Evergreen Investments reached a settlement with the SEC, bringing to a close the agencys inquiry into excessive short-term trading activity, said Evergreen spokeswoman Laura Fay. Evergreen and three affiliates agreed to pay $28.5 million in disgorgement and a total of $4 million in civil penalties, reflecting the SECs conclusion that Evergreens failure to enforce the trading limits set forth in the firms prospectuses diluted the value of Evergreen funds by nearly $29 million from September 1998 through June 2004, according to a news release from the SEC. Evergreen neither admitted nor denied findings in the settlement, according to its own news release.
The SEC also levied a $1 disgorgement fine and a $150,000 civil penalty on former Evergreen CEO William M. Ennis, finding that he, Evergreen and its affiliates entered into an agreement to allow a registered representative of a broker-deal to market time Evergreen funds. David P. Bergers, regional director of the SECs Boston office, said under the settlement, Mr. Ennis is barred from working in the industry for at least one year. Neither Mr. Ennis nor his lawyer, Michael Gilbert, with Dechert LLP, could immediately be contacted for comment.