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(July 9, 2001) -- E-Trade Group was fined $90,000 to settle misleading advertising claims by securities industry regulators.

NASD Regulation, the enforcement arm of the National Association of Securities Dealers, fined the online brokerage over claims in a 1999 print campaign to introduce the E-Trade Technology Index Fund and two direct-mail pieces sent in 1999 and 2000.

The company has agreed to pay the NASDR fine and settle the matter without admitting or denying the allegations.

NASDR claimed the print ad incorrectly claimed the fund had been ranked by Morningstar, and that the two mailings misrepresented a $75 bonus offer for new brokerage accounts. Additionally, NASDR claimed the print ad was not submitted to its Advertising Regulation Department prior to publication, a violation of its rules.

E-Trade disclosed in the summer of 2000 that it was the target of a NASDR investigation and had agreed to submit its advertising for review from mid-June to mid-September, but did not detail the allegations at the time. -- Mercedes Cardona

Copyright July 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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