Big Swiss bank UBS AG has agreed to pay $160 million to resolve allegations of rigging the bidding process to win investment business from cities and towns in 36 states.
Federal and state officials announced the settlements Wednesday. UBS admitted and accepted responsibility for illegal, anticompetitive conduct by former employees from 2001 through 2006, the Justice Department said.
The local governments were looking to invest their proceeds from municipal bond sales. The former UBS employees manipulated the bidding process and at times paid kickbacks to bidding agents who collect proposals for government business, the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission said.
The $160 million is being paid as restitution and penalties to federal and state agencies. Because UBS admitted to the conduct and cooperated, it isn't being prosecuted.