Improper trading – once virtually unreported upon in the mutual fund industry – has been admitted to by half the companies questioned about it by the Securities and Exchange Commission, The New York Times reports.

Market timing, the legal but frowned-upon practice of allowing certain investors to quickly trade in and out of funds for instant gains, is something that 44 of the 88 companies who’ve received letters from the SEC have done. And that includes some firms whose own policies clearly disallow the practice.

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