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The Daily Muck

A group of fourteen specialist companies agreed to pay $70 million in penalties to resolve concerns of impropriety, the SEC announced on Wednesday. A report by the agency accused the firms - including E*Trade and an offshoot of Goldman Sachs - of favoring their own investments over those of their clients between 1999 and 2005, essentially abusing their position as financial specialists to make a profit at the expense of their investors. Despite settling with the SEC, the firms did not admit any wrongdoing. (CNN Money)

The Government Accountability Office found cases of immigration discrimination in an investigation into 29 government agencies. The GAO report, released Wednesday, accuses the Immigration and Customs Enforcement program of using ethnic profiling to catch undocumented workers living in the United States. The program, which the Wall Street Journal calls "a symbol of the Bush administration's crackdown on illegal immigration," arrested nearly 80,000 people since January 2006 for minor crimes, including speeding. The GAO found that the majority of government agencies participating in the study cited pervasive racial discrimination. (Wall Street Journal)

Joseph Nacchio, the former CEO of Qwest, was convicted of 19 counts of insider trading on Wednesday. The court found that in 2001, Nacchio sold $52 million worth of stock after company insiders warned him that Qwest shares would tank. (Reuters)

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