Report: MFS Likely to Escape Trading Charges

January 26, 2004 ( - Massachusetts Financial Services Co. (MFS) will apparently escape being formally charged with illegal late trading because securities regulators could not amass enough evidence, according to a news report.

Quoting lawyers and officials involved in the case, the Boston Globe said a number of illegal after-hours trades may have been made in some of the Boston-based firm’s funds, Reuters said. The newspaper also reported that regulators believed MFS allowed market timing in some of its funds.

MFS, a unit of Sun Life Financial Services of Canada Inc., said earlier this week it was unaware of any late trades in its funds and that it might actually have been a victim of the practice. MFS is in settlement talks with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, New York state Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and the New Hampshire Bureau of Securities (See  MFS Nears Settlement As Late Trading Allegations Emerge ).

The firm still could end up paying as much as $200 million and cut fees charged to investors to settle charges of improper trading, according to the report.