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Judge Throws Out Citigroup, SEC Settlement

A U.S. district court judge threw out a settlement Monday that ""Citigroup"":http://www.citigroup.com/citi/homepage/ proposed as a way to compensate investors for losses related to $1 billion in collateralized mortgage debt.


Citigroup wanted to settle with the ""Securities and Exchange Commission"":http://www.sec.gov/ (SEC) by covering the losses with $285 million.

""[T]he Court concludes, regretfully, that the proposed Consent Judgment is neither fair, nor reasonable, nor adequate, nor in the public interest,"" ""U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff"":http://www.nysd.uscourts.gov/judge/Rakoff wrote in a court opinion.

He cited the need for more information in lieu of a request for enforcement of relief by the court from the commission, a federal agency, and Citigroup, a private party.

Action taken by the SEC against Citigroup earlier this year leveled accusations that the lender tried to turn a


profit off expected losses from collateralized-debt obligations it offloaded into a separate portfolio.

Citigroup allegedly framed the Class V III portfolio as a safe investment independently approved by third-party advisers, according to documents, masking a portfolio of risky mortgage-related debt obligations that ultimately went south during the financial crisis.

""We respectfully disagree with the Court's ruling,"" ""Danielle Romero-Apsilos"":http://www.linkedin.com/pub/danielle-romero-apsilos/8/5a/895, a spokesperson with Citigroup, said in a statement.

She called the proposed settlement ""a fair and reasonable resolution to the SEC's allegation of negligence├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬ª We also believe the settlement fully complies with long-established legal standards.""

├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├àÔÇ£The court's criticism that the settlement does not require an 'admission' to wrongful conduct disregards the fact that obtaining disgorgement, monetary penalties, and mandatory business reforms may significantly outweigh the absence of an admission when that relief is obtained promptly and without the risks, delay, and resources required at trial,├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬Ø Robert Khuzami, director of the SEC├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós enforcement division, said in a statement.

├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├àÔÇ£It also ignores decades of established practice throughout federal agencies and decisions of the federal court,├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬Ø he added.

Citigroup will now head to court with the SEC summer next year.

About Author: Ryan Schuette

Ryan Schuette is a journalist, cartoonist, and social entrepreneur with several years of experience in real-estate news, international reporting, and business management. He currently lives in the Washington, D.C., area, where he freelances for DS News and MReport.

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