Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo Investments Repurchase $26.9M in Auction-Rate Securities from New Jersey Investors

According to the New Jersey Bureau of Securities, Wells Fargo Investments Inc. (WFC) and Goldman Sachs & Co. (GS) has repurchased $26.9 million in ARS tosettle securities allegations that they sold auction-rate securities to New Jersey investors without disclosing the risks involved. Goldman bought back $25.5 million in ARS (it will also pay a $959,794 civil penalty), while Wells Fargo Investments repurchased $1.37 million in ARS.

The Bureau says that Goldman Sachs did not properly supervise and train its salespeople to make sure that all of its clients knew of the mechanics involved in the auction market and that the ARS could become illiquid. The financial firm also is accused of failing to disclose to investors the risks involved in buying or owning ARS even as it was becoming aware that the market was in trouble. The Bureau also accused Wells Fargo Investments of not properly supervising or training its agents that marketed the securities.

The two Consent Orders against Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo Investments are the 11th and 12th that the state’s Bureau of Securities has reached with financial firms over ARS that were sold to investors in New Jersey. As part of the settlements, several firms that sold and marketed ARS have offered to buy back $2.8 billion of these securities.

It was in 2008 that state offices started getting complaints from investors about problems related to ARS investments. New Jersey was one of the 12 states that became part of a task force that looked into whether financial firms misled investors that bought ARS, which were sold and marketed as liquid, safe, and like cash. When the ARS market did fail, many investors were unable to access their money as the securities became illiquid.

Related Web Resources:
Goldman Sachs and Wells Fargo Investments Agree to Repurchase $26.9 Million in Auction Rate Securities from N.J. Investors, Division of Consumer Affairs Announces, NJ.gov, May 16, 2011

New Jersey Bureau of Securities


More Blog Posts:

Anschutz Corp.’s Securities Fraud Lawsuit Against Deutsche Bank and Credit Rating Agencies Over Their Alleged Mishandling of Auction-Rate Securities Can Proceed, Says District Court, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, April 21, 2011

Akamai Technologies Inc’s ARS Lawsuit Against Deutsche Bank Can Proceed, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, March 4, 2011

Auction-Rate Securities Investigations by SEC and NY Attorney General Are Ongoing, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, April 21, 2011

Our securities fraud lawyers represent investors wishing to recoup their money that got stuck in frozen ARS.