Private bankers and trust officers need to step up efforts to protect their banks against fraud, according to Louis J. Sozio, a vice president at PNC Bank Corp.

Mr. Sozio, director of asset management and fiduciary compliance for Pittsburgh-based PNC, told attendees at an American Bankers Association- sponsored conference here this week that money launderers are increasingly eyeing private banks as potential victims of financial fraud. Their schemes range from "free-riding" stock transactions, where they ask brokers to buy stock today with a promise to pay tomorrow, to asking for the assets in a funeral trust when the client is still alive.

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