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A former Las Vegas securities broker pleaded guilty to a felony charge Wednesday in a mutual fund investigation in which investors were defrauded through improper late trading and market timing, according to New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.

Daniel Calugar, 52, now of Ponte Vedra, Fla., pleaded guilty in state Supreme Court in New York City to violating a state business integrity law called the Martin Act. He was accused of entering into a secret agreement in August, 2001, that defrauded a mutual fund called the Franklin Small-Mid Cap Growth Fund.

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