S&L Crooks

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U.S. District court Judge Lynn Hughes has ordered the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to pay financier Charles Hurwitz $72 million in legal fees in a case involving a failed savings & loan and the government's attempt to gain 3,500 acres of redwoods controlled by Hurwitz. Calling the FDIC a "corrupt agency with corrupt influences on it," the judge said the government had filed the case in 1995 against Hurwitz, under pressure from environmental groups and the Clinton administration, to force him into a debt-for-nature swap that would give the government the land in return for Hurwitz's supposed liability in the S&L failure. The government dropped the case in 2002 after a series of legal setbacks.