By Basil Katz
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge on Thursday set a trial date for the only Goldman Sachs Group Inc employee charged in the government's civil fraud case over the bank's Abacus subprime mortgage deal.
Fabrice Tourre's case is scheduled to go to trial on July 15, 2013, District Judge Katherine Forrest in Manhattan ruled. The Securities and Exchange Commission is seeking financial and other penalties as part of its case.
Tourre, a Goldman vice president on leave from the bank, is currently enrolled in a PhD program in economics at the University of Chicago, his lawyer said in court. He has denied the charges against him.
A Goldman spokesman confirmed that Tourre was on unpaid leave from the bank but declined to comment further on Thursday's hearing.
The SEC sued Goldman and Tourre in April 2010, saying they misled investors in a complex mortgage transaction. Goldman settled its part of the litigation for $550 million in July 2010 without admitting wrongdoing.
Tourre's lawyer, Pamela Chepiga, told the judge the defense would file court papers by March 2013 seeking to dismiss the case.
The SEC has accused Goldman and Tourre of failing to tell investors that the Paulson & Co hedge fund, run by billionaire John Paulson, had helped to choose and bet against the subprime residential mortgage-backed securities underlying Abacus 2007-AC1, a collateralized debt obligation.
The case is Securities and Exchange Commission v. Goldman Sachs & Co. et al, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, No. 10-cv-03229.
(Reporting by Basil Katz; Editing by Martha Graybow and Dan Grebler)