Articles Posted in Citigroup MAT & Falcon Funds

Sophisticated investors won a $54 million arbitration award against Citigroup Global Markets Inc. related to the MAT leveraged municipal arbitrage hedge fund. It is by far the largest FINRA award rendered against Citi related to MAT. The award in the matter named Hosier v. Citi also includes $17 million in punitive damages and $3 million in attorneys’ fees.

We have been retained by many MAT investors and have numerous pending arbitrations against Citi related to MAT and it’s sister fund Falcon. This award is a potential game changer.

It’ll be interesting to see if Citi attempts to move to vacate the award in court, especially due to the punitive damages amount. It is very difficult to vacate an arbitration award, however firms have been more aggressive in challenging arbitration awards in recent years. Either way, this is one of the largest arbitration awards ever rendered against a broker dealer at FINRA and a tremendous sign for MAT/Falcon investors with outstanding claims.

A Florida FINRA panel awarded $6.4 million to an investor in Citi’s MAT municipal bond arbitrage fund this week. It’s the largest award rendered against Citi related to its MAT and Falcon proprietary fund blow-ups. The case is Berghorse v. Smith Barney (FINRA 08-04466). Although damages claimed on the award were $12 million, sources say the net out of pocket losses were under $10 million, making the award amount over 64% of the losses. The 29 hearing sessions also make it the longest MAT arbitration to date. This substantial award follows a string of 100% NOP awards rendered against Smith Barney late last year. Below is an On Wall Street piece about the case.

FINRA: Citi To Pay Investors $6.4M By Lorie Konish February 9, 2011

A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority panel has ordered two parts of Citigroup Inc. to pay $6.4 million to make up for investment losses tied to a group of troubled municipal arbitrage trust funds.

Citigroup suffered its first loss in an arbitration related to its MAT fund. A FINRA arbitration panel in Miami, FL awarded a claimant $250,000 plus interest accruing from March 1, 2009 until the award is paid. The arbitration hearing took place over four days in July and is reportedly the first arbitration award against Citigroup handled by a PIABA attorney concerning the MAT funds. In 2008, Citigroup’s proprietary investment funds under the trade name ASTA, MAT and Falcon blew up in spectacular fashion. Citigroup presently faces numerous customer arbitrations (including some filed by our firm) related to the funds. It had won its first two reported arbitrations in Detroit and St. Louis.

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