Socking the Rock

In one of the largest settlements ever, Prudential will pay thousands of customers who were victims of fraud

The most important thing we earn is your trust." That Prudential Securities advertising slogan rang a bit hollow last week after the company agreed to pay the largest penalty ever levied against a brokerage for defrauding small investors. Prudential said it would repay at least $330 million to customers across the U.S. who lost money on the company's limited partnerships in the 1980s. The firm will pay another $41 million in fines. Even those hefty sums might be little more than a down payment: in settling with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Prudential said it will fully compensate all investors who...

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