NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The State of New Jersey agreed to settle fraud charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday after it became the first U.S. state ever to be accused of violating federal securities laws.
The SEC alleged that New Jersey misled investors in municipal bond sales totaling $26 billion over a six year period ending in April 2007. The state agreed to settle the case without admitting or denying the findings.
The settlement did not involve a financial penalty. But the SEC did impose a "cease-and-desist" order against New Jersey and ordered the state to improve its financial disclosures.
According to the SEC, offering documents connected to a total of 79 bond sales created the false impression that the state could fund pension funds covering teachers and state workers. In reality, the SEC said, New Jersey could not make contributions to the pensions without raising taxes or cutting services that could impact its budget.
As such, investors were not given adequate information to gauge the state's ability to fund the pensions or assess the impact on its financial condition, according to the SEC.
"The State of New Jersey didn't give its municipal investors a fair shake, withholding and misrepresenting pertinent information about its financial situation," Robert Khuzami, Director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement, said in a statement.
In response, New Jersey said the state has never missed a bond payment and stressed that it cooperated with the federal investigation.
In India and other polluted countries, finding talented corporate executives is tough. Is the water contaminated? Is the air toxic? If yes, execs will say "no thanks." More
India's finance minister isn't worried about jobs being lost in the country's manufacturing sector despite warnings that industrial robots will dramatically reduce the need for factory workers in coming decades. More
Women coders do better than men in a gender-blind study that examines GitHub requests. More
Why is Donald Trump missing from Bleacher Creatures' new line of presidential candidates plush dolls? More