JACKSON — After repeated requests, the Securities and Exchange Commission has finally announced the proposed plan to distribute Morgan Keegan settlement funds to Mississippi investors, according to the Office of Secretary of State.
“For two years, the SEC ignored the pleas of investors to release this money. They desperately need their settlement funds,” says Secretary Delbert Hosemann. “It is beyond time for the federal agency to allocate the funds and bring some closure to Morgan Keegan investors.”
In June 2011, Mississippi, other states and the SEC reached a settlement agreement with Morgan Keegan and Morgan Asset Management in the amount of $200 million. The settlement payments are for failing to disclose risks associated with certain investments and presenting misleading marketing materials to investors.
As part of the settlement agreement, $100 million has already been distributed to investors by the states. The other $100 million was to be distributed by the SEC. The Office of Secretary of State reports it made repeated demands for payment of these funds and requested the ctate’s congressional delegation made demands, which they did. Finally, three investors filed a lawsuit against the SEC to demand payment and the attorney general demanded action and gave the SEC 14 days to respond.
“By their own administrative rule, the SEC is required to have a distribution plan in place within 60 days of the commission receiving funds. It has been two years. We have thousands of Mississippians who have lost millions of dollars. It is unconscionable it took this long to get Mississippians their own money from their own government,” adds Hosemann.