Washington, D.C., Sept. 23, 2008 (LAWFUEL) – The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced a Fair Fund distribution of approximately $49 million to investors who were affected by improper market timing in mutual funds managed by Franklin Advisers, Inc. (Franklin) of the Franklin-Templeton Investments complex.
The remainder of the Fair Fund, approximately $5.7 million including earned interest, is scheduled to be distributed next month.
“This distribution to more than one million recipients reflects the SEC’s commitment to compensating investors harmed by misconduct,” said Marc J. Fagel, Director of the SEC’s San Francisco Regional Office.
The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 gave the SEC authority to increase the amount of money returned to injured investors by allowing civil penalties to be included in Fair Fund distributions. Prior to Sarbanes-Oxley, only disgorgement could be returned to investors. Since 2002, SEC enforcement actions have resulted in more than $4 billion in distributions to investors.
“As the investors’ advocate, the SEC continues to make increasing use of the new authority provided by Congress so that we can return as much money as possible from wrongdoers to harmed investors,” said Dick D’Anna, Director of the SEC’s Office of Collections and Distributions.
In 2004, the SEC brought settled administrative and cease-and-desist proceedings charging Franklin with improperly allowing market timing in mutual funds it managed from 1996 to 2001. The SEC’s order in the proceedings found that Franklin violated certain provisions of the federal securities laws and ordered Franklin to cease and desist from such violations. The order further required Franklin to pay a total of $50 million in disgorgement and penalties and undertake certain compliance reforms. Franklin consented to the order without admitting or denying the findings.
The Fair Fund Administrator responsible for distribution is Boston Financial Data Services, Inc. (BFDS). Investor questions regarding the distribution may be directed to BFDS at (866) 700-0131. Information regarding the distribution can also be obtained at the Franklin-Templeton Web site: http://www.franklintempleton.com/retail/jsp_cm/home/MF_trading_practices.jsp.