Banker Fined $100,000 in Political Scheme
WASHINGTON (CN) – Former Goldman Sachs investment banker Neil M.M. Morrison was fined $100,000 for his role in a pay-to-play scheme involving secret campaign contributions to former Massachusetts Treasurer Timothy Cahill’s campaign for governor, the SEC said.
Morrison also will be barred from the securities industry for 5 years, the SEC said in its settled complaint.
Goldman Sachs paid more than $12 million to settle the charges when the SEC sued it and Morrison last September.
Morrison was a vice president for Goldman Sachs when the funny business began, the SEC said in its newly settled complaint against Morrison, which echoes charges in the September complaint.
“Starting in July 2008, Morrison was employed by Goldman Sachs to solicit municipal underwriting business from, among others, the Massachusetts Treasurer’s Office,” the SEC said in its cease and desist order against Morrison, issued Thursday. “During the period November 2008 to October 2010, however, Morrison was also substantially engaged in the political campaigns, including the November 2010 Massachusetts gubernatorial campaign, for Timothy P. Cahill (‘Cahill’), the then-Treasurer of Massachusetts.2 Morrison participated extensively in Cahill’s gubernatorial campaign and did so at times from his Goldman Sachs office, during his Goldman Sachs work hours and using Goldman Sachs resources, such as phones, e-mail and office space. Morrison’s campaign work gave him complete access to Cahill and his staff, who often provided him with information about the office’s internal deliberations involving underwriter selection.
“Morrison’s campaign activities during his Goldman Sachs work hours and use of Goldman Sachs resources constituted valuable undisclosed ‘in-kind’ campaign contributions to Cahill attributable to Goldman Sachs. In addition, during the same period, Morrison circumvented the pay-to-play rules by making an indirect contribution to the Cahill campaign through another person in violation of MSRB Rule G-37(d). Moreover, Morrison solicited campaign contributions for Cahill when Goldman Sachs was engaged in or seeking to engage in municipal underwriting business with the Treasurer’s Office in willful violation of MSRB Rule G-37(c).
“Within two years of these campaign contributions, Goldman Sachs engaged in municipal securities business with issuers associated with Cahill as Treasurer of Massachusetts and as a candidate for Governor of Massachusetts.”