U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Litigation Release No. 23446 / January 14, 2016
Securities and Exchange Commission v. Robert B. Crowe, Civil Action No. 2:16-CV-36 (S.D. Ohio)
SEC Charges Lobbyist with Participating in Pay-To-Play Scheme
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio against Robert B. Crowe, a law firm partner who worked as a fundraiser and lobbyist for State Street Bank and Trust Company. The complaint alleges that Crowe participated in a pay-to-play scheme to win contracts to service Ohio pension funds.
The SEC's complaint alleges that Crowe repeatedly caused concealed campaign contributions to be made on behalf of State Street to the Ohio State Treasurer to influence the Treasurer to select and retain State Street to provide securities custody work. The SEC's complaint against Crowe alleges specifically that in March 2010, Crowe met demands for campaign contributions by illegally filtering $16,000 through his personal bank account and reimbursing individuals for contributions made in their own names. The complaint further alleges that Crowe continued to funnel campaign contributions to the Treasurer until at least September 2010 in response to threats that State Street would lose its securities custody business with the Ohio pension funds.
The SEC's complaint, filed on January 14, 2016, alleges that Crowe violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5(a) and (c) thereunder, and Sections 17(a)(1) and (3) of the Securities Act of 1933. Crowe is also alleged to have aided and abetted violations of Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5(b) thereunder as well as Section 17(a)(2) of the Securities Act.
The SEC also issued a press release related to this matter: