Regional News

SEC: Don't Delay JPMorgan Bankers Case Involving JeffCo

BRADENTON, Fla. — Two former JPMorgan bankers want a judge to keep delaying their trial in order to depose CDR Financial Products Inc. senior vice president Douglas Goldberg.

That could take a year or longer, the Securities and Exchange Commission said in a recent court filing objecting to further delay in the 2009 case.

The SEC has asked the judge to set a trial date in February 2014 for bankers Charles LeCroy and Douglas MacFaddin.

Suit was filed against the men in Birmingham, Ala., federal court charging them with making more than $8 million in undisclosed payments to friends of certain Jefferson County commissioners and broker-dealers.

The payments were to allegedly ensure that JPMorgan would be managing underwriter of the county's now-failed sewer warrant deals.

The banker's case had been delayed at the request of the Department of Justice in order to prevent Goldberg from being deposed while he testified in unrelated municipal bond cases.

The SEC supported most of the DOJ's requests, but said in the court filing that there no longer is a reason to delay the banker's trial. The agency noted that the DOJ is no longer seeking a delay.

A "mountain of evidence" has already been compiled in the case, according to the SEC.

The evidence includes depositions from most major participants, millions of pages of documents, audiotapes including those of Goldberg, and testimony from the commission's investigation and criminal trials.

"Finally, and perhaps most significantly, there are hundreds of tape recordings of telephone calls made by LeCroy and MacFaddin in 2002 and 2003 in which they discuss with each other and numerous third parties virtually every aspect of [Jefferson County's] the transactions and payments," said the SEC.

The agency said while Goldberg has information about the case that could prove helpful "to suggest against this mountain of evidence that without his testimony the case cannot proceed and the court is incapable of deciding the issues is ludicrous," the agency said. "The court will have more than sufficient evidence to make findings."

CDR was the swap adviser to Jefferson County as it built a portfolio of derivatives during the issuance of nearly $3.2 billion of auction- and variable-rate sewer warrants that were sold to repair a regional sewer system.

Those warrants are in default, and the county filed for Chapter 9 bankruptcy in November 2011 in part because of the debt.

In an unrelated case, Goldberg pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to rig bids for municipal bond investment contracts. His sentencing was recently pushed back to March 20, 2014.

Goldberg has said that he would "assert his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination" if he is deposed in the JPMorgan banker's case before sentencing.

LeCroy and MacFaddin said it is still critical for them to depose Goldberg.

Information necessary for their case will not be available at trial if Goldberg asserts the Fifth Amendment during deposition, they said.

The SEC said circumstances have changed, since it appeared at one time that Goldberg would be sentenced sooner.

Now it could be a year or more before sentencing takes place.

"In essence, LeCroy and MacFaddin are asking to postpone the case in perpetuity," the SEC said. "While that might suit their interests, it is not consistent with the interests of justice, the court's interest in effective maintenance of its crowded docket, and the commission and the public's interest in the resolution of enforcement proceedings."




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