Bank Leumi signs plea deal, to pay fine

JERUSALEM Sun Jan 20, 2008 11:27am EST

JERUSALEM Jan 20 (Reuters) - Bank Leumi (LUMI.TA) signed a plea bargain agreement on Sunday to put an end to a year-long case over allegations that employees at the bank and some of its units breached the country's Joint Investment Trust Law.

Leumi said in a statement that under the deal, Leumi and its units will pay a fine totalling 25 million shekels ($6.6 million), to be divided between the bank and units. The bank and subsidiaries admitted to the facts in an amended indictment, it said.

Last March, Leumi and its Leumi Pia mutual fund and Psagot Ofek brokerage units were hit with an indictment that employees offered rewards to investment advisers who marketed Leumi mutual funds.

Leumi, which has sold Psagot Ofek and Leumi Pia, maintained that executives and advisors acted in the best interests of its clients.

A ruling by a Tel Aviv court on the plea deal was expected on Jan. 24, Leumi said.

(Reporting by Steven Scheer, editing by Elizabeth Fullerton)

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