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March 15, 2007

NYSE Specialist Exonerated

By Peter Chapman

The federal government's criminal case against 15 individual New York Stock Exchange specialists charged with improper trading practices continues to unravel.

Last month, a federal judge threw out the conviction of David Finnerty, formerly with Fleet Specialist (now Banc of America Specialist), saying the federal prosecutor failed to prove its case. The decision brings to 10 the number of specialists who have either been acquitted or had their charges dropped. Four have been convicted and sentenced to prison. One remains a fugitive.

Several Big Board specialists remain subject to civil charges being pressed by both the NYSE and the Securities and Exchange Commission.