Toyota Will Pay $180M to Settle Violations of the Clean-Air Act

The U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today that the United States has filed and simultaneously settled a civil lawsuit against Toyota Motor Corporation, Toyota Motor North America Inc., Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc., and Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America Inc. (Toyota) for systematic, longstanding violations of Clean Air Act emission-related defect reporting requirements, which require manufacturers to report potential defects and recalls affecting vehicle components designed to control emissions. 

Along with the civil complaint, the United States has filed a consent decree, agreed to by Toyota, that resolves the government’s complaint through Toyota’s payment of a $180 million civil penalty and the imposition of injunctive relief.  The $180 million penalty is the largest civil penalty for violation of EPA’s emission-reporting requirements. The injunctive provisions require Toyota to follow compliance and reporting practices designed to ensure timely investigation of emission-related defects and timely reporting to EPA and include training, communication, and oversight requirements. The consent decree remains subject to a period of public comment and court approval.

“This settlement is yet another important milestone settlement for this Administration, and it continues our unwavering commitment to ensuring that our environmental laws as written, including EPA’s regulations, are rigorously enforced,” said Jeffrey Bossert Clark, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.

Read the source article at U.S. Department of Justice

Boeing’s Insitu Will Pay $25M to Settle a Whistleblower Complaint About Used Drone Parts

Bingen, Wash.-based Insitu, a Boeing subsidiary, has agreed to pay $25 million to settle allegations that it used recycled parts rather than new parts in military drones, the Justice Department announced today.

The parts were put into drones that Insitu built for the U.S. Special Operations Command and the Department of the Navy between 2009 and 2017, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Washington.

When Insitu was awarded the contracts to supply the drones, under the terms of no-bid contracts, the company said it would use new parts and materials. But according to the allegations, Insitu substituted less expensive recycled, refurbished, reconditions, and reconfigured parts.

“Taxpayers deserve to get what they paid for — especially in significant no-bid military contracts,” U.S. Attorney Brian Moran said in a news release. “Cases such as this one should be seen as a warning to defense contractors that false claims have no place in military purchasing.”

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Deutsche Bank Agrees to Settle Criminal and Civil Charges for $130M

DEUTSCHE Bank AG agreed to pay US$130 million to settle criminal and civil charges that it bribed foreign officials and manipulated the market for precious-metals futures through a trading tactic known as spoofing.

The Frankfurt-based bank agreed to a deal in which it won’t be prosecuted as long as it doesn’t engage in the practices again for more than three years and wasn’t required to plead guilty to the charges. The case was brought by federal prosecutors in Brooklyn, New York, and Washington who secured a US$920 million fine against JPMorgan Chase last year, the largest sanction ever tied to spoofing.

Big banks have been rushing to conclude legal deals before the change of US administrations, partly out of concern that there may be stiffer fines under a Democratic president. Three top US-based banks agreed to pay more than US$4 billion in settlements announced just before the November election, on issues ranging from bribery to market manipulation.

Read the source article at THE BUSINESS TIMES

Boeing Pays $2.5B to Settle Charges Tied to the 737 MAX Crashes

Boeing has agreed to pay just over $2.5 billion to resolve a federal charge of “criminal misconduct” for how its employees misled regulatory officials during certification of the 737 MAX, the Department of Justice announced Thursday.

Of that amount, only $243.6 million, less than 10%, is a fine paid to the U.S. government for the criminal conduct, “which reflects a fine at the low end” of the sentencing guidelines, the court agreement states.

The rest includes an additional $500 million Boeing commits to pay in compensation to the families of the 346 people who died in two crashes of the MAX.

However, 70% of the $2.5 billion cited in the settlement, or $1.77 billion, is compensation to Boeing’s airline customers that the company has already agreed to pay. (Indeed, that’s just a fraction of what it has agreed to pay them.)

Read the source article at The Seattle Times

Texas Attorney General Seeks $43M in Google Antitrust Lawsuit

The mass exodus of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s top staff over accusations of bribery against their former boss has left Paxton seeking $43 million in public funds to replace some of them with outside lawyers to lead a high-profile antitrust lawsuit against Google.

Former Paxton aides told The Associated Press that before they reported him to the FBI in September and began resigning, the lawsuit against the search engine giant was set to be handled internally by what is one of the largest state attorney general’s offices in the U.S.

The outside lawyers’ contracts put a price tag on the fallout from Paxton’s deputies accusing him of crimes in the service of wealthy donor Nate Paul. an Austin real estate investor. It remains to be seen how much taxpayers may ultimately shell out under the complex deals.

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Home Depot Settled Lead Paint Violations for $20M

Home Depot has reached a settlement with two federal agencies, agreeing to pay a $20 million fine because its contractors failed to properly handle lead paint in customers’ homes.

The fine is the largest proposed penalty in United States history under the Toxic Substances Control Act. The settlement is part of the deal home depot reached with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice.

