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Jury finds former Prudential Securities registered representative liable for deceptive mutual fund market timing practices

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A federal jury has returned a verdict in the SEC’s favour on securities fraud charges against Frederick J O’Meally of Bay Shore, New York, a former registered representative of broker-dealer Prudential Securities Inc alleged to have used deceptive practices to evade blocks on his trading by mutual fund companies.

The jury found O’Meally liable for violations of Sections 17(a)(2) and (3) of the Securities Act of 1933 (the "Securities Act"). The verdict against O’Meally followed a five-week trial in New York City, NY before the Honorable Laura Taylor Swain, United States District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York.

The Commission filed its Complaint on 28 August, 2006 against four registered representatives formerly employed by Prudential Securities, Inc. The Complaint alleged that, between 2001 and 2003, certain mutual fund companies detected market timing activity by the Defendants and attempted to block the Defendants and their hedge fund customers from further trading in their funds. The Complaint further alleged that the Defendants used fraudulent and deceptive trading practices to conceal their and their customers’ identities to evade these blocks. Cases against the three other defendants had been resolved previously by settlement.

The district court will hear further post-trial arguments in January 2012, and may determine the appropriate sanctions and remedies against O’Meally at a later date. In addition, the jury found that O’Meally had not violated Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and Section 17(a)(1) of the Securities Act.
 

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