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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

No big to jail -The Goldman fraud case gets more and more obscure - they are scared

They make astonishing mistakes - that means Goldman knows it has a weak position. Thanks to the great work of zerohedge some more interesting points.

excerpt 1

Some terrific investigative reporting by Matt Goldstein at Reuters discloses that while Lloyd Blankfein is aggressively defending Tourre, claiming the Frenchman did nothing wrong despite earlier reports that he was deregistered by the FSA, and the Telegraph now chiming in he has now in fact been barred in a major setback for Goldman's defense, another Goldman employee who was part of the 18-month SEC investigation, mysteriously departed in June of 2009. The person in question: Gail Kreitman, a 1991 Wharton grad, who had previously worked at Merrill (1997-2003) and Lehman (2003-2006) according to her Finra records, before finally landing at Goldman for a three year stint as a "GS&Co. Sales Rep." Gail had been identified previously in the initial Goldman Wells response, and was named as a person whose sworn testimony may have been the catalyst for the SEC's case against Goldman Sachs. Where the plot really thickens is a cursory glance at the bio of her husband, Jeffrey Toll, who according to Bloomberg is a Co-Founder of now-defunct C-BASS (Credit-Based Asset Servicing and Securitization) a company formed with initial funding by mortgage insurers MTIG and Radian. For those unfamiliar, "C-BASS was a leading issuer, servicer, and investor specializing in credit-sensitive residential mortgage assets. These assets included performing subprime and Alt A, nonperforming, reperforming, second lien and small commercial loans, as well as subordinated and mezzanine RMBS with prime, subprime, Alt A and high LTV collateral" and that "It currently is liquidating its existing portfolio and returning the cash proceeds received to its lenders and investors." One wonders just what Ms. Kreitman did to merit the severance of her ties with Goldman, and whether C-BASS was in any way involved, or whether it had any dealings with Goldman's now infamous mortgage group, ala ACA?

Goldstein reports:

Gail Kreitman, the former Goldman bond saleswoman, is not named as a defendant in the Securities and Exchange Commission's lawsuit against Goldman and another of the investment firm's bond salesmen, Fabrice Tourre. Kreitman is not even identified by name in the complaint.

But Kreitman, who left Goldman in June 2009, was interviewed by securities regulators during the course of their 18-month investigation, and some of her email communications are cited by the SEC in the 22-page complaint.

The SEC points to some of Kreitman's emails as part of its claim that Goldman and Tourre misled ACA Capital Management, the outside manager tapped to oversee the transaction, about hedge fund giant Paulson & Co's economic interest in the deal.

Kreitman is not identified by name in the emails cited in the complaint. The SEC refers to her simply as a "GS&Co. sales representative."

But in a lengthy legal filing submitted to the SEC last September, lawyers for Goldman Sachs try to explain away the emails between Kreitman and ACA executive Laura Schwartz. Goldman's attorneys contend that Kreitman did not intend to give ACA officials the impression that the hedge fund was either an equity investor or "long" on the deal.

"The fact that Ms. Kreitman did not correct Ms. Schwartz's statements that Paulson was an equity investor does not indicate that she attempted to conceal the truth from ACA," said lawyers from the New York firm Sullivan & Cromwell, Goldman's outside counsel.

Goldman's outside lawyers in the filing downplayed Kreitman's role in engineering the so-called synthetic collateralized debt obligation called Abacus 2007-AC1. The lawyers said Kreitman was merely an "intermediary" whose main job was to "manage the relationship for ACA."

The Goldman lawyers even suggest Kreitman, who previously worked at Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch before coming to Goldman in 2006, may not have "understood the significance of Ms. Schwartz's statements suggesting she believed Paulson to be an equity investor."

What again is most notable about this situation is that Ms. Kreitman, who currently lives in Livingston, NJ (we attempted to reach her listed phone number but got only voicemail) left Goldman in the middle of last year: hardly a time when one departs a company especially without some like replacement - no additional record of her being employed currently is indicated by Bloomberg.

Yet, as pointed out, a glance at her husband's bio via Bloomberg led to some surprises:

Here is some additional color on what precisely Kreitman did at Goldman according to the initial Wells Response:

The record shows that Ms. Kreitman, who provided sales coverage on ACA, acted as an “intermediary between the [various] trading desk[s] and clients.” (Kreitman Tr. 11.). Ms. Kreitman?s role in 2007-AC1 was to “manage the relationship for ACA,” meaning that she “acted as an intermediary between the trading desk and [ACA] facilitating meetings and phone calls.” (Id. at 27-28.) She did not “attend or participate [in the meetings she arranged]” relating to the 2007-AC1 transaction, nor was she “involved in” the creation of the 2007-AC1 CDO. (Id. at 31-33.) Nothing in the record suggests that Ms. Kreitman understood the significance of Ms. Schwartz?s statements suggesting that she believed Paulson to be an equity investor, much less that Ms. Kreitman acted with scienter or departed from the standard of ordinary care by not correcting them.

And just as ACA ended up being allegedly on the wrong side of the Paulson trade, we wonder whether Ms. Kreitman's coverage list also included C-BASS, as well as potentially MTIG and Radian. Was she also responsible for selling structured products or investment ideas to a firm in which her husband was the co-founder? If so, is there any incremental liability involved over and above what happened in terms of Goldman disclosure with ACA, which is as the heart of the SEC case, and in which Ms. Kreitman, it appears, was instrumental in providing information to the SEC, which may or may not have been the key info on which the SEC's entire case rests?

