Washington (Dec. 4, 2002) -- Five broker-dealers have agreed to pay a combined $8.25 million to settle with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the New York Stock Exchange and the National Association of Securities Dealers for violations of record-keeping requirements regarding e-mail.

Without admitting or denying the allegations, the firms -- Deutsche Bank Securities Inc.; Goldman, Sachs & Co.; Morgan Stanley & Co. Inc.; Salomon Smith Barney Inc.; and U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray Inc. -- agreed to a penalty of a censure and fines of $1.65 million each to be paid to the U.S. Treasury, NYSE and NASD.

The firms also agreed to review their procedures regarding the preservation of e-mail communications for compliance with federal securities laws and the rules of the NYSE and NASD. Each firm agreed to inform each regulator, in writing, within 90 days that it has established systems and procedures reasonably designed to achieve compliance with the statute and rules relating to e-mail retention.

According to the SEC, NYSE and NASD, the firms failed to properly preserve e-mail communications and\or to maintain them in an accessible place as required by securities laws.

-- Electronic Accountant Newswire staff

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