What kind of a world do we live in when you can't even buy a small town mayor and county commissioners anymore? At least that's the question formerdirectors Charles LeCroy and Douglass MacFaddin are asking themselves this morning.
These are the guys who allegedly funneled over $8 million to friends of Jefferson County, Alabama, commissioners to ensure the commissioners would vote to the managing underwriter of the county's bonds and swaps. In a twist only a Wall Street banker could truly appreciate, they then wrapped the $8 million in bribes into the repayment schedule on the instruments, essentially making the county pay the bribes to their own commissioners. Now that's shady, even by our standards.
J.P. Morgan Securities did not disclose any of the payments or conflicts of interest in the swap confirmation agreements or bond offering documents, yet passed on the cost of the unlawful payments by charging the county higher interest rates on the swap transactions.
"The transactions were complex but the scheme was simple. Senior J.P. Morgan bankers made unlawful payments to win business and earn fees," said Robert Khuzami, Director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement.
JPM Securities, without admitting anything, has agreed to pay a $25 million fine, make a payment of $50 million to Jefferson County, and forfeit over $647 million in termination fees.
LeCroy and MacFadden refused to settle, however, so it looks like the Feds will go after them personally. It's not looking good for these clowns, as the SEC has taped conversations of them bragging about "payoffs", "giving away free money", and "the price of doing business".