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BANKRUPTCY Brokerage, fund reach $263 million settlement New York (AP)-The creditors of brokerage firm Refco Inc. have reached a $263 million settlement with Sphinx Managed Futures Fund, whose parent, PlusFunds Group Inc., was one of the few Refco clients successfully to transfer money out of the brokerage as it melted down last year. The settlement requires Sphinx to pay $263 million to Refco’s creditors and to relinquish any claims the fund might have against Refco’s bankruptcy estate. The dispute caused PlusFunds to tumble into bankruptcy as well, because investors at other investment funds controlled by PlusFunds began to redeem their investments after a judge froze the money transferred from Refco to Sphinx. Just days before Refco’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October 2005, a top PlusFunds official secured the return of $312 million that Sphinx had deposited in accounts at Refco’s unregulated offshore unit. Refco’s creditors sued in December 2005 to recover the money. GOVERNMENT County to pay $16M to settle INS housing row Philadelphia (AP)-York County, Pa., will pay the federal government $16 million to settle a dispute over how much its prison charged to house immigration detainees. In 2000, the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service agreed to increase the rate to $60 a day for each federal detainee based on York’s statement of prison operating costs and the inmate population. The Department of Justice alleged that the county knowingly understated the overall number of inmates at the prison, resulting in a higher rate being charged for federal immigration detainees being housed there between October 1999 and March 2003. York reported that the average daily population of the prison was 996 inmates for the applicable period, rather than the 1,544 it reported to the state. The difference in those figures led to the U.S. government being charged an inflated rate for detainees at York. MEDICAL MALPRACTICE Jury awards $13M to twins injured in utero Philadelphia-A Pennsylvania federal jury has awarded $13.2 million in a medical malpractice suit brought by a set of 10-year-old twins who suffered serious neurological damage in utero that was allegedly caused by an obstetrician’s failure to diagnose and properly treat their mother’s urinary tract infection. The jury found that the brain damage suffered by Samantha and Alec Lindstrom was the result of the negligence of Dr. Morgan T. Smith Jr. of Abington Memorial Hospital. -The Legal Intelligencer PATENTS Computer chip maker wins infringement suit San Francisco (AP)-A California federal jury has awarded Rambus Inc., a designer of high-speed computer-chip interfaces, $306.5 million in its patent-infringement lawsuit against South Korea’s Hynix Semiconductor Inc. Jurors decided that all 10 Rambus patent claims were valid. The patents involved technology known as dynamic random access memory, which increases the speed of memory in computer chips, along with several related technologies. In August 2000, Hynix sued Rambus in an effort to have 11 of its patents declared invalid. Rambus countersued, saying Hynix’s use of the technology infringed upon its patents and succeeded in getting the case expanded to include 14 patents. PRICE-FIXING Insurer to pay $80M to settle bid-rigging probe Albany, N.Y. (AP)-Insurance company Ace Ltd. has settled a bid-rigging investigation by New York, Illinois and Connecticut for $80 million in restitution and penalties, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has said. Ace, a holding company based in Bermuda, and its subsidiaries were accused of bid rigging and improper transactions in so-called finite insurance and reinsurance contracts. Reinsurance is taken out by insurance companies to protect them from the risk they assume when they write traditional insurance polices, such as those for homeowners and business owners. REGULATORY ACTION Fla. bank to forfeit $10M to avoid prosecution Miami (AP)-BankAtlantic has agreed to forfeit $10 million to the U.S. government to avoid criminal charges that it permitted millions of dollars in suspected drug money to be laundered through its accounts over a seven-year period. Under an agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice filed in federal court, prosecution against the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based bank will be deferred for at least 12 months in return for the payment. The investigation, led by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and federal bank regulators, identified more than $50 million in suspicious transactions between July 1997 and April 2004. DEA agents working undercover found that drug money was being wire-transferred to a handful of BankAtlantic accounts overseen by a specific branch manager.

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