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Germany considering legal action against Goldman Sachs: report

[JURIST] The German government said Saturday that it is considering taking legal action against Goldman, Sachs & Co. [corporate website] for defrauding investors, according to a report [text, in German] by the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag. The announcement comes just a day after the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) [official website] filed a civil suit [complaint, PDF; JURIST report] on alleging securities fraud against the bank. German government spokesperson Ulrich Wilheim said that the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) [official website] will request information from the SEC to decide whether to file a suit. Britain has indicated that it may also pursue legal action [Bloomberg report] after it found out the scope of the allegations contained in the SEC lawsuit.

The SEC complaint, filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York [official website], alleges that Goldman made misleading statements and omissions to investors in early 2007 in violation of the Securities Act of 1933 [text, PDF] and Securities Exchange Act of 1934 [text, PDF]. Goldman's alleged conduct in marketing collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) [Investopedia backgrounder] to investors lies at the core of the controversy. Goldman responded [press release] to the allegations by denying all wrongdoing. The SEC is seeking "injunctive relief, disgorgement of profits, prejudgment interest, civil penalties and other appropriate and necessary equitable relief from both defendants," remedies considered appropriate in securities fraud cases.

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