Ex-Tyco CEO wants money from retirement account

Ex-Tyco International CEO Dennis Kozlowski, jailed for stealing millions of dollars, wants a court to order the company to pay him tens of millions from his retirement account.

Lawyers for Kozlowski filed court papers in which they claim that Tyco breached its retirement agreement by refusing to pay him the lump sum he has demanded. As of October 2008, the value of Kozlowski’s retirement account was $75.9 million, according to the court papers.

Kozlowski and ex-Chief Financial Officer Mark Swartz were convicted in 2005 of securities fraud, grand larceny and falsifying business records.

The court papers were refiled Friday because of a court filing error.


British Airways crews ready to start strike action today

A strike by British Airways cabin crews, with potentially global ramifications, was set to start today as last-ditch talks between management and the union faltered.

A three-day strike will start today after talks between British Airways CEO Willie Walsh and Unite labor leader Tony Woodley didn’t succeed. Walsh was reported to have made an offer deemed inferior to what he had made just a week ago.

Another four-day strike is due to start next week.


Seven banks closed down; U.S. total this year hits 37

Regulators on Friday shut down seven banks in five states, bringing to 37 the number of bank failures in the U.S. so far this year.

The closings follow the 140 that succumbed in 2009 to mounting loan defaults and the recession.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. took over First Lowndes Bank, in Fort Deposit, Ala.; Appalachian Community Bank in Ellijay, Ga.; Bank of Hiawassee, in Hiawassee, Ga.; and Century Security Bank in Duluth, Ga.

The agency also closed down State Bank of Aurora, in Aurora, Minn.; Advanta Bank Corp., based in Draper, Utah; and American National Bank of Parma, Ohio.

This week’s closings are expected to cost the FDIC a total of $1.2 billion.


New counts against embezzler who got Michigan tax credit

A convicted embezzler who snagged more than $9 million in business tax credits from the state of Michigan has been charged with defrauding an elderly neighbor.

RASCO CEO Richard A. Short was charged Friday with embezzlement and obtaining money under false pretenses and illegally using an ATM card. A judge set his bail at $9.2 million. Short didn’t enter a plea but said he understood the new charges against him.

Short shared the stage with Democratic Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm on Tuesday as she announced RASCO would get tax credits for setting up its headquarters in Flint. He was arrested a day later and then charged with violating his parole.

Economic development officials say they are looking into how Short won the tax credit.


Contractor, state settle in Minneapolis bridge collapse

Contractor URS Corp. and the state of Minnesota reached a $5 million settlement Friday in the state’s lawsuit over the 2007 Minneapolis bridge collapse that killed 13 people and injured 145 others.

URS had a long-standing contract with the Minnesota Department of Transportation to evaluate the structural integrity of the 40-year-old Interstate 35W bridge and recommend ways to shore it up before it fell. URS did not admit any liability or fault for the collapse, nor did the state.

San Francisco-based URS and its insurers will pay $5 million under the mediated agreement. In exchange, URS will be released from future state claims connected to the collapse.

The state had alleged URS was negligent because it failed to discover that some of the steel gusset plates that joined the bridge’s beams together weren’t thick enough.

URS still is the main defendant in scores of lawsuits by survivors of the collapse and families of the dead, who are not covered by Friday’s settlement. Those cases are scheduled to go to trial in 2011.


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