FINRA Orders Charles Schwab to Pay $18M to Fair Fund for YieldPlus Investors

The Financial Industry Regulation Authority wants Charles Schwab & Company, Inc. to pay $18 million to a Fair Fund set up by the SEC to payback investors of the Schwab YieldPlus Funds. FINRA found that even after changes to the fund’s portfolio resulted in it being affected by the mortgage-backed securities market crisis, Schwab did not change its marketing of the fund and instead provided inaccurate material.

The FINRA order was announced just as the Securities and Exchange Commission revealed that $119 million settlement was reached with Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. and Charles Schwab Investment Management for their alleged misleading of Schwab YieldPlus Fund investors and failure prevent nonpublic information from being misused. According to the SEC, investors were not adequately told about the risks associated with the Schwab fund. Instead, they were provide with allegedly misleading statements, such as those claiming that investing in the ultra-short bond funds was only slightly riskier than investing in a money market fund. Read our earlier stockbroker fraud blog post for more information.

Schwab has said that it is still facing about 20 individual securities arbitration claims asking for $3 million in damages related to the YieldPlus Fund. Last year, it resolved federal and California state law claims-for $200 million and $35 million, respectively, over the fund.

In other recent Charles Schwab Corp. news, FINRA has announced that it isn’t going to recommend disciplinary action over the firm’s auction-rate securities sales to clients. Charles Schwab had received two Wells notices in 2009 indicating that regulators were recommending enforcement actions.

Related Web Resources:

UPDATE: Finra Won’t Discipline Schwab For Auction-Rate Securities-Filing, The Wall Street Journal, February 25, 2011
SEC Reaches $119 Million Settlement with Charles Schwab, The Blog of Legal Times, January 11, 2011
FINRA Orders Schwab to Pay $18 Million to Investors for Improper Marketing of YieldPlus Bond Fund, FINRA, January 11, 2011

More Blog Posts:
Schwab Settles for $119M SEC Charges It Allegedly Misled YieldPlus Fund Investors, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, January 17, 2011
Class Members of Charles Schwab Corporation Securities Litigation Can Still Opt Out to File Individual Securities Claim, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, December 6, 2010
Charles Schwab & Co. Defendant in Class-Action Securities Fraud Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of Schwab Total Bond Market Fund Investors Over CMOs and Mortgage-Backed Securities, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, September 7, 2010
Our securities fraud law firm represents investors with arbitration claims against Charles Schwab & Co over the Schwab YieldPlus funds and auction-rate securities. Contact Shepherd Smith Edwards & Kantas LTD LLP today.