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Watchdog Fines Goldman Sachs Group Inc And Other Wall Street Firms $4.5 Million For Lobbyist Payments-Reuters

Thursday, 27 Dec 2012 12:38pm EST 

Reuters reported that Wall Street's watchdog has fined five large firms over $4.48 million for seeking reimbursement for payments to lobbyists using proceeds from municipal and state bond offerings. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has fined Citigroup Inc, Goldman Sachs Group Inc, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corporation's Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley. Wall Street's self-imposed watchdog said the banks unfairly sought reimbursement of fees they paid to the California Public Securities Association between January 2006 and December 2010 by requesting they be refunded as underwriting expenses from the bond sales. FINRA said the firms violated fair dealing and supervisory rules of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board by seeking reimbursement for those payments to Cal PSA, a political association whose activities include lobbying on behalf of companies seeking to influence California state government. 

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