Fabrice Tourre leaves Goldman Sachs


Fabrice "Fab" Tourre, one of the more interesting characters of the financial crisis, can't seem to stay out of the news.

He's been trying to live a quieter life as a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Chicago, but he's still a part of the grand story of the financial crisis and allegations of bank wrong-doing. No one thinks he was a major player in the ABACUS scandal that engulfed Goldman Sachs, but he wrote some interesting emails for prosecutors to pick through. He ended up being charged with civil fraud for his role in the ABACUS CDO marketing and sales fraud, for which Goldman Sachs paid $550 million to settle (without admitting any crimes directly).

The latest development is that "Fab" has left Goldman Sachs after having been on unpaid leave. The bank continues to pay his legal costs, however, which makes it likely that he'll continue to trial unless the SEC decides to drop the case.

With the trial still set for July, this is a good time to assess the SEC'S chances. It would be instructive to look at what happened at the trial of Brian Stoker, a mid-level executive at Citigroup who has charged personally along with the bank for similar CDO-related crimes. He was acquitted by a jury, one of whom said later that he kept thinking about why the Citigroup CEDO wasn't on trial.

If Tourre's legal team can couch what he did in the context of Goldman Sachs' overall CDO activity and on the suspect behavior of those higher up the food chain, he'll likely have a good chance. In the end, email itself hasn't proved to be that powerful in the minds of jury.

For more:
- here's an article from the New York Post



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