Ex-Goldman VP Tourre denied a new trial in SEC case

Tue Jan 7, 2014 4:54pm EST
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By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fabrice Tourre, the former Goldman Sachs Group Inc vice president who was found liable for defrauding investors over a failed mortgage transaction, has failed to persuade a federal judge to dismiss the case or give him a new trial.

U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan said on Tuesday that jurors did not make a mistake on August 1 in finding Tourre liable on six of the seven civil charges brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Tourre was accused of engineering a 2007 transaction that enabled a hedge fund run by billionaire John Paulson to reap a big profit while costing investors $1 billion in losses.

He argued that his conduct did not amount to fraud, that there was a lack of evidence to support such a finding, and that Forrest had instructed jurors incorrectly on the law.

"None of these arguments has merit," the judge concluded.

Forrest is still reviewing an SEC request that Tourre pay $1.15 million, including a $910,000 fine, as punishment.

The case took an unusual turn on Tuesday when the SEC, citing information learned through "law enforcement channels," said Tourre was planning by January 9 to transfer 300,000 pounds (about $492,000) out of a UK bank account and lend it to a close relative who was buying an apartment.

Concerned this might leave Tourre short of funds, the SEC asked Forrest to direct that he keep $1.15 million in a U.S. bank account. It said Tourre's lawyer has advised that Tourre intends to keep enough assets there to cover a maximum penalty.   Continued...

Former Goldman Sachs bond trader Fabrice Tourre leaves the Manhattan Federal Court in New York August 1, 2013. REUTERS/Keith Bedford