Money for nothing: G8 cancels poor nations'' debt without IMF gold sales

Section:

By The Associated Press
Friday, June 10, 2005

http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/050610/citigroup_enron.html?.v=7

NEW YORK -- Citigroup Inc., the nation's biggest financial
institution, on Friday said it will pay $2 billion to settle a class-
action lawsuit over its role in the sale of Enron Corp. stock and
bonds before the energy company's collapse that cost investors
billions of dollars.

Under the settlement, Citigroup said it will distribute the payment
to investors who bought publicly traded equity and debt securities
issued by Enron and its related units between Sept. 9, 1997, and
Dec. 2, 2001 when Enron sought bankruptcy protection.

The suit had accused Citigroup and other investment firms of helping
Enron continue to raise money even as the company was imploding.

In announcing the settlement, Citigroup denied committing any
violation of law and said it had agreed to settle "solely to
eliminate the uncertainties, burden and expense of further
protracted litigation."

"It is a key priority for Citigroup to resolve major cases like this
one and to put a difficult chapter in our history behind us,"
Charles Prince, chief executive of Citigroup, said in a statement.

Enron went bankrupt in December 2001 when revelations of hidden
debt, inflated profits and accounting trickery shattered its facade
of success. Thousands of workers lost their jobs.

Enron founder Kenneth Lay and former CEO Jeffrey Skilling are facing
fraud and conspiracy charges in the case and have each pleaded not
guilty.

In its announcement on Friday, Citigroup said its existing
litigation reserves are sufficient to cover the settlement, and that
it does not plan to increase the remaining reserves, which are
considered adequate for future exposure to pending Enron- and
research-related claims.

The settlement is pending approval by Citigroup's directors and the
board of regents at the University of California, which is the lead
plaintiff in the case.

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