Fleet Investment Advisors Inc., the registered investment adviser of Fleet Financial Group, agreed Thursday to pay $1.9 million to settle charges of fraud by a predecessor firm.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said Shawmut Investment Advisers Inc. and eight individuals, including Michael J. Rothmeier, its former president, failed to disclose it used $1.8 million of its advisory clients' brokerage commissions to pay for client referrals. In addition, the SEC said Shawmut cost clients more than $63,000 by failing to seek the best execution of trades, a standard that includes factors such as best price.

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