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Business Failures

BUSINESS
December 29, 2004 | From Associated Press
The billionaire Pritzker family, which co-owned a suburban Chicago bank that failed three years ago, appears set to receive tens of millions of dollars in a settlement involving the bank's collapse. Investigators for the U.S. Treasury, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Congress blamed risky business strategies by Superior Bank's management for the collapse, but they also cited failures on the part of Superior's outside auditing firm, Ernst & Young.
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BUSINESS
September 24, 2004 | From Associated Press
Commerce One Inc., an Internet software maker valued at $20 billion at the peak of dot-com mania, is poised to go out of business as a pauper. The company delivered the sobering news in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing that warned shareholders should not expect to receive anything after Commerce One closes its doors. The end appears imminent, although Thursday's disclosure did not set a specific timetable.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 4, 2004 | Eric Slater, Times Staff Writer
The small company, launched to disprove the maxim that to turn a profit in the garment industry you had to have nonunion workers toiling for low wages in a bare-bones factory, had the glamorous beginnings of a bubble-era dot-com. Ben Cohen of Ben & Jerry's ice cream fame poured in $1.5 million and beamed for the cameras at the opening of TeamX in 2002. Los Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn was on hand for the celebration. So was singer Michelle Shocked.
BUSINESS
February 25, 2004 | From Associated Press
An executive who presided over the collapse of MCA Financial Corp. that cost investors more than $250 million pleaded guilty Tuesday in Detroit to charges that he conspired to commit fraud and lied in corporate statements. Patrick Quinlan Sr., 56, of Grosse Pointe Farms, Mich., faces up to 10 years in prison and $500,000 in fines under a plea agreement with federal prosecutors. The former chairman and chief executive of the failed Michigan mortgage firm also was ordered to pay $256.
BUSINESS
February 20, 2004 | David Streitfeld and Dana Calvo, Special to The Times
Jeffrey K. Skilling has always maintained that his abrupt departure from Enron Corp. on Aug. 14, 2001, was due solely to personal reasons. If he had stayed a few months longer, a $2-million company loan would have been forgiven. He also forfeited a $20-million severance payment. But money didn't matter "in the grand scheme of things," Skilling told Business Week shortly after he quit.
NATIONAL
February 15, 2004 | John J. Goldman, Times Staff Writer
Lutece, a landmark of French cuisine in the United States, served its last supper Saturday -- a special Valentine's dinner seasoned with regrets -- then shut its front door and went out of business. For its final night, the restaurant, which for decades was the epitome of exquisite dining and decor but which fell on hard times in recent years and fought to meet expenses, was packed with patrons.
BUSINESS
February 11, 2004 | From Bloomberg News
Milan prosecutors probing the collapse of Parmalat, once Italy's biggest food and dairy company, are investigating current and former employees at seven banks, people familiar with the probe said. Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp., Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley, UBS, Banca Intesa's fund unit Nextra and Banca Popolare di Lodi were added to the probe's official roster, said the sources, who asked not to be named.
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.
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 26, 2003 | David Reyes, Times Staff Writer
Bella Luna restaurant in Huntington Beach was supposed to be in full swing by now, offering up thick steaks and generous portions of Italian food with a signature linguini and clam sauce. The food was to have been so good that diners wouldn't notice or care that one of the owners was a felon who had pleaded guilty to abuse of power when he was the town's mayor. This was to be Dave Garofalo's comeback act. But it hasn't worked out that way.
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