The SEC announced enforcement actions against 36 municipal underwriting firms for violations in municipal bond offerings. The cases are the first brought against underwriters under the Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (MCDC) initiative, a voluntary self-reporting program targeting material misstatements and omissions in municipal bond offering documents. The SEC’s actions allege that between 2010 and 2014, the 36 firms violated federal securities laws by selling municipal bonds using offering documents that contained materially false statements or omissions about the bond issuers’ compliance with continuing disclosure obligations. Under the terms of the MCDC initiative, each firm will pay civil penalties based on the number and size of fraudulent offerings identified, up to $500,000. The firms and penalty amounts are as follows: The Baker Group, LP ($250,000), B.C. Ziegler and Company ($250,000), Benchmark Securities, LLC ($100,000), Bernardi Securities, Inc. ($100,000), BMO Capital Markets GKST Inc. ($250,000), BNY Mellon Capital Markets, LLC ($120,000), BOSC, Inc. ($250,000), Central States Capital Markets, LLC ($60,000), Citigroup Global Markets Inc. ($500,000), City Securities Corporation ($250,000), Davenport & Company LLC ($80,000),Dougherty & Co. LLC ($250,000), First National Capital Markets, Inc. ($100,000),George K. Baum & Company ($250,000), Goldman, Sachs & Co. ($500,000),Hutchinson, Shockey, Erley & Co. ($220,000), J.P. Morgan Securities LLC ($500,000), L.J. Hart and Company ($100,000), Loop Capital Markets, LLC ($60,000), Martin Nelson & Co., Inc. ($100,000), Merchant Capital, L.L.C. ($100,000), Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated ($500,000),Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC ($500,000), The Northern Trust Company ($60,000),Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. ($400,000), Piper Jaffray & Co. ($500,000), Raymond James & Associates, Inc. ($500,000), RBC Capital Markets, LLC ($500,000),Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated ($500,000), Siebert Brandford Shank & Co., LLC ($240,000), Smith Hayes Financial Services Corporation ($40,000), Stephens Inc. ($400,000), Sterne, Agee & Leach, Inc. ($80,000), Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc. ($500,000), Wells Nelson & Associates, LLC ($100,000), William Blair & Co., L.L.C. ($80,000). SEC
* * *If you would like more information or would like to speak to a member of Constantine Cannon’s whistleblower lawyer team, please click here.