Lazard Capital Markets Pays $2.8 Million to Settle SEC Charges Over Allegedly Improper Expenditures Made to Fidelity Investment Traders

Lazard Capital Markets, LLC and a number of associated individuals have agreed to pay fines to settle Securities and Exchange Commission charges that over $600,000 was allegedly spent on entertaining Fidelity Investment traders to garner their business. While the SEC says the privately-held broker dealer failed to supervise the three employees that collectively spent money on the improper gifts, four of the company’s former employees were charged for their involvement in the securities laws violations made by the Fidelity traders.

The SEC has charged Fidelity and a number of current and past executives and employees, including ex-Fidelity equity trader Thomas Bruderman, with improperly accepting lavish gifts from brokers. The SEC accuses the former Lazard Capital Markets employees of supplying Bruderman with expensive entertainment and flying him internationally on private planes.

The commission says that David Tashjian, the Lazard Capital Markets’s former US sales and trading department head, and W. Daniel Williams and Robert Ward, two ex-Lazarus trading representatives, “facilitated” violations made by Bruderman. The SEC is also accusing Tashjian and Louis Gregory Rice, the former head of Lazard Capital Markets’s U.S. equity sales and trading desk, of failing to supervise Williams and Ward while they engaged in the alleged misconduct.

By agreeing to settle, Lazard Capital Markets and its four former employees are not admitting to or denying the SEC’s charges. Lazard Capital Markets has agreed to pay $1,817,629 in disgorgement plus $429,379.04 in prejudgment interest, as well as a $600,000 penalty. The broker-dealer has also agreed to be censured.

Tashjian, Williams, Ward, and Rice have agreed to separate suspensions and penalties.

Related Web Resources:

Lazard Capital Markets to Pay $2.8M for Gifts to Fidelity Traders, Financial-Planning.com, November 4, 2008
SEC Charges Lazard Capital Markets, Former Employees for Improper Gifts and Entertainment to Fidelity Employees, SEC, October 30, 2008
Fidelity Pays $8M in SEC Gift Scandal, Newser.com, March 5, 2008
Lazard Capital Markets

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