Goldman Triumphs Over Marvell Co-Founders’ $300 Million ClaimsMichael J. Moore and Zeke Faux
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. beat back more than $300 million in claims from two co-founders of Marvell Technology Group Ltd. who alleged the investment bank tricked them into selling shares of their company.
A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitration panel denied claims from Marvell Chief Executive Officer Sehat Sutardja and President Weili Dai. The pair had requested the return of 8.65 million shares of the Hamilton, Bermuda-based mobile-phone chipmaker, plus as much as $200 million in damages, according to a Finra filing.
The two sued Goldman Sachs in 2011, saying they were pressured into selling the shares to cover a margin loan, and that bank employees erroneously told them that a regulatory rule required them to do so. A California state judge granted Goldman Sachs’s request to force the plaintiffs to resolve the case through arbitration.
In 2012, Sutardja and Dai filed arbitration claims against the New York-based bank and employees Bradley DeFoor and Graham Brandt, asserting violations including fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of contract and unfair competition. Goldman Sachs filed a counterclaim asking for legal fees and the expungement of the dispute from the employees’ records.
The claims for both sides were denied by the arbitration panel, which signed the ruling on March 3.
Michael DuVally, a Goldman Sachs spokesman, declined to comment. Susan Estrich, a lawyer for the Marvell founders at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP, didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.