WASHINGTON - The Securities and Exchange Commission
on Friday upheld a 1998 ruling against Joseph Jett
, who was accused in a bond-trading scandal, ordering him to pay $8.4 million in a civil fine and restitution.
Significantly, SEC commissioners also overturned part of the ruling by an administrative law judge, by finding that Jett
committed securities fraud - as agency enforcement attorneys had urged in a hearing a month ago.The law judge had ruled that because the transactions in question did not involve the purchase or sale of bonds on an exchange, they did not constitute securities fraud.Jett
disputes the SEC's allegations.He
has the right to appeal the ruling to a federal appeals court and said Friday that he
will do so.The commissioners voted in a closed meeting to affirm the earlier ruling that Jett recorded "enormous illusory profits" by using a computer anomaly in the trading and accounting systems at Kidder Peabody, where he was a star government-bond trader.The SEC
also found that Jett
deceived the investment firm, which fired him in 1994, about his
trading performance and caused a substantial loss for the firm.The SEC
to pay a $200,000 civil fine and return $8.2 million in allegedly ill-gotten gains.It also barred Jett
, 46, from working for any brokerage firm or stock exchange.
maintains that he
legitimately took advantage of the anomaly in Kidder's
represented himself in last month's hearing before the SEC commissioners, Jett
said Friday, he
was "seeking justice.I was greeted with ... cowardice and more injustice."The SEC
"remains a kangaroo court today that does only the bidding of the business entities that truly control it," Jett
said by telephone."They will, at hazard, place their credibility against mine in the court of public opinion."
Jett's legal battle was one of the high-profile cases stemming from the Wall Street scandals of the 1990s.Jett
also has accused Kidder
, which was owned by General Electric
, of making him into a scapegoat in part because he
is black.In a new book about his
says that racism is rampant on Wall Street.Commissioners Paul Atkins, Roel Campos and Harvey Goldschmid voted to uphold the ruling against Jett.