Posted On: April 30, 2011

Tribune Bondholders Can Sue Shareholders for Over $8.2B

A bankruptcy court judge has cleared the way for Tribune Co. (TRBCQ) bondholders to file securities complaints in state court against ex-shareholders who made money from the 2007 leveraged buyout that is thought to have caused the media giant’s demise. They contend that for real estate magnate Sam Zell to raise the money to pay off the shareholders and gain control of the Tribune, the company ended up taking on level of debt that it could not sustain and which resulted in bankruptcy in 2008.

The bondholders claim that the 2007 buyout was made at their expense and they want to get back the over $8.2 billion that was paid out to ex-shareholders. Unfortunately, seeing as there are billions of dollars in secured debt, it is not likely that bondholders will recover all of the over $2 billion in notes that the media giant issued before the buyout unless creditors prevail in their lawsuits against shareholders, Zell, lenders, and other parties.

The bondholders needed to get permission to file their lawsuits outside the bankruptcy court. Led by Aurelius Capital Management, they say the action was necessary because the statute of limitations for pursuing such claims under state laws in Illinois and Delaware ends in June, when it will have been four years since the buyout. The bondholders are worried that Tribune, which is based in Illinois, won’t get out of bankruptcy by then. Possible securities lawsuit targets are the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, which sold $1.5 billion in company stock for a $963 million profit for the buyout and Stark Investments, a hedge fund that invested in Tribune.

Related Web Resources:
Tribune Bondholders Get OK To Sue, MyFOXla, April 26, 2011

Bondholders Can Sue Over Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, April 27, 2011


More Blog Posts:
Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. Ordered by FINRA to Pay Wright Family Trust $1.6M, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, April 29, 2011

AIG Trying to Get More Investors to Buy Life Settlements, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, April 26, 2011

SEC is Finalizing Its Whistleblower Rules, Says Chairman Schapiro, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, April 28, 2011

Continue reading " Tribune Bondholders Can Sue Shareholders for Over $8.2B " »

Posted On: April 29, 2011

Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. Ordered by FINRA to Pay Wright Family Trust $1.6M

A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitration panel says that Lincoln Financial Advisors Corporation must pay the Wright Family Trust $1.6M over securities claims related to investments that were made in a number of funds. Andrew and Blenda Wright, the claimants, alleged fraud, negligent misrepresentation, intentional misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty, failure to supervise, elder abuse, unauthorized and unsuitable transactions, and breach of contract. Other respondents named in the claim are Rollance Vekennis and John Marshall.

The claims are related to the investments made in:
• Rye Select Broad Market Fund, which is a Bernard L. Madoff Investment Services LLC feeder fund
• Johnston Asset Management International Equity Fund
• Mount Yale Large Cap Growth Fund
• Mount Yale Mid Cap Growth Qualified Fund
• Mount Yale Large Cap Value Qualified Fund
• Mount Yale Small Cap Qualified Fund
• Kinetics Advisers Institutional Partners Fund

The claimants had sought $1.5 million in compensatory damages.

The FINRA panel has ordered the respondents to pay $1.17 million in compensatory damages, including 10% annual interest between the date of the award and the time it is paid. Lincoln Financial must also pay another $590,000 in compensatory damages (also with 10% yearly interest until paid), the $600 initial filing fee, $22,800 in hearing session fees, and $8,550 in member fees.


Related Web Resources:
FINRA Panel Awards $1.76M For Madoff and Other Fund Investments, OnWallStreet, April 29, 2011

FINRA


More Blog Posts:
SEC Approves FINRA’s Proposal to Give Investors an All-Public Arbitration Panel Option, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, February 12, 2011

Raymond James Must Pay $925,000 Over Auction-Rate Securities Dispute, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, September 1, 2010

Linsco Private Ledger Clients File FINRA Arbitration Claims Accusing Former Financial Adviser Raymond Londo of Running Multi-Million Dollar Ponzi Scam, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, April 13, 2010

Continue reading " Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp. Ordered by FINRA to Pay Wright Family Trust $1.6M " »

Posted On: April 26, 2011

AIG Trying to Get More Investors to Buy Life Settlements

American International Group Inc. (AIG) is trying to get credit-ratings firms and investors to get behind the sale of life settlements, which are securities backed by the life insurance polices of older people. Per the insurer’s recent proposal, a subsidiary of AIG’s Chartis property casualty unit would collateralize notes valued at $900 million with 1,157 policies. AIG would like to sell $250 million to outside investors.

