NU Online News Service, July 16, 3:59 p.m.EDT

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The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed insider tradingcomplaints against five individuals in connection with LibertyMutual's acquisition of Safeco.

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The SEC filed three separate complaints in U.S. federal courtsin Orlando, Fla.; Seattle, Washington; and Springfield, Mass.

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Safeco was acquired in 2008 in a transaction valued at $6.2billion.

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In the Florida complaint, the SEC alleged that Anthony Peres ofMaitland, Fla., an investment banker at Goldman Sachs working onthe potential Safeco deal for a client, illegally tipped off hisbrother Ian C. Peres of Orlando, Fla. about the pendingtransaction.

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Ian bought stock in Safeco one day ahead of the publicannouncement and later sold it for a profit of more than $152,000,it was charged.

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In the second complaint relating to the Safeco deal, it wasalleged that Math J. Hipp of Seattle misappropriated informationabout the deal from his wife, an executive assistant at Safeco. Hebought Safeco stock six days before the public announcement andlater sold it for a profit of more than $118,000, the complaintsaid.

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The SEC said the Perez brothers settled the charges withoutadmitting or denying the allegations. Anthony Perez will pay apenalty of $25,000 and Ian Perez agreed to pay close to$153,000.

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Mr. Hipp settled with the SEC paying a total of approximately$240,000 and neither admitted or denied the allegations.

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In a third complaint, the SEC said Peter E. Talbot ofSpringfield, Mass., who was an assistant vice president at HartfordInvestment Management Co., a subsidiary of The Hartford FinancialServices Group, tipped off his nephew Carl E. Binette of Ludlow,Mass., after learning that Safeco was an acquisition target.

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The two bought Safeco stock over a six-day period leading up tothe announcement of the sale. They sold their stock after theannouncement making a profit of $615,000.

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The SEC is seeking disgorgement of the profits plus interest,civil penalties and barring the two from trading in stocks in thefuture.

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A spokeswoman for The Hartford said the company had nocomment.

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Liberty Mutual did not immediately return a request forcomment.

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