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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

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

What Will Happen to Goldman Sachs's CEO?

Here's another opinion about the fate of Goldman Sachs's Lloyd Blankfein:

Could Blankfein Face Prison?
The Goldman Sachs CEO didn't get a bit-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
By Nomi Prins - The Daily Beast

There’s a saying that loose lips sink ships. So can dead weight.

Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, who just got himself a lawyer, may be facing the possibility of sinking, either because of his own words in April 2010 before the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations (PSI) or because his shipmates are distancing themselves in a legal version of every man for himself. Or both.

Recall that Blankfein emphatically told the subcommittee, “We didn’t have a massive short against the housing market, and we certainly did not bet against our clients.” The 650-page subcommittee report (PDF) presented on April 13, 2011, which cites Blankfein 79 times, begs to differ.

The report accused Goldman of trading against its clients by simultaneously shorting certain subprime mortgage securities (a.k.a. “cats and dogs”) while stuffing them into the collateralized debt obligations it sold. It also suggested that Goldman executives, including Blankfein, misled Congress in testimony surrounding the Abacus CDO, Hudson, Timberwolf, and other deals, by saying it didn’t have a big short.

The top lesson I learned before leaving Goldman in the wake of Enron was Goldman’s foremost internal policy is to protect Goldman. It’s also to protect the most powerful members. When cracks manifest in the corporate armor, those two policies are at odds.

The executives running Goldman are exceedingly wealthy, not least because when the firm faced its darkest hour and lowest stock price in years during the bank-created crisis of fall 2008, the government provided it billions of dollars in the form of cheap loans, FDIC debt guarantees, TARP, AIG make-wholes, and a late-night moniker change from investment bank to bank holding company, giving the firm access to excessive Federal Reserve aid.

On Monday, Goldman shares took a 6 percent beating during final and extended trading hours on the announcement that Blankfein had hired a lawyer, without waiting for specifics. The last time its shares hit a 106.51 level was in early 2009.

That kind of downward movement concerns the firm’s partners. So would a wide number of casualties. Securing a separate attorney is a way to divide the firm’s members, to keep from being summarily conquered.

You could look at Blankfein hiring external counsel as a normal prudent, legal move. But that’s naive, given the attorney he selected. Hiring a major criminal-defense lawyer is about more than the fear of a $550 million SEC wrist slap for bad documentation in the Abacus CDO. It’s about the real possibility of doing time.

Big-shot Washington defense attorney Reid Weingarten, of the firm Steptoe & Johnson LLC, has represented former Enron chief accounting officer Richard Causey (who pleaded out), former Rite Aid vice chairman and chief counsel Franklin Brown (found guilty by a jury on 10 counts of conspiring to falsely inflate his company’s value), and former WorldCom CEO Bernie Ebbers (convicted on nine felony counts by a jury). All three are in jail. Two of them, Ebbers and Causey, had undergone congressional panel investigations beforehand. Another of Weingarten’s clients, former Tyco counsel Mark Belnick, was acquitted, though Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski, who was not represented by Weingarten, was convicted and remains in jail.

Read the full piece here


Anonymous said...

Ever have the need to gag? read this

Report Says: Bear Stearns Executives Sold Illegal RMBS and Covered It Up

Former mortgage staffers from Bear Stearns are coming out of the woodworks to explain how Tom Marano’s mortgage group cheated their own clients out of billions. This week I reported at The Distressed Debt Report, EMC insiders say they were told to make up the classification for whole loans, packaged into mortgage securities, to get them switched out of the trust. By classifying the loans as ‘prepaid’ or having ‘subsequent recoveries’ Bear staffers were able to fool the trustee into giving them back loans they were not able to legally service. A move New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is actively investigating now.

A year latter, when senior executies realized the mishap instead of Bear going out and informing their regulator and applying for a license, they orchestrated a cover up and even threaten EMC staffers not to talk about it. Verschleiser was the head trader for the subprime trading desk reporting directly to Tom Marano. Marano was the head of mortgages for the bank. Verschleiser now works for Goldman Sachs and Marano is CEO of ResCap a division of Ally Bank.

Joyce said...

In the link above, it does not surprise me that one of the perps is a Goldman Sachs guy (Verschleiser). They always seem to learn the wrong lessons and he will fit right in with the other GS guys.

Anonymous said...

Thursday, August 18, 2011
The Real Reason the SEC Has Been Shredding Documents For Decades

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