Fidelity Refutes Claims That It Violated Disclosure Regulations; A New York Times Story Says the Company Failed to Disclose Losses

By Basch, Mark | The Florida Times Union, January 8, 2010 | Go to article overview
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Fidelity Refutes Claims That It Violated Disclosure Regulations; A New York Times Story Says the Company Failed to Disclose Losses


Basch, Mark, The Florida Times Union


Byline: MARK BASCH

Fidelity National Financial Inc. denied Thursday assertions in a New York Times story that the Jacksonville-based title insurance company violated disclosure regulations for public companies.

The Times story published Thursday said Fidelity has been dealing with numerous lawsuits from a mortgage fraud scheme in San Diego. The lawsuits allege that employees of Fidelity subsidiaries assisted Southern California financial planner Rollo Norton II in fraudulently obtaining loans for a condominium project.

The newspaper story's main contention is that Fidelity did not properly disclose potential losses from those lawsuits in its Securities and Exchange Commission filings after Norton pleaded guilty to charges related to the fraud scheme in August 2007. That would mean the company's shareholders were left in the dark about losses that could impact Fidelity's finances.

Fidelity said in a news release Thursday that the company "emphatically refutes the significant inaccuracies" in the story and said its "SEC disclosure complied with all applicable laws and regulations."

The article said Fidelity did not disclose losses from those lawsuits until its third quarter financial report issued in October 2009. But Fidelity, which said it is "not required under any law" to disclose specific information about the claims, said it did give some information on potential losses from them in early 2008.

Fidelity's first quarter 2008 report filed with the SEC did not specify the case involved, but it did say that Fidelity's cash flow was affected by $51.

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