In a first for the SEC, on September 15, a federal jury has found a municipality and its former Budget Director liable for violations of federal securities laws by acting “knowingly” or with “severe recklessness” while making representations about the financial condition of the City of Miami during three separate offerings of municipal securities in 2009. The SEC alleged, and the jury agreed that city officials violated federal law when they transferred cash from capital projects—funds that had already been allotted, or were needed to cover ongoing expenses—to mask shortfalls in the city’s general fund in order to convince bond-rating agencies that the city’s finances were better than they really were. Miami had been operating under a 2003 SEC cease-and-desist order based on similar conduct. On September 9, the SEC also reached a settlement agreement with an Oklahoma-based bank to resolve allegations that it failed to detect and alert bond holders as to problems in various municipal bond offerings while acting as indenture trustee. As outlined by the SEC final order, the bank allegedly knew that some of the assisted living facilities serving as collateral for the bonds had been closed, and that an individual had withdrawn investor money from reserve funds for the bond offerings and used such funds for other business ventures and personal expenses. The bank did not admit or deny the SEC’s allegations, but agreed to pay $984,000 in disgorgement, as well as a $600,000 civil penalty.