Goldman Sachs has launched an investigation after claims that one or more of its employees may have tried to rig an internet vote on the desirability of the introduction of the so-called 'Robin Hood' tax on financial transactions.
Robinhoodtax.org.uk is running a campaign to impose a tax on 'speculative banking transactions' in order to raise hundreds of billions every year - giving a vital boost to the UK's National Health Service, schools, and the fight against child poverty - as well as tackling poverty and climate change around the world (see the excellent video to the right).
And The Daily Telegraph has reported that campaign organisers have alleged that someone appears to have tried to influence the result of the poll by spamming over 4,600 'no' votes during a 20 minute period Thursday. Technical staff have apparently tracked down the IP addresses of two computers used in the spamming - one of which is said to belong to Goldman Sachs.
Goldman has confirmed that it is treating the matter seriously, and has launched a probe.
One banker unfamiliar with the matter said: 'It was probably a 'fat-finger' job - one Goldman staffer just got his finger stuck on the keyboard. No big deal'. Another told Here Is The City: 'It can't have been someone at Goldman. They would never have left a trail'.
Finally, The New York Times reports that US federal prosecutors have charged Sergey Aleynikov, a former Goldman computer programmer, with allegedly stealing the code of a high-frequency trading program developed especially for the firm. On his last day at Goldman last year, Aleynikov is said to have encrypted proprietary files and transferred them to a server in Germany. He is believed to have wanted the trade secrets for use in his new job with a high-frequency trading firm in Chicago.
Aleynikov faces up to 25 years in clink if found guilty. He has yet to enter a plea.