Real Estate Investors' Suit Settled: A $98.5-million settlement has been reached in a class-action lawsuit that one attorney called one of the five largest securities class-action settlements in U.S. history. David and Ilene Albert of Santa Rosa, Calif., filed the suit two years ago, and a flood of other lawsuits that followed were eventually consolidated into one case with about 30 plaintiffs, 50 defendants and 39 law firms. The plaintiffs alleged that Chicago-based VMS Realty Partners engaged in a pattern of deception to attract investors. The defendants, in agreeing to the settlement, did not admit wrongdoing. The settlement could be shared by 165,000 real estate investors.