wall st

Fabrice Tourre Trial About ‘Wall Street Greed,’ SEC Says

NEW YORK, July 15 (Reuters) – The trial of former Goldman Sachs bond trader Fabrice Tourre was about “Wall Street greed,” a lawyer for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said as the trial began on Monday.

The SEC accuses Tourre of misleading investors in a mortgage investment called Abacus 2007-AC1 by not telling them that a hedge fund was involved in selecting the underlying assets and betting against it.

Matthew Martens, a lawyer for the SEC, told the jury the deal Tourre put together was “secretly designed to maximize the potential it would fail” to the benefit of the hedge fund, which made about $1 billion.

“In the end, Wall Street greed drove Mr. Tourre to lie and deceive,” Martens said.

But Pamela Chepiga, a lawyer for Tourre, countered that the SEC was trying to turn her client into a “scapegoat.”

“This is not a case about whether you approve or disapprove of Wall Street,” she said.

The trial, scheduled to last three weeks, stems from a lawsuit the SEC filed against Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Tourre in 2010.

Tourre, who is no longer with Goldman and is earning a doctorate in economics at the University of Chicago, is on trial alone after Goldman agreed to pay a $550 million settlement in July 2010.

Tourre, wearing a black suit and orange tie, sat with his counsel as the lawyers made their opening arguments. He did not speak during Monday’s proceedings, although he is expected to testify later in the trial.

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