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BRIBERY Contractor to pay $28M to settle bribery charges San Diego (AP)-Titan Corp. has pleaded guilty to violating federal anti-bribery laws and has agreed to pay more than $28 million to settle allegations that it sought to influence elections in the West African nation of Benin in exchange for higher management fees on a telecommunications project. Titan, a San Diego-based defense contractor, entered a guilty plea in a California federal court to three felony counts, including violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, falsifying company books and aiding in the filing of a false tax return. Titan was placed on three years of probation and fined $13 million in criminal penalties on the anti-bribery count. Titan also agreed to pay $15.5 million to settle a lawsuit by the Securities and Exchange Commission. ENVIRONMENT DuPont pays $108M to settle contamination suit Charleston, W.Va. (AP)-A state circuit judge has approved a $107.6 million settlement of a class action alleging that a chemical used in making the nonstick substance Teflon contaminated water supplies near an E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co. plant. The lawsuit was filed in August 2001 on behalf of residents living near the plant, located on the Ohio River near Parkersburg, who said that their drinking supply was contaminated by perfluorooctanoic acid, known as PFOA. The agreement also calls for DuPont to provide six water utilities with treatment equipment to reduce PFOA in drinking water, at an estimated cost of $10 million. INSIDER TRADING Citigroup settles Global Crossing suit for $75M New York (AP)-Citigroup Inc. has settled the class action brought on behalf of purchasers of Global Crossing Ltd. securities, alleging that insiders sold artificially inflated Global Crossing stock while in possession of material, nonpublic information. Citigroup will pay $75 million to the settlement class, which consists of all investors in publicly traded securities of Global Crossing or Asia Global Crossing during the period from Feb. 1, 1999, through Dec. 8, 2003. Investors sought damages related to losses at Global Crossing, a telecommunications company based in Florham Park, N.J. PRODUCTS LIABILITY Jury hits Ford with $28M rollover verdict Crystal city, Texas (AP)-A state jury has hit Ford Motor Co. with a $28 million verdict in a fatal rollover, despite evidence that the driver had been drinking before the accident. The decision awarded another $3 million in damages against Saul Guerrero Jr., who was behind the wheel of the 2000 Explorer at the time of the May 2003 crash. Corina Garcia and Diana Alicia Alonzo, both 19, were thrown from the vehicle and killed. Passenger Arturo Guerrero, 18, and driver Saul Guerrero Jr., 19, were also ejected but not seriously injured. The jury found Ford 90% responsible for the deaths, and Saul Guerrero 10% responsible. The plaintiff’s lawyers had sought $100 million in damages, arguing that most of the blame lay with the automaker for using tempered side glass despite learning more than 30 years ago that laminated glass reduced the risk of passengers being ejected in a wreck. SHAREHOLDER SUIT Bank of America settles class action for $461M Charlotte, N.C. (AP)-Bank of America Corp., the nation’s third-biggest bank, has said that it will pay $460.5 million to settle class actions by former shareholders of WorldCom Inc. The suit was brought against more than a dozen Wall Street firms by individuals and institutions who invested in stocks and bonds before the 2002 collapse of the communications company in an accounting scandal. Last year, Citigroup Inc. paid $2.58 billion to settle its share of the class action. The suit named a number of defendants, including former officers and directors of WorldCom; the company’s accountant, Arthur Andersen LLP; and more than a dozen banks and brokerages that were underwriters of WorldCom bonds. The investors claimed that the defendants should have been aware of ongoing fraud at WorldCom. TORTS Northrop to pay $62M to settle fraud charges Los Angeles (AP)-Defense contractor Northrop Grumman Corp. has agreed to pay $62 million to settle fraud charges brought by two whistleblowers over work it did on the B-2 stealth bomber and other government contracts. Northrop was charged with allegedly submitting false contract proposals and claims for payment from its Defense Systems Division in Rolling Meadows, Ill. The government claimed that it was defrauded out of tens of millions of dollars as a result of false charges for the work done by the contractor. The government also alleged that Northrop lied to the government to obtain a $254 million contract to build a radar jamming device for the B-2. The government alleged that Northrop Grumman then submitted false claims for payments on the contract, which was later canceled.

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