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Briefs

SEC files in Goldman fraud case

Depicting moment-to-moment detail, the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday laid out civil fraud charges linking a former Goldman Sachs board member to the biggest hedge fund insider-trading case ever.

It’s a portrait of corporate board meetings leading to secret phone calls, to stock-trading orders and finally to huge illicit profits made within hours.

The SEC charged Rajat Gupta, who has also served on the boards of Procter & Gamble and the parent company for American Airlines. Gupta was a guest at President Obama’s first state dinner.

But at the height of the financial crisis, Gupta passed along privileged financial information from Goldman that helped enrich the target of the government’s sweeping probe, the SEC alleges.

Gupta’s attorney, Gary Naftalis, called the allegations “totally baseless.”

Indiana boosts rank in ‘site’ magazine

Indiana ranked ninth among states for the number of new economic development projects in 2010, according to the Governor’s Cup awards Site Selection magazine released Tuesday.

The Indiana Economic Development Corp., which issued a news release on the recognition, said Indiana’s ranking is up one spot from 10th place last year.

Indianapolis ranked ninth for major metropolitan areas.

Micropolitan areas (less than 50,000 in population) in Indiana which ranked among the top 100 in the country included Huntington, which tied with 15 other communities for 25th, and Angola, which tied with more than 30 other communities, for 41st.

Governor’s Cup winners are selected based on the number of new corporate location projects in each state and metropolitan area that meet at least one of three criteria: involve a capital investment of at least $1 million; create at least 50 new jobs; or add at least 20,000 square feet of new floor area.

Competition cuts airfare hike in half

The most recent fare hike by U.S. airlines has been cut in half by pressure from discount carriers.

Last week the big network carriers including United, Continental, Delta and American raised many domestic fares by $20 a round trip. By Monday afternoon, the increase had been cut to $10.

The airlines have already attempted five broad-based price increases this year, with most of them sticking. They have also twice imposed bigger increases – up to $60 a round trip – on high-priced tickets favored by business travelers. A third attempt to raise business fares failed.

Rick Seaney, CEO of website FareCompare.com, said the most recent rollback occurred after low-fare airlines Southwest, JetBlue, AirTran and Frontier began raising fares only half as much as the larger carriers.

Feds will allow AOL, Huffington Post deal

Federal officials do not intend to challenge AOL Inc.’s plans to buy online news hub Huffington Post, after concluding that the deal does not raise significant antitrust concerns.

The $315 million acquisition, announced last month, is part of America Online’s attempt to rebuild itself as its legacy dial-up Internet business fades away. The Federal Trade Commission disclosed Tuesday that regulators at the FTC and Justice Department don’t plan to block the purchase.

It is expected to close later this year.

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