Feds Open Criminal Probe Into Goldman Trades
Prosecutors investigate possible securities fraud
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2010 6:47 PM CDT
Updated Apr 30, 2010 5:46 AM CDT
Daniel Sparks, Joshua S. Birnbaum, Michael J. Swenson, and Fabrice Tourre are sworn in before their Senate testimony.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
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(Newser) – Goldman's legal troubles are deepening. Federal prosecutors at the US Attorney's Office in Manhattan have opened a criminal probe into the Wall Street giant's mortgage trading, reports the Wall Street Journal. Prosecutors are looking for evidence of securities fraud but haven't decided whether to bring charges. The SEC, which has brought civil charges of its own, referred the case to the Manhattan office.

Prosecutors face huge hurdles in bringing a case, explains the Journal. For starters, they'd have the difficult task of proving that Goldman employees knowingly broke the law. Beyond that, the ins and outs of trades involving "collateralized debt obligations" are mind-numbingly complex.