Refco Inc., the futures broker that removed chairman and chief executive Phillip R. Bennett this week after discovering that a company he controlled owed Refco $430 million, is the target of a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation, according to published reports.

Shares of Refco, which went public this summer, fell dramatically after a trading halt on the stock was lifted. The company was also named in a shareholder lawsuit by Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP that will seek class-action status.

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