The Goldman Sachs case has been assigned to a federal judge who made her mark trying mafia cases as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York, according to a Wall Street Journal article published Sunday (subscription required).
U.S. District Judge Barbara S. Jones has been assigned to handle the Securities and Exchange Commission’s civil case against Goldman, which was announced last week. The SEC alleged that the investment firm defrauded customers who bought investments tied to risky mortgages.
Jones handled a number of mob cases as a New York prosecutor in the 1970s and 1980s, the Journal said. She also was involved in the first RICO cases against the Mafia, according to a 2005 New York Times article.
Jones presided over the eight-week trial of WorldCom’s former chief executive Bernard Ebbers in 2005. Ebbers was ultimately convicted of securities fraud and other charges for his role in the $11 billion accounting fraud scheme that damaged the entire telecommunications industry.
Estee Lauder general counsel Sara Moss, a friend and former colleague of Jones’ in the Southern District U.S. Attorney office, told the Journal that Jones does not allow her emotions to become involved in her cases.
“Temperamentally she’s well suited to this,” Moss said. “In this case in terms of her background she doesn’t bring any bias to the case. She’s smart and even tempered.”