Brokerage to pay fine for alleged security breach

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A brokerage firm has agreed to pay a $275,000 fine following a series of alleged online hacking incidents into customer accounts.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said Thursday that LPL Financial Services failed to protect its customers' personal information, leaving at least 10,000 clients vulnerable to identity theft.

The company, which has headquarters in Boston, Charlotte, N.C., and San Diego, will pay the fine without admitting or denying the allegations.

An SEC order against the firm claims hackers accessed customers' accounts between July 2007 and early 2008, and attempted to place more than 200 unauthorized trades worth more than $700,000.

No arrests have been made.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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