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Jones Walker Team Defeats NASD's Largest Prosecution for Municipal-Bond "Pay to Play"
November 23, 2004

Jones Walker successfully defended Sisung Securities Corporation and owner Larry Sisung against the National Association of Securities Dealers' ("NASD") charges that Sisung had engaged in 21 prohibited municipal securities transactions totaling $1.1 billion.  Termed by The Bond Buyer as "the largest involving G-37 ever brought by the NASD," the case involved issues of first impression on the relation of Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board's "pay to play" prohibition in Rule G37 to elected officials serving on Louisiana's Bond Commission, which oversees municipal-bond issues throughout the state.  NASD's Enforcement Division sought over $2.3 million in fines and a 2-year suspension from all municipal bond business in the state. The NASD's Hearing Panel rejected the G37 charges entirely, but fined Sisung $20,000 for what it found were "good faith, but erroneous" record-keeping and reporting violations.  The NASD had issued a July 2003 national press release touting its filing of charges and Jones Walker was quoted in Dow Jones, Bloomberg, The Bond Buyer, Wall Street Journal and BNA's Daily Report for Executives.  The Panel also cited approvingly Fred Chevalier's prior opinion and testimony at the hearing. Jones Walker's trial team was Tom Potter and Stacie Hollis, with paralegal Linda Thomas.  Dept. of Enforcement v. Sisung Securities Corp., No. C05030036-AWH (NASD Office of Hearing Officers, Nov. 19, 2004).