The Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday announced a $125,000 settlement with California's largest agricultural water district, which the federal agency accused of misleading investors at the time of a 2012 bond offering.
An enforcement case against two officials of the district also was settled by the SEC, which said one of them had openly joked about Enron-like accounting.
The issuer, Westlands Water District, allegedly falsified the true nature of its debt service reserve funds and financial condition at the time of the $77 million bond offering. Also, the two officials, Westlands General Manager Thomas Birmingham and former Assistant General Manager Louie David Ciapponi, were accused of misleading investors.
This marks the second time a municipal issuer has paid a financial penalty in an SEC enforcement action, the agency said. The previous case was back in 2013 and involved a municipal issuer in Washingtion state.