A Melville securities broker agreed to pay $350,000 to an order of nuns in the Bronx to settle charges that he illegally ran up large commissions on their accounts, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Thursday.

Paul George Chironis, 58, without admitting any wrongdoing, agreed to pay the Sisters of Charity the money to settle administrative charges brought against him in April by the SEC.

At that time the agency alleged that he churned - made excessive trades that generated transaction fees for himself - two investment accounts owned by the order.

One of the accounts was used to care for nuns in assisted living facilities and the other was used to fund various charitable activities.

The Sisters of Charity is a congregation of mostly elderly nuns.

"Chironis took advantage of the trust placed in him by the Sisters of Charity and convinced the nuns to engage in a high turnover trading strategy unfit for their investment needs," George S. Canellos, director of the SEC regional office in New York, said in a statement.

Reached at home in Melville, Chironis referred questions to his attorney, David Schrader of Manhattan, who could not be reached for comment.

The SEC said that from January 2007 through January 2008, Chironis, while working with Capital Growth Financial Inc., a Florida securities broker-dealer, took various actions that cost the nuns' accounts $959,027, over 10 percent of the value. The accounts in 2007 had an average combined balance of about $8.3 million, the SEC said.

With Bill Mason

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