A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitration panel has ordered Morgan Keegan & Co. to pay a group of investors a total of $9.2 million for losses tied to risky bond funds, according to a ruling. The 18 investors alleged that Morgan Keegan, a unit of Regions Financial Corp., engaged in civil fraud by inducing them to invest in some of those funds.

It is the largest sum awarded by an arbitration panel in cases filed against Morgan Keegan involving a family of six bond funds steeped heavily in debt and other mortgage-related holdings, a Morgan Keegan spokeswoman confirmed.

The funds lost substantial value in 2007 and 2008, prompting hundreds of investor claims against the brokerage. Arbitrators, who heard the case in Houston, made the ruling Monday. The spokeswoman said the company is disappointed with the decision and is considering an appeal.

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