From Times Staff and Wire Reports

Settlement Reached in Towers Fraud Case: Steven Hoffenberg, who headed Towers Financial Corp., agreed to pay more than $516.5 million to settle fraud charges brought by securities regulators and a bankruptcy trustee. The Securities and Exchange Commission alleged that Hoffenberg cheated thousands of people out of about $500 million between 1987 and 1993 by misrepresenting the financial condition of the company. The SEC alleged the company sold bonds and notes based on receivables that had been greatly overvalued and, in some cases, were pure fiction. Hoffenberg is to pay the SEC about $60 million, half of it for the bankruptcy payout to investors. He has admitted no wrongdoing.

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