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BANKING FRAUD Bank of New York pays $38M to end scrutiny New York (AP)-The Bank of New York has agreed to pay $38 million in fines and adopt reforms to end a long-running federal investigation into fraud and money laundering. The investigation concerned an international scheme that U.S. authorities said involved $7 billion in illicit transfers from Russia in the late 1990s. In exchange, prosecutors say they won’t prosecute the bank for failing to enforce federally mandated anti-money laundering measures and other banking rules. The bank will be required to forfeit $26 million to the government and $12 million to victims of fraud. BREACH OF CONTRACT Builder accused of high charges loses to Trump White Plains, N.Y. (AP)-A New York state court has awarded Donald Trump about $4 million in damages in a lawsuit against a construction company he hired to work at a golf course. Trump had sued Columbus Construction Corp. of Mount Vernon, N.Y., claiming that it had billed him for $1.5 million more than he owed for excavation work during the construction of Trump National Golf Club and homes in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y., about 30 miles north of New York City. Trump claimed damages from Columbus for leaving the job site, failing to complete the work and causing losses in golf course revenues and residential sales. He was awarded $2.1 million in damages plus 9% interest over four years and still-to-be-determined legal fees. COPYRIGHTS $50M, Grokster’s demise settles piracy suit Washington (AP)-Grokster Ltd., which lost a Supreme Court fight over file-sharing software used for stealing songs and movies online, will shut down and pay $50 million to settle piracy complaints by Hollywood and the music industry. The settlement permanently bans Grokster from participating, directly or indirectly, in the theft of copyrighted files, and requires the company to stop giving away its software. Executives indicated plans to launch a legal, fee-based “Grokster 3G” service before year’s end. EMINENT DOMAIN Weyerhaeuser to vacate plant to facilitate project Tacoma, Wash. (AP)-The Port of Tacoma Commission has said that it will pay Weyerhaeuser Co. $12.5 million to settle an eminent domain case the port filed in September 2004. Weyerhaeuser, a lumber and wood production company, will vacate the site by May 31, 2006, under the terms of the agreement. The port exercised its right of eminent domain as part of its program to widen portions of the Blair Waterway. The Weyerhaeuser Puget Sound Chip Center, a 25-acre wood chip export facility, is located along a narrow section of the waterway, which the port wants to widen to accommodate larger vessels. FRAUD Towing contractor, city settle suit for $5.7M San Francisco (AP)-A former towing contractor for San Francisco has agreed to pay $5.7 million to settle a fraud lawsuit. City Tow is accused of underreporting the proceeds from the auction of towed and abandoned cars, according to the lawsuit filed by the city and the state. The scheme allowed City Tow, which San Francisco replaced as its towing contractor in 2003, to pocket hundreds of thousands of dollars illegally from the transactions, denying a fair share of the proceeds to San Francisco and the state of California, the lawsuit claimed. REGULATORY ACTION Sam Waksal’s friends pay $2.8M to settle with SEC Washington (AP)-A physician and another friend of Samuel Waksal, the imprisoned former chief executive of ImClone Systems Inc., have agreed to pay a total of $2.8 million to settle civil insider-trading charges. The Securities and Exchange Commission announced the settlement of the civil lawsuit against Zvi Fuks, a doctor credited with pioneering cancer treatment research, and Sabina Ben-Yehuda. The SEC suit accused them of selling ImClone stock in December 2001 after being tipped by Waksal that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration would not review the company’s experimental cancer drug, Erbitux. SHAREHOLDER SUIT Bank ‘terrorism funding’ suit settles for $3.8M Washington (AP)-A Delaware state judge has approved a plan by Riggs Bank and PNC Financial Services to settle lawsuits that claimed that the bank’s directors allowed it to become a haven for “terrorism funding.” Under the plan, Riggs and PNC will pay shareholders $2.7 million and their lawyers another $1.1 million. The payments will resolve the suits brought over the bank’s suspicious business with political leaders. Washington-based Riggs pleaded guilty in January to a felony charge for not reporting suspicious transactions. The bank paid a $16 million fine. TORTS Family wins $22.6M toxic mold settlement Los Angeles (AP)-A family won a record $22.6 million settlement in a case in which they alleged that toxic mold in their home caused brain damage in their infant son. The highest portion-$13 million-was paid by the Crenshaw Lumber Co. Inc. of Gardena, Calif., which was one of 17 defendants. The plaintiffs alleged that the company improperly stored framing studs, allowing mold to grow which then contaminated the home that was being built in Manhattan Beach, Calif.

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