Archive for Tuesday, February 4, 2003

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February 4, 2003

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Former Tyco lawyer charged with fraud

The former chief lawyer for Tyco International joined top executives in a giant fraud, accepting a $12 million "special bonus" for helping stop one federal probe, according to charges announced Monday.

The indictment accuses Mark Belnick, 56, of first-degree grand larceny, falsifying business records and scheming to defraud. Belnick pleaded innocent in a brief court appearance Monday.

Belnick accepted the $12 million bonus for his role in getting the Securities and Exchange Commission to end an earlier investigation into accounting problems at Tyco, the indictment alleges.

Telecommunications: Sprint shares rise

Shares of Sprint Corp. improved Monday, a day after the telecommunications giant broke its silence over the future of chairman and chief executive William T. Esrey.

Sprint announced Sunday it was seeking BellSouth Corp. vice chairman Gary D. Forsee, 52, for its top job. However, a Georgia judge over the weekend issued a temporary restraining order that prevents Forsee from replacing Esrey. A hearing on the lawsuit is scheduled for Wednesday in Atlanta.

Shares of Sprint FON, the company's wireline division stock, improved 36 cents to close at $12.50 in trading Monday on the New York Stock Exchange. Shares of the company's wireless stock, PCS, improved 1 cent to close at $3.77. Shares of BellSouth closed up $1.02 at $23.80.

Pharmacy: Russian delegation seeking host families

A delegation of 11 Russian pharmacists and pharmaceutical executives will be in Lawrence later this month as part of a training program.

The delegation will be in Lawrence from Feb. 27 to March 23 and will participate in a variety of seminars with area pharmacists, hospitals and medical services firms.

The program is being organized by the Center for Citizen Initiatives, a nonprofit agency based in San Francisco that seeks to provide management training to small business owners in Russia.

Locally the program is being sponsored by the Lawrence Breakfast Optimist Club. The club is still seeking area families to host the Russian visitors. Anyone interested in serving as a host can call either Dick Holzmeister at 843-4475 or Ernie Dyer at 841-2990.

Economy: Manufacturing increases

U.S. manufacturing activity grew for the third straight month in January, though the pace slowed, according to a private industry group.

The Institute for Supply Management's index of manufacturing activity slipped to 53.9, unable to sustain December's momentum when the index jumped to a revised 55.2. Analysts were expecting a reading of 53 for January. A level above 50 indicates the manufacturing sector is expanding; below 50 means it's contracting.

"Everybody is worried about whether we're going to go to war with Iraq and if we do, what will happen," said Mark Vitner, an economist with Wachovia Corp. in Charlotte, N.C.

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