The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has declined to press criminal charges against Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in relation to allegations that the bank intentionally deceived Congress and investors about its endeavors in the subprime mortgage market.
The Los Angeles Times reports that the DOJ made its decision after a year-long ‘exhaustive review’ that concluded ‘the burden of proof to bring a criminal case could not be met based on the law and facts as they exist at this time.’ However, the DOJ adds that it might reopen its investigation ‘if any additional or new evidence emerges.’
Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the U.S. Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, stood by his panel's investigation of Goldman Sachs' conduct, which concluded that the bank profited during the subprime market meltdown by betting billions of dollars against the mortgage market.
‘Whether the decision by the Department of Justice is the product of weak laws or weak enforcement, Goldman Sachs' actions were deceptive and immoral,’ Levin says.
The DOJ follows a decision by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) not to file charges against Goldman Sachs over problematic disclosures related to a $1.3-billion subprime mortgage portfolio. In 2010, Goldman Sachs paid out a $550 million settlement with the SEC over allegations that the bank misled investors who purchased its mortgage-backed securities.