Credit Suisse Group AG (CSGN) sued its former vice president of emerging markets, Agostina Pechi, claiming she stole the bank’s trade secrets in a bid to win clients for her new employer, Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS).
In February and March, Pechi secretly sent e-mails with client lists and other confidential bank information from her work account to her personal inbox, and printed “critical transaction documents” late at night from her office, when she was supposed to be on vacation, Credit Suisse (CSGN) said in a complaint filed yesterday in state court in Manhattan.
Pechi, who made $950,000 last year and lives in New York, resigned from the Zurich-based bank on April 2, telling Credit Suisse’s human-resources department she was accepting a position at New York-based Goldman Sachs (GS), according to the complaint.
“Pechi decided to steal confidential Credit Suisse information and contacts that she had learned during the course of her employment for Credit Suisse,” according to the complaint. She plans to use the data “to compete with Credit Suisse, and intends to provide this information to her new employer to specifically target Credit Suisse’s clients.”
A message left on a mobile phone listed for Pechi, seeking comment on the lawsuit, wasn’t immediately returned yesterday. Michael DuVally, a Goldman Sachs spokesman, declined to comment on the lawsuit.
Credit Suisse, the second-biggest Swiss bank, alleges Pechi started systematically taking secret bank data by at least Feb. 4, when she e-mailed “highly confidential deal-structuring documents” related to a sensitive deal with a client.
Around March 19, Pechi allegedly sent an e-mail to herself containing databases that she had helped build with the bank’s emerging markets team. She’s also accused of sending her client list from Credit Suisse, as well as client lists that she didn’t personally cover and other “important contacts in the emerging markets space,” according to the complaint.
“There is no question that the databases that Pechi mailed to herself were and are the property of Credit Suisse, developed by Credit Suisse using its own resources,” the bank said in the complaint.
Credit Suisse (CSGN) also claims Pechi deliberately obscured the status of deals with a critical client and in one case, told the bank the client had a “flagging” interest in current and future business while meeting with them on her own.
“Pechi held these in-person meetings in an effort to shore up her relationship with the client in preparation for her departure, and to explicitly discuss moving its business to Pechi’s new firm,” according to Credit Suisse’s complaint. “Based upon Pechi’s representations, senior Credit Suisse employees did not meet with the client.”
The Swiss bank claims that after Pechi resigned, she cooperated with a probe into her activities, including allowing Credit Suisse’s third-party investigators to search some of her personal effects at her home on April 12, and granting them access to her personal e-mail and work BlackBerry.
When about 60 bank e-mails were located in her personal account, she agreed to let investigators review them the next day, and then allegedly deleted them before they had a chance, Credit Suisse claims.
“Less than 24 hours later, the e-mails had been deleted from Pechi’s personal e-mail account and could not be recovered, despite the fact that Pechi was aware that Credit Suisse’s investigators had returned solely to extract these 60 emails,” the bank said.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs Group Inc must face fraud claims brought by CIFG Assurance North America over insurance it provided for $275 million (177 million pounds) in mortgage-backed securities, a New York state appeals court ruled on Tuesday.
CIFG claimed in a 2011 lawsuit that the investment bank fraudulently induced it to provide insurance for a portfolio of more than 6,000 subprime residential mortgages by concealing the shoddy quality of the loans.
A trial judge in Manhattan threw out that claim last year, ruling that CIFG would have uncovered the alleged misrepresentations had it performed proper due diligence.
The New York State Supreme Court‘s Appellate Division, First Department, reversed on Tuesday, finding that CIFG had done enough by having an outside consultant analyze the loans.
“There is a question of fact as to whether plaintiff reasonably relied on defendants’ representations,” a five-judge panel wrote in a unanimous decision.
Michael DuVally, a spokesman for Goldman, declined to comment.
The ruling also revived fraud claims against M&T Bank Corp , one of several originators that sold the loans to Goldman. An M&T Bank spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The decision could have implications for similar lawsuits brought by monoline insurers against banks, including one filed by Assured Guaranty Ltd against JPMorgan Chase & Co in 2012.
In that case, JPMorgan had asked a New York judge to dismiss similar fraud claims but agreed to hold off until the First Department ruled in the CIFG case.
Other insurers, including Ambac Financial Group Inc and MBIA Inc , have also filed lawsuits claiming banks misled them into insuring toxic mortgage-backed securities before the housing market meltdown by concealing major risk in the underlying loans.
Tuesday’s ruling also let stand breach of contract claims against Goldman.
CIFG is seeking compensation for claims as well as buy-backs of defective loans.
“We’re very pleased with the decision, and we look forward to proving our case,” Michael Vogel, a lawyer for CIFG, said.
The case is CIFG Assurance North America, Inc., v. Goldman Sachs & Co., New York State Supreme Court, New York County, No. 652286/2011.
(Reporting by Joseph Ax; editing by Noeleen Walder and Alden Bentley)
Shashank Tripathi on the left of picture
NEWSER) – A Twitter user who spread false information as superstorm Sandy battered New York City has been unmasked by Buzzfeed as the campaign manager for Christopher Wright, the Republican House candidate from New York’s 12th congressional district. Among the rumors started by hedge fund manager Shashank Tripathi, using the name “ComfortablySmug,” were that all power in Manhattan was being shut down and that the New York Stock Exchange had flooded.
Tripathi’s rumors spread widely and were reported by several media outlets, forcing utility and transportation officials dealing with the crisis to take time out to deny them. Tripathi, who hung up on journalists requesting comment, has now tweeted a “sincere, humble and unconditional apology” for his “irresponsible and inaccurate” tweets and has resigned from the Wright campaign.
Infrastructure in America‘s largest city struggles to resume business after post-tropical storm causes damage
Homes damaged, streets flooded and city plunged into darkness, causing misery and chaos for millions of residents
Residents demand answers as officials remain vague over when New York can expect to get back on its feet
City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says 750,000 New Yorkers are without power
Mayor admits it could take up to five days to have the city’s subway system running again
Governor Andrew Cuomo: ‘It was as bad as anything I have experienced in New York’
Lower Manhattan goes dark during hurricane Sandy, on Monday, as seen from Brooklyn, N.Y. Sandy continued on its path Monday, as the storm forced the shutdown of mass transit, schools and financial markets, sending coastal residents fleeing, and threatening a dangerous mix of high winds and soaking rain.
John Minchillo / AP
Water floods the Ground Zero construction site on Monday in New York after Sandy came ashore to the south.
Vehicles are submerged on 14th Street near the Consolidated Edison power plant, Monday, in New York.
Rising water, caused by Sandy, rushes into a subterranean parking garage, Monday, in the Financial District of New York City.
Here’s another shot that is said to be 14th Street and Avenue C: