Goldman Sachs has been fined $1.5 million by US regulators for failing to supervise a trader who bypassed internal systems to conceal an $8.3 billion position from the bank and defraud it of $118 million.
According to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), in late 2007 Matthew Marshall Taylor, while trading a firm account, entered fake e-mini futures trades into the bank's manual trade entry system to conceal and misrepresent the size of his true position.
Taylor is accused of entering the fabricated trades by bypassing internal system designed for entering and routing electronically to the CME, instead manually putting them in a different internal system that routed only to the firm's books and records, not to the exchange.
The watchdog filed charges against Taylor in Manhattan federal court in November, saying he defrauded the bank, which ended up losing $118.44 million.
Now Goldman has been fined for failing to ensure "risk management, compliance, and supervision programs comported with its obligations to supervise diligently its business as a Commission registrant".
The $1.5 million figure has been criticised by one CFTC commissioner, Bart Chilton, who says that "penalties should be calculated so that they are more than a 'slap on the wrist'".