WASHINGTON - The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has censured and fined Piper Jaffray & Co. $25,000 and forced it to disgorge $260,157 in profits for two municipal securities transactions it helped underwrite in Minnesota during a two-year ban on its business with state issuers that was triggered by political contributions a former vice chairman made to the state's governor, FINRA announced yesterday.

The fine against Piper, which is headquartered in Minneapolis, was disclosed in monthly disciplinary actions that FINRA released yesterday. Including Piper, the self-regulator fined five firms a total of $196,500 for violations of municipal and other rules. FINRA also fined Dallas-based Southwest Securities Inc. $67,500, Troy, Mich.-based Leonard & Co. $65,000, Youngstown, Ohio-based Butler, Wick & Co. $29,000, and St. Louis-based A.G. Edwards & Sons Inc., a division of Wachovia Securities, $10,000. Officials at all of the firms except Piper either declined to comment or did not return phone calls yesterday.

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