Trading firm Wedbush to pay $2.4 million to settle SEC case; two employees are also settling

Associated Press

The Securities and Exchange Commission said Thursday that trading firm Wedbush Securities Inc. has agreed to pay more than $2.4 million to settle charges that it provided customers access to the market without adequate risk controls.

As part of the settlement, Wedbush has admitted wrongdoing.

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"Wedbush acknowledges that it granted access to thousands of overseas traders without having appropriate safeguards in place," said Andrew J. Ceresney, Director of the SEC Enforcement Division, in a press release.

Wedbush said in a statement that it has "always taken seriously its obligations under the federal securities laws." The Los Angeles-based company said that it closed the accounts involved more than a year ago and that it does not know of any harm or losses resulting from the trading.

Two people, former Wedbush executive vice president Jeffrey Bell and current Wedbush vice president Christina Fillhart, also settled with the SEC for their roles in the case. They will pay a combined total of more than $85,000, the SEC said. In settling, Bell and Fillhart did not admit or deny any wrongdoing.

Bell's attorney said his client had no comment. An attorney for Fillhart did not immediately respond to a request for comment.