Corporations and securities brief ~ Bank of America settles market timing charges with SEC

[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's corporations and securities law news, the SEC has announced that three Bank of America Corp. [corporate website] brokerage units have agreed to pay $375 million to settle market timing charges. The SEC charged the three units with entering into improper and undisclosed agreements which allowed larger investors to engage in market timing and late trading in Nations Funds mutual funds. Read the SEC press release. Additionally, Bank of America's Fleet mutual fund unit will settle separate market timing charges and pay a fine of $140 million. Read the SEC press release. The SEC also brought related fraud charges against two former Columbia senior executives in federal court in Boston. Read the SEC litigation release and complaint [PDF]. Bloomberg has more.

In other news...

  • The SEC [official website] said Nasdaq stock market [official website] failed to report suspicious trading by MarketXT. The SEC stated MarketXT, an electronic trading platform, developed programs which take advantage of market-data rebates available from Nasdaq. CBSMarketWatch has more.

  • A House Financial Services subcommittee [official website] wants tougher regulations for Fannie Mae [corporate website] as the subcommittee heard testimony from SEC chief accountant Donald Nicolaisen. Nicolaisen said the agency continues to investigate the company's accounting. Legislation is expected to move forward in Congress which would toughen oversight for mortgage giant. Read Nicolaisen's prepared testimony [PDF]. CBSMarketWatch has more.

  • As previously reported on JURIST's Paper Chase, Yukos' [corporate website, JURIST Hot Topic] main owner, Menatep [corporate website] , has brought a damages claim worth $28.3 billion against the Russian government [official website] for expropriating its investment in the oil giant. The claim is based on an allegation that Russia violated its duties under the Energy Charter [PDF], an international treaty designed to enforce international law in energy investments. MosNews has more.

  • The big four accounting firms have doubled their audit fees with US clients due to extensive work mandated by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act [PDF]. Companies have reportedly spent on average between $5 million and $8 million to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley in 2004. The Financial Times has more.
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