GOLDMAN Sachs will unveil bumper first quarter profits and bonuses today amid a firestorm over fraud allegations and its ties to the Government.

The group is expected to post a 50% hike in net income to around 2.6 billion US dollars (£1.7 billion) in results for the first quarter of 2010.

The figures come just days after Goldman was hit by fraud claims by US regulators, who have launched a civil lawsuit against the investment bank.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has called for a "special investigation" into Goldman Sachs after reports that it was set to rack up a bonus pot of £3.5 billion for the quarter and accused the bank of "moral bankruptcy".

Staff at Goldman - which paid out 16.2 billion dollars (£10 billion) in compensation and benefits for 2009 - will not receive the latest bonanza until next year.

The banker at the centre of the fraud claims, Fabrice Tourre, is also reportedly set to share in the bonus pool.

The Liberal Democrats and Conservatives have called for the bank to be suspended from its role as an adviser on debt issuance by the Government, as well as other issues such as the return of Northern Rock to the private sector.

The Securities and Exchange Commission alleges Goldman, which employs 5,500 people in the UK, failed to disclose that one of its clients helped create - and then bet against - sub-prime mortgage securities that Goldman sold to investors.

It claimed investors - including the UK’s Royal Bank of Scotland - lost 1 billion dollars (£650 million) as a result of the alleged fraud, which Goldman has vigorously denied.

The case is the US government’s most significant legal action related to the mortgage meltdown that ignited the financial crisis and helped plunge the country into recession.

Chief executive Lloyd Blankfein notoriously said last year the bank was "doing God’s work", although Rolling Stone magazine described the bank as a "a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money".