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Citigroup ‘Idea Dinners’ Cited in Finra Fine Over Tips

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At a July 2011 dinner for Citigroup Inc. clients, a research analyst identified a stock to bet against. In his last research notes before that gathering, he upgraded the shares, advising investors to stick with them.

The analyst was among several cited yesterday in an action by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which fined Citigroup $15 million. The employee offered similar tips at six subsequent “idea dinners” on stocks that he had rated as hold or neutral, Finra said. While the regulator didn’t name the analyst, a person familiar with the matter said he’s Deane Dray, who now covers industrial firms for RBC Capital Markets.