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McClatchy Newspapers , Published April 05 2011

Wells Fargo to pay $11 million to settle SEC charges

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday said Wells Fargo & Co. has agreed to pay more than $11 million in restitution and penalties to settle charges that Wachovia improperly sold complex mortgage-backed securities in late 2006 and early 2007.

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo acquired Charlotte's Wachovia in 2008. Wells Fargo neither admitted nor denied the SEC's findings.

The SEC said Wachovia violated anti-fraud provisions of the securities law regarding two collateralized debt obligations the bank sold to investors as the U.S. housing market was showing signs of stress.

The likelihood of charges against the bank first surfaced in a Wall Street Journal story on Monday.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.