Bear Stearns has announced that it has presented an offer of settlement to the Securities and Exchange Commission and the New York Stock Exchange to bring to a close their recent investigations into mutual fund late trading at the firm's clearing services unit. The firm will have to pay $250 million and retain independent consultants to analyze its mutual fund trading and global clearing operations. 

The company said it has set aside enough reserves to cover the restitution and fines, having added another $100 million to its reserves in July.

"As one of the leading financial services providers, we take our responsibilities to our clients very seriously," said James E. Cayne, chairman and chief executive officer of Bear Stearns, in a statement. "We believe that seeking to resolve this issue is in the best interests of our shareholders, clients and employees."

The brokerage firms that allegedly placed the late trades with Bear Stearns and remain under investigation, according to Dow Jones, include Brean Murray, Kaplan Securities and Empire Financial Holdings.

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