The Securities and Exchange Commission has settled a cease-and-desist proceeding against the Utah Educational Savings Plan Trust (UESP), the first against a 529 plan. The agency has also released an investor education guide that explains the basics that investors should know before saving for college.

The charges against UESP relate to the plan's discovery that its former director, Dale C. Hatch, misappropriated $505,976 of unallocated participant funds into an undisclosed UESP account of his own. While the plan informed participants that the missing funds had been "administrative," the truth is that investors had been harmed by Hatch's actions.

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