Show Hide image

Goldman Sachs could face criminal charges

Reports suggest that it is under serious investigation for its handling of financial products.

Reports have emerged that US prosecutors are reviewing the evidence gathered by the US Securities and Exchange Commission about Goldman Sachs in its recent probe into the investment bank's handling of a controversial financial product.

It is the latest in a series of damaging blows for the investment bank, who earlier this month posted a Q1 profit of £2.3bn, almost doublin the amount it made in the corresponding period last year.

Goldman is currently under investigation by the US financial regulator, who brought civil charges against the investment bank and one of its investment bankers, Fabrice Tourre, earlier this month. The SEC says that Goldman misled two derivatives investors about the role played by US hedge fund Paulson, who were betting against the mortgage market, and failed to disclose a conflict of interest. Goldman, and Tourre, have denied the allegations.

Goldman executives including chief executive officer Lloyd C. Blankfein appeared before a US Senate panel earlier this week to answer questions in connection with the matter. "In light of recent events involving the firm, we appreciate the support of our clients and shareholders, and the dedication and commitment of our people," Mr. Blankfein said in Goldman's earnings statement earlier this month.

The SEC cannot itself instigate criminal prosecutions. It is usual practice for its information to be shared with the Department of Justice to enable prosecutors to decide whether they should become involved.