Free Enterprise, Buckley Style

The SEC cracks down on a family's business practices

The genteel Buckley clan of fashionable rural Connecticut has long championed free enterprise and political conservatism with considerable charm, commendable wit and decided moral convictions. But the Securities and Exchange Commission, after a 3½-year investigation of Buckley-controlled oil and gas companies, last week portrayed the family's own business practices as unethical and even unlawful. In effect, it accused the companies of having defrauded stockholders to feather the family's nest.

In a consent decree filed in a federal district court in Washington, D.C., officers of...

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