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Business Failures

BUSINESS
January 15, 2004 | Dana Calvo and Nancy Rivera Brooks, Special to the Times
Andrew and Lea Fastow, the onetime Enron Corp. power couple who held this city in thrall as they wrangled the most important deal of their lives, pleaded guilty to fraud-related charges Wednesday, opening the door for an insider's tour of the failed energy merchant's misdeeds. Andrew Fastow, the former finance chief who built Enron's complicated web of off-the-books partnerships to hide debt and boost profit, accepted a possible 10-year sentence.
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BUSINESS
December 20, 2003 | From Associated Press
Instafi.com has shut down, leaving about 100 employees without jobs and final paychecks. The Irvine-based company once employed 350 people and arranged more than $500 million in loans per quarter, but was caught unprepared by a rise in interest rates in July that caused a sudden slowdown in refinancing applications, the Orange County Register reported. "When the rates changed, we were totally caught with our pants down," Dan Moore, 44, a former Instafi.com loan officer said.
BUSINESS
February 22, 2003 | From Reuters
Accounting firm Deloitte & Touche agreed to settle claims stemming from its audit of collapsed insurer Kentucky Central Life Insurance Co. for $23 million, according to court documents. The settlement agreement was filed in Kentucky's Franklin County Circuit Court for approval. A hearing may be held in early March. The settlement resolves all allegations against Deloitte related to its role as auditor of Kentucky Central Life, which collapsed in 1993.
BUSINESS
October 9, 2002 | MICHAEL A. HILTZIK, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The demise Tuesday of Cadiz Inc.'s plan to build a multimillion-dollar water storage project in the Mojave Desert places the company under a huge financial strain that raises the question of whether it can survive. The project, which was to be built in partnership with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, was to generate an estimated $500 million to $1 billion in revenue for the company over the next 50 years.
BUSINESS
August 1, 2002 | Bloomberg News
Enron Corp.'s creditors' committee has asked a bankruptcy judge to force J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. to cooperate with the panel's probe of a series of controversial oil and gas trades. The transactions between Enron and Mahonia Ltd., a bank entity, have been scrutinized by congressional investigators and are the subject of a lawsuit in Manhattan federal court between J.P. Morgan and 11 insurers who guaranteed the trades with surety bonds.
BUSINESS
July 31, 2002 | Times Wire Services
Vanguard Airlines Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy amid a liquidity crunch that forced the low-cost airline to shut down operations and fire about 1,000 employees. The Kansas City-based based carrier said it continued to seek funds in order to resume operations, but Chief Executive Scott Dickson said the company's shutdown probably would be permanent.
NATIONAL
July 29, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
NEW YORK * The Russian Tea Room was jammed with nostalgic borscht fans enjoying martinis and caviar on the restaurant's final day. "My husband and I used to come here all the time, for maybe the past 25 years," customer Claire Strauss said. "They have the best borscht in town." The restaurant, a beloved meeting spot for musicians, actors and publishers next to Carnegie Hall, underwent a three-year, $30-million renovation recently.
BUSINESS
July 24, 2002 | EDMUND SANDERS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Lawmakers skewered bankers from J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. on Tuesday, saying their actions to help Enron Corp. disguise more than $8 billion in debt demonstrate why investors are losing faith in Wall Street. "This is shameful," said Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), who chairs the Senate permanent subcommittee on investigations. At a hearing, Levin repeatedly confronted the bankers with e-mails and tape recordings he said contradicted their statements that they did nothing wrong. Sen.
BUSINESS
July 22, 2002 | JON HEALEY and ELIZABETH DOUGLASS, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
For years, the biggest challenge WorldCom Inc. and MCI faced was persuading consumers to switch long-distance companies. Now, the toughest job may be persuading them to stay. The bankruptcy filing on Sunday by WorldCom and its MCI subsidiary is sure to spook some customers, who number as many as 20 million. But consumer advocates say the filing alone doesn't justify finding a new long-distance company.
BUSINESS
July 22, 2002 | ELIZABETH DOUGLASS and KAREN KAPLAN, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
WorldCom Inc.'s mammoth bankruptcy filing Sunday could prolong the telecommunications industry's long and painful implosion by dragging teetering companies over the brink with it. More than three dozen telecom firms have already landed in Bankruptcy Court since a crippling combination of overcapacity and sinking demand left the industry struggling to find a way to pay its crushing debts.
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