If you ever find yourself before a judge, try this: “We do not admit the allegations. …But if it’s any consolation, we don’t deny them.”
See what happens to you. You’re not Citigroup.
Citigroup lawyer Brad Karp offered these words last week to U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff in New York. And the federal government, as represented by the Securities and Exchange Commission, is fine with it.
The agency’s proposed $285 million settlement with Citigroup would allow the bank to settle fraud charges without admitting or denying guilt. This is how the SEC usually does business. This is how Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Chase, etc. settled allegations.
It’s just that Judge Rakoff is among the few to ever question it. “Doesn’t the SEC have an interest in what the truth is?” Judge Rakoff asked.