New York — The top US securities regulator has rejected arguments by Rio Tinto and two former top executives for the dismissal of the watchdog’s civil lawsuit, which claims they concealed the plunging value of coal assets owned by the miner. In letters filed with the US District Court in Manhattan, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said its complaint adequately alleged that fraud had occurred, and that Rio Tinto, former CEO Thomas Albanese and former chief financial officer Guy Elliott had intended to deceive investors. Rio Tinto responded by referring to its statement in October that it believed the lawsuit was unwarranted and that a court or jury would reject the SEC’s claims. Lawyers for the defendants did not immediately respond to requests for comment or had no immediate comment. The SEC accused Rio Tinto of ignoring the need to write down most of the value of Mozambican coal assets that it had bought for $3.7bn in April 2011, while it was raising roughly $5.5bn from...

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