Wall Street Journal analysis finds many fiduciary rule comments are fake
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Many comments on the Labor Department website about the fiduciary rule, an Obama-era investing mandate, were found to be fake in a new analysis by The Wall Street Journal.

The Labor Department allows for public comments on its site to suggest changes to the rule, which will not be fully implemented until 2019. The analysis found that many of these suggestions were falsely attributed to people, though it is unknown who was behind the false comments.

The rule aims to legally mandate investment advisers to act in the best interest of their clients when planning their retirement by preventing them from hiding conflicts of interest. Under the rule, advisers must tell clients if they receive commissions for selling certain investment packages. 

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A Labor Department spokesman told the newspaper that falsely submitting statements or comments online to the federal government constituted a felony, and the department removes all fraudulent comments that it finds. 

A survey by Mercury Analytics sent to 345 people who appeared to be critical of the rule in their comments found that 20 of the 50 respondents did not post the critical comments attributed to them.

The rule was originally set to go into effect in January 2018, but the Office of Management and Budget delayed its implementation until 2019 at the urging of Labor Department officials. Investors and lobbyists have fiercely opposed the rules in court, saying they will drive up the cost of investment services.