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AIR POLLUTION Dynegy to pay $545M to settle clean-air charges New York (AP)-Dynegy Inc. has reached a $545 million settlement with the federal government over charges that it violated the Clean Air Act by modifying several power plants without installing pollution controls. Under the agreement reached with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Justice, the Houston-based company will spend the sum over the next seven years on a number of pollution-reduction efforts, including switching to lower-sulfur coal from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin and installing pollution-control devices. The sum also includes a $9 million payment to the EPA. LEGAL PROFESSION Baker Botts, others, hit with $65M jury verdict Dallas-Finding that law firm Baker Botts breached its fiduciary duty in connection with estate-planning work done for a wealthy widow in Kerrville, Texas, a jury in Kerr County returned a $65.5 million verdict against the Houston-based firm and other defendants. The jury found that Baker Botts had breached its fiduciary duty by failing to disclose “all important information” when doing estate-planning work for Kathleen C. Cailloux after the death of her husband, Floyd, in January 1997. The jury also found that Wells Fargo Bank Texas N.A. breached its fiduciary duty. Cailloux had alleged that the defendants conspired to convince her, right after Floyd Cailloux’s death in 1997, to disclaim her rights to her husband’s estate and transfer more than $60 million to the Cailloux Foundation-ostensibly to save more than $30 million in taxes-without informing her of other estate-planning options. -alm PRICE FIXING Aon settles three-state probe for $190 million Albany, N.Y. (AP)-Companies that bought property and casualty insurance through Aon Corp. will receive $190 million in restitution under a settlement that ended an investigation into anti-competitive business practices. Chicago-based Aon will provide the money over three years. Aon also agreed to end the practice of soliciting incentive fees under the agreement with Illinois, New York and Connecticut. The agreement, announced by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, was similar to the one with Marsh & McLennan Cos., the nation’s largest broker. Marsh & McLennan agreed to pay $850 million in restitution to end Spitzer’s investigation into bid-rigging, price-fixing and the use of hidden incentive fees. REGULATORY ACTION Merrill Lynch fined $13.5M for fund breaches New York (AP)-Merrill Lynch & Co. was fined $13.5 million by the states of New Jersey and Connecticut and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) after some of the company’s brokers engaged in improper market-timing of mutual funds. The NYSE said it determined that a group of brokers in Fort Lee, N.J., made more than 3,700 short-term mutual fund transactions from January through April 2002. The brokers used multiple accounts, all of which were held for a single hedge fund client, the NYSE said, and the accounts were transferred outside the firm and back in later that year. Though Merrill Lynch told the brokers to stop the trades in November 2002, the traders did not do so, and Merrill Lynch failed to follow up. REORGANIZATION Parmalat agrees to settle with U.S. unit for $22M Washington (AP)-Parmalat Finanziaria SpA and its U.S. affiliates have settled more than $1 billion in claims they asserted against each other for $22 million. The settlement calls for the Italian dairy company’s affiliates to make the payment to a litigation trust set up as part of Parmalat USA’s restructuring and a mutual release of claims. Parmalat was granted protection from creditors in late 2003 after an accounting scandal. The company revealed that its net debt was more than $18.4 billion, eight times more than what the company had stated in the past. Parmalat Finanziaria and more than two dozen international affiliates made more than $700 million in claims against Parmalat USA and its units. Meanwhile, Parmalat USA filed claims totaling more than $350 million against Parmalat Finanziaria, Parmalat SpA and Parmalat Finance Corp. B.V. in their insolvency proceedings in Parma, Italy. SHAREHOLDER SUIT WorldCom settlements now top $3.5 billion New York (AP)-Four investment banks have agreed to pay a total of $428.4 million to settle claims stemming from a class action brought by former shareholders of WorldCom Inc. New York state Comptroller Alan Hevesi said that he had reached an agreement with Amsterdam-based ABN AMRO Bank for $278.4 million. Mitsubishi Securities International PLC agreed to pay $75 million, while BNP Paribas Securities Corp. and Mizuho International both agreed to pay $37.5 million. The settlements bring the total amount paid by investment banks to settle the suit to $3.56 billion.

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