Two former Dexia units were among more than a dozen financial firms that conspired to pay below-market interest rates to U.S. state and local governments on so-called guaranteed investment contracts, or GICs, according to documents filed in a U.S. Justice Department criminal antitrust case.
Municipalities buy GICs with money raised by selling bonds, allowing them to earn a return until the funds are needed for schools, roads and other public works.
An employee of Financial Security Assurance Holdings Ltd., one of the Dexia subsidiaries, agreed to pay kickbacks ranging from $4,500 to $475,000 to a Los Angeles investment broker called CDR Financial Products Inc. in exchange for rigging bids, according to people familiar with the case and public records.
CDR employees fed information on competitors' bids to FSA, allowing the firm to win deals at a lower interest rate than it would have paid, according to a federal indictment, public records and the people.
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