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401(k) unit slapped for fund lapses

An ING Group unit that administers 401(k) retirement plans has agreed to pay $5.8 million to settle allegations it didn’t tell clients that it would pocket market gains on trades that were delayed.

ING Life Insurance & Annuity Co., a Windsor, Conn., unit of the largest Dutch financial-services company, will pay $5.25 million to about 1,400 retirement savings plans and a penalty of $524,509 to the U.S. government, according to a settlement disclosed Monday by the Labor Department.

The accord represents the amount ING will pay plans for net gains it retained when there were errors or delays in processing a trade or redemption from a 401(k) account. If the transaction resulted in a loss from the time of the request, ING restored money to the account, the Labor Department said.

“Our long-standing policy has been to put customers in the position they would have been in had a processing error never occurred,” said Joe Loparco, a spokesman for Amsterdam-based ING.

Occupancy, rents lift Simon Property

Shopping mall operator Simon Property Group said Monday that a key measure of profitability climbed in its fourth quarter as occupancy improved and rents increased.

The company said Monday that its revenue from operations rose to $827.4 million, or $2.29 a share. That compares with $678.9 million, or $1.91 a share, a year earlier.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected revenue of $2.17 a share.

The index adds items like amortization and depreciation back to net income and is considered a key to understanding the ongoing business of a real estate investment trust like Simon.

Minimum rent per square foot climbed 3.4 percent to $40.73.

Jury selection set for ex-Marsh CEO’s trial

The former CEO of Marsh Supermarkets is heading to court to face allegations he used the company as his “personal checkbook” to fund expensive overseas vacations.

The supermarket chain with about 100 stores in Indiana and Ohio has sued Don Marsh, accusing him of defrauding it of millions of dollars to finance extravagant trips and to buy expensive gifts for friends and family.

WISH-TV reported that Don Marsh calls the company’s lawsuit an effort to tarnish his reputation.

Jury selection was scheduled to begin Monday in federal court in Indianapolis.

S&P expects lawsuit over mortgage ratings

The government is expected to file civil charges against Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, alleging that it fraudulently gave high ratings to mortgage debt that later plunged in value and helped fuel the 2008 financial crisis.

The charges would mark the first enforcement action the government has taken against a major rating agency involving the financial crisis.

McDonald’s unveils a new Happy Meal

McDonald’s says it is offering its first new Happy Meal entrée in a decade: Fish McBites.

The world’s biggest hamburger chain said the Fish McBites will be widely available at U.S. restaurants starting this week through March, to coincide with Lent. The Happy Meals will come with seven pieces of Fish McBites, French fries, apple slices and a drink.