Miss. official: US agency ignoring fraud victims

EMILY WAGSTER PETTUS,Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi official says the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has failed to distribute $100 million to 39,000 investors in several states who lost money because of fraud by a financial firm.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann says the federal agency has ignored inquiries about the money. He filed a brief last week supporting a federal lawsuit that seeks to force the SEC to distribute the funds.

Memphis, Tenn.-based Morgan Keegan & Co. agreed in June 2011 to pay $200 million to settle civil fraud charges that it overstated the value of mortgage investments as the housing market collapsed.

Hosemann says Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee and South Carolina distributed $100 million to victims in 2012, but the other $100 million remains in a fund at the SEC.