Regulators fined municipal bond underwriter L.J. Hart & Company $200,000 for giving away 2,000 sports tickets, valued at $183,000, to county and school district officials around Missouri. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said the Chesterfield-based firm violated “pay for play” rules designed to keep corruption out of the municipal bond business.
Half of the tickets went to school superintendents, and a third went to school board members, according to a FINRA disciplinary settlement. The rest went to county officials and others. The recipients worked at districts and counties that had hired Hart for bond underwriting and advisory services. They were for St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis Rams and St. Louis Blues games, as well as major Kansas City teams. Playoff games were included. One unnamed official got four Cardinals tickets valued at $460. Another got four Rams tickets worth $400, according to FINRA.