Judge throws out SEC action against State Street execs
The chief administrative law judge at the Securities and Exchange Commission dismissed the regulator's charges levied against former State Street Corp. (STT) executives John Flannery and James Hopkins. Judge Brenda Murray ruled Monday that neither Flannery, the company's former chief investment officer for the Americas, nor Hopkins, who oversaw products, made false and materially misleading statements about the quality of subprime mortgage-backed securities in documents tied to mortgage transactions. "I find that neither Flannery nor Hopkins was responsible for, or had ultimate authority over, the allegedly false and materially misleading documents at issue in this proceeding," the judge said. "Because I find there were no materially false or misleading statements or omissions, there can also be no fraudulent course of conduct or scheme liability." The judge held that the two men did not violate the anti-fraud provisions of securities statutes and dismissed the entire proceeding. In the final ruling, the administrative judge called Flannery and Hopkins credible witnesses and said the court's conclusion is "based on observing the demeanor of both men during their days of testimony and scrutiny of their answers compared with all other evidence in the record." The original SEC complaint was filed in 2010. Write to Kerri Panchuk.