Four years after securities regulators sued five former brokers at Prudential Securities for extensive improper mutual fund trading, Justin Ficken, never considered the most notorious trader in the scandal, is facing the largest monetary penalty out of everyone, according to the Newark Star-Ledger.

A federal judge in Boston last month ordered Ficken to pay $872,647, a lot more money than what the other traders have been required to shell out thus far.

"It's a huge number and I don't understand why the Securities and Exchange Commission wants to pick on Justin Ficken," said Gary Pelletier, Ficken's attorney. "I don't think anyone's alleging his level of culpability would rise to some of the other people there."

Other attorneys stated that the reason could be because Ficken continued to fight the case while most of the remaining brokers worked out settlements.

For example, John Peffer came to an agreement with regulators December 2005 requiring him to pay only $51,734 even though an official judgment against Peffer was $448,288.

In December 2006, the SEC ordered Ficken to repay $732,281 in trading commission, plus interest. Pelletier said they wanted to settle the case, but wasn't sure why they couldn't reach an agreement.

Ficken currently works as a real estate broker earning $30,000 a year.

(c) 2007 Money Management Executive and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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