Lauer Denied Legal Fees In SEC Fight

Feb 21 2014 | 9:58am ET

Michael Lauer cannot have the Securities and Exchange Commission cover his legal bills over his fight for five pages of documents.

Lauer was ordered to pay $62 million for allegedly misleading investors in his Lancer Management Group, after the SEC alleged his actions had cost clients $500 million of the $1.1 billion they invested. Having failed to win the reversal of that ruling—in spite of his acquittal on criminal charges—Lauer sued the SEC, demanding records about when the agency authorized its investigation of him.

Under the Freedom of Information Act, he got them: five pages' worth. Undeterred, he said that the disclosure entitled him to attorneys' fees.

Not so, according to U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell in Washington, D.C.

"The plaintiff acknowledges Lauer's commercial and personal interests in obtaining the requested documents, and the defendant's initial withholding was reasonable," the judge ruled.

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