So far, AIG’s efforts have been met with resistance. It doesn’t help that Standard & Poor’s won’t rate the securities, which could help rally investors. In fact, S & P’s March report emphasizes the securities “unique risks.” It doesn't help that some critics call these securities "collateralized death obligations,” “blood pools,” or “death bonds” because they pay off upon the insured’s death.

Investors who buy life settlements are betting that the benefits they get upon the insured’s death will be greater than the cash they’ve paid for both the policy and its premiums. However, due to the 2008 credit crisis or because some of the insured ended up living longer than expected, many life settlement investors have lost money on these securities. Securities lawsuits have followed and the market has stayed depressed. AIG says that as of the end of 2010, it has paid over $177.8 million to settle 479 claims. In exchange, it received the policies. Per AIG’s financial filings, the insurer has about $18 billion in anticipated death benefits. That’s more than 1/3rd of the approximately $45 billion in these benefits that have changed hands in the last decade.

The Wall Street Journal reports that generally, life insurers consider investor ownership of policies—especially involving those betting on someone’s death—as not good for the industry. There are even some insurance companies that have gone to court claiming that they were misled buy buyers who said they wanted policies for estate planning when, in fact, they actually wanted to flip them for investors.

Our institutional investment fraud law firm are dedicated to helping investors recoup their losses.

AIG Tries to Sell Death-Bet Securities, The Wall Street Journal, April 22, 2011

Seniors Beware: What you should know about life settlements, FINRA

Life Settlement Securitizations Present Unique Risks, Standard and Poor's


More Blog Posts:
Texas Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Involvement in Alleged $100M Life Settlement Scheme, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, December 7, 2010

Life Settlements or Viaticals should be Considered “Securities,” Recommends the SEC to Congress
, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, August 5, 2010

Securitization of Life Insurance Settlements Might Lead to Next Financial Crisis, Say Lawmakers, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, September 27, 2009


Continue reading " AIG Trying to Get More Investors to Buy Life Settlements " »

Posted On: April 23, 2011

Securities Lawsuits Expected to Reach Record High in ’11, Says Advisen Ltd. Report

Per Advisen Ltd’s latest quarterly report on securities litigation, the number of securities lawsuit filings will likely set a new record high for yet another year in a row. Records were set in 2008, 2009, and 2010 following the credit crisis. Advisen’s quarterly report was sponsored by ACE.

John Molka III , the report’s author, says that even with the credit crisis has eased up, the submission of securities lawsuits has not. 1,293 securities lawsuits were filed in 2010. Now, Advisen is saying that based on the number of securities complaints filed during the first quarter of 2011, you can expect the number of lawsuits for this year to beat that number. Molka speculates that this “elevated level of filings” could be the “new normal.”

During Q1 2011, 362 securities lawsuits were filed—a 47% jump from the number of complaints that were submitted in Q1 2010. Compare this first quarter to last year’s last quarter when 342 securities complaints were filed. Also, with 1,448 new filings as this year’s first quarter annualized rate, that’s already12% more than last year’s total filings. The complaints include those for breach of fiduciary duty, shareholder derivative cases, securities fraud, and securities class actions.

Although securities fraud complaints comprised the greatest portion of filings for the first quarter, breach of fiduciary duties lawsuits, which include merger objection complaints, are the real cause of securities lawsuit growth. Meantime, 18% of new filings were securities class action complaints, which in the past made up over 1/3rd of securities lawsuits. Securities class action lawsuits, however, still make up for the majority of the largest settlements. During this first quarter, the average securities class action case settled for $54.6 million.

