Four fund firms that manage closed-end funds were sanctioned and fined a collective $1.7 million on Sept. 28 by the Securities and Exchange Commission for not properly disclosing the true nature of shareholder distributions made under their fund's managed distribution plans.

Without proper detail, investors could have been led to believe that the distributions were dividends. In reality, the regulator noted, some or all of those distributions were actually a return of shareholders' capital or capital gains being paid.

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