-profile Washington, D.C., defense attorney to defend the embattled executive in connection with the Department of Justice’s inquiry into Blankfein and other firm officials.

The Justice probe is looking into findings in a report by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations which alleges Goldman Sachs (GS) executives misled Congress and investors about its mortgage-backed securities deals.

Weingarten’s past clients include a former Agriculture secretary charged with corruption, the top executive of WorldCom, and an Enron accounting officer.

“As is common in such situations, Mr. Blankfein and other individuals who were expected to be interviewed in connection with the Justice Department’s inquiry into certain matters raised in the PSI

(Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations) report hired counsel at the outset,” the firm’s statement says, which was issued after the news broke that its CEO hired Weingarten, who is with the firm Steptoe & Johnson.

Democratic Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan and Republican Tom Coburn of Oklahoma earlier this year had jointly signed a letter asking Justice and the SEC to examine the Senate panel’s report, which suggested Goldman Sachs CEO Blankfein lied under oath when he said the firm didn’t have a massive short position against the housing market, and that Goldman Sachs misled investors when it didn’t disclose to clients that it was betting against securities it was selling to them.

In April 2010 CEO Blankfein testified under oath before the Senate Subcommittee: “Much has been said about the supposedly massive short Goldman Sachs had on the U.S. housing market. The fact is we were not consistently or significantly net ‘short the market’ in residential mortgage-related products in 2007 and 2008…We didn’t have a massive short against the housing market and we certainly did not bet against our clients.”

Based on evidence in the Senate’s 635-page report, Senator Levin has said: “In my judgment, Goldman clearly misled their clients and they misled Congress.”

Meanwhile, an SEC official has already told FOX Business: “The SEC is not inhibited from bringing any future action against Goldman Sachs. Goldman is not fully absolved of its sins, if the information shows a case can be brought. The SEC can still come back to Goldman Sachs.”

Weingarten will likely do a full court press that Goldman Sachs was not net short mortgage-backed securities (MBS) or housing, even though internal emails and documents released by the Senate panel show firm executives used the term the “big short” on housing, and that the firm didn’t tell investors it was shorting deals it was selling to them, betting they would fail.

Weingarten is known for courtroom theatrics and for attacking opponents' credibility, but he has a mixed track record in securities and accounting cases. Weingarten won an acquittal on charges of securities fraud and grand larceny for client Mark Belnick, former general counsel of Tyco, where former executives Dennis Koslowski and Mark Swartz were found guilty of stealing $150 million from the conglomerate.

Weingarten in recent years took on the case of former Enron accountant Richard Causey, who had pled guilty to one count of securities fraud (attorney Daniel Petrocelli initially represented Causey).

But Weingarten lost securities fraud cases for Bernie Ebbers at WorldCom and Franklin Brown at Rite Aid, who was convicted of 10 counts stemming from accounting irregularities at the drug store chain.

Read the whole article here


Anonymous said...

just remember..


Covering Up Wall Street Crimes: Matt Taibbi Exposes How SEC Shredded Thousands of Investigations
An explosive new report in Rolling Stone magazine exposes how the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission destroyed records of thousands of investigations, whitewashing the files of some of the nation’s largest banks and hedge funds, including AIG, Wells Fargo, Lehman Brothers, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America and top Wall Street broker Bernard Madoff. Last week, Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa said an agency whistleblower had sent him a letter detailing the unlawful destruction of records detailing more than 9,000 information investigations. We speak with Matt Taibbi, the political reporter for Rolling Stone magazine who broke this story in his latest article, "Is the SEC Covering Up Wall Street Crimes?"

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the story

Great NEWS

Anonymous said...

They Still Don't Get It

By Eliot Spitzer, Slate Magazine

22 August 11

Some people on Wall Street, and at the Wall Street Journal, speak as if the financial crisis never happened.

