Morgan Stanley & Co. will pay $15 million to settle a civil lawsuit from the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC said that the company failed to produce tens of thousands of e-mails it requested as part of a probe.

In the suit, brought and settled on the same day, Morgan Stanley neither admitted nor denied the SEC's charges that the company failed to provide records and documents in a timely manner, as required by securities laws.

The SEC said $5 million of the fine would go to the New York Stock Exchange and the NASD to settle separate, related proceedings.

A ccording to the SEC, Morgan Stanley didn't diligently search for backup tapes containing e-mails until 2005 and then couldn't produce some e-mails because the company had overwritten backup tapes. In addition, the SEC said Morgan Stanley made numerous misstatements about its e-mail retention.

The SEC said that two of its investigations into conflicts of interest among Wall Street analysts were comprised by Morgan Stanley's actions.

As part of the settlement, Morgan Stanley will adopt and implement policies, procedures and training focused on the preservation and production of e-mail communications. The company will hire an independent consultant to review the reforms.

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