WASHINGTON -- The underwriter and bond counsel for seven Mississippi county housing bond deals are fighting SEC fraud charges by contending the commission has no jurisdiction over the tax issues that form the basis of the charges.

The Securities and Exchange Commission filed the charges last month against Thorn, Alvis, Welch Inc., an underwriting firm in Jackson, Miss.; John E. Thorn Jr., its president; and Derryl W. Peden, a bond lawyer with Stennett, Wilkinson & Peden, also in Jackson.

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