Federal Judge Slams SEC’s Fraud Settlement With Citigroup: ‘It’s Just For Show’

Last month, Citigroup announced that it had settled with the Securities and Exchange Commission over charges that the bank misled investors in a derivatives deal and then bet against them. Under the terms of the settlement, Citi agreed to pay $285 million and made a promise to never again break anti-fraud laws. The SEC accepted that pledge, even though banks have repeatedly made and broken such promises in recent years. Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff slammed the settlement, questioning why the SEC “didn’t force Citigroup Inc. to admit to ‘what the facts are’ before the agency agreed to settle.” “Why does that make any sense in this context?” the judge asked. “It’s just for show.”