PacifiCare Health Systems Inc., Santa Ana, Calif., has reached an agreement with the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the U.S. Department of Justice and a private individual to settle disputes and a qui tam lawsuit under the False Claims Act regarding allegations of premium adjustments for the period 1990 through 1997, primarily related to contracts held by FHP International Corp. (FHP) health plans prior to PacifiCare's acquisition of FHP in 1997.The settlement, for which the company is fully reserved, requires PacifiCare to pay $88 million ($68 million upfront; $10 million in six months; and $10 million in 12 months, all inclusive of interest). In return, PacifiCare will receive payments from OPM amounting to about $15 million.

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Three units of John Hancock Financial Services Inc. have filed a class-action lawsuit against 27 officers and directors of Enron Corp. and against Arthur Andersen, seeking to recoup losses on $215 million in Enron investments.

The suit, filed April 11 in U.S. District Court in Houston, alleges that Hancock made the investments based on false and misleading information provided by Enron and endorsed by its auditors.

"We are alleging that Enron's officers and directors were directly complicit in the fraud perpetrated against us," Hancock chief executive David D'Alessandro said. "We have a fiduciary responsibility to our shareholders and intend to pursue this action very aggressively."

John Hancock filed its suit as a class action that could include other investors who bought nonpublicly traded Enron securities between Oct. 19, 1998, and Nov. 27, 2001. The insurer named its own units, Investors Partner Life Insurance Co., John Hancock Life Insurance Co., and John Hancock Variable Life Insurance Co., as lead plaintiffs.

The suit comes on the heels of a large fourth-quarter write-down. The company's quarterly net income plunged 55% from the same period a year ago, as it recognized losses on $98 million in underwater investments, most of them Enron bonds. Hancock said in its complaint that Enron had presented itself as a healthy company when Hancock purchased its bonds.

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