Business

SEC fines Lexington firm $200,000

A Lexington investment firm, BTS Asset Management Inc., has agreed to settle charges with federal regulators over misleading advertising about its performance for a $200,000 penalty.

According to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s order, made public Wednesday, BTS from the 1990s to 2010 advertised that it had suffered “no down years” in its high-yield bond fund program since 1981.

The claim was based on buy and sell orders by the firm on one of its funds, or on a composite of funds, the SEC alleged.

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The firm was aware that half of its clients had lost money in 2004, regulators alleged, and yet continued to market the funds as never having fallen in value.

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BTS neither admitted to nor denied the charges.

BTS, which manages about $1.5 billion in assets, agreed to hire an independent compliance consultant in addition to paying the penalty.

Beth Healy

Beth Healy can be reached at bhealy@globe.com.