Corporations & securities brief ~ Martha Stewart asks company to reimburse legal bills

[JURIST] In Wednesday's corporations and securities law news, Martha Stewart Omnimedia Inc. announced Martha Stewart has asked the company to reimburse her for $3.7 million in legal bills. Stewart, who is currently appealing her conviction for lying to investigators about a stock sale, is serving five-month prison sentence in West Virginia. Paper Chase has continuing coverage of the Martha Stewart trial. AP has more.

In other news, jurors indicated the Nigerian barge deal cost Enron and its shareholders $13.7 million which could raise the prison terms of the five men convicted last week in the first Enron criminal trial. Paper Chase has continuing coverage of the Enron trials. The Houston Chronicle has more and continuing coverage of the barge trial.... Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. announced the SEC has began an informal inquiry into some of the pharmaceutical company's German units. The inquiry, which may encompass matters under investigation by a prosecutor in Munich, concerns violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and/or German law. Bristol announced the investigation in its SEC filing. AP has more.... A class-action suit has been filed against Bank of America Corp. (BofA) over FleetBoston Financial Corp.'s cash retirement plan. BofA bought FleetBoston last year. The suit alleges FleetBoston violated the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and reduced the rate of benefit accruals based on age without informing participants of the correct amount of their pensions. Triangle Business Journal has more.... SunTrust Banks Inc. announced the firing of its chief credit officer and two other executives after finding numerous errors in determining how much to set aside for bad loans in the first half of this year. Read the SunTrust press release here. Bloomberg has more.... Northrop Grumman and Boeing Co. announced the companies are teaming up to design a replacement for the space shuttle fleet. Read the Northrop Grumman press release here. Florida Today has more.... Casino operator MGM Mirage announced plans for a $4 billion casino and condominium development on the Las Vegas Strip. The development would be one of the largest private real estate projects in America. Read the MGM Mirage press release here. Reuters has more.

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