TD Bank to pay fine over Ponzi scheme

TD Bank is paying $52.5 million to settle civil charges after U.S. regulators accused the bank of failing to report suspicious activity in accounts linked to a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme.

The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency announced settlements Monday with the Canadian bank.

The OCC said TD Bank failed to file suspicious activity reports to the government on the accounts of Scott Rothstein, a former Florida lawyer serving a 50-year prison sentence for the Ponzi scheme. The SEC said the bank deceived investors by saying it had restricted Rothstein’s transfers of money in the accounts.

TD Bank is paying a $37.5 million penalty to the OCC and a $15 million penalty to the SEC.

TD Bank neither admitted nor denied wrongdoing in its settlement with the SEC, but the bank agreed to refrain from future violations of securities laws.

— Associated Press

Spy Museum plans move, expansion

The International Spy Museum, one of the most popular private attractions in the District, would relocate from its popular location at 800 F St. NW to the former Carnegie Library in Mount Vernon Square under a plan by D.C. officials.

Events DC, which manages the District’s convention and sports business, said Monday that it planned to renovate and expand the historic library building by moving the Spy Museum to the museum’s underground space and building a “sculpted glass pavilion” on the north side of the building that would house a visitors center, café and the Spy Museum store.

Events DC and the Malrite Co., the Cleveland-based owner of the museum, would serve as co-developers of the project. The Historical Society of Washington would remain in the building.

— Jonathan O’Connell

Also in Business

Airline passengers in the United States may soon be able to text, e-mail and use iPods, Kindles and other electronic devices during takeoff and landing. An advisory panel will soon recommend to the Federal Aviation Administration how it could expand the use of personal electronic devices during flights, said Douglas Kidd, executive director of the National Association of Airline Passengers and a member of the panel.

Food and Drug Administration officials say they will begin regulating a new wave of applications and gadgets that work with smartphones to take medical readings and help users monitor their health. Industry analysts estimate that there are more than 17,000 medical applications available. The FDA said Monday that it will regulate only a handful of these apps that turn smartphones into medical devices, such as a heart monitor, or medical attachments that plug into smartphones, such as arm cuffs that measure blood pressure.

Nineteen companies caught writing fake reviews on Web sites such as Yelp, Google Local and CitySearch have been snared in a year-long sting operation by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and will pay $350,000 in penalties. The attorney general’s office set up a fake yogurt shop in Brooklyn and some search optimization companies offered to post fake reviews of it, paying as little as $1 per review to freelance writers, the attorney general’s office said.

Citigroup said it is eliminating about 1,000 jobs in its U.S. home mortgage business. The bank is cutting about 8 percent of the 13,000 jobs in its mortgage division, with most of the cuts — about 760 — taking place in Las Vegas. Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America have announced thousands of layoffs in their home-lending units in recent weeks.

— From news services

Coming Today

9 a.m.: S&P/Case-Shiller home price index for July released.

Earnings: Carnival.