Home renovation companies that sub-contracted with Home Depot are accused of cutting corners during renovations.

According to the EPA, the contractors for Home Depot were cutting corners when removing lead paint, spreading dust and paint chips. There were also instances where Home Depot did not make sure contractors performing renovations were property trained in lead safety.

Read the source article at San Diego, California News and Weather

Fremont County Agrees to $2.4M Settlement in Unlawful Arrest Case

DENVER (KDVR) — Fremont County paid Carolyn O’Neal the sum of $2.4 million in a settlement from a case dating back to May 2016.

In May 2014, Fremont County Sheriff’s Office deputies allegedly dragged O’Neal from the homeless transitional housing program facility she was residing at in Cañon City.

“The police were called by management, her mother was dying, she was depressed, and she made some offhand statement about ‘Things are going so great, I feel like I should drive my car off a cliff,’ said O’Neal’s attorney, David Lane, who added that his client suffers from PTSD, among other mental health issues.

Deputies then jailed her naked, put her in restraints for hours, and tased her.

The lawsuit filed against the sheriff’s department for violating O’Neal’s rights said deputies later admitted O’Neal should have been taken to a hospital and not jail.

A judge dismissed charges against O’Neal for resisting arrest and disorderly conduct for “offensive utterances.”

Read the source article at FOX31 Denver

Robinhood Agrees to Pay $65M to Settle SEC Trading Allegations

Robinhood Markets has agreed to pay $65 million to settle Securities and Exchange Commission allegations that the broker failed to properly inform clients that it sold their stock orders to high-frequency traders and other financial firms.

Robinhood, known for its popular smart-phone app that offers commission-free trading, also agreed to have an outside consultant monitor its compliance with rules that require firms to provide the best execution for trades. Robinhood has gained notoriety during the pandemic by attracting a massive customer base of younger investors.

The case involves disclosures from 2015 to late 2018 by a Robinhood unit, according to a Thursday SEC statement. The company, which didn’t admit or deny the regulator’s allegations, said it is now fully transparent in its communications with customers about how it makes money.

“The settlement relates to historical practices that do not reflect Robinhood today,” said Dan Gallagher, the firm’s chief legal officer. “We recognize the responsibility that comes with having helped millions of investors make their first investments, and we’re committed to continuing to evolve Robinhood as we grow to meet our customers’ needs.”

Read the source article at Fortune

Preliminary Approval of $23.1M Settlement Involving Former Patients of CAMC

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Kanawha County Circuit Judge Jennifer Bailey has given preliminary approval to a $23.1 million settlement of a class-action lawsuit involving former patients at CAMC who were treated by Doctor Steven Matulis.

Bailey, who has scheduled a final hearing on the settlement for March 10, 2021, also approved the lawsuit as class-action status during Tuesday’s hearing. The class is made up of approximately 2,500 women who were treated by Matulis at CAMC’s endoscopy suite.

Matulis, a gastroenterologist, who was convicted in 2018 of first-degree sexual abuse for abusing a patient while that patient was under anesthesia, has also been named in a number of civil lawsuits.

Plaintiffs’ attorney Marvin Masters told Bailey Tuesday all of the patients in the CAMC class-action lawsuit were unconscious when Matulis took advantage of them and they didn’t know until February 2016 that anything had happened.

Read the source article at WV MetroNews

PDL BioPharma Announces $51.4M Capital Provision Agreement with Epps Investments

RENO, Nev.Dec. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — PDL BioPharma, Inc. (“PDL” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: PDLI) announces it has entered into a Capital Provision Agreement (the “Agreement”) with Epps Investments LLC (“Epps”). Under the terms of the Agreement, Epps will pay PDL $51,391,184 no later than December 31, 2020, in exchange for 100% of the payments or other property or value received by PDL on or after the date of the Agreement pursuant to the settlement agreement (the “Settlement Agreement”) with related entities of Defined Diagnostics, LLC (f/k/a Wellstat Diagnostics, LLC) (“Wellstat Diagnostics”) announced August 12, 2020, and the underlying claims resolved by the Settlement Agreement. The Settlement Agreement resolved previously reported litigation relating to loans made to Wellstat Diagnostics by PDL. PDL has agreed to reimburse Epps for certain of its expenses related to the Agreement.

Pursuant to the Agreement, PDL will also grant to Epps a security interest in PDL’s interest in certain collateral, including the Settlement Agreement and the underlying claims resolved by the Settlement Agreement, as security for the payment of the Company’s obligations under the Agreement. Additionally, if the required payments under the Settlement Agreement are not made to PDL in accordance with the terms of the Settlement Agreement by July 26, 2021, PDL has agreed to assign its rights and obligations under the Settlement Agreement, and the underlying claims resolved by the Settlement Agreement, to Epps.

Read the source article at Yahoo Finance