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Moores, Cronies to Pay about $55 Million in Peregrine Settlement

Although all the details are not final, there is an agreement for John Moores and former board members and officers of fraud-tainted Peregrine Systems to pay roughly $55 million to victims of the swindle. The agreement was hammered out today (Oct. 16) by lawyers representing both sides. The deal will be submitted to federal judge Roger Benitez Monday for final action. "Everything is now approved," says San Diegan Richard Kipperman, who was appointed successor litigation trustee after an internal battle among attorneys pressing the case.

Moores was chairman of Peregrine with an office in the building. He had paid a mere 33 to 59 cents a share for his stock. He dumped $487 million of it during the actual fraud period, and about $650 million, almost all he controlled, through the history of the company. Several executives of the company were convicted criminally for their role in the fraud. Moores was never charged, and a judge in the criminal cases wouldn't let defense lawyers bring up Moores's windfall. Civil suits showed clearly that the board, including Moores, had been told of accounting and other irregularities by the chief executive, but one San Diego judge after another, including Benitez, let the board members, particularly Moores, off the hook. In one instance, the company's lawyer warned board members not to sell their stock, because they knew of an upcoming acquisition that might knock the shares down. Nonetheless, Moores dumped massively prior to the acquisition announcement. "The pigs are at the trough," said the attorney. Moores got away with it. He put some of the proceeds of his Peregrine stock sales into the Padres ballpark, subsidized by the City for more than $300 million. Moores is said to have made up to a billion dollars on land deals tied to ballpark district real estate that he got for a lowball price. He denies he raked in that much. He has now taken his winnings to Texas, after slashing the payroll of the Padres.

When it was evident that Peregrine would fall in disgrace, Moores brought in his personal attorney, Charles La Bella, who quarterbacked a study by the law firm of Latham & Watkins. To no one's surprise, it vindicated Moores and the board. The lawyer for the Securities and Exchange Commission bought into that Latham & Watkins study. Shortly, he went to work for Latham & Watkins.

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Although all the details are not final, there is an agreement for John Moores and former board members and officers of fraud-tainted Peregrine Systems to pay roughly $55 million to victims of the swindle. The agreement was hammered out today (Oct. 16) by lawyers representing both sides. The deal will be submitted to federal judge Roger Benitez Monday for final action. "Everything is now approved," says San Diegan Richard Kipperman, who was appointed successor litigation trustee after an internal battle among attorneys pressing the case.

Moores was chairman of Peregrine with an office in the building. He had paid a mere 33 to 59 cents a share for his stock. He dumped $487 million of it during the actual fraud period, and about $650 million, almost all he controlled, through the history of the company. Several executives of the company were convicted criminally for their role in the fraud. Moores was never charged, and a judge in the criminal cases wouldn't let defense lawyers bring up Moores's windfall. Civil suits showed clearly that the board, including Moores, had been told of accounting and other irregularities by the chief executive, but one San Diego judge after another, including Benitez, let the board members, particularly Moores, off the hook. In one instance, the company's lawyer warned board members not to sell their stock, because they knew of an upcoming acquisition that might knock the shares down. Nonetheless, Moores dumped massively prior to the acquisition announcement. "The pigs are at the trough," said the attorney. Moores got away with it. He put some of the proceeds of his Peregrine stock sales into the Padres ballpark, subsidized by the City for more than $300 million. Moores is said to have made up to a billion dollars on land deals tied to ballpark district real estate that he got for a lowball price. He denies he raked in that much. He has now taken his winnings to Texas, after slashing the payroll of the Padres.

When it was evident that Peregrine would fall in disgrace, Moores brought in his personal attorney, Charles La Bella, who quarterbacked a study by the law firm of Latham & Watkins. To no one's surprise, it vindicated Moores and the board. The lawyer for the Securities and Exchange Commission bought into that Latham & Watkins study. Shortly, he went to work for Latham & Watkins.

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