The Conclusion of a Long Running Pay-to-Play Case

Many of the cases brought recently by the Commission have been either offering fraud or microcap issuer cases with the latter often centered on pump-and-dump manipulations. These cases typically fleece unsuspecting investors who purchase what appear to be inexpensive securities based on some type of guaranteed return or assurance against lost in the case of offering fraud actions or the lure of quick profits from an about to increase stock in the case of the manipulations. The outcome in all of these cases is the same – the investors lose their hard earned savings.

Some cases follow a different pattern. For example, some cases involve public officials taking a bribe in return for steering business to others. In those cases the pattern is different but for investors it is the same, they lose although it may not be as apparent. Once such case is SEC v. Webb, Civil Action No. 17-8685 (N.D. Ill.), a pay-to-play case.

Defendant David Webb is the mayor of the City of Markham, Illinois. In connection with a 2012 municipal bond offering designed to fund city capital projects, Mr. Webb engaged in a pay-to-play scheme. The mayor approached a contractor involved in the city capital projects and solicited a bribe. In return Mr. Webb agreed to steer a multi-million construction project to the contractor. The project would be funded from the offering proceeds of the municipal bond offering.

The complaint alleges violations of Securities Act Section 17(a) and Exchange Act Section 10(b). To resolve the action Mr. Webb consented to the entry of a permanent injunction based on the Sections cited in the complaint in late 2017. This week the Court entered the final judgment after determining monetary remedies. The Court entered permanent injunctions based on the Sections cited in the complaint. The mayor was also barred from participating in further municipal bond offerings. In addition, Mr. Webb was directed to pay disgorgement of $85,000 and prejudgment interest of $32,849.35. Those amounts were deemed satisfied by the restitution order entered in the parallel criminal case. See Lit. Rel. No. 25160 (August 9, 2021).

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