The SEC Thursday charged Heartland Advisors with fraud and insider trading on two of its junk bond mutual funds. The charges stem from a sudden, $93 million drop in the value of several of the firm’s municipal junk bond funds in 2000 (see MFMN 12/1/00). The SEC filed its complaint in a Wisconsin court against the firm and CEO William Nasgovitz, COO Paul Beste, General Counsel Jilaine Bauer, SVP Kevin Clark, Treasurer Kenneth Della and fund manager Thomas Conlin.

Heartland issued a statement yesterday saying it was "extremely disappointed" that the SEC had revived a three-year-old case, and promising it will "vigorously contest these allegations."

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