That said, even though this investigation is playing off the SEC civil probe, there's no slam dunk on charges, let alone a conviction:
(T)he Goldman probe presents a significant challenge for the government. Prosecutors in the Brooklyn office of the U.S. Attorney last year lost a high-profile fraud case against two former Bear Stearns Cos. executives, in the first major criminal case linked to the financial meltdown.Intent is the big issue, but some of the e-mails the SEC uncovered go in that direction.
The WSJ story notes that the feds are reluctant to pursue criminal cases against financial firms for fear they will implode. But, given post-bailout public opinion, I don't see how the DOJ can not push this case, no matter the implosion risk.