Related Web Resources:
2011 on Track for Record Securities Lawsuit Filings, Advisen, April 19, 2011

Securities Litigation Reaches a Crescendo (The Full Report)


More Blog Posts:
Pump & Dump Scam Alleged in $600 Million Lawsuit Against Law Firm Baker & McKenzie, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, April 13, 2011

Class Members of Charles Schwab Corporation Securities Litigation Can Still Opt Out to File Individual Securities Claim, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, December 6, 2010

Securities Fraud Lawsuit Against Calamos Investments Filed on Behalf of Calamos Convertible Opportunities and Income Fund Shareholders, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, September 17, 2010

Continue reading " Securities Lawsuits Expected to Reach Record High in ’11, Says Advisen Ltd. Report " »

Posted On: April 21, 2011

Anschutz Corp.’s Securities Fraud Lawsuit Against Deutsche Bank and Credit Rating Agencies Over Their Alleged Mishandling of Auction-Rate Securities Can Proceed, Says District Court

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California says that the auction securities lawsuit filed by Anschutz Corp. against Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. and a number of credit rating agencies can proceed. Anschutz bought DBSI ARS between July 206 and August 2007 through Credit Suisse. The plaintiff is seeking damages and other relief related to the ARS it bought that was underwritten by DBSI, which also served as its broker-dealer.

Anschutz contends that it bought the securities believing that they were liquid because of the DBSI’s deceptive and manipulative activities. The plaintiff claims that by serving as market maker, DBSI ensured that the auctions would be successful as long as it kept supporting the bids. To make the ARS appear liquid, DBSI also allegedly “manipulated the market” by putting in support bids for every auction that the securities were involved in as well as for other ARS for which it was the lead or sole broker-dealer. When DBSI stopped making bids in July 2007, the auctions failed the following month. Anschutz contends that not only did DBSI know this would happen, but also, by acting as the only broker-dealer that could take part in certain securities’ auctions, the financial firm made it seem as if there was enough third party demand and was able to lower the auctions’ interest rates.

Regarding its claims against rating agencies, Anschutz says that the latter relaxed their rating system to get DBSI’s business. The plaintiff contends that the AAA ratings that the agencies issued were misleading and false but knew that was the way to get paid. Anschutz also says that the agencies should have known or knew that DBSI was creating an artificial market for the ARS.

Related Web Resources:
Deutsche Bank, Rating Agencies Fail To Topple Investor Suit Over ARS Activities, BNA Broker/Dealer Compliance Report, March 30, 2011

Anschutz Corp. v. Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc.


More Blog Posts:
Akamai Technologies Inc’s ARS Lawsuit Against Deutsche Bank Can Proceed, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, March 4, 2011

Credit Suisse Broker Previously Convicted for Selling High Risk ARS is Barred from Future Securities Law Violations, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, February 12, 2011

NASAA Says Investors with Frozen Auction-Rate Securities Should Ask Investment Firms About Buyback Opportunities, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, November 19, 2008

Continue reading " Anschutz Corp.’s Securities Fraud Lawsuit Against Deutsche Bank and Credit Rating Agencies Over Their Alleged Mishandling of Auction-Rate Securities Can Proceed, Says District Court " »

Posted On: April 19, 2011

Ex-Goldman Sachs Board Member Accused of Insider Trading with Galleon Group Co-Founder Seeks to Have SEC Administrative Case Against Him Dropped

Our securities fraud attorneys had previously reported on the Securities and Exchange Commission’s case against Rajat Gupta, an ex-Goldman Sachs board member accused of passing on confidential information to Galleon Group Co-Founder Raj Rajaratnam about Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s $5 billion investment in Goldman Sachs. Rajaratnam is accused of making $45 million from the scheme, which has been the target of what is being called one of the largest insider trading crackdowns involving a hedge fund. As part of its Galleon probe, the SEC has filed insider trading lawsuits against at least two dozen businesses and individuals.

