SEC Charges the City of Harrisburg with Securities Fraud

In the Matter of the City of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Admin. Proc. File No. 3-15316.  On May 6, 2013, the SEC announced it filed a settled administrative proceeding against the City of Harrisburg.  The SEC’s Order finds that Harrisburg is virtually insolvent and currently under receivership.  The city has about $260 million in debt related to upgrades and repairs to a municipal resource recovery facility.  By March 2013, Harrisburg was delinquent in about $13.9 million in debt service payments.  The SEC’s Order finds that Harrisburg had not submitted annual financial information or audited financial statements since submitting its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (“CAFR”) in 2007 to a Nationally Recognized Municipal Securities Information Repository (“NRMSIR”) in January 2009.  Starting in mid-2009, Harrisburg was supposed to submit financial information to a central repository known as the Electronic Municipal Market Access (“EMMA”) system maintained by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (“MSRB”).  Instead of submitting its 2008 CAFR to EMMA, Harrisburg submitted it to a former NRMSIR.  The city also failed to timely submit its 2009 and 2010 CAFRs to EMMA.  In each instance, Harrisburg did not notify the public about these failures and other material information about its finances until after the SEC started investigating.  As a result, investors were at risk of buying or selling securities based on stale and incomplete information.  Without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, Harrisburg consented to entry of an SEC Order requiring it to cease and desist from committing or causing violations of Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Exchange Act Rule 10b-5.

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