WASHINGTON -- The Securities and Exchange Commission announced yesterday a settlement with California investment adviser Steven Wymer barring him from the securities business.

The move is the latest legal action by federal enforcement officials against the head of now-defunct Institutional Treasury Management, which was charged by the commission late last year with defrauding dozens of municipalities nationwide out of roughly $100 million.

ITM was permanently enjoined Jan. 15 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California from further violations of the federal securities laws. The commission filed suit against Mr. Wymer last year charging him with falsifying account statements in an effort to inflate the value of client accounts, unlawfully transferring money and securities among accounts, and overcharging clients for securities.

A federal grand jury in January returned a 30-count indictment charging Mr. Wymer with securities fraud, money laundering, obstruction of justice, and mail fraud. That followed his arrest at his Newport Beach, Calif., home in December.

The SEC last month revoked Mr. Wymer's investment adviser license. Mr. Wymer neither admitted or denied the charges in that action, or in the one announced yesterday.

Mr. Wymer's case has spawned legislation now pending in the House and Senate to toughen standards for the nation's investment advisers. Two hearings on a bill sponsored by Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's subpanel on telecommunications and finance, were conducted this month.

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