Citi to pay $73 million for misleading investors

By David Ellis, staff writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Citigroup said Thursday it would pay $73 million to settle charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission that the bank, as well as two of its executives, misled investors about the company's exposure to the subprime mortgage market.

Wall Street's top regulator said Citigroup repeatedly made misleading statements in investor presentations and in public filings about the actual size of assets it controlled that were backed by subprime mortgages.

Between July and mid-October 2007, the company maintained its holdings of what have now been dubbed "toxic assets", stood at $13 billion, when in fact the number was closer to $50 billion, according to the SEC.

"The rules of financial disclosure are simple -- if you choose to speak, speak in full and not in half-truths," Robert Khuzami, director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement, said in a statement.

Also charged in the case were two Citigroup executives, including former chief financial officer Gary Crittenden and Arthur Tildesley, Jr., who currently serves as the head of cross marketing at the company.

Crittenden agreed to pay $100,000 to settle the charges while Tildesley, the former head of investor relations, agreed to pay $80,000.

In a statement issued Thursday, Citigroup stood behind the men, calling them both "highly valued" employees.

"We are pleased that we have reached agreement with the SEC to put this matter concerning certain 2007 disclosures behind us, and that the SEC is not charging Citi or any individual with intentional or reckless misconduct," the company said in a statement.

Citigroup neither admitted or denied the SEC's allegations. But Thursday's settlement is the federal agency's latest attempt to crack down on fraud and misbehavior on Wall Street during the crisis.

Earlier this month, the SEC struck an agreement with Goldman Sachs (GS, Fortune 500). The company agreed to pay $550 million to settle charges that the company defrauded investors in the sale of an investment tied to subprime mortgages.

Citigroup (C, Fortune 500) stock edged higher in afternoon trading Thursday. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,131.97 100.83 0.59%
Nasdaq 4,552.76 33.86 0.75%
S&P 500 1,998.98 14.85 0.75%
Treasuries 2.59 -0.00 -0.08%
Data as of 10:02pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Apple Inc 100.86 -0.77 -0.76%
Bank of America Corp... 16.71 -0.03 -0.18%
Yahoo! Inc 42.71 0.16 0.38%
Alcoa Inc 16.16 -0.23 -1.40%
Facebook Inc 76.08 1.50 2.01%
Data as of 4:02pm ET

Sections

Scotland's independence vote is too close to call but those who want to keep Britain united won this year's campaign funding race by some distance. More

The FBI's new facial recognition system lets local police easily identify you. It will one day spot you from your iris, voice and the way you walk. More

Y Combinator president Sam Altman is teaching a startup class at Stanford with Silicon Valley heavy hitters as guest lecturers. Bonus: All the videos will be available for free online. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.