Bear Stearns Could Face Civil Charges

Regulators probing troubled bank's bond, mortgage practices
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2008 4:55 AM CDT
Bear Stearns Could Face Civil Charges
JP Morgan Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, left, and Bear Stearns president and Chief Executive Officer Alan Schwartz testify on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, April 3, 2008.   (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)

(Newser) – Bear Stearns has been warned it could face civil charges stemming from an SEC probe into its anti-competitive bidding for municipal bonds, the Wall Street Journal reports. The firm is also being investigated by the FTC for alleged violations of consumer protection laws involving its mortgage-servicing unit. Bear Stearns officials said the company is co-operating with both agencies and the Department of Justice.

Yesterday's filings also revealed Bear Stearns' profits plunged 79% the first quarter of 2008, though it still managed to generate a profit. The figures show how rapidly the Wall Street bank was overtaken by the liquidity crisis in March that sent its share price plummeting and prompted a takeover by JP Morgan. (Read more Bear Stearns stories.)

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