June 25, 2015 Comments (0) Blog, Securities Fraud

36 Firms Charged with Fraudulent Bond Offerings

The Securities and Exchange Commission has issued enforcement actions against 36 municipal underwriting firms. The cases were brought against the firms under the Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (MCDC) Initiative. The SEC alleged the firm sold bonds that had offering documents that contained material misrepresentation and omissions. Allegedly the underwriters failed to conduct adequate due diligence to identify material misstatements.

The MCDC is a voluntary programs that offers favorable settlement terms to underwriters who self-report securities law violations. The first charges were settled in July 2014. According to LeeAnn Ghazil Gaunt, Chief of the Enforcement Division’s Municipal Securities and Public Pension Unit, “The settlements announced today reflect these underwrites’ cooperation in self-reporting their own misconduct and agreeing to improve their procedures going forward.”

The underwriters will pay civil penalties based on the number and the size of fraudulent offerings reported. The maximum penalty is $500,000. The underwriters also agreed to retain an independent consultant to review its policies and procedures.

The following firms were in fined under the MCDC Initiative.

The Baker Group
B.C. Ziegler and Company
Benchmark Securities
Bernardi Securities
BMO Capital Markets GKST
BNY Mellon Capital Markets
Central States Capital Markets
Citigroup Global Markets
City Securities Corporation
Davenport & Company
Dougherty & Co
First National Capital Markets
George K. Baum & Company
Goldman, Sachs & Co
Hutchinson Shockey Erley & Co
J.P. Morgan Securities
L.J. Hart and Company
Loop Capital Markets
Martin Nelson & Co
Merchant Capital
Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith Corporation
Morgan Stanley & Co
The Northern Trust Company
Oppenheimer & Co
Raymond James & aSSOCIATES
RBC Capital Markets
Robert W Baird & Co
Raymond James & Associates
RBC Capital Markets
Robert W Baird & Co
Siebert Brandford Shank & Co
Smith Hayes Financial Services Corporation
Stephens Inc
Sterne Agee & Leach
Stifel Nicolaus & Company
Wells Nelson & Associates
William Blair & Co

If you are concerned about your bond investments would like to speak to a securities attorney about your potential to recover your investment losses, please call our Chicago office at 312-238-9650.

The White Law Group, LLC is a national securities fraud, securities arbitration, investor protection, and securities regulation/compliance law firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Vero Beach, Florida.

For more information on The White Law Group, please visit our website at www.whitesecuritieslaw.com.