Merrill Lynch has fined two senior executives $250,000 apiece for allowing improper trading in mutual funds, according to an exclusive report in today’s New York Post. The two are Curtis Brown, San Francisco regional director, and Andy Williams, mid-Atlantic director.

The fines come on top of the firm’s firing of three brokers early last month for allowing hedge fund client Millennium Partners to market time and late trade mutual funds. Merrill paid the three a combined $10 million signing bonus to poach them from UBS Paine Webber. The firm fired them the day after Millennium broker Steve Markowitz pled guilty to both types of improper trading.

Meanwhile, NASD is investigating more than two dozen brokers at J.P. Morgan Chase for pushing B shares, according to The New York Times, and New York regulators are reportedly investigating short-term trading practices at Amvescap, causing its stock to fall 8% on the London market. However, Amvescap issued a statement this morning saying that the New York State attorney general has not informed the company of "any legal action."

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