Money market pioneer Bruce Bent was cleared on Monday of civil fraud charges that he misled investors in the early days of the 2008 financial meltdown, in one of the rare trials of a Wall Street leader over conduct during the financial crisis.
A jury rejected all of the charges against Bent following a month-long trial in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. His son, Bruce Bent II, who also was an executive at their family-run Reserve Management Firm, and two entities were found liable on some charges.
In losing the case against the elder Bent, the SEC failed to get jurors to hold a major financial figure individually liable for actions during the 2008 financial turmoil. The Reserve Fund was the first money-market fund in the United States when Bruce Bent started it in 1970.
The case stemmed from a sell-off by investors in the Reserve Fund in September 2008, when the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers roiled financial markets and the fund "broke the buck," meaning its net
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