The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said Friday it is sending checks totaling more than $356 million to Fannie Mae investors from money the company paid to settle financial fraud charges.
The SEC had charged Fannie Mae with accounting fraud from 1998 through 2004 and the the largest U.S. mortgage-finance company settled in May 2006 without admitting or denying the allegations.
The SEC said the checks are going to individual investors, pension plans and others who were investors during the period in question.
"The $350 million penalty paid by Fannie Mae was one of the largest in commission history, and now all of it is going to
its rightful owners - the victims of this fraud," said SEC Chairman Christopher Cox in a statement.
A Fannie Mae spokesman declined to comment on the distribution.
The SEC said, including this payout, it has distributed more than $3 billion since it was given the authority to send financial penalties to investors.
Before the Fair Funds provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the SEC sent financial penalties collected from its enforcement actions to the U.S. Treasury.
The SEC had accused Fannie Mae of engaging in financial fraud to maximize executives' bonuses and achieve forecasted earnings.
The company completed a restatement of its earnings in December, saying it overstated earnings from 2001 to mid-2004 by $6.3 billion.