It turns out investors might have a voice after all when it comes to matters of fraud and punishment at the Securities and Exchange Commission. All they have to do, it seems, is ask.

That’s what lawyers for a Citigroup Inc. shareholder named Stanley Lerner soon found out after they filed a court brief complaining about the SEC’s sweetheart settlement agreement last month with the bank and two executives. The terms of the July 29 deal made no sense and let Citigroup’s officers and directors off too easy, Lerner’s attorneys told the federal judge presiding over the case.

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