Antitrust case results in $450K settlement in Texas
Editor's note: A previous version of this article and its headline incorrectly stated that Rathmann & Associates agreed to pay a $450,000 civil penalty.
AUSTIN, Texas (Legal Newsline) - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott reached a settlement on Friday with R. Craig Rathmann and his firm, Rathmann & Associates L.P., over antitrust allegations that claimed Houston-area municipal utility districts paid inflated underwriting fees for bond refundings.
Rathmann was accused of allegedly conspiring with his former employer, RBC Capital Markets LLC (RBC), to eliminate competition for financial advisory services to the municipal districts in exchange for Rathmann only using RBC for underwriting services.
Rathmann & Associates serves as a financial advisor to municipal utility districts in the Houston area. It advises clients on issuing bond debt and bringing bond issues to market. Part of the services the firm offers include helping bond issuers select underwriters to buy bonds from the issuer and resell them to investors.
The settlement with the Attorney General's office prohibits Rathman and Associates from entering into similar agreements in the future and requires Rathmann to inform clients of their right to choose an underwriter. Rathmann will pay $450,000 in lieu of civil penalties as reimbursement for legal costs and attorneys fees.