Massachusetts business in brief

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

Former EMD Serono director sentenced

BOSTON – A former medical director at EMD Serono was sentenced to pay $150,000 and to serve one year on probation after she pleaded guilty to charges related to distributing devices aimed at boosting sales of Serostim, a Serono drug used to treat AIDS wasting.

Dr. Norma Muurahainen, 56, of Hull, was sentenced on Wednesday in Boston federal court for three misdemeanor counts of disseminating adulterated computer software devices. Federal prosecutors said she distributed software to diagnose AIDS wasting before the devices received the necessary FDA approvals. Muurahainen was the medical director at Serono, which was known as Serono Laboratories at the time, in Rockland from 1997 to 2002.

Serono in 2005 agreed to pay $704 million to resolve charges that it used illegal measures to prop up sales of Serostim.

Ruling favors Entergy license extension

PLYMOUTH – A federal regulatory board issued a ruling that favors Entergy Corp.’s effort to extend the license of its Pilgrim nuclear power plant in Plymouth from 2012 to 2032. Pilgrim Watch, a local activist organization, had challenged the license renewal, saying Entergy had faulty plans to maintain certain underground pipes because the plans don’t include underground wells. But an Atomic Safety and Licensing Board ruling on Thursday stated that Entergy provided reasonable assurances that the pipes will be adequately managed during the proposed license renewal period.

NYC brokerage settles with SEC

BOSTON – Lazard Capital Markets has agreed to pay about $2.8 million to settle Securities and Exchange Commission charges that the New York-based brokerage failed to properly oversee personnel who provided lucrative gifts to a former stock trader at Boston-based Fidelity Investments.

The SEC alleges the former head of Lazard’s U.S. sales and trading department, David Tashjian, and former Lazard reps Robert Ward and W. Daniel Williams helped former Fidelity trader Thomas Bruderman violate securities laws by taking him on trips to Europe, the Caribbean and Florida, and paying for his meals and lodging at high-end hotels. The SEC also says Lazard employees provided Bruderman with racecar driving lessons and contributed $50,000 toward an elaborate bachelor party.

The Lazard employees, along with a fourth executive, also settled individually with the SEC, agreeing to collectively pay a total of $210,000 and agree to short-term suspensions from the brokerage industry.

No changes yet after merger of Delta, Northeast

Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines have merged, but travelers won’t see big changes for a while. Atlanta-based Delta said in the near future, Delta and Northwest will keep separate check-in desks, reservation systems and Web sites. The airlines will be integrated under the Delta brand name during the next two years. The airlines’ loyalty programs – SkyMiles and WorldPerks – will be combined.

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