Was Ms. Kreitman fired in retribution for inappropriate disclosure to the SEC? Was she fired in fear of what else could be uncovered should someone dig deeper? Is she now a cooperating witness with the SEC? Is her husband's role at C-BASS being used as leverage, especially if indeed there were any relations between Goldman and the bankrupt firm? Was C-BASS used, knowingly, as a comparable patsy to ACA? Did MTIG and Radian shareholders lose all, if indeed Goldman was selling them securities of the same type as Abacus with the witting knowledge of people on both sides of the transaction? Or did she just leave voluntarily on amicable terms in the middle of the worst year for Wall Street employment in history?

Zero Hedge will continue to pursue these questions over the next few days.

What we do know is that at the end of the day, the remains of C-BASS were sold off to none other than Larry Litton's LittonLoan, which just happens to be, under the Archon Group umbrella, owned by... Goldman Sachs.

You do the math.

We also certainly will dig into the other people who provided sworn SEC tetimony: Melanie Herald-Granoff, Michael Nartey, and David Gerst (in addition to Fab Fab of course).

excerpt 2

Behind The Scenes: Did A Goldmanite Lose Their Job Over The SEC Investigation? And Just How/Why Did Goldman Purchase C-BASS For Pennies On The Dollar?






Marcy Captur Writes To AG Holder, Demands A Full Scale Criminal Investigation Of Goldman Sachs


Via Huffington Post:

The Honorable Eric Holder
United States Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20530-0001


Dear Attorney General Holder:

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced on Friday, April 16, 2010, that it had filed a securities fraud action against the Wall Street company Goldman Sachs & Co (GS& Co.) and one of its employees for making materially misleading statements and omissions in connection with a synthetic collateralized debt obligation ("CDO") that GS & Co. structured and marketed to investors. The SEC alleges that:

1. This synthetic CDO, ABACUS 2007- AC1, was tied to the performance of sub-prime residential mortgage-backed securities ("RMBS") and was structured and marketed by GS & Co. in early 2007 when the United States housing market and related securities were beginning to show signs of distress. Synthetic CDOs like ABACUS 2007-AC1 contributed to the recent financial crisis by magnifying losses associated with the downturn in the United States housing market.

GS & Co. marketing materials for ABACUS 2007-AC1 - including the term sheet, flip book and offering memorandum for the CDO - all represented that the reference portfolio of RMBS underlying the CDO was selected by ACA Management with experience analyzing credit risk in RMBS. Undisclosed in the marketing materials and unbeknownst to investors, 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. After participating in the selection of the reference portfolio, Paulson effectively shorted the RMBS portfolio it helped select by entering into credit default swaps ("CDS") with GS & Co. to buy protection on specific layers of the ABACUS 2007-AC1 capital structure.

In sum, GS & Co. arranged a transaction at Paulson's request in which Paulson heavily influenced the selection of the portfolio to suit its economic interests, but failed to disclose to investors, as part of the description of the portfolio selection process contained in the marketing materials used to promote the transaction, Paulson's role in the portfolio selection process or its adverse economic interests.

As the SEC notes, financial manipulations such as this contributed to the near collapse of the U.S. financial system and cost American taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. On the face of the SEC filing, criminal fraud on a historic scale seems to have occurred in this instance. As an ever growing mountain of evidence reveals, this case is neither unique nor isolated.

If both global and domestic confidence in the integrity of the U.S. financial system is to be regained, there must be confidence that criminal acts will be vigorously pursued and perpetrators punished.

While the SEC lacks the authority to act beyond civil actions, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has the power to file criminal actions against those who commit financial fraud. We ask assurance from you that the U.S. Department of Justice is closely looking at this case and similar cases to further investigate and prosecute the criminals involved in this, and other financially fraudulent acts. Furthermore, if the DOJ is not currently looking into this particular case, we respectfully ask you to ensure that the U.S. Department of Justice immediately open a case on this matter and investigate it with the full authority and power that your agency holds. The American people both demand and deserve justice in the matter of Wall Street banks whom the American taxpayers bailed out, only to see unemployment and housing foreclosures rise.

This matter is of deep importance to us. As you may know, H.R. 3995, the Financial Crisis of 2008 Criminal Investigation and Prosecution Act, has been introduced, which authorizes you to hire more prosecutors, Director Mueller of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to hire 1,000 more agent as well as additional forensic experts, and Chair Mary Shapiro of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to hire more investigators to continue to pursue justice and route out the criminals in our financial system. Part of financial regulatory reform should include removing the criminals and crafting a system that supports those who follow the law.

We in Congress stand ready to support you in protecting the American taxpayers from financial crimes such as the fraud that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has charged Goldman Sachs with committing.
We ask that you take up this case, and others, to pursue justice for the American people, to put criminals in jail, and seek to restore the integrity of our nation's financial system.

Sincerely,

Marcy Kaptur
MEMBER OF CONGRESS

Also, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee has started a petition: No "Too Big To Jail" - those who wish may endorse it here.

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