Miami-Dade County

Judge won’t decide SEC suit against Miami from bench; case progressing to trial

Former Miami Budget Director Michael Boudreaux has been called the “architect” of budget transfers that are now the subject of a Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit.
Former Miami Budget Director Michael Boudreaux has been called the “architect” of budget transfers that are now the subject of a Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit.

A lawsuit filed three years ago by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission against the city of Miami will continue to speed toward an August trial after a federal judge declined Tuesday to decide the case from the bench.

The SEC alleges that the city and former budget director Michael Boudreaux misled investors on three bond offerings worth $153 million during the recent economic recession by playing a “shell game” with Miami’s finances. Attorneys for the SEC say the city moved restricted funds into its general fund in order to hide mounting losses and make its books appear stable, thereby making investors and credit agencies believe its bond issues were less risky.

The city and Boudreaux have denied all the SEC’s allegations, saying they did nothing wrong and disclosed everything the law required about their budget decisions.

Both sides filed motions for summary judgment a little more than a month ago, asking Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga to decide the case in their favor before it progresses to a full jury trial. But Altonaga denied the motions Tuesday, save for a relatively minor aspect of the SEC’s motion that argued that thhe city was engaging in interstate commerce.

A trial is set for Aug. 22.

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