The role Goldman Sachs played in the 2013 penny stock crash was put back in the spotlight recently, as one of its former top executives took to the stand as a prosecution witness in the trial of John Soh Chee Wen and co-accused Quah Su-Ling.

The duo are allegedly the masterminds behind the share manipulation ring of Blumont Group, Asiasons Capital and LionGold Corp. Collectively known as BAL, the three counters surged throughout 2013 before crashing spectacularly in October that same year, wiping off some $8 billion in market value from the local bourse. Asiasons has since been delisted while LionGold has been renamed Shen Yao Holdings.

Besides charges of share manipulation, Soh and his lover Quah also face six cheating charges too. Specifically, they are alleged to have deceived Goldman and Interactive Brokers into extending more than $170 million in margin financing to their accounts with BAL shares used as collateral, and for “dishonestly concealing” from the two financial institutions that BAL shares were manipulated by them.

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