This story is from today's WSJ: Merrill Lynch & Co. paid $300,000 to settle an investigation by New York Stock Exchange regulators, who said a former Merrill trader routinely altered the trading accounts of Merrill clients in 2003 in order to improve the holdings of a favored hedge-fund client. The trader at the center of the investigation, John Vedovino, is now employed at Bear Stearns Cos., and regulators' filings suggest that NYSE Regulation Inc., the self-regulatory unit of NYSE Euronext, began disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Vedovino in May regarding the same alleged violations. A representative for Bear Stearns said both the company and Mr. Vedovino declined to comment. Merrill has acknowledged no wrongdoing in the matter, but settled regulators' claims that its supervision of Mr. Vedovino was inadequate. Merrill terminated Mr. Vedovino on Aug. 4, 2003, and he joined Bear Stearns the same month, according to filings at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. According to a New York Stock Exchange report released Wednesday, Mr. Vedovino entered trade orders for nearly a dozen institutional clients, mainly hedge funds, and made more than 1,000 posttrading changes to those accounts during a seven-month period that ended in August 2003. The investigation concluded that most of the alleged changes benefited one particular hedge fund; Merrill wouldn't release the name of the hedge-fund client. Mr. Vedovino altered buyers' information for certain trades, the report said, after those trades lost value for the favored client later in the trading day.