Archive for Wednesday, May 4, 2005

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May 4, 2005

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Financial lobbyists name CEO of forum

Former Commerce Secretary Donald Evans, a close friend of President Bush, will become the chief executive officer of the Financial Services Forum, a lobbying group for the country's biggest financial service firms.

Evans' new position was announced Tuesday by the forum, which is composed of the chief executive officers of 18 of the largest financial service companies in the country including Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, J.P Morgan Chase & Co., Allstate Insurance, American Express and American International Group.

SEC probe

Telemarketing official enters guilty plea

A Georgia telemarketing executive pleaded guilty Tuesday to obstructing federal regulators' probe of an alleged nationwide securities fraud scheme that used voice mail messages made to seem accidentally left on people's answering machines to pique their interest in stocks.

Michael J. O'Grady, who was the president of Georgia-based Telephone Broadcast Co. LLC, entered the plea to one count of obstruction of justice in U.S. District Court in Washington. He faces a likely prison sentence of 10 to 16 months and is cooperating in the investigation. Authorities say the scheme drove up the combined market value of six small company stocks by about $179 million in 26 days last summer.

Prosecutors said O'Grady altered, destroyed and concealed records and documents, and told a Telephone Broadcast employee to delete company computer files.

Retail

Duckwall-Alco to cut jobs in restructuring

Duckwall-Alco Stores Inc. has cut 46 corporate jobs as part of a restructuring, the company announced Monday.

"Our organization simply had too many layers of management," said Bruce Dale, president and chief executive officer. "We need a much leaner, more flexible organization if we're going to compete aggressively in our market category."

The cuts are expected to save $2.2 million, the company said.

The company announced in March that it would close 20 underperforming stores to liquidate about $6.5 million in inventory.

The company was founded at Abilene in 1901 by A. L. Duckwall, a general merchandiser. It now has 259 stores in 21 central states, operating under the Alco or Duckwall names.

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