Edward Jones Whacked|for $20 Million by SEC

     WASHINGTON (CN) – Edward Jones & Co. will pay $20 million to settle charges it overcharged customers in municipal bond sales, the SEC said Thursday.
     The former head of Jones’s municipal bond underwriting desk, Stina Wishman , also settled with the SEC in a separate, related order.
     The SEC called this its “first case against an underwriter for pricing-related fraud in the primary market for municipal securities.”
     It said that instead of offering bonds to customers at the offering price, “Edward Jones and Stina R. Wishman took new bonds into Edward Jones’ own inventory and improperly offered them to customers at higher prices.”
     Edward Jones made at least $4.6 million from this. “In one instance, the misconduct resulted in an adverse federal tax determination for an issuer and put it at risk of losing valuable federal tax subsidies,” the SEC said in a statement.
     Edward Jones’s $20 million includes $5.2 million to be distributed to customers it overcharged for the bonds.
     Wishman was fined $15,000 and is barred from the securities industry for two years.
     Both settled without admitting they had done anything wrong, as is customary with the SEC.

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