U.S. settles with more than a dozen people for municipal bond…

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top U.S. securities regulator on Tuesday said it had charged two firms and 18 individuals for improperly diverting newly issued municipal bonds from “mom and pop” investors to broker-dealers.

The headquarters of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) are seen in Washington, July 6, 2009. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

The Securities and Exchange Commission said that starting in 2009 Core Performance Management LLC and RMR Asset Management Co, and many of their workers, posed as retail investors to buy bonds that they then resold to institutional investors in exchange for a pre-arranged commission.

Core Performance and its managing director, RMR and its president, and 13 associates settled without admitting or denying the allegations, while charges against three other RMR employees will be litigated in a California court.

NW Capital Markets Inc. and two of its employees settled charges related to kickbacks in the arrangement without admitting or denying allegations.

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