Pilots Convicted of Being Drunk
Two former America West pilots were convicted of being drunk in the cockpit after an all-night drinking binge at a sports bar. Thomas P. Cloyd and Christopher S. Hughes were arrested July 1, 2002, as their Phoenix-bound jet was being pushed back from its gate at Miami International Airport. Police ordered the plane to turn back after security screeners smelled a strong odor of alcohol on Hughes, and Cloyd got in an argument over his attempts to bring aboard a cup of coffee. The pilots argued they were not actually operating the craft because it was being pushed by a runway tug.
Greenberg Quits AIG Board
Maurice R. "Hank" Greenberg, who was ousted as chief executive of American International Group in March, resigned from the company's board of directors earlier than expected. Greenberg resigned because he was unable to receive information on the company and its operations that he needs to fulfill his fiduciary duty, he said in a letter to the board that was released by his lawyers.
New York Attorney General Eliot L. Spitzer has sued AIG, alleging that the insurance giant and its former top two officials -- Greenberg and ex-chief financial officer Howard I. Smith -- manipulated the company's books to deceive investors and regulators and artificially inflate AIG's stock price.
White House Revises Forecast
The Bush administration issued a slightly less optimistic forecast for the country's economic growth and inflation for the rest of the year but predicted a solid increase in new jobs. The White House is predicting that gross domestic product will grow by 3.4 percent as measured from fourth quarter to fourth quarter, down a notch from the December projection of a 3.5 percent increase. Last year, the economy grew by 3.7 percent.
The administration predicted inflation will rise by 2.9 percent, up from the previous forecast of 2 percent, because of higher energy prices. It said employment will rise by 2.1 million this year to an annual average of 133.6 million, roughly the same prediction made in December.
Fine Levied Over Mutual Funds
A mutual fund distributor and 14 brokerage firms, including six subsidiaries of American International Group, are paying fines totaling more than $34 million in deals with NASD over payments they received to push certain mutual funds. The companies neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing in agreeing to pay fines ranging ranged from $286,415 to $6.6 million.
SEC Deadlocks on Veritas Fine
The Securities and Exchange Commission deadlocked on a proposed fine for Veritas Software. Commissioners split along party lines, leaving the company's settlement in limbo. Veritas, a maker of data-storage software, has said it expects to settle the agency's accounting probe by paying a fine of about $30 million. According to a May 6 filing by Veritas with the SEC, the settlement related to "certain transactions in 2000" with AOL Time Warner, now Time Warner, and "other parties."
Insider Trading Charges Settled
A Kentucky car salesman has agreed to pay nearly $4.2 million to settle insider trading charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission. Gary D. Force was alleged to be part of a group of more than 20 people, 18 of whom have been convicted, who got tips from a temporary worker at Goldman Sachs Group and Credit Suisse Group. Force's payment includes disgorgement of profit and a civil penalty of more than $1.5 million. As part of the settlement, Force did not admit or deny the SEC's allegations.
Theater Chain Settles ADA Suit
Regal Entertainment Group, the nation's largest movie theater chain, has agreed to alter nearly 1,000 stadium-style auditoriums so people in wheelchairs have better views, the Justice Department announced. In addition, all new theaters by Regal, based in Knoxville, Tenn., will be designed with wheelchair seating in the middle or farther back. The terms are part of a settlement of a lawsuit, one of several filed against movie theaters regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act.
H&R Block said fourth-quarter profit rose 7 percent, to $616.5 million, and its board of directors announced a 2-for-1 stock split. The nation's largest tax preparer said revenue for the three months ended April 30 rose 7 percent, to $2.36 billion. For the full year, Block said its profit fell 10 percent, to $635 million, on slower mortgage business and continued losses in investment services. Revenue rose 4 percent, to $4.42 billion.
HSBC Holdings, Europe's biggest bank by market value, agreed to buy Neiman Marcus Group's store credit card business for $640 million. HSBC will gain more than 3 million customer accounts from Neiman Marcus and its Bergdorf Goodman unit.
Compiled from staff and news service reports.