SEC fines Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & SmithStaff Writer |
Banking $154,000 in disgorgement
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced settled charges against Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith for its failure to perform required gatekeeping functions in the unregistered sales of securities on behalf of a China-based issuer and its affiliates.
Ultimately, the distribution generated almost $38 million in proceeds for the overseas issuer and its affiliates.
The SEC’s order found that Merrill Lynch violated Sections 5(a) and 5(c) of the Securities Act of 1933.
In settlement, without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, the firm agreed to be censured and consented to the order requiring it to cease and desist from committing or causing any future violations of the registration provisions of the Securities Act.
The order also requires Merrill Lynch to pay a penalty of $1.25 million and more than $154,000 in disgorgement and prejudgment interest from commissions and fees earned on the improper sales. The SEC has revoked the registration of Longtop’s securities. ■
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