The SEC is accusing Gupta of sharing with Rajaratnam details about the respective quarterly earnings of the investment bank and Proctor and Gamble, where Gupta also served as a director. Last month, agency filed its charges insider trading allegations against Gupta in administrative forum—a move that he is contesting.

On March 18, the ex-Goldman Sachs board member filed a lawsuit against the SEC denying the insider trading allegations and asking the federal court to block the SEC’s administrative claims and grant him a jury trial. Gupta contends that the SEC allegations took place at least a year and a half before the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act gave regulators permission to file such an action.

The Dodd-Frank Act has given the SEC the authority to use administrative proceedings to get monetary penalties from all individuals, regardless of whether or not they are connected to regulated entities. The SEC’s administrative trial in the Gupta case is scheduled for July 18. Gupta is the only defendant in the Galleon case that the SEC is pursuing administratively. He is a non-regulated person.


Related Web Resources:
Gupta Says U.S. Judge in New York Should Handle Suit to Block SEC's Action, Bloomberg, April 11, 2011

Ex-Goldman director charged with insider trading, CBS News, March 1, 2011

Gupta v. Securities and Exchange Commission, Justia Docket Filings

U.S. v. Rajaratnam, SD New York 2011


More Blog Posts:
A Texan is Among Those Arrested in Insider Trading Crackdown Involving Apple Inc., Dell, and Advanced Micro Devices' Confidential Data, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, December 16, 2010

3 Hedge Funds Raided by FBI in Insider Trading Case, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, November 23, 2010

Ex-Goldman Sachs Associate Will Serve Nearly Five Years in Prison for Insider Trading, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, January 10, 2008

Continue reading " Ex-Goldman Sachs Board Member Accused of Insider Trading with Galleon Group Co-Founder Seeks to Have SEC Administrative Case Against Him Dropped " »

Posted On: April 16, 2011

“Skin in the Game” Mortgage Rule Announced by Federal Regulators

Federal regulators are proposing new risk retention rules geared toward reducing risky low mortgage lending. The ‘skin in the game” rule was articulated in the Dodd-Frank Consumer Protection Act, which mandates credit risk sharing and for mortgage-backed securities (MBS) sponsors and those of other asset classes to align their interests with investors.

Under the new qualified residential mortgage rules, lenders would have to retain 5% of the risk, known as “skin in the game,” for non-qualifying loans that they make rather than selling all of them to investors. The loans would likely include higher mortgage costs. Loans sold to Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, however, would be exempt from the rules as long as they remain in government conservatorship. Loans through the Federal Housing Administration would also be exempt.

A qualified residential mortgage (QRM) is a mortgage that regulators consider to be a loan that offers a low risk of default. Some of the requirements for qualifying for a QRM loan:

• Placing at least a 25% down if you are buying a house.
• Having at least 25% equity to refinance.
• Having at least 30% equity for cash-out refinancing.
• No 60-day delinquencies over the past two years.
• Not being able to get a loan with interest only payments, negative amortization, or "significant interest rate increases.”

Our securities fraud lawyers represent institutional investors who have lost money from investing in mortgage-backed securities or other investments.

Related Web Resources:
Rule Could Make Mortgages Harder to Get, Fox Business, March 31, 2011

Bankers pleased with ‘skin in the game’ rule, Marketwatch, March 29, 2011


More Blog Posts:
Goldman Sachs Group Made Money From Financial Crisis When it Bet Against the Subprime Mortgage Market, Says US Senate Panel, Institutional Investors Securities Blog, April 15, 2011

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Citigroup’s $75 Million Securities Fraud Settlement with the SEC Over Subprime Mortgage Debt Approved by Judge, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, October 23, 2010

Continue reading " “Skin in the Game” Mortgage Rule Announced by Federal Regulators " »

Posted On: April 15, 2011

Goldman Sachs Group Made Money From Financial Crisis When it Bet Against the Subprime Mortgage Market, Says US Senate Panel

The Senate's Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations says that because Goldman Sachs Group Inc. bet billions against the subprime mortgage market it profited from the financial crisis. The panel’s findings come following a two-year bipartisan probe and were released in a 639-page report on Wednesday.

