SEC Says It Has Jurisdiction to Go After Ex-JP Morgan Executives For Securities Fraud

The US Securities and Exchange Commission has countered the motion to dismiss its securities fraud case against two former JP Morgan Chase (JPM) executives. The SEC had charged defendants Douglas MacFaddin and Charles LeCroy with paying the friends of Jefferson County, Alabama commissioners $8.2 million to garner $5 billion in business for JP Morgan Chase. The two men filed motions to dismiss on the grounds that swap agreements are not “securities-based swap agreements,” which means they aren’t under the SEC’s jurisdiction and therefore not subject to its enforcement.

However, the SEC’s brief argues that the defendants’ challenge is based on the question of whether the Bond Market Association’s Municipal Swap Index is an index of securities. The SEC argued that regardless of what you call the Municipal Swap Index, this “linguistic exercise” doesn’t make a difference to what the Index actually is, the manner in which it is calculated, and the connection between the bonds and interest rates that comprise the Index. The SEC notes that interest rates are securities.

The SEC asked the court to not dismiss the case over lack of subject matter jurisdiction and pointed to the ruling made in SEC v. Rorech. In that enforcement case, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York refused to decide during the pleading phase whether credit default swaps are security-based swap agreements.

Related Web Resources:
Read the SEC Complaint (PDF)

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