Edward Jones agrees to pay $20M for overcharging customers in new municipal bond sales

Lifestyle and BudgetAssociated Press

Federal regulators say brokerage firm Edward Jones has agreed to pay more than $20 million to settle claims that it overcharged customers in new municipal bond sales.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said Thursday that $5.2 million of the settlement amount will be distributed to customers whom St. Louis-based Edward Jones overcharged.

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The SEC says the ex-chief of Edward Jones' municipal bond underwriting desk, Stina Wishman, will pay $15,000 and be barred from working in securities for at least two years.

The commission says Wishman took new bonds into Edward Jones' own inventory and improperly offered them to customers at higher prices.

A message seeking comment was left with Edward Jones.

It's the SEC's first case against an underwriter for pricing-related fraud in the primary market for municipal securities.