|Monday, July 21, 2003
Nancy A. Condon 202-728-8379
Michael Shokouhi 202-728-8304
NASD Charges Sisung Securities with Wrongfully Receiving Over $2 Million in Underwriting Fees in 21 Municipal Bond Offerings
Washington, DC — NASD announced today that it charged Sisung Securities Corp. of New Orleans, La., and its owner, Lawrence J. Sisung, Jr., with violating securities rules by participating in 21 municipal bond offerings in which the firm was not eligible to participate due to political contributions to members of the Louisiana State Bond Commission.
The NASD complaint alleges that from 1998 through 2001, Sisung made 14 political contributions, through entities that he controlled, of almost $17,000 to members of the Louisiana State Bond Commission. MSRB (Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board) Rule G-37 prohibited Sisung’s brokerage firm from participating in any municipal business approved by the Louisiana State Bond Commission for two years from the date of each contribution. However, Sisung Securities failed to follow this restriction and improperly participated in 21 Louisiana bond issues, earning more than $2.1 million in municipal underwriting fees.
In addition, NASD charged that Sisung Securities failed to report political contributions of over $44,000, which includes the $17,000, as required by MSRB rules, and failed to keep required records of such contributions.
The MSRB is the self-regulatory organization charged with primary rulemaking authority for the municipal securities activities of brokers and dealers. NASD enforces the rules of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board.
Under NASD rules, an individual named in a complaint can file a response and request a hearing before an NASD disciplinary panel. Possible sanctions include a fine, order to pay restitution, censure, suspension, or bar from the securities industry.
Investors can obtain more information and the disciplinary record of any NASD-registered broker or brokerage firm by calling (800) 289-9999 or by sending an e-mail through NASD’s Web Site at www.nasdr.com.
NASD is the leading private-sector provider of financial regulatory services, dedicated to bringing integrity to the markets and confidence to investors through effective and efficient regulation and complementary compliance and technology-based services. NASD touches virtually every aspect of the securities business – from registering and educating all industry participants, to examining securities firms, enforcing both NASD rules and the federal securities laws, and administering the largest dispute resolution forum for investors and member firms. For more information, please visit our Web Site at www.nasd.com.