The Securities and Exchange Commission has begun sending investors checks from the $267 million fair funds distribution fund that came out of a 2006 settlement with Bear Stearns over late trading and market timing in mutual funds.

The first installment was $216 million, sent to 761,000 shareholders. The remaining money will be sent by the end of the year.

“We are very pleased to make this first distribution from the Bear Stearns Fair Fund to injured mutual funds and their shareholders and look forward to disbursing the remaining money in the coming months,” said James A. Clarkson, acting director of the SEC’s New York regional office.

Since the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the SEC has returned more than $5 billion to harmed investors.

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