The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has fined Goldman, Sachs & Co. $650,000 for failing to disclose that two of its registered representatives, including Fabrice Tourre, received “Wells Notices” from the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The notices indicate that the representatives were the subjects of investigations tied to the firm’s offering of a synthetic collateralized debt obligation called ABACUS 2007-ACI.
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, the 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 said.
The fine is potentially significant for the municipal market because the SEC and the Justice Department are conducting parallel civil and criminal investigations of anticompetitive practices tied to municipal derivatives and guaranteed investment contracts. Several firms have reported receipt of Wells Notices in connection with the investigations.
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 were inadequate.