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FLORIDA STATE COMPTROLLER FINES PRUDENTIAL SECURITIES

 TALLAHASSEE Fla., Oct. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- State Comptroller Gerald Lewis announced today the Prudential Securities will pay Florida a record $500,000 fine and establish a $330 million claims fund to reimburse investors who lost money in the company's limited partnership deals between 1980 and 1990.
 The agreement is part of a nationwide settlement between Prudential and state and federal securities regulators over the firm's controversial limited partnership offerings.
 "The settlement is unprecedented in its unlimited restitution feature and the size of the fine the company is paying," Lewis said. "It sends a strong message to Wall Street that investors must be treated fairly."
 Although the nationwide claims fund will begin at $330 million, Prudential has pledged to pay whatever is necessary to compensate all investors for losses they sustained in the limited partnership deals.
 The company has been under fire for several years for offering unsophisticated, first-time investors various limited partnership deals, including real estate and energy development deals, during the period in question. Regulators contend that Prudential sold such investments to many unsuitable investors and failed to disclose the risks inherent in limited partnerships to many other customers who purchased the investments. In all, some 384,000 investors nationwide placed their savings into such deals during the 10-year period.
 Lewis estimated that approximately 50,000 Florida residents purchased limited partnerships from Prudential during that time frame and invested about $780 million in the offerings.
 Under terms of the settlement, reached by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, state securities regulators and Prudential, investors who believe they suffered losses in the limited partnership offerings should call a toll-free number established by an association of the state securities regulators. The number is 800-220-9125.
 In addition, Prudential must pay a team of independent auditors who will conduct surveys of the company's clients during the next three years to determine compliance with sales practice standards.
 Finally, the firm will pay fines of $26 million to states, $10 million to the SEC and $5 million to the National Association of Securities Dealers.
 -0- 10/21/93
 /CONTACT: Terence McElroy of the Florida Office of Comptroller, 904-488-4844/


CO: Florida Office of Comptroller; Prudential Securities ST: Florida IN: FIN SU:

JV-AW -- FL017 -- 5268 10/21/93 13:13 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 21, 1993
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