Business news in brief

A man walks by an ad for Apple's iPad in Shanghai. Apple apologized to Chinese consumers after government media attacked its repair policies. "For concernsand misunder-standings passed on to the consumer, we express our sincere apologies," said CEO Tim Cook . EUGENE HOSHIKO / AP
A man walks by an ad for Apple's iPad in Shanghai. Apple apologized to Chinese consumers after government media attacked its repair policies. "For concernsand misunder-standings passed on to the consumer, we express our sincere apologies," said CEO Tim Cook . EUGENE HOSHIKO / AP
Posted: April 03, 2013

In the Region

Guilty pleas in Medicare fraud

Two brothers who operated a Feasterville ambulance company, MedEx Ambulance Inc., pleaded guilty to overcharging Medicare by $2.5 million for the transport of kidney patients to dialysis who could have gotten there safely by other means, United States Attorney Zane David Memeger announced. The brothers, Aleksandr N. Zagorodny and Sergey Zagorodny, pleaded guilty to all charges in a 41-count indictment charging them with health-care fraud, making false statements in connection with health-care matters, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit health-care fraud and wire fraud, the prosecutor's office said. Sentencing is scheduled for July 2. - Harold Brubaker

A challenge to health center closings

A labor union, five members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly, and five community health nurses sued Gov. Corbett and his administration in Commonwealth Court to block a plan to close 26 of the state's 60 public health centers operated by the Department of Health. The plan would eliminate 73 jobs, including 26 community health nurses, SEIU Healthcare PA, the labor union, said in a news release. The petitioners said the closures would violate the Pennsylvania Constitution and Pennsylvania law. Acting Secretary of Health Michael Wolf said he received the lawsuit but could not comment on it. He reiterated his support for consolidation. - Harold Brubaker

Flight attendants expand knife fight

The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA is leafleting at airports nationwide, including Philadelphia, urging passengers to support the effort to keep small knives out of the aircraft cabin. The leaflets encourage passengers to sign a petition to the White House and to call members of Congress to support legislation that would overturn the Transportation Safety Administration's decision to allow passengers to carry knives with blades of up to 2.36 inches, beginning April 25. The Coalition of Flight Attendant Unions, representing 90,000 employees, leafleted last week in Washington, Los Angeles, and Norfolk, Va. They are in other airports this week, including Chicago, Denver, Miami, New York LaGuardia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Boston. - Linda Loyd

Subaru recall to check brake lines

Subaru is recalling about 200,000 Legacy and Outback vehicles because the brake lines can rust and leak fluid. The recall affects cars from the 2005 through 2009 model years sold where salt is used to clear roads in the winter, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Subaru says in documents filed with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that salty water can cause the brake lines to rust and leak. If fluid leaks, it could take longer for drivers to stop the cars, increasing the risk of a crash. Cherry Hill-based Subaru of America Inc. said separately that its March sales were up 13 percent over a year ago, to 36,701 vehicles. - AP

Urban shares up on early results

Urban Outfitters Inc. stock climbed 3.8 percent, to $39.87, a day after the Philadelphia clothing and accessories company said it is off to a strong start over the fiscal first quarter's first two months. Late Monday, Urban said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that revenue at stores open at least a year has grown in the high single digits. The company's fiscal first quarter started Feb. 1. Analysts, on average, expect an 8.9 percent increase, according to FactSet. - AP

Company name change

Financial Transaction Services, a payment processor that said it recently moved to King of Prussia from Cleveland, Ohio, has changed its name to CardConnect. The private-equity-backed company, which employs 90, including 50 at the King of Prussia headquarters, said it processes $11.5 billion annually in transactions for clients. - Reid Kanaley


Biggest profit ever at Fannie Mae

Fannie Mae, the mortgage giant that nearly collapsed five years ago, has earned its biggest yearly profit ever. Fannie Mae earned $17.2 billion last year and said it expects to stay profitable for "the foreseeable future." Once symbols of the reckless risk-taking that fed the housing bubble, Fannie and the smaller firm Freddie Mac were seized by the government in 2008 after they were buried by bad mortgages. Taxpayers have spent $188 billion to rescue the two - collectively the costliest bailout of the financial crisis. - AP

Cyprus finance minister resigns

Cyprus' finance minister, Michalis Sarris, resigned after less than five weeks in the job, to make way for a government investigation into how the country's economy nearly collapsed last month. Sarris' resignation came as Cyprus finalized the details of its bailout with international creditors. Harris Georgiades, the former labor minister, will become the new head of finance. - AP

Eurozone unemployment hits record

The eurozone economy has passed another bleak milestone. Official figures showed that unemployment across the 17 European Union countries that use the euro has struck 12 percent for the first time since the currency was launched in 1999. Eurostat, the EU's statistics office, said the rate in February was unchanged at the record high after January's figure was revised up to 12 percent from 11.9 percent. - AP

Economic espionage charged

Hua Jun Zhao, 42, a Medical College of Wisconsin researcher, has been charged with economic espionage after he stole samples of a possible cancer-fighting compound and credited himself with its discovery in a grant application to study at Zhejiany University in China, federal prosecutors said. - AP

Competition heated for H-1B visas

The Homeland Security Department expects applications for 85,000 high-skilled H-1B immigration visas to outpace the available supply in a matter of days, meaning a likely lottery among companies competing for the much-sought-after work permits - a sign of continued economic recovery amid new hiring by U.S. technology companies. - AP

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