Former Montebello Unified School District Official Agrees to Pay $50,000 and Admit Wrongdoing in Connection with $100 Million Bond Offering

Litigation Release No. 25580 / November 21, 2022

Securities and Exchange Commission v. Ruben James Rojas, No. 5:19-cv-01799 (C.D. Cal. filed September 19, 2019)

The SEC announced today that Ruben James Rojas, the former Chief Business Officer of Montebello Unified School District ("Montebello"), agreed to admit wrongdoing and pay a $50,000 penalty to resolve an SEC enforcement action involving the sale of $100 million of municipal bonds by Montebello in December 2016.

The SEC's complaint, filed on September 19, 2019 in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, alleged that Rojas misled bond investors by failing to disclose that Montebello had fired its independent auditor after the firm raised concerns about, among other things, Rojas's qualifications and integrity. Rojas approved the bond offering materials provided to investors despite the fact that they misleadingly attached a clean prior-year audit opinion without disclosing that the auditor had been terminated after raising concerns.

On November 18, 2022, the Honorable Fernando Aenlle-Rocha, entered an amended final judgment permanently enjoining Rojas from participation in municipal securities offerings and from violating Section 17(a)(3) of the Securities Act of 1933. The amended final judgment also orders Rojas to pay a civil penalty of $50,000. In consenting to entry of the amended final judgment, Rojas admitted to conduct in violation of Section 17(a)(3) of the Securities Act.

The court's entry of the amended final judgment resolves this litigation in its entirety.

The SEC's litigation was conducted by Brent Smyth, Andrew Hefty, Marc Katz and Matthew Meyerhofer of the SEC's San Francisco Regional Office. The SEC's investigation was conducted by Jason H. Lee and supervised by Monique C. Winkler of the San Francisco Regional Office.