Wachovia to Pay $148 Million to Settle Bond Market Manipulation Claims

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Wachovia Bank (now a part of Wells Fargo Bank) will pay $148 million to federal and state agencies and municipalities after admitting to anticompetitive activity in the municipal bonds market.  State and federal authorities charged the bank with entering into illegal agreements to manipulate the bidding process and rig bids on bond reinvestment transactions from 1997 through 2005.  As part of a non-prosecution agreement with the SEC, Wells Fargo admitted that former employees of Wachovia engaged in this illegal conduct.  The Justice Department has already obtained $525 million in settlements with Bank of America, UBS AG and JP Morgan over allegations of corruption in the municipal bond market.