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Mutual Funds
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Strong, firm to pay $140M in settlement
Richard Strong, two other execs, barred from securities industry under SEC deal; investor fees cut.
May 25, 2004: 5:48 PM EDT

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Richard Strong and his firm Strong Capital Management will pay $140 million and cut fees to investors for their role in a trading scandal at the mutual fund company, regulators said Thursday.

Strong and two other executives also agreed to be barred from the securities industry for life.

Under a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Strong will pay a civil fine of $30 million and return improper gains of another $30 million.

The company will pay $40 million in fines and return $40 million in improper gains. All $140 million will be used to compensate investors who were harmed.

In addition, under a separate settlement with New York and Wisconsin, fees to Strong shareholders will be reduced by 6 percent for a five-year period, a reduction valued at $35 million.

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The settlements with the state attorneys general did not include any criminal charges against the three executives.

"We are happy this is all behind us," said Stanley Arkin, Richard Strong's attorney. "All throughout these negotiations, which resulted in a civil settlement, we sought to assure the jobs and futures of all the very talented people at the Strong companies and to enable Strong Funds to continue to serve its many investors."

Strong Capital Management, based in Menomonee Falls, Wis., has 71 mutual funds under management. Richard Strong, who owns about 85 percent of the company, served as chairman and chief investment officer until December.
Dick Strong: Up against the wall

Strong Capital was one of the first mutual fund companies accused of improper trading when New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer made the investigation public last September. The company allegedly allowed hedge fund Canary Capital Partners LLC to profit by making rapid trades in and out of funds at prices that were not available to smaller investors.

Later, Richard Strong was alleged to have personally profited from rapid trading in funds managed by his own advisory company.

Strong Capital Management
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
Mutual Funds

Canary Capital Partners, based in Secaucus, N.J., and its managing principal, Edward Stern, agreed to pay $40 million in September to settle charges it performed illegal trades of mutual fund shares. Canary and Stern neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing.

The two other executives at Strong Capital -- Executive Vice President Anthony D'Amato, and Compliance Officer Thomas Hooker -- also agreed to pay smaller fines.

Attorneys for D'Amato and Hooker could not be reached for comment on the settlement. The two of them consented to the order without admitting or denying guilt.  Top of page

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