Regulators have gone straight for the throat of FleetBoston, charging two of the company's Columbia units with orchestrating a "massive" market timing scheme and seeking to enjoin Columbia Advisors from serving as advisor to its own mutual funds.

In some of the most damning evidence revealed so far, the SEC and New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer each allege, in separate cases, that the firm allowed $2.5 billion worth of timing activity with nine individuals and firms. Spitzer's office said that the activity took place in 17 different funds, while the SEC counted 16 at Columbia.

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