Tourre Hires New Lawyer For CDO Trial

May 15 2013 | 1:13pm ET

Steven Cohen's ex-wife isn't the only person shaking up her legal team.

Fabrice Tourre, the former Goldman Sachs executive accused of defrauding investors in a Paulson & Co.-linked collateralized debt obligation, has added noted litigator John Coffey to his defense ranks. Coffey succeeds David Esseks, who had to leave the team due to other client commitments, and will serve as co-counsel with Esseks' colleague at Allan & Overy, Pamela Chepiga.

Tourre is fighting Securities and Exchange Commission allegations that he misled investors in ABACUS-AC1 about Paulson's role in creating the CDO. According to the SEC, Paulson, which has not been accused of any wrongdoing, had a hand in selecting the securities that went into the $1 billion CDO, which it would make a killing shorting.

Goldman settled the allegations for $550 million. Tourre's civil trial is set to begin in July.

Coffey is perhaps best-known for having led the legal team that recovered more than $6 billion for investors in the WorldCom bankruptcy. A former federal prosecutor and candidate for New York State attorney general, Coffey now works at litigation finance firm BlackRobe Capital Partners—alongside Chepiga's husband, Michael.

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