Federal Judge Rejects Citigroup Settlement- More Accountability Needed
In an opinion issued today, Southern District of New York Judge Jed Rakoff rejected the S.E.C.’s proposed settlement with Citigroup, stating that the settlement is “neither reasonable, nor fair, nor adequate, nor in the public interest.” The settlement would have resolved allegations that Citigroup bundled risky mortgage-backed securities into a billion-dollar fund and misled ill-informed investors to believe that the fund was made up of rigorously-vetted attractive investments. According to the S.E.C.’s filings in the case, Citigroup made $160 million in profit from this scheme while the investors lost more than $700 million. The settlement would not have required Citigroup to admit or deny its conduct. Additionally, Citigroup would have been enjoined from further violations of the Securities Act, and would have paid $160 million in disgorgements plus $30 million in interest and $95 million in penalties. Citigroup also would have entered into a three year Corporate Integrity Agreement to put in place internal measures to prevent future securities violations.
Judge Rakoff questioned the ability of the penalty to serve as an effective deterrent. He also emphasized the importance of this case to the public, stating that “in any case like this that touches on the transparency of financial markets whose gyrations have so depressed our economy and debilitated our lives, there is an overriding public interest in knowing the truth.”
Read the entire article, “Judge Blocks Citigroup Settlement With S.E.C."
Read the Opinion and Order
Read our earlier post on the Citigroup settlement, “SDNY Judge Skeptical of Corporate Integrity Agreements"
on 11/28 at 03:53 PM
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