NU Online News Service, Dec. 19, 2003, 12:10 p.m. EST – Prudential Financial Inc., Newark, N.J., says several federal and state regulatory agencies are asking it for information about the purchase and sale of variable annuities as well as information about the purchase and sale of mutual fund shares.[@@]

The agencies seeking information about the annuity and fund operations include the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the New York Stock Exchange, the NASD, the New York attorney general’s office, the New Jersey Bureau of Securities, the U.S. attorney for Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Securities Division, according to a report Prudential has filed with the SEC.

Prudential “is cooperating with all such inquiries and is conducting its own internal review,” Prudential says in the report.

Massachusetts securities regulators started the wave of inquiries Nov. 4, by filing an administrative complaint against several former employees of a Prudential branch office in Boston.

On the same date, the SEC filed a similar civil action against several former Prudential employees in a Massachusetts federal court, Prudential says.

Prudential is not a party to the actions against the former employees, Prudential says.

But Prudential reports that it has received subpoenas that are dated Dec. 9 and seek documents pertaining to the purchase and sale of mutual fund shares and to the former Boston branch employees.

Massachusetts securities regulators filed an administrative complaint against Prudential Dec. 11 that says Prudential knew or should have known about alleged problems with market timing and late trading in mutual funds in the Boston branch, failed to provide reasonable supervision for the brokers in the Boston branch, and failed to implement controls designed to prevent and detect violations of Massachusetts securities laws, Prudential says.

“These matters could result in modifications of our internal supervisory and control procedures and could lead to regulatory proceedings that result in fines or other sanctions,” Prudential says. “Because of the complexity and scope of the internal review and the uncertainties of potential regulatory proceedings and civil litigation, [Prudential] is unable to estimate its potential exposure at this time.”