The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil suit against Goldman Sachs this morning. According to the SEC, Goldman is guilty of taking a “do what I say, not what I do” approach to mortgaged-backed securities.

Well, d’uh. That’s why Goldman isn’t suckling on the federal teat right now.

The SEC claims Goldman sold a financial instrument that they knew was going to fail, while at the same time taking short positions against that instrument.

Goldman denies the charges:

The SEC’s charges are completely unfounded in law and fact and we will vigorously contest them and defend the firm and its reputation.

Am Law Daily reports that Sullivan & Cromwell partner Richard Klapper will be representing Goldman in this matter.

Let’s unpack the SEC’s complaint (pdf). Whether or not the SEC prevails in this civil litigation, their complaint certainly succeeds in making Goldman look very shady — the company’s stock tanked this morning.

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