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Weak trial witnesses hinder a more aggressive SEC

SECAs the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission seeks to become a more formidable force in the courtroom, a string of trial defeats in the past six months has exposed a weak spot: witness testimony.

In four of the five trials that the securities regulator recently lost, the jury or judge were not convinced by the witnesses brought in by SEC litigators, according to court transcripts, rulings and interviews with defense lawyers.

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JPMorgan whistleblower gets $63.9 million in mortgage fraud accord

JPMorganA whistleblower will be paid $63.9 million for providing tips that led to JPMorgan Chase & Co's agreement to pay $614 million and tighten oversight to resolve charges that it defrauded the government into insuring flawed home loans.

The payment to the whistleblower, Keith Edwards, was disclosed in a filing on Friday with the U.S. district court in Manhattan that formally ended the case.

In the February 4 settlement, JPMorgan admitted that for more than a decade it submitted thousands of mortgages for insurance by the Federal Housing Administration or the Department of Veterans Affairs that did not qualify for government guarantees.

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Staples closing up to 225 stores

Staples

Staples Inc (SPLS.O), the largest U.S. office supplies retailer, forecast another quarter of sales decline as it loses customers to mass market chains and e-retailers, and the company said it would close up to 225 stores in North America by 2015.

Staples' shares fell as much as 13 percent in early trading, after the company also forecast current-quarter profit below analysts' estimates and posted weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter results.

The closures represent up to 12 percent of the company's 1,846 stores in the United States and Canada.

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Radio Shack to close 1,100 stores

Rado ShackAfter reporting dismal fourth-quarter earnings, Radio Shack said Tuesday that it would close about 1,100 poorly performing stores, roughly 20% of the electronic retailer's locations.

The store closings will leave about 4,000 locations in the U.S. The company has been struggling to revamp its stores for the past year.

Total net sales and operating revenues were $935.4 million in the fourth quarter, vs. $1,171.4 million last year, a 20% decline. Comparable store sales were down 19%, which the company blames on poor performance in its mobile phone business.

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The shocking numbers behind corporate welfare

boeingState and local governments have awarded at least $110 billion in taxpayer subsidies to business, with 3 of every 4 dollars going to fewer than 1,000 big corporations, the most thorough analysis to date of corporate welfare revealed today.

Boeing ranks first, with 137 subsidies totaling $13.2 billion, followed by Alcoa at $5.6 billion, Intel at $3.9 billion, General Motors at $3.5 billion and Ford Motor at $2.5 billion, the new report by the nonprofit research organization Good Jobs First shows.

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Citigroup reports nearly $400m fraud in Mexico unit

Citigroup reports fraudCitigroup Inc (C.N) said on Friday that it has discovered at least $400 million in fraudulent loans in its Mexico subsidiary and said employees may have been in on the crime.

The bank wrote down bogus loans to a company whose assets Mexican law enforcement officials have now seized. Citigroup's 2013 profit fell by $235 million to $13.67 billion after the write-down. Citigroup Chief Executive Officer Michael Corbat called the incident a "despicable crime" and said the bank believes it was an isolated episode.

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Report: JPMorgan Chase to eliminate 8,000 jobs

JP Morgan chaseThe financial world took a jolt early Tuesday morning when the nation's biggest bank, JPMorgan Chase, announced plans to eliminate roughly 8,000 jobs as demand for refinancings drop, Bloomberg reports.

JPMorgan said in a presentation Tuesday that the jobs to be eliminated are in the bank's consumer and mortgage banking units, the report said.

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