The subcommittee released documents and emails that show executives and traders attempting to get rid of their subprime mortgage exposure, which was worth billions of dollars, and short the market for profit. Their actions ended up costing their clients that purchased the financial firm’s mortgage-related securities.

The panel says that Goldman allegedly deceived the investors when failing to tell them that the investment bank was simultaneously shorting or betting against the same investments. The subcommittee estimates that Goldman’s bets against the mortgage markets in 2007 did more than balance out the financial firm’s mortgage losses, causing it to garner a $1.2 billion profit that year in the mortgage department alone. Also, when Goldman executives, including Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein appeared before the committee in 2010, the panel says that they allegedly misled panel members when they denied that the financial firm took an a position referred to as being “net short,” which involves heavily tilting one’s investments against the housing market.

It was just last year that the Securities and Exchange Commission ordered Goldman to pay $550 million to settle securities fraud charges over its actions related to the mortgage-securities market. The allegations in this report go beyond the claims covered by the SEC case. The report also names mortgage lender Washington Mutual, credit rating firms, the Office of Thrift Supervision, and a federal bank regulator as among those that contributed to the financial crisis.

Goldman is denying many of the subcommittee’s claims and says its executives did not mislead Congress.

Related Web Resources:
Goldman Sachs shares drop on Senate report, Reuters, April 14, 2011

Senate Panel: 'Goldman Sachs Profited From Financial Crisis', Los Angeles Times, April 14, 2011

Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations

More Blog Posts:
Goldman Sachs Sued by ACA Financial Guaranty Over Failed Abacus Investment for $120M, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, January 10, 2011

Goldman Sachs Settles SEC Subprime Mortgage-CDO Related Charges for $550 Million, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, July 30, 2010

Goldman Sachs COO Says Investment Firm Shorted 1% of CDOs Mortgage Bonds But Didn’t Bet Against Clients, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, July 14, 2010

Continue reading " Goldman Sachs Group Made Money From Financial Crisis When it Bet Against the Subprime Mortgage Market, Says US Senate Panel " »

Posted On: April 13, 2011

Pump & Dump Scam Alleged in $600 Million Lawsuit Against Law Firm Baker & McKenzie

Industrial Enterprises of America Inc. (IEAM) is accusing Baker & McKenzie, LLP and former partner Martin Weisberg of securities fraud. The $600 million lawsuit, filed in US Bankruptcy Court, accuses the defendants of setting up a legal structure that allowed for an illegal pump-and-dump scheme and causing the company to sustain $150 million in losses and investors to lose $450 million. Facing criminal fraud charges over the scam are Weisberg and ex-CEOs John D. Mazutto and James W. Margulies.

Industrial Enterprises of America says that Weisberg was the one who helped set up its 2004 stock option plan, which provided for the issuance of restricted shares to employees, consultants, and outside directors. Rather than rewarding the Pittsburgh chemical company’s employees, the strategy was to use “print money” for company executives, their girlfriends, and lawyers.

The plaintiff says that since Weisberg was the beneficiary of the sale of the stock, which was improperly issued, the law firm ignored what was going on while helping IEAM officials steal from the company. Industrial Enterprises of America also contends that there were false and misleading SEC and NASDAQ filings and internal corporate malfeasances were set up to “raid the company of its working capital.”

One year after Industrial Enterprises of America filed for bankruptcy in May 2009, Mazzuto was charged over the allegedly $60 million stock fraud scam. He is accused of issuing shares worth tens of millions of dollars to relatives, friends, and other people he personally knows, which fraudulently inflated the value of the stock.

An indictment said that an attorney trust account that Margulies opened received the most company shares—3.5 million shares that he sold for $17.7 million. About $13 million went back to Industrial Enterprises of America. The remaining funds went to accounts that he and Mazzuto controlled.

Industrial Enterprises of America says that Mazzuto personally made $15 million from the stock scam, Margulies gained $6 million, and Baker & McKenzie earned over $1.7 million in fees. The plaintiff wants restitution for the full value of the shares that were improperly issued, as well as compensation for unspecified damages.

