Securities firms to pay state nearly $500,000 in fines

Posted April 19, 2009, at 9:15 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Two securities firms have agreed to pay the state of Maine nearly $500,000 in fines.

Money from the settlement reached with Wachovia Capital Markets and Citigroup Global Markets will go into the state’s general fund. In addition to the fines, the companies will offer to buy back securities from Maine residents who lost money when the investments declined in value.

Maine and other states have accused the companies of misleading investors by marketing complex, long-term auction rate securities as safe, liquid and cash-like investments. The Portland Press-Herald reports that the firms have been fined a total of $100 million nationally.

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