PracticeAccounting FirmsAndersen agrees $217m payout to Baptists

Andersen agrees $217m payout to Baptists

Arthur Andersen LLP has agreed to pay $217m (£148m)) to the Baptist Foundation of Arizona, in attempt to resolve all litigation brought against it.

In a statement, the splintered firm said the agreement was reached, ‘without admitting or denying any fault, in a way consistent with our firm’s plan to resolve this matter to the benefit of all parties’.

It also accused the BFA board of not heeding its warnings of problems in the foundation’s finances.

The deal still needs court approval, but Andersen said it hoped the payout would be accomplished through the ‘recapitalisation of its insurance carrier’.

‘After payment of plaintiff’s attorneys’ fees and reimbursement of $640,000 to the Arizona State Board of Accountancy for the cost of the investigation, the balance will be used to provide a significant recovery to investors,’ the firm said.

The Baptist Foundation of Arizona lost $570m, belonging to 13,000 mostly elderly investors, when it went bankrupt in 1999.

It was set up in 1948 as a non-profit religious body to raise money for Southern Baptist causes.

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