A former trader at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. surrendered to Federal Bureau of Investigation authorities this week. The FBI wanted the man in connection with activities he undertook during his time as a trader late in 2007. On Wednesday, he pleaded guilty to a single count of wire fraud. After the hearing, the man, who now lives in Florida, was released on bond. The single count could lead to a prison sentence of as much as 20 years, in addition to monetary penalties. While prosecutors are recommending a shorter sentence, the actual sentence will not be set prior to his sentencing hearing, scheduled for July 26.
Prosecutors are recommending a sentence of roughly two to three years, based on his salary, rather than on the loss Goldman Sachs incurred due to his actions. The judge in the case suggested that prosecutors should have sought a longer sentence. Many white collar and financial crimes have led to longer sentences since the economic downturn in 2008.
Facing increasing pressures to produce in a difficult market, many workers in the financial and real estate markets exposed themselves to risk. Prosecutors are running up against deadlines to charge these people in state and federal courts.
Source: The Wall Street Journal, “Ex-Trader Admits to Fraud,” by Chad Bray and Justin Baer, 3 April 2013