Goldman Sachs has agreed to pay $550 million to settle civil fraud charges that accused the Wall Street giant of misleading buyers of mortgage-related investments. The deal calls for Goldman to pay the Securities and Exchange Commission fines of $300 million. The rest of the money will go to compensate those who lost money on their investments. The fine is the largest against a financial company in SEC history.
The settlement requires Goldman to review how it sells complex financial mortgage investments. Goldman acknowledged in a court filing that its marketing materials for the deal at the center of the charges omitted key information for buyers. The investments were crafted with input from a Goldman client who was betting on them to fail. The civil charges the SEC filed April 16 were the most significant legal action related to the mortgage meltdown that pushed the country into recession. (Read more SEC stories.)