At stake is much more than the particular cases at issue. By trying to rewrite the narrative of the economic cataclysm we have lived through, the deniers are attempting to challenge the common-sense conclusions that flow from an accurate understanding of history. They are desperately trying to protect a particularly rabid, and ultimately damaging, anti-regulatory philosophy that has dominated the past 30 years. They are trying to protect a broken and misguided understanding of how markets really function, a view now openly rejected even by such staunch free-market advocates as Judge Richard Posner and former Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan. Acknowledging the propriety of any government prosecutions of corporate wrongdoing would make impossible their current effort to push back against even the government's minimal responses to the financial crisis.

Anonymous said...

Could Blankfein Face Prison?
Aug 23, 2011 12:34 AM EDT
The Goldman Sachs CEO didn’t get a big-time criminal-defense lawyer because he’s worried about an SEC wrist slap—there’s a real possibility of doing time, says former Goldman managing director Nomi Prins.

Anonymous said...

The whistleblower whose book on the Bernie Madoff scheme, No One Would Listen, is the basis for the new film Chasing Madoff, discusses his 10-year journey and explains why the fraud was obvious to anybody who cared to look.

For years, Harry Markopolos tried to tip off the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to what turned out to be the largest Ponzi scheme of all time. The former securities industry exec turned independent financial fraud investigator was working for a Boston investment firm, when he discovered Bernie Madoff’s house of cards and gives an account of the scandal in the new book No One Would Listen. Markopolos has a master’s degree in finance from Boston College and is past president of Boston Security Analysts Society, Inc.

Anonymous said...

"Wall Street, Expect Us!" says video communique.

Hey jammers, dreamers, patriots,

Anonymous has just released a video communique endorsing #OCCUPYWALLSTREET. Using language from our first Tactical Briefing, the video calls on protestors to adopt the nonviolent Tahrir-acampadas model. On the 17th of September, it says, "flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months … Once there, we shall incessantly repeat one simple demand in a plurality of voices."

Anonymous said...

Central Planning - It's Not Just For Communists Anymore

When business obtains an inordinate amount of power over the social fabric of regulation and governance, the creation of an oligarchy distorts the real economy through the accumulation of too much power in too few hands, in the manner of the central planning bureaucracies of the old line communist nations.

And this is why the standard economic solutions of both stimulus and austerity for normal cyclical excess can be doomed to failure, as they are at this time. The system itself has become distorted and broken, and is badly in need of reform. Whatever one puts into it will come out badly, and be turned to fruitless purposes, corrupted by the unprecedented concentration of power in the hands of the few, the partnership of the Wall Street banks, big media, multinational corporations, and their servants in the government.

Anonymous said...

Imagine if these guys were jury picking?

New York Loses Foreclosure Panel Post for ‘Undermining’ Deal

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was removed from a leadership role in negotiating a nationwide foreclosure settlement with U.S. banks because his office “actively worked to undermine” the effort, a state official said.

Schneiderman, who doesn’t want a settlement to bar further investigations of mortgage practices by individual states, was removed from the executive committee of state officials working on the deal, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller said yesterday in a statement.

Anonymous said...

Just another brick in the wall:

It Should Be Obvious To Everyone By Now:

I actually meant to talk about why the system is in trouble and I got off on this BAC tangent because, in fact, BAC is the poster-child for what is going on beneath surface in our system right now. The system is even more embedded with fraud, corruption and grand-scale taxpayer theft right now than it was in 2008. And the economy is in the toilet, per the latest round of economic numbers, most notably housing plus all the regional Fed bank reports.

Larry Rubinoff said...

So, where is the problem? We all KNOW about the lies and fraud. We can see first hand the cover ups and attempts to cover up and we see how people are being illegally forced from their homes by fraud foreclosures using forged and fraud documents. WE SEE ALL OF THIS yet nothing is being done about it.

It is becoming like the old Soviet Union, like Nazi Germany, like the dictatorships in Libya, Iraq, Iran and Syria.

The banks - like the Gestapo or KGB - can just come to someones house, change the locks, take their possessions even while they have no LEGAL right to do so and the police do NOTHING!

I fear we live in fear. As Tom Jefferson said,

"When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny."

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