Tourre Wants Appeal In SEC Lawsuit

Sep 26 2011 | 1:16pm ET

Goldman Sachs vice president Fabrice Tourre wants to streamline the Securities and Exchange Commission's lawsuit against him—by having an appeals court toss one of the allegations against him.

Tourre, the only individual charged in the case stemming from Paulson & Co.'s alleged role in putting together a collateralized debt obligation four years ago, has asked for permission to appeal a lower court decision approving an SEC claim that Tourre offered the CDO, ABACUS-2007-AC1, to IKB Deutsche Industriebank and ABN Amro.

In addition to being barred by a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, the claim should be dropped because it will eliminate costly and time-consuming document review and litigation abroad, Tourre's lawyers argued.

"An immediate appeal will profoundly affect the conduct of this proceeding" and "avoid substantial waste."

In its response, the SEC said that the circumstances do not warrant an interlocutory appeal and that Tourre's lawyers are relying on a "mischaracterization" of the Supreme Court decision, Morrison v. National Australia Bank, which forbade federal securities fraud lawsuits in the U.S. by foreign buyers of foreign securities traded abroad. IKB, ABN Amro and Tourre are all based in Europe.

According to the SEC, Goldman and Tourre misled investors about Paulson's role in the CDO, which it shorted to great effect while investors in the CDO itself took a bath. Paulson has not been accused of any wrongdoing in the case, and Goldman settled the lawsuit against it for $550 million last year.

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