WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal regulators are investigating the relationship between financier Michael Milken and an investment firm of which he is a client, according to the firm.
Guggenheim Partners confirmed that the Securities and Exchange Commission has been examining its dealings with Milken for two years.
Milken, known as the king of high-risk "junk" bonds in the 1980s, pleaded guilty to securities-law violations in 1990 and served 22 months in prison. He agreed in a settlement with the SEC to a lifetime ban from the securities industry.
Fortune magazine reported online earlier Wednesday that the SEC is investigating whether Milken has violated the ban by managing investments under Guggenheim's control other than his own.
New York-based Guggenheim said in a statement that it is cooperating with the SEC's inquiry. While Milken is a valued client of the firm, the statement says, he "does not have an ownership or managerial role in the firm in any way, shape or form."
SEC spokeswoman Christina D'Amico declined to comment.
Representatives for Milken said in a statement that he sometimes discusses his and his family's personal investments with advisers and money managers. However, the statement said, Milken "has had no desire to be in the securities business in any capacity and has strictly avoided doing anything that could be interpreted otherwise."
"For the past 20 years, Michael Milken has devoted the overwhelming majority of his time to philanthropic initiatives, especially in education and as an advocate for medical research on a wide range of life-threatening diseases," the statement says.