Related Web Resources:

Baker & McKenzie Sued for $600 Million for Role in Chemical Company Demise, Bloomberg, April 11, 2011

Baker & McKenzie Sued For $600 Mln Over 'Pump And Dump' Scheme, Morningstar, December 4, 2011


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FBI Arrests Texas Leader of Pump-and-Dump Scheme, Texas Stockbroker Fraud Blog, March 23, 2011

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Alleged Pump and Dump Stock Manipulation Scam Leads to Indictment of Six, Including a Securities Attorney, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, February 27, 2011

Continue reading " Pump & Dump Scam Alleged in $600 Million Lawsuit Against Law Firm Baker & McKenzie " »

Posted On: April 12, 2011

UBS Financial Services Fined $2.5M and Ordered to Pay $8.25M Over Lehman Brothers-Issued 100% Principal-Protection Notes

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is fining UBS Financial Services, Inc. $2.5 million and ordering it to pay $8.25 million in restitution for allegedly misleading investors about the "principal protection" feature of 100% Principal-Protection Notes. Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. issued the PPNs Holdings Inc. before it filed for bankruptcy in 2008.

FINRA contends that even as the credit crisis was getting worse, between March and June 2008 UBS advertised and described the notes as investments that were principal-protected while failing to make sure clients knew that they PPNs were unsecured obligations of Lehman and that the principal protection feature was subject to issuer credit risk. UBS also allegedly failed to:

• Properly notify its financial advisers of the impact the widening of credit default swaps was having on Lehman’s financial strength
• Sufficiently analyze how appropriate the Lehman-issued PPNs were for certain clients
• Set up a proper supervisory system for the sale of the Lehman-issued PPNs
• Provide proper training or appropriate written supervisory procedures and policies
• Provide adequate suitability procedures for determining who should invest

FINRA also says that UBS developed and used advertising collateral about the PPNs that misled certain clients, such as the suggestion that a return of principal was certain as long as clients held the product until it matured. FINRA claims that the reason that some UBS financial advisers gave incorrect information to customers was because they themselves didn’t fully understand the product.

FINRA says that because UBS’s suitability procedures were inadequate and certain PPN’s lacked risk profile requirements, the product was sold to investors who were not willing or shouldn’t have been allowed to take on the risks involved. More often than not it was these investors who were likely to depend on the Lehman PPNs’ "100% principal protection" feature that were “risk averse.”

By agreeing to settle, UBS is not denying or admitting to the charges.

Related Web Resources:
FINRA Fines UBS Financial Services $2.5 Million; Orders UBS to Pay Restitution of $8.25 Million for Omissions That Effectively Misled Investors in Sales of Lehman-Issued 100% Principal-Protection Notes, FINRA, April 11, 2011

UBS to shell out $10.75M to settle Lehman-related row, Investment News, April 11, 2011


More Blog Posts:
UBS to Pay $2.2M to CNA Financial Head for Lehman Brothers Structured Product Losses, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, January 4, 2011

UBS Must Pay Couple $530,000 for Lehman Brothers-Backed Structured Notes, Institutional Investors Securities Blog, November 5, 2010

Lehman Brothers’ “Structured Products” Investigated by Stockbroker Fraud Law Firm Shepherd Smith Edwards & Kantas LTD LLP, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, September 30, 2008

Continue reading " UBS Financial Services Fined $2.5M and Ordered to Pay $8.25M Over Lehman Brothers-Issued 100% Principal-Protection Notes " »

Posted On: April 8, 2011

Dodd-Frank Reforms Will Lower Deficit by $3.2B Over the Next Decade, Estimates CBO

According to the Congressional Budget Office, between 2010 and 2010 the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act will lower the federal deficit by $3.2 billion as it takes in more money than what will go toward enforcement and implementation. CBO Director Douglas Elmendorf released the cost projection at a recent House Financial Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing on the reform law.

