The lawyer, Pamela Chepiga (cheh-PEHG'-uh), made the remarks Monday in opening statements at the civil trial of Fabrice Tourre (fah-BREES' toor).
Securities and Exchange Commission lawyer Matthew Martins said the defendant deceived investors about toxic securities in a classic case of "Wall Street greed."
The SEC says Tourre failed to divulge that a billionaire-led company helped pick assets that would decide the value of the investment. At the same time, the company was betting against them.
Goldman Sachs settled charges brought against it, paying $550 million.
Tourre grew up in France and moved to the U.S. in 2000 to study at Stanford University in California.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.