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SG Cowen Securities Corp. agreed Wednesday to pay a $100,000 fine to Massachusetts securities regulators for failing to keep e-mail records as required by law. The fine stems from the secretary of state’s November 2002 subpoena of a former Boston-based SG Cowen employee’s e-mails from June 1999 to May 2002. The company could not produce most of the e-mails from the requested time period. The office kept backup tapes in case of a system failure, but they were not preserved for three years, as required by the Massachusetts Securities Act and Securities and Exchange Commission. SG Cowen’s agreement to pay the fine is not an admission of guilt. “SG Cowen is pleased to have resolved this issue regarding past document retention practices in our Boston office,” spokesman Bob McGrath said. The company had started implementing a better record-keeping system even before the state’s subpoena, he said. The former SG Cowen analyst, Bill Tanner, claims in his wrongful dismissal lawsuit against the company that he was fired for trying to publish negative research on biotechnology companies. He claimed in his suit that he and another analyst needed permission from the firm’s investment banking division before downgrading a stock, and that the bank often resisted attempts to downgrade. McGrath said Tanner’s suit was without merit. SG Cowen is a New York-based brokerage that serves corporate and institutional clients. It is a subsidiary of French banking giant Societe Generale Group. Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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