Although Dodd-Frank will require $10.2 billion in direct spending over the next decade, it will take in $13.4 billion, said Elmendorf. He said that revenues would come mainly from fees assessed on different financial institutions and participants as new rules determine how financial firms can do business and what it will cost them.

The Government Accountability Office has said it could cost over $1 billion to implement Dodd-Frank, a bill that nearly all House Republicans were against. CBO said that even though Dodd-Frank calls for $37.8 billion in spending, savings that the law creates will lower that amount by $27.6 billion, which equals the $10.2 billion projection for final spending. Also, federal deposit insurance changes will lower costs by $16.3 billion and lower TARP authority by $11 billion.

CBO also noted that to create new agencies, including the Financial Stability Oversight Council, Office of Financial Research, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Office of National Research, the government will spend $6.3 billion. It will also spend $100 million to change the current oversight structure, as well as $1.5 billion for subsidies to assist homeowners in foreclosure. A liquidation program for insolvent financial entities is expected to cost $20.3 billion.

Throughout the US, our securities fraud attorneys represent clients that have sustained financial losses because of broker and investment advisor misconduct.

CBO Says Dodd-Frank Act Will Reduce U.S. Deficit by $3.2 Billion, Bloomberg, March 30, 2011

CBO Says Dodd-Frank Reforms Will Reduce Deficit by $3.2B Over Decade, BNA Securities Law Daily, March 31, 2011

Congressional Budget Office


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Continue reading " Dodd-Frank Reforms Will Lower Deficit by $3.2B Over the Next Decade, Estimates CBO " »

Posted On: April 7, 2011

Wells Fargo Settles SEC Securities Fraud Allegations Over Sale of Complex Mortgage-Backed Securities by Wachovia for $11.2M

For a payment of $11.2 million, Wells Fargo & Co. will settle US Securities and Exchange Commission allegations that Wachovia Capital Markets LLC misled investors and improperly sold two collateralized debt obligations in 2007 and 2006. Wachovia was bought by Wells Fargo in 2008.

Wells Fargo Securities now manages Wachovia. By agreeing to settle, the investment bank is not admitting to or denying the findings.

According to the SEC, Wachovia Capital Markets LLC, now called Wells Fargo Securities, violated securities law anti-fraud provisions when it sold the complex mortgage-backed securities to investors despite the red flags indicating that there was trouble brewing with the US housing market.

The SEC says that Wachovia charged excessive markups in the sale of part of a $1.5 billion CDO called Grand Avenue II. Unable to sell the CDOs $5.5 million equity portion in October 2006, it kept the shares on the trading desk while dropping their value to 52.7 cents on the dollar. Wachovia later sold the shares for 90 and 95 cents on the dollar to an individual investor and the Zuni Indian tribe. Both did not know that they had purchased the shares at a price that was 70% above their accounting value. The transaction went into default in 2008.

The SEC claims that in 2007, Wachovia Capital Markets misrepresented to investors in Longshore 3, a $1.3 billion CDO, that assets had been acquired from Wachovia affiliates on an “arms’-length basis” when actually, 40 residential mortgage-backed securities were transferred at $4.6 million over market prices. The SEC contends that Wachovia was trying to avoid sustaining losses by transferring the assets at “stale” prices.

Related Web Resources:
Wells to pay $11.2 M in case, Seeking Alpha, April 6, 2011

Wells Fargo-Wachovia settles CDO claim with SEC for $11 million, Housing Wire, April 5, 2011

CDO News, New York Times

Mortgage-Backed Securities, SEC.gov


More Blog Posts:
Goldman Sachs Sued by ACA Financial Guaranty Over Failed Abacus Investment for $120M, Institutional Investor Securities Blog, January 10, 2011

Houston Man Indicted in Alleged $17M Texas Securities Fraud, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, December 23, 2010

Goldman Sachs COO Says Investment Firm Shorted 1% of CDOs Mortgage Bonds But Didn’t Bet Against Clients, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, July 14, 2010

Continue reading " Wells Fargo Settles SEC Securities Fraud Allegations Over Sale of Complex Mortgage-Backed Securities by Wachovia for $11.2M " »

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