July 29, 2009                                                         Contact:Lucas Hamilton

Lindeen Secures $1.8 Million in Auction Rate Securities Settlement for Montanans


      More Montana investors who lost millions in auction rate securities will be getting a refund.
      
      Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance Monica Lindeen says JP Morgan Chase & Co. will return more than $1.8 million to Montana investors.
      
      “This settlement represents a major victory for Montana investors who for months have been unable to access their funds at JP Morgan because those funds were placed in auction rate securities,” said Lindeen.
      
      The agreement announced today will settle an investigation alleging Merrill Lynch misrepresented auction rate securities to investors as safe, cash-equivalent products, even though the products faced increasing liquidity risk.
      
      The settlement also provides that JP Morgan Chase & Co will pay a total fine of $47,344.
      
      This settlement is the sixth that Commissioner Lindeen has finalized. Previous settlements include RBC Capital Markets, Merrill Lynch, Banc of America, Citigroup and Wachovia, which bought back a collective total of nearly $74 million to Montana investors. The six firms have paid more than $814,000 in fines to the state of Montana.
      
      The investigation into possible violations by JP Morgan Chase & Co. is part of a larger state-led effort to address problems in connection with the offer and sale of ARS securities. State regulators, including Montana, are continuing their investigations into possible misconduct by other firms, and have reached agreements to settle with many of these firms.
      
      Montanans who feel they have been treated unfairly by an investment broker or company or who believe they have been the victims of fraud should call the Montana Commissioner of Securities and Insurance at 1-800-332-6148 or in Helena at 444-2040.