Goldman Sachs Sued by ACA Financial Guaranty Over Failed Abacus Investment for $120M

ACA Financial Guaranty Corporation is seeking $90 million in punitive damages and $30 million in compensatory damages from Goldman Sachs over its failed Abacus investment. The insurer contends that the broker-dealer sold a mortgage-backed investment that was designed to fail, causing investors to lose $1 billion.

ACA says that not only did it spend $15 million insuring Abacus, but also that the investment caused it to lose $30 million. The insurer contends that Goldman deceived it into thinking that hedge fund manager John Paulson also had invested in Abacus, when allegedly, the point of the flawed investment was so that Paulson & Co. could make huge profits by shorting the portfolio and the broker-dealer would then earn large investment banking fees.

ACA says that the Abacus 2007-AC1 collateralized debt obligation investment was already “was worthless” when Goldman marketed it to the insurer. Not only did ACA insure the underlying portfolio’s super-senior parts for $909 million, but also it purchased Abacus notes worth millions of dollars. Goldman hired ACA asset-management unit ACA Management LLC as “portfolio selection agent” to choose the securities for the Abacus deal.

Goldman has already settled for $550 million the Securities and Exchange Commission’s securities case against it over the failed collateralized-debt obligation investment. SEC had accused the federal agency the investment bank and its employee Fabrice Tourre of failing to tell investors that Paulson was involved in choosing the securities for Abacus and wanted to bet against the portfolio. Goldman has since acknowledged that it had provided incomplete marketing materials and agreed to business practice reforms.

Related Web Resources:
Insurer Sues Goldman Over Controversial Bond Deal, ABC News, January 6, 2011

UPDATE: ACA Financial Sues Goldman For Alleged Abacus-Related Fraud, Wall Street Journal/Dow Jones, January 6, 2011

Goldman Sach’s $550 Million Securities Fraud Settlement Not Tied to Financial Reform Bill, Says SEC IG, Institutional Investor Blog, October 27, 2010

$1 Billion Goldman Sachs Synthetic CDO Debacle a Reminder that Even Highly Sophisticated Investors Can Be Defrauded, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, April 30, 2010

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