Economy Briefs

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MIAMI — A federal jury decided Wednesday that Toronto-based TD Bank owes an investment group $67 million for its role in a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme operated by a now disbarred attorney, Scott Rothstein.

The verdict came in a lawsuit filed by Coquina Investments, based in Corpus Christi, Texas. It was the first to go to trial of several pending lawsuits filed by wronged investors against the bank and others. Coquina attorney David S. Mandel said the jury “sent exactly the right message to TD Bank.”

Once a prominent South Florida attorney, Rothstein is serving a 50-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to running a massive scam involving investments in phony legal settlements that imploded in 2009. The 49-year-old lawyer has been cooperating extensively with federal prosecutors, and more people are expected to face criminal charges; seven besides Rothstein have already been charged.

The scheme was one of the largest frauds in South Florida history and triggered the failure of the once high-flying Fort Lauderdale law firm Rothstein Rosenfeldt Adler.

GREECE

Crucial debt talks resume

ATHENS — The Greek government resumed stalled talks with its private creditors in Athens on Wednesday in the hope of sealing a $128 billion debt relief deal needed to avoid a disastrous default this spring.

Charles Dallara, a top official at the Institute of International Finance, a global banking association, returned to Greece after negotiations stalled last week, and held a nearly three-hour meeting with Prime Minister Lucas Papademos and Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos.

“A very crucial meeting, that lasted several hours, has just finished at the prime minister’s office,” Mr. Venizelos told Parliament shortly afterward. “The meetings between the Greek government and the IIF have resumed and they will continue [Thursday].”

Earlier, he said the talks “are without a doubt at a very sensitive stage.”

The so-called private sector involvement, or PSI, deal is meant to write off half of the debt Greece owes private bondholders. Creditors would get most of the remaining debt in new bonds with extended repayment periods, as well as a cash payment.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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