Prudential Securities brokers in the firm’s Garden City, N.Y., office are being investigated by the New York attorney general and Securities and Exchange Commission for improper mutual fund trading, The New York Times reports.

As one of its targets, the investigation, the latest arm in New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer’s multi-pronged probe, names Frederick J. O’Meally, one of the firm’s most productive brokers from 1994 to 2003, and who was recently fired.

People briefed on the Prudential probe say that O’Meally may have helped investors participate in late trading, the illegal practice of allowing investors to buy into funds after 4 p.m. but at an earlier price. One of the investors he may have helped was also-fired hedge fund trader Steven B. Markowitz, who has already pleaded guilty to other charges and is now cooperating with Spitzer.

O’Meally was one of 12 Prudential brokers fired among three different offices last month – the other two were in New York and Boston.

All this came just a day after Citigroup announced it had let go of four brokers for allowing investors to time the market.

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The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.

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