WASHINGTON -- Ford Motor Credit Co. will pay more than $700,000 to settle federal charges that it misled investors in marketing its Ford Money Market Account, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said Tuesday.
The SEC said account customers purchase unsecured debt of Ford Credit. The account is not a bank account or money market mutual fund and is not insured by the federal government against loss, the commission said.
Ford Credit, which is wholly owned by Ford Motor Co., did not admit wrongdoing. But it agreed to change the name of the account and to improve disclosure to investors.
The company will return $700,000 in so-called ill-gotten gains and pay more than $64,000 in interest, the SEC said.
The payment represents the money Ford Credit saved in not making proper disclosures, rather than any improperly earned profit, said John Reed Stark, chief of the SEC's Office of Internet Enforcement.
Such "disgorgement" normally is repaid to investors. But Stark said it would be impractical to track down 115,000 or more investors in the Ford Money Market Account. The money likely will go to the U.S. Treasury.
The SEC says it is investigating other companies' offerings of corporate money market debt, estimated to total about $28 billion.
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