BRADENTON, Fla. — The Securities and Exchange Commission is seeking a summary judgment against former Jefferson County, Ala., commissioner Larry Langford on three counts of violating the federal Securities Act.
The motion for summary judgment, filed in Alabama federal court Friday, also seeks a permanent injunction against Langford to prevent future violations of securities laws.
Judge Abdul Kallon on Monday ordered Langford to respond to the SEC’s motion by Aug. 9. Langford’s attorney, Thomas Baddley of Baddley & Mauro LLC in Birmingham, could not be reached for comment.
In addition to the charges against Langford, the SEC also is seeking disgorgement and civil penalties. The agency asked the court to delay imposition of those remedies until Langford’s appeal of his criminal conviction has been resolved.
Langford already has been ordered to pay $119,985 to the Internal Revenue Service for taxes he failed to pay on bribes, and to forfeit $241,843 in connection with his conviction last year on 60 federal charges of bribery, money laundering, conspiracy, mail and wire fraud, and filing a false tax return.
The criminal conviction supports the motion for summary judgment in the civil case against Langford, according to a filing by SEC attorney Robert Levenson.
“Langford was convicted and adjudicated guilty in a parallel criminal case of the conduct that forms the basis of the commission’s allegations in this case,” the SEC motion said.
The doctrine of collateral estoppel precludes Langford from contesting or re-litigating factual and legal issues decided against him in the criminal case, which entitles the SEC to a summary judgment against Langford, the motion said.
The SEC civil complaint filed in April 2008 later served as the basis for a criminal case against Langford, Montgomery bond dealer William Blount and his firm, Blount Parrish & Co., and Al LaPierre, a friend of both men who funneled payments between them.
While Blount and LaPierre entered plea agreements, Langford maintained his innocence and opted to stand trial. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison, and is serving his sentence during the appeal process.
Federal prosecutors said Langford received $235,000 in bribes, gifts, and loans while president of the Jefferson County Commission. His duties included overseeing the refinancing of the county’s nearly $3.2 billion of sewer warrants and related swaps, as well as other bond deals.
In return, Langford included Blount on bond deals and swaps for which he received more than $7 million in fees.
For his role in the pay-to-play scheme, LaPierre received fees for acting as a consultant to Blount.
“Langford’s conduct was egregious,” the SEC’s motion for summary judgment declared. “He engaged in a fraudulent scheme over several years to enrich himself and his friends at the expense of Jefferson County, its sewer rate-paying customers, and those who purchased the county’s bonds not knowing they had been subject to a corrupt award process.”
In support for a permanent injunction, the SEC said Langford “steadfastly refused to admit his conduct was wrong,” even in the light of the decisions by Blount and LaPierre to plead guilty and acknowledge their wrongful conduct in the criminal case.
“Given this posture, Langford could not give any reasonable assurances he would not repeat his misconduct if given the opportunity,” according to the SEC.
Last week, Kallon issued permanent injunctions prohibiting future violations of securities laws by Blount, Blount Parrish, and LaPierre.
Levenson said civil penalties against Blount and LaPierre were not requested because the SEC took into account a number of factors, including monetary sanctions already imposed against them in the criminal case.