Last Friday, Judge Crotty denied the attempt of three former Fannie Mae executives to dismiss the SEC’s charges that they mislead investors about the company’s exposure to subprime mortgages. Judge Crotty found that the SEC had adequately alleged that Fannie Mae’s “quantitative subprime disclosures were misleading” because “they failed to include all loans that fell within [Fannie Mae’s] subprime and Alt-A description.” In allowing the SEC’s civil fraud suit to proceed, Judge Crotty rejected the defendants’ argument that they were exempt from liability because the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 does not apply to employees of any “independent establishment of the United States,” and Fannie Mae, as a government-sponsored enterprise chartered by the federal government, qualifies as such an establishment. Although Judge Crotty held that Fannie Mae is a government instrumentality, he concluded that it is not an “independent establishment” within the meaning of the Act given that it is a publicly-traded corporation managed and controlled by a Board of Directors elected by its shareholders.
Continue Reading Judge Crotty Rejects Ex-Fannie Mae Executives’ Bid to Dismiss SEC Charges