State v. Tradition (North America)

Defendant Tradition was a broker of guaranteed investment contracts (GICs), which are used to temporarily invest the proceeds of municipal bond issues. Tradition conducted the bidding process among banks that sought to sell GICs to the Commonwealth, and certified to the State that the bidding process was competitive and that the winning bid would be the GIC that provided the highest yield. The state alleged that Tradition created a rigged and corrupt bidding process by telling favored providers what other banks were bidding and also telling the favored providers exactly what to bid in order to win the business. This resulted in bids that offered Massachusetts less interest than it would have gotten if the bidding process had really been competitive. By fixing the bids, Tradition ensured that these favored providers would get business from the Commonwealth while also shortchanging Massachusetts. The state also alleged that Tradition told favored providers who had already indicated that they intended to offer certain high interest rates that these providers should offer less money to the Commonwealth. The complaint also alleged that Tradition repeatedly deceived the Commonwealth, provided false certifications regarding the bidding process. The parties reached a settlement under Tradition will pay $250,000 to Massachusetts. The settlement also includes a provision to track an ongoing investment obtained through the tainted bidding process to determine whether Tradition owes additional money to the state.

Read More →