Phoenix (March 4, 2002) - Big Five firm Andersen, which is frantically attempting to hammer out a settlement in the Enron debacle, has agreed to pay $217 million to settle shareholder suits stemming from its audits of the Baptist Foundation of Arizona.

Andersen had served as auditor to the nonprofit concern, which filed for bankruptcy in November 1999, a result of both current and former foundation executives perpetuating a Ponzi scheme that masked losses through a series of shell companies. The result was some $600 million in investor losses.

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