Federal Judge Jed S. Rakoff is not pleased with the Securities and Exchange Commission again. Nor is he happy with Citigroup, as he accused both the agency and the financial institution late Thursday of making an end run around his decision not to delay the court case against Citi by its regulator.
As previously reported by AdvisorOne.com, Rakoff threw out the SEC’s $285 million settlement with Citi over a $1 billion mortgage fund, saying that he could not tell whether the settlement was “fair, reasonable, adequate and in the public interest,” as legally required, since the agency claimed, but did not prove fraud on the part of Citigroup. He ordered the case to go to trial after issuing a stinging rebuke of the SEC for its customary handling of such cases, which does not require admission of wrongdoing and assesses penalties Rakoff feels are inadequate.
The SEC appealed the ruling, both with Rakoff and later, on Tuesday morning, with an emergency appeal filing in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan. However, the agency, and Citigroup, both apparently failed to mention that fact to Rakoff in a phone conversation on Tuesday afternoon, shortly before both the judge and the appeals court issued their rulings.