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Investors May Sue Edward D. Jones & Co. Over Another $300 Million

SACRAMENTO (CN) - An appeals court allowed California investors to pursue a lawsuit accusing Edward D. Jones & Co. of failing to disclose that it had received an additional $300 million since 2000 for promoting preferred mutual funds.

Edward Jones, a national brokerage firm with at least 450 branches in California, entered into "shelf-space" agreements, pocketing extra money for promoting shares of seven mutual fund complexes. Though symbiotic for firms and mutual funds, shelf-space agreements often increase costs to investors and create conflicts of interest, the ruling states. The court reversed a finding that the claims from People of the State of California were pre-empted by the National Securities Markets Improvement Act of 1996. The plaintiffs' lawsuit "is a type of action expressly permitted by the NSMIA," Justice Robie wrote. See ruling in People v. Edward D. Jones & Co.

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