But that does not mean you should leave your money where it is. If you're sticking around to cash in on the "restitution" that the fund companies have promised to pay for any damage their misdeeds caused, forget it. "After the lawyers get through with it," says John Bogle, the founder of the Vanguard funds, "I'd be surprised if anybody gets more than a penny per share."
Here's what to do if regulators have accused your company of improper conduct:
--If you paid your broker a load, or sales commission, when you bought the fund, you should bail only if doing so will not trigger a back-end, or deferred, charge. *Contact the fund and ask for your "cost basis." If it is higher than your current account value, you can sell without owing any capital-gains tax.
--If you own an ethically challenged fund in a retirement account where there's no tax hit for cashing out you should make your move. Switch to a low-cost firm like Vanguard, Fidelity or T. Rowe Price. If your old fund company cleans up its act, you can always move back. But for now, why take chances?