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Wednesday, April 24, 2002

SEC Investigates MFS

by: Sean Hanna, Editor in Chief

MFS is negotiating a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to end an investigation into insider trading, reports the Wall Street Journal. Though neither party has made public statements about the alleged investigation, the paper reports that at least one MFS employee traded on early knowledge that the US Treasury would eliminate 30 year Treasury bonds.

The paper reports that the unnamed MFS employee learned of the government's decision to eliminate the bond through an industry consultant, Peter Davis. Davis was attending a Treasury department news briefing where he was told of the decision. Davis then phoned clients, including Goldman Sachs, to inform them of the news 25 minutes before the official announcement.

The SEC's case is further complicated by the fact that not only did the Treasury department mistakenly release the information to Davis; it also posted the news on a public Web site 17 minutes prior to the official announcement.

Goldman Sachs has acknowledge an SEC inquiry into its trading, but the Wall Street firm claims it did nothing improper since it did not know the information was confidential.  

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