Did Bear Stearns Ignore A Stock Swindle?

The feds probe ties between the brokerage and a small firm charged with massive fraud

On Nov. 9, a federal grand jury in Manhattan handed up a 15-count securities fraud indictment that was daunting in its scope. Prosecutors charged that customers of Sterling Foster Inc., a major microcap broker, were ripped off by a cool $100 million. The firm, they maintain, grossly overcharged purchasers of manipulated stocks between 1994 and 1997. Allegedly running the show from behind the scenes: a 1980s-era small-stock kingpin named Randolph K. Pace.

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