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NEW YORK, July 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Mizuho Securities USA Inc. ("Mizuho"), the U.S. broker-dealer subsidiary of Mizuho Financial Group, announced today that it has entered into a Settlement Agreement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in relation to the agency's investigation of a collateralized debt obligation ("CDO") transaction in 2007. The agreement is subject to court approval.
Under the terms of the settlement, Mizuho was not charged with acting with fraudulent intent or engaging in intentional misconduct and the firm did not admit wrongdoing. Mizuho has agreed to pay $127.5 million under the settlement. Resolution of this matter will not have a material adverse effect on the firm's financial statements.
Mizuho cooperated fully with the SEC throughout this process. The firm agreed to the settlement to avoid protracted litigation and distraction and believes the settlement is the right outcome for its shareholders, clients and employees.
The SEC's investigation focused on whether certain former employees of MSUSA provided inaccurate information to Standard & Poor's regarding assets that would be included in the CDO, called Delphinus.
The activity in question was isolated to a few persons, most of whom were hired together in December 2006 and employed by Mizuho until December 2007. The SEC has not alleged that the former employees acted with the knowledge or approval of management.
"We are pleased to have reached an agreement with the SEC to put this matter behind us," the Company said in a statement. "Mizuho is committed to conducting its business with complete integrity and in strict compliance with all applicable laws and regulations in the markets in which we operate."