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Jul 24, 2014

U.S. judge won’t void five ex-Madoff employees’ convictions

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The federal judge who oversaw the trial of five associates of imprisoned swindler Bernard Madoff on Thursday refused to overturn their convictions for helping their former boss run one of the world’s biggest Ponzi schemes.

U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain found sufficient evidence for jurors on March 24 to have convicted back-office director Daniel Bonventre, portfolio managers Annette Bongiorno and Joann Crupi and computer programmers Jerome O’Hara and George Perez after the five-month trial.

Jul 24, 2014

Chiquita wins dismissal of U.S. lawsuits over Colombian abuses

July 24 (Reuters) – Chiquita Brands International Inc
has won the dismissal of U.S. lawsuits by more than
4,000 Colombians who sought to hold the produce company liable
for the deaths of relatives killed in their country’s bloody
civil war.

By a 2-1 vote, a panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of
Appeals in Miami said on Thursday that U.S. courts lack power to
review the claims because all relevant conduct took place
outside the country and Chiquita’s mere presence in the United
States did not confer jurisdiction.

Jul 24, 2014

U.S. court upholds FDA animal feed policy despite health concern

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A divided federal appeals court on Thursday upheld a U.S. Food and Drug Administration policy allowing the use of various antibiotics in animal feed, even if such use might endanger the public health.

Reversing a lower court ruling, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York said the FDA was empowered to reject two citizen challenges to its policy, which discourages but does not ban the use of penicillin and some tetracyclines in feed for chickens, cows and pigs, even if they are not sick.

Jul 23, 2014

Standard & Poor’s may face SEC charges over ratings

By Jonathan Stempel and Sarah N. Lynch

(Reuters) – The parent of Standard & Poor’s, which is defending against a $5 billion lawsuit by the federal government over its credit ratings, said on Wednesday it may soon also face U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission charges over another set of ratings.

In a regulatory filing, McGraw-Hill Financial Inc said it received a “Wells notice” on July 22 indicating the SEC is weighing filing civil charges for alleged securities law violations over S&P’s ratings of six commercial mortgage-backed securities transactions issued in 2011.

Jul 23, 2014

Ex-Jefferies trader gets two years in prison in fraud case

By Jonathan Stempel

NEW HAVEN Conn. (Reuters) – A former Jefferies Group Inc managing director convicted of defrauding investors who traded mortgage bonds through a government program established after the 2008 financial crisis was sentenced on Wednesday to two years in prison.

Jesse Litvak, 39, was convicted on March 7 on all 15 counts, including 10 counts of securities fraud and one count of fraud under the federal bailout known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

Jul 22, 2014

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State Building investors

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars by the real estate magnates who took the iconic skyscraper public last October.

In a decision made public on Monday, Justice O. Peter Sherwood of the New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan said the investors waived their right to sue Peter Malkin and his son Anthony when they agreed in May 2013 to settle earlier claims over the building’s fate for $55 million.

Jul 22, 2014

Google must face U.S. privacy lawsuit over commingled user data

By Jonathan Stempel

(Reuters) – A federal judge rejected Google Inc’s bid to dismiss a privacy lawsuit claiming it commingled user data across different products and disclosed that data to advertisers without permission.

Saying his decision was a close call, U.S. District Judge Paul Grewal in San Jose, California, ruled on Monday night that Google must face breach of contract and fraud claims by users of Android-powered devices who had downloaded at least one Android application through Google Play.

Jul 22, 2014

Travelers ordered to pay over $500 mln in asbestos case

NEW YORK, July 22 (Reuters) – A federal appeals court on
Tuesday ordered Travelers Cos Inc to pay more than $500
million to satisfy asbestos-related claims stemming from the
insurer’s coverage of insulation maker Johns-Manville Corp, a
policyholder that spent six years in bankruptcy during the

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York reversed a
February 2012 ruling in which U.S. District Judge John Koeltl
said conditions under three settlement agreements in 2004 that
required Travelers to make the payment had not been satisfied.

Jul 21, 2014

Former Qualcomm executive pleads guilty to insider trading

July 21 (Reuters) – A former president of Qualcomm Inc’s
global business operations pleaded guilty on Monday to
insider trading in shares of the mobile phone chipmaker and a
company it bought in 2011, as well as to a related money
laundering charge.

Jing Wang, 51, entered his plea before U.S. District Judge
William Hayes in San Diego, according to the U.S. Department of

Jul 21, 2014

Israel blocks subpoena in terrorism case over Florida teen’s death

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Israel persuaded a U.S. judge not to require a key witness to testify in a case where Bank of China Ltd is accused of supporting terrorism by Palestinian militants, including the 2006 death of an American teenager in a suicide bombing.

U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin in Manhattan on Monday agreed to quash a subpoena by the south Florida family of Daniel Wultz against former Israeli intelligence officer Uzi Shaya.

    • About Jonathan

      "I cover legal and regulatory matters, and am based in New York. I have covered banking, finance, Warren Buffett and corporate bonds."
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