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Medical device executives sentenced to prison

PHILADELPHIA – Three former executives of a Pennsylvania medical devices company have been sentenced to prison for unapproved medical trials that left three people dead.

Former Synthes North America President Michael Huggins, of West Chester, Pa., and former Senior Vice President Thomas B. Higgins, of Berwyn, received nine-month prison terms. Ex-Director of Regulatory Affairs John Walsh, of Coatesville, was on the job for less time and received a five-month prison term.

They are among the first company leaders sent to prison after pleading guilty to misdemeanors as “responsible corporate officers.”

U.S. District Judge Legrome Davis calls their actions “egregious.”

Prosecutors say they bypassed safety rules and let surgeons test bone cement in frail patients even though animals had died in earlier tests.

Associated Press

Ex-trader pleads guilty in Madoff Ponzi scheme

NEW YORK – Jailed financier Bernard Madoff’s multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme stretched back at least to the early 1970s, when his employees used historical information about stocks to create false trades that could be placed on customer statements, a former trader revealed as he pleaded guilty Monday to criminal charges.

David Kugel pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Manhattan to conspiracy, securities fraud, bank fraud, falsifying business records and falsifying the books of an investment adviser, charges that carry a potential penalty of up to 85 years in prison. A cooperation deal with prosecutors that leaves Kugel free on $3 million bail would earn him leniency at a sentencing tentatively scheduled for May 4. As part of the plea, he agreed to forfeit $3.5 million to the government.

Associated Press

Ex-AIG CEO’s company sues federal government

WASHINGTON – A company run by the former CEO of American International Group Inc. is suing the government for $25 billion in damages over its taxpayer bailout of the big insurer.

Former AIG CEO Maurice “Hank” Greenberg’s current company – Starr International – filed lawsuits Monday in federal courts against the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The suits accuse the government of taking valuable assets from AIG’s shareholders without their consent or fair compensation, in exchange for the government’s 80 percent stake in the company. The suit says the government’s actions violate parts of the Fifth Amendment.

Starr International was the largest shareholder in AIG. It is suing on behalf of AIG and the AIG shareholders and says the $25 billion or more in damages it wants represents the market value of the 563 million shares the government received, as of last Jan. 14.

Associated Press

Philip Morris sues over cigarette package law

CANBERRA, Australia – Tobacco giant Philip Morris is suing the Australian government over legislation banning logos and brand imagery on cigarette packaging.

Australia’s government passed the legislation Monday, with the health and aging minister trumpeting it as “an example for the world to follow.”

Associated Press


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