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Business Briefs

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Wachovia To Pay $3.5M to NMFA

The New Mexico Finance Authority said Tuesday it will receive $3,524,777 from Wachovia Bank N.A. as part of a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to resolve charges that Wachovia fraudulently rigged municipal bond reinvestment transactions.

In the settlement announced last week, Wachovia agreed to settle charges that it fraudulently engaged in secret arrangements with bidding agents to improperly win business from municipalities and guarantee itself profits in the reinvestment of municipal bond proceeds. The SEC alleges that Wachovia fraudulently rigged municipal bond reinvestment transactions in 25 states.

Wachovia Bank is now Wells Fargo Bank following a merger in March 2010.


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Smith’s Donation Assists Kids’ Care

Smith’s Food and Drug has donated $130,000 to help fund the University of New Mexico Children’s Hospital Pediatric Charity Care Fund.

The contribution is expected to assist families whose children need the special care only UNMCH provides, but whose income does not qualify them for assistance, the company said in a news release. The UNMCH is New Mexico’s only dedicated Children’s Hospital trained to deliver the most advanced neonatology and pediatric care. Nearly 60,000 children receive services each year, over half of whom live outside of the Albuquerque area.

“We are grateful to Smith’s for this financial support to help sick and injured children in New Mexico,” said Steve McKernan, CEO of University Hospitals.

Justices Suspend Carlsbad Attorney

CARLSBAD – The New Mexico Supreme Court has suspended a Carlsbad attorney after his clients accused him of abandoning them.

Clients of Shawn J. Lunsford can retrieve their files and find other legal representation.

Lunsford was summarily suspended from the practice of law in all New Mexico courts in an order dated Nov. 30. The order came after a Supreme Court hearing that Lunsford failed to attend.

The Carlsbad Current Argus reports disciplinary action against Lunsford began when a client complained to the state that the attorney had closed his local office and ceased contact with clients – all with no advance notice.

Inventories Rise During October

WASHINGTON – U.S. businesses increased their stockpiles in October after slowing inventory growth in the previous month. The buildup in inventories should help the economy grow modestly in the final months of the year.

The Commerce Department said Tuesday that business inventories rose a seasonally adjusted 0.8 percent. Sales increased 0.7 percent, the fifth straight gain.

In September, businesses didn’t increase their stockpiles after 20 straight months of gains.