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NASD Awards $1 Million to Prudential Client

Reuters

NEW YORK (Reuters) – An NASD panel awarded $1 million of damages to a Prudential Securities Inc. client because the firm did not properly discipline a broker despite customer complaints, the client’s law firm said.

Under the arbitration ruling made last Friday by the market regulator, Prudential Securities. which is jointly owned by Prudential Financial Inc. (NYSE:PRU – News) and Wachovia Corp. (NYSE:WB – News), will pay $500,000 in punitive damages and $500,000 in compensatory damages,, according to a statement by the client’s law firm on Monday.

A spokesman for Prudential declined to comment.

The client’s lawyers said that Prudential did not crack down on a broker in its Encino, California, branch office who pursued an aggressive investment strategy even though the client preferred less risk.

Even though Sylvia Schuyler, a 75-year-old from Santa Barbara, California, was a conservative investor, the broker sold her bonds in more aggressive investments, leading to losses in her retirement accounts, the attorneys said.