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A German court has ended the trial of the former chief executive of Hypo Real Estate, a commercial property lender that was nationalized after it ran into trouble in 2008, in exchange for an 18,000-euro ($21,200) payment.

Georg Funke went on trial in March, accused of manipulating the bank's balance sheets in 2007 and 2008. He denied the accusation.

News agency dpa reported that the Munich state court closed the trial Friday, finding that it had been impossible to clear up the accusations sufficiently. The statute of limitations expires next year.

It said the case would be closed in exchange for a payment to good causes. German law allows such an arrangement, meaning that the court delivers no formal verdict and the defendant effectively wins a legal stamp of innocence.


A Chinese court says a star securities trader who was arrested following last year's stock market collapse has pleaded guilty to insider trading and manipulating share prices.

The court in the eastern city of Qingdao said in a statement Tuesday that Xu Xiang and two co-defendants pleaded guilty at the start of a trial but no verdict had been issued.

Xu was arrested in November after a rapid rise in Chinese share prices collapsed. Top executives of China's biggest state-owned securities firm also were arrested in a separate case.

The court statement said Xu and his co-defendants were accused of conspiring with executives of 13 companies from 2010 to 2015 to inflate their share price and then sell.



Twin Falls attorney Robyn Brody saw victory in a close statewide race by securing a seat on the Idaho Supreme Court in Tuesday's election.

Brody beat Republican Sen. Curt McKenzie in Tuesday's election. It was the state's first high court runoff election in nearly two decades.

Brody was overwhelmingly backed by law enforcement and attorney groups, as well as had received multiple high dollar donations from across the state.

McKenzie had support from Republican-leaning groups and from most GOP lawmakers, but failed to secure the votes needed to win the spot.

The fight over the non-partisan seat was the top competitive seat in the general election. Idaho's Republican stronghold throughout the state results in just a handful of tight political races and even fewer surprises.

All three of Idaho's Republican congressional candidates secured their bids for re-election against their Democratic challengers.

Republican U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson will go on to serve a tenth term, while Republican U.S. Rep. Raul Labrador will serve a fourth term. Republican U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo was also successful in securing his fourth term in office.

Meanwhile, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump won all four of Idaho's electorate votes in Tuesday's election before becoming the nation's president-elect.

The only statewide constitutional amendment on this year's November ballot was too close to call Wednesday morning — as were many of the expected tight legislative races.

Two years ago, Idaho voters said no to amend the state constitution to allow lawmakers veto power over administrative rules submitted by the executive branch. Convinced the amendment's failure was due to uninformed voters, legislative leaders have launched an expensive new campaign this year urging the public to vote yes.



New York's attorney general can continue his legal effort to bar two former American International Group Inc. executives from the securities industry and forfeit any improperly gained profits, the state's highest court ruled Thursday.

The Court of Appeals for the second time refused to dismiss the lawsuit originally filed in 2005 by then-Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, ruling it should go to trial.

The suit claims ex-AIG chief executive Maurice "Hank" Greenberg and ex-chief financial officer Howard Smith had engaged in fraudulent reinsurance transactions to conceal from investors a deteriorating financial condition.

AIG itself resolved state charges as part of a $1.64 billion agreement with regulators in 2006. The insurance giant was bailed out by the federal government in the 2008 financial crisis.

Greenberg and Smith settled related federal Securities and Exchange Commission complaints without admitting wrongdoing in 2009.

Their attorneys challenged the state lawsuit, arguing that New York's Martin Act against securities fraud authorizes neither a permanent industry ban nor disgorgement of profits, and that releases from other settlements barred further financial forfeit.

"As we have previously stated, in an appropriate case, disgorgement may be an available 'equitable remedy distinct from restitution' under the state's anti-fraud legislation," Judge Leslie Stein wrote. "Moreover, as with the attorney general's claim for an injunction, issues of fact exist which prevent us from concluding, as a matter of law that disgorgement is unwarranted."

The court rejected another dismissal motion two years ago, concluding there was sufficient fraud evidence for trial.



The Hyderabad High Court has directed the Andhra Pradesh government to take steps to protect people from heat waves during summer season.

The bench of acting Chief Justice Dilip B Bhosale and Justice S Ravi Kumar gave AP two weeks to come up with a plan.

They were hearing a public interest petition filed by Pittala Srisailam of Rangareddy district who was questioning the inaction of both AP and Telangana in creating facilities to provide relief to the people in this regard. He wanted authorities to follow the model of Odisha and Gujarat that have successfully brought down the ill-effects of summer by creating a variety of facilities that saved scores of lives.

Even the working hours were changed and people were not allowed to work during peak heat hours in those states, Sravan Kumar, the counsel for the petitioner, said. "We have decided to follow the model of Odisha and Gujarat," A Sanjeev Kumar, the special government pleader of T regime said.

Relief shelters, cool water facilities etc will be set up all over the state, he said and added that instructions were already issued to the district collectors. A high-level committee was set up for the purpose which has already commenced its work to prepare a detailed action plan to be followed in the coming summer season, he said. The bench directed AP to set up a high-level committee in the same way as Telangana government has done and posted the case to two weeks.


A panel of three judges will hear Indiana's appeal of a lower court ruling ordering it to pay IBM Corp. $52 million over a failed welfare privatization project.

The Indiana Court of Appeals will take up the matter Monday. Both sides will have 45 minutes to present their cases.

Former Gov. Mitch Daniels outsourced the intake of welfare clients to a team of private contractors led by IBM in 2006. He canceled the 10-year, $1.37 billion contract with Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM in 2009 amid widespread performance complaints from clients, their advocates and federal officials.

The state sued IBM for breach of contract and the company countersued. A Marion County judge ruled last year that neither side deserved to win but awarded IBM $52 million, far less than it was seeking.



A Chicago lawyer sentenced to seven years in prison in a $2.4 billion fraud at Refco Inc. is entitled to a new trial because of errors the judge made in dealing with the jury, a federal appeals court said Monday.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the conviction of Joseph P. Collins, saying U.S. District Judge Robert P. Patterson erred when he failed to disclose the contents of a jury note and didn't include lawyers when he spoke with a juror accused of trying to barter his vote.

"This sequence of events deprived Collins of his right to be present at every stage of the trial. Because the deprivation was not harmless, we vacate and remand for a new trial," the appeals court wrote.

The lawyer from Winnetka, Ill., was convicted in July 2009 of conspiracy and other charges. Federal sentencing guidelines had called for 85 years in prison.

Refco was once one of the nation's largest independent commodities brokers.

The company in the mid-1990s sustained hundreds of millions of dollars of losses through losing trades and engaged in an elaborate campaign to cover them up, attracting the attention of federal authorities. Refco filed for bankruptcy in 2005, just weeks after going public and soon after revealing that a $430 million debt owed to the company by a firm controlled by former Refco CEO Phillip Bennett had been concealed.

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