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Goldman says may face civil fraud charges

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May 10, 2011 09:35 PM EST | AP

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WASHINGTON — Goldman Sachs & Co. says one of its units is being investigated by federal regulators over whether it should have known one of its clients improperly used investment accounts to make trades.

Goldman says the staff of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission has told the firm it will recommend that the agency file civil fraud charges.

The potential charges involve money belonging to clients of another firm that used the Goldman unit as a clearing house for its trades. Goldman says in a filing with regulators that the charges would be based on allegations that it knew or should have known that the money belonged to customers of that firm, rather than to the firm itself.

Goldman says it is cooperating with the investigation. It didn't name the client firm.