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Friday, March 4, 2011

Is Lloyd Blankfein a Crook?

Has Goldman Sachs chief executive officer Lloyd Blankfein been caught doing something criminal?

That would be one plausible explanation for his reported agreement to testify as a witness for the federal government in its upcoming criminal trial of Galleon Group founder Raj Rajaratnam.

Rajaratnam faces several criminal counts for insider trading.

With the exception of bonafide victims (such as victims of violent crimes) whose testimony is often essential for conviction, most witnesses for the government testify because their testimony is part of a "deal" to either spare them from prosecution -- through a non-prosecution or immunity agreement -- or as part of either fact bargaining (admitting certain facts but being allowed to conceal other possible crimes) or plea bargaining in which a crime will be admitted but the witness seeks leniency when sentenced.   An immunity agreement almost always means the witness either admitted to something criminal or could be at risk of being charged criminally (but is not necessarily guilty).

Sometimes the people trying to wear the white hats turn out to also have been criminals.  Remember the story of wannabe Enron whistleblower Sherron Watkins, who made plenty of money and fame by pretending to be the Enron do-gooder.  The bloom came off the rose when she had to testify against Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling, and admitted on cross-examination that she had been granted immunity -- for insider trading.

In other words, Ms. Watkins committed illegal, criminal insider trading.  

Back to Blankfein: Why is he testifying?  Is he really some civic-minded do-gooder -- or another Wall Street crook, albeit one connected to a powerful firm and enjoying the prestige of a pedigree?  Should he testify, we should find out.

Eric Dixon is a New York lawyer.  This article is not legal advice and is only an opinion.   

1 comment:

  1. not only is he a crook he was laughing in the toilets while at a hearing to members of congress.he is literally taking the piss out of the american administaration.

    ReplyDelete