Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs File FINRA Claim Against Goldman Sachs

Harriet Davies Editor - Family Wealth Report 19 March 2012

Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs File FINRA Claim Against Goldman Sachs

Two founders of a Silicon Valley firm have filed a claim in the San Francisco, CA office of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority alleging that Goldman Sachs and two account executives manipulated the 2008 financial crisis to defraud them.

The claim was filed by Sehat Sutardja and Weili Dai, founders of Marvell Technology Group, and alleges that Goldman abused their trust and “ultimately defrauded them of several hundreds of millions of dollars” of their personal wealth, according to a statement.

The claim states that, in the spring of 2008, Goldman encouraged Dai to purchase shares on a margin in the technology company NVIDIA, encouraging her to buy more shares even after she had bought more than $150 million of the company’s stock.

Meanwhile, the claim says Goldman was managing its own stake in NVIDIA -  a position consisting of 9,168,023 shares, including both shares held outright and call options. It alleges that the Wall Street firm decreased its holding by nearly 60 per cent over a quarter, while encouraging Dai to purchase additional stock.

On 30 September 2008, Goldman’s position had decreased to 3,162,225 shares, the statement claims. The firm then allegedly began to increase its holdings over the following quarter, expanding it by 55 per cent to 31 December, while “forcing [the claimants] to sell their NVIDIA shares at a massive loss,” the statement says.

No disclosures were made to the claimants about Goldman’s own holdings in NVIDIA, or about the firm’s investment banking relationship with the tech company, according to the filing.

“Our claim clearly states Goldman Sachs put the firm’s interests ahead of its clients. As a result, our clients claim they were defrauded by hundreds of millions of dollars by Goldman. We will be seeking these damages and punitive damages,” said Joseph Cotchett of Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, one of the attorneys for Dai and Sutardja.


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