SEC Brings Actions Against Underwriters In First-Ever Municipal Bond Disclosure Cases
On September 13, 2022, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) filed suit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against an underwriter for allegedly failing to comply with the regulatory requirements of the Exchange Act’s Rule 15c2-12 (17 C.F.R. § 240.15c2-12), which provides a limited exception to certain disclosure requirements where underwriters have a reasonable belief that the municipal securities are being sold only to sophisticated investors that are each buying the securities for a single account. See SEC v. Oppenheimer & Co., Inc., S.D.N.Y. No. 1:22-cv-7801 (Sept. 13, 2022). The SEC also initiated settled enforcement actions with three other firms for similar alleged violations. This is the first time that the SEC has initiated municipal-bond disclosure cases.