Ex-Lehman boss could be charged

Steve Dinneen
Follow Steve
FORMER Lehman Brothers chief Dick Fuld could face civil charges as early as this week in connection with the firm’s collapse.

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is understood to be organising a series of meetings with big players involved with the bank before its demise almost two years ago, according to reports in the US by Fox News.

It is understood investigators are especially interested in Lehman’s use of controversial accounting practice Repo 105, which can be used to artificially shore up a company’s balance sheet. It is also eager to discover whether executives were responsible for misleading the market about the strength of Lehman’s assets and capital position in the weeks before its collapse. An SEC spokesman told City A.M.: “We cannot confirm or deny any ongoing investigations.”

Fuld’s attorney Patricia Hynd, of law firm Allen & Overy, was unavailable for comment last night.

The Lehman boss, nicknamed “the Gorilla” for his aggressive manner, was questioned extensively in the wake of the collapse, which sent shockwaves around the world and was blamed for exacerbating the financial crisis.

Six months after the crash he is understood to have told Lehman staff: “I spent too much time out of the office with clients and trusted other people to manage the risk. I’m sorry.”