Citigroup agreed to pay $285 million to settle charges that it misled investors in a $1 billion derivatives deal tied to the United States housing market, then bet against investors as the housing market began to show signs of distress, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Wednesday.
The S.E.C. also brought charges against a Citigroup employee who was responsible for structuring the transaction, and brought and settled charges against the asset management unit of Credit Suisse and a Credit Suisse employee who also had responsibility for the derivative security.
The S.E.C. said that the $285 million would be returned to investors in the deal, a collateralized debt obligation known as Class V Funding III. The commission said that Citigroup exercised significant influence over the selection of $500 million of assets in the deal’s portfolio.
Citigroup then took a short position against those mortgage-related assets, an investment in which Citigroup would profit if the assets declined in value. The company did not disclose to the investors to whom it sold the collateralized debt obligation that it had helped to select the assets or that it was betting against them.