September 17, 2008
Former Prudential Rep Pleads Guilty to Market-Timing Offenses
On September 15, 2008, Justin F. Ficken, a former Prudential Securities registered representative, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy, three counts of wire fraud, and two counts of securities fraud in a case being prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office in Boston, Massachusetts. These charges resulted from Ficken's role in a scheme to place deceptive market timing trades in mutual funds while working at the Boston branch office of Prudential Securities, Inc. Ficken was indicted on December 19, 2007. The indictment charged that Ficken and others at Prudential Securities disguised their own and their hedge fund customers' identities in order to execute market timing trades that mutual funds were trying to prohibit. He is currently scheduled to be sentenced before U.S. District Judge Patti B. Saris on December 10, 2008.
The Commission previously filed a civil injunctive action against Ficken and others based on similar conduct. On September 13, 2007, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts entered a final judgment against Ficken after having previously granted the Commission's motion for summary judgment against him. The final judgment enjoined Ficken from future violations of the federal securities laws and ordered him to pay $589,854 in disgorgement and pre-judgment interest. Ficken has appealed that judgment, and that appeal is pending.
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