Apr 14, 2022
Fired Goldman Trader Loses Bid to Revive Claim Against Bank
(Bloomberg) -- A former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. managing director failed to convince a court to revive his claim that he was illegally fired for blowing the whistle on compliance lapses at the bank.
Christopher Rollins sued Goldman in 2018, but the case was sent to arbitration. A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority panel dismissed his claims last year, and a federal judge in New York on Thursday rejected Rollins’s attempt to overturn the arbitral decision.
Rollins claimed he was terminated for highlighting the bank’s dealings with controversial German financier Lars Windhorst and its failure to comply with anti-money-laundering laws. According to Rollins, he was made a scapegoat after transactions with Windhorst raised questions, even though the client relationship had been cultivated by more senior Goldman managers.
In seeking to vacate the March 2021 arbitral award, which also required him to pay $8,887.50 in fees, Rollins argued to U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos that he had been denied access to evidence, including compliance records showing that Windhorst was on a restricted list.
But Ramos found that Goldman produced tens of thousands of pages of documents in the case and noted that Rollins conceded that he had received a fair hearing. The parties also introduced “ample evidence” about Goldman’s decision to terminate him -- including more than 100 exhibits -- and Rollins called 11 witnesses, the judge said.
“Furthermore, even if Rollins could establish that the panel had refused to hear pertinent evidence, he cannot show prejudice, since he has not shown that the compliance records were so dispositive to his claims that access to them -- as opposed to all the other evidence and testimony before the panel -- would have changed the outcome of the proceedings,” Ramos said.
Seth Redniss, an attorney for Rollins, didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment on the decision.
The case is Rollins v Goldman Sachs & Co., 18-cv-7162, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
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