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Baseball star Eddie Murray settles SEC insider trading charges

(Updated 4:49 p.m. Eastern) NEW YORK -- U.S. securities regulators on Friday charged Hall of Fame baseball player Eddie Murray with insider trading in shares of a medical device company, an allegation the former Baltimore Orioles first baseman settled by paying a $358,151 penalty.

The Securities and Exchange Commission also filed civil charges against two other people, accusing them of insider trading in shares of Advanced Medical Optics before the company announced it was being acquired in 2009 by Abbott Laboratories.

Murray, who was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003, agreed to settle the civil charges without admitting wrongdoing, according to the SEC's announcement.

"Eddie Murray is admitting no wrongdoing whatsoever--the settlement agreement confirms that fact," said Murray's lawyer, Michael Proctor. "He has settled this to put the case to an end and get on with his life."

Reuters had previously reported Murray was under investigation in the case as part of a broader look into potential insider trading by former professional athletes.

The SEC also filed charges against James V. Mazzo, who was the CEO of Advanced Medical Optics at the time of the buyout, and a Utah businessman, David Parker. The agency said Mazzo and Parker are fighting the charges.

Lawyers for Mazzo and Parker did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Murray is not the first baseball player to be charged in connection with the Advanced Medical Optics takeover. In August 2011, the SEC filed charges against former Orioles player Doug DeCinces.

DeCinces settled with the SEC, agreeing to pay $2.5 million in fines, while neither admitting nor denying wrongdoing in the trading of Advanced Medical Optics shares.

DeCinces and Murray played together on the Orioles from 1977 to 1982.

The SEC has accused Mazzo, an avid baseball fan and friend of DeCinces, of tipping the former player on the deal. DeCinces then passed the information to Murray and Parker, according to the SEC's announcement.

"Mazzo had repeated personal contacts and communications with DeCinces, who promptly traded and tipped Murray, Parker and others that a deal involving Mazzo's company was imminent," said Daniel M. Hawke, chief of the SEC Enforcement Division's Market Abuse Unit and director of the Philadelphia Regional Office.

"It is truly disappointing when role models, particularly those who have achieved so much in their professional careers, give in to the temptation of easy money," he said.