The Securities and Exchange Commission Charged Merrill Lynch today  with making faulty disclosures about collateral selection for two collateralized debt obligations (CDO) that it structured and marketed to investors, and maintaining inaccurate books and records for a third CDO.

The SEC’s Press Release States that,

“Keeping adequate books and records is not an elective requirement of the federal securities laws, and broker-dealers who fail to properly record transactions will be held accountable for their violations,” said Andrew M. Calamari, director of the SEC’s New York Regional Office.

Merrill Lynch consented to the entry of the order finding that it willfully violated Sections 17(a)(2) and (3) of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 17(a)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 17a-3(a)(2).  The firm agreed to pay disgorgement of $56,286,000, prejudgment interest of $19,228,027, and a penalty of $56,286,000.  Without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, Merrill Lynch agreed to a censure and is required to cease and desist from future violations of these sections of the Securities Act and Securities Exchange Act.

 

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