Stocks: Broke at the Broker's

In 1957 Mrs. Bertha Hecht, a 66-year-old widow in San Mateo, Calif., turned over her inherited portfolio of blue-chip stocks worth $533,161 to a representative of Wall Street's venerable Harris, Upham & Co. Seven years later, she found her fortune cut in half. She is still fighting to recoup her losses.

Last week, after four years of legal battles, a "conduct committee" of the National Association of Securities Dealers found the brokerage house guilty of failing to "exercise proper and adequate supervision" over its San Francisco branch. The committee ruled that Harris, Upham be fined $50,000 and that the San...

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