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.
Shares of several uranium miners are soaring this year on hopes that Donald Trump will commit more investments to nuclear power. But investors need to get careful. The stocks are as volatile as radioactive elements. More
Davos business and political elites are agreed on one thing: A huge cloud of uncertainty hangs over 2017. More
In 1998, Ntsiki Biyela won a scholarship to study wine making. Now she's about to launch her own brand. More
If you're smart about when you first claim Social Security, you can increase your benefits and reap the rewards for the rest of your life. More