Legg Mason unit to pay $21 mln to settle SEC, Labor Dept charges

WASHINGTON Mon Jan 27, 2014 12:23pm EST

WASHINGTON Jan 27 (Reuters) - A unit of asset manager Legg Mason Inc will pay more than $21 million to settle a pair of civil cases with the U.S. government that accuse the company of hiding losses from investors in their retirement accounts and making certain trades that favored some clients over others.

The Securities and Exchange Commision and the U.S. Department of Labor jointly announced the settlement on Monday with the Legg Mason unit, Western Asset Management Company.

Under the settlement, Legg Mason will neither admit nor deny wrongdoing and pay more than $17.4 million back to harmed employee benefit plans, plus more than $3.6 million in penalties.