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March 4, 2011 > Court OKs $624M payout to Countrywide investors

Court OKs $624M payout to Countrywide investors

By Alex Veiga, AP Real Estate Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP), Feb 25 - Officials representing several New York public pension funds say a federal judge has cleared the way for a $624 million settlement in a legal dispute brought by the funds on behalf of shareholders against fallen mortgage giant Countrywide Financial Corp.

The New York State Common Retirement Fund and five New York City public pension funds said Friday U.S. District Judge Mariana Pfaelzer in Los Angeles approved the settlement, a version of which had originally been hammered out last spring.

But some 33 large institutional shareholders, including the California Public Employees' Retirement System, have announced they were opting out of the settlement to pursue claims against Countrywide on their own.

Some $22.5 million of the settlement was set aside for up to two years toward future claims against Countrywide.

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