Man wins lawsuit against Goldman Sachs. Always nice to see the little guy come out on top.

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Deeb Salem, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) trader who said he helped the bank earn more than $7 billion, wants to be paid the almost $5 million difference between his 2010 bonus and what he told his mother to expect.

Salem said in an arbitration hearing that he was led to believe that his 2010 bonus would be $13 million, down from a $15 million award for 2009 when he was paid more than Chief Executive Officer Lloyd C. Blankfein. Instead, Salem said his bonus was unfairly docked because of a written warning he received about his 2007 self-evaluation.

Salem, 35, said the $8.25 million bonus for 2010 didn't reflect his contributions, while Goldman Sachs argued he was aware that the firm could pay him whatever it wished and that the company considered his conduct in determining compensation. Salem said promises from executives kept him around for another year before a $3 million bonus led him to jump to a hedge fund.

"Let's be very clear: I was one of the most sought-after investment professionals in the mortgage industry," Salem said during the Feb. 25 hearing. "I had the opportunity throughout the course of my career and throughout — from that day, from almost every month that I was at Goldman, to leave for other opportunities."

A transcript of Salem's arbitration hearing before the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority was included as an exhibit to his petition filed last week in New York State Supreme Court. The document was no longer available on the court's website today after Goldman Sachs filed a motion to seal the petition and parts of related exhibits.

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