Federal prosecutors are conducting a criminal investigation to determine whether Goldman Sachs or its employees committed securities fraud, according to The Wall Street Journal and other news sources. This probe comes weeks after the SEC’s civil suit, and the investigation — which is in its preliminary stages — was reportedly triggered by a referral from the SEC. In order to file criminal charges, prosecutors will have to uncover proof that the firm knowingly committed fraud, meaning charges are not inevitable.
A Goldman spokesman declined to comment on whether the bank was aware of a criminal case, but he did tell the Times that “given the recent focus on the firm, we’re not surprised” about news of the criminal inquiry. The spokesman also said the firm would cooperate with any requests from the investigators for information.