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Fidelity anti-money laundering unit probed?

A federal grand jury and the Securities and Exchange Commission have been investigating the anti-money laundering practices of Fidelity Investments, according to a report in the Boston Business Journal.

The publication said the investigation by the SEC was launched last summer after a former employee alleged in a wrongful termination lawsuit that Fidelity's anti-money laundering unit failed to act after discovering a client used a Fidelity account to move questionable amounts of money to Iran and other countries.

Asked by the Journal if Fidelity was being investigated by the SEC over irregularities in its anti-money laundering unit, Fidelity spokeswoman Anne Crowley said: "Fidelity operates in a highly regulated industry. The SEC often -- indeed many times -- is conducting inquiries and examinations of business practices. That is part and parcel of being in a business that is highly regulated."

Crowley added: "We have no enforcement actions whatsoever by the SEC ... regarding our anti-money laundering unit."

Crowley said she had no knowledge of any federal grand jury probe.

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