American Express Financial Advisors has filed suit in U.S. District Court in New Hampshire asserting that federal law preempts that state's securities regulators from pressing fraud charges against its brokers, The Wall Street Journal reported last week.

The New Hampshire Bureau of Securities Regulation is accusing the American Express unit of questionable sales practices. The regulator claims that American Express brokers and advisers received secret incentives to sell lackluster, in-house mutual funds. Specifically, the regulator alleges that American Express awarded top sellers of its mutual funds a number of perks, including bonuses and a 12-month lease on a Mercedes-Benz passenger car.

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