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Editor: Eric C. Chaffee
Univ. of Toledo College of Law

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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

FINRA Fines Goldman Sachs For Failing to Disclose Tourre's Wells Notice

FINRA has fined Goldman, Sachs & Co. $650,000 for failing to disclose that two of its registered representatives, including Fabrice Tourre, had received formal notices from the SEC that they were the subjects of investigations. Tourre's "Wells Notice" was issued in connection with the SEC's investigation of an offering of a synthetic collateralized debt obligation (CDO) called ABACUS 2007-ACI (Abacus).

 Firms are required to update a representative's regulatory record by filing a Form U4 reporting the receipt of a Wells Notice within 30 days of learning of the Notice. In Tourre's case, his Form U4 was not amended until May 3, 2010, more than seven months after Goldman learned of his Wells Notice, and only after the SEC filed a complaint against Goldman and Tourre on April 16, 2010.

 FINRA found that Goldman did not have adequate supervisory procedures and systems in place to ensure that required disclosures were made when registered employees received notice that they were the subject of a regulatory investigation. FINRA also found that Goldman's written supervisory procedures, manuals and policies were inadequate. Nowhere did the procedures and policies mention "Wells Notices" specifically and the need to make disclosure when one was issued. 

Individuals at Goldman were promptly informed of the receipt of the Wells Notices by the outside counsel for both employees, but they subsequently failed to notify the Goldman compliance unit charged with updating Forms U4. The second registered individual subsequently was not named in an SEC complaint. 

As part of the settlement, Goldman also agreed to review its supervisory procedures and systems in the reporting area and to implement and document any necessary remedial measures.

 

In concluding this settlement, Goldman neither admitted nor denied the charges, but consented to the entry of FINRA's findings.

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