updated 4/14/2011 9:16:47 AM ET 2011-04-14T13:16:47

LOS ANGELES, April 14, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Securities Law Firm of Shepherd Smith Edwards & Kantas LLP, www.sseklaw.com , is currently investigating claims on behalf of investors with accounts at Citigroup Global Markets who had invested in various municipal bond hedge funds such as MAT Finance, MAT Two, MAT Three, MAT Five, ASTA Finance, ASTA Three and ASTA Five.

A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration panel in Denver, Colorado ordered Citigroup to pay investors $37,000,000 in compensatory damages, attorneys' fees and expenses, plus $17,000,000 in punitive damages. Citigroup was also assessed $26,100 for the forum fees of the arbitration.

These funds were marketed as an alternative to municipal bond investments with seasoned management and strong risk controls, notwithstanding the fact that they had major mismanagement problems and were high risk investment vehicles. Citigroup and Citigroup Alternative Investments LLC have been found to be liable to investors in previous MAT/ASTA cases taken to Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration hearings with the panel finding management and supervisory shortcomings. We feel that this award and these findings will bode well for investor claims going forward.

Shepherd Smith Edwards & Kantas LLP has a team of attorneys, consultants and staff with more than 100 years of combined experience in the securities industry and in securities law. Since 1990, we have represented thousands of investors nationwide to recover losses. We have represented clients in Federal and State courts and in arbitration through the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the New York Stock Exchange Inc. (NYSE), the American Arbitration Association (AAA) and in private arbitration actions. Collectively, we have represented over 1,000 investors over the last 18 years in negotiation, mediation, arbitration and litigation.

CONTACT: Kirk Smith
         ksmith@sseklaw.com
         1-800-259-9010

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