BUSINESS DIGEST

The Baltimore Sun

Independence Federal, Colombo banks to join

Independence Federal Savings Bank said yesterday that it has agreed to merge with Colombo Bancshares Inc., parent of Rockville-based Colombo Bank, a federal savings bank with branches in Baltimore, Bethesda, Rockville and Silver Spring. Colombo Bank will be merged into Independence Federal, which has two branches in Maryland and two in Washington. The transaction is expected to be completed by the end of the second quarter.

Lorraine Mirabella

Regulator calls for halt to foreclosures

WASHINGTON : The Office of Thrift Supervision called yesterday for the mortgage lenders it regulates to halt foreclosures until the Obama administration unveils a program to help struggling homeowners. OTS regulates more than 800 savings and loans across the country.

The Washington Post

Madoff's wife withdrew over $15 million

BOSTON : The wife of disgraced money manager Bernard Madoff withdrew more than $15 million from a firm co-owned by her husband - including $10 million on the day their children turned her husband over to authorities for overseeing an alleged $50 billion Ponzi scheme, the top securities regulator in Massachusetts said yesterday. Secretary of State William Galvin said Ruth Madoff, 67, withdrew $5.5 million Nov. 25 and $10 million Dec. 10.

Associated Press

FBI counterterror may shift to anti-fraud

WASHINGTON : With thousands of fraud investigations under way, the FBI is considering shifting agents away from counterterrorism work to help sort through the wreckage of the financial meltdown. FBI Deputy Director John Pistole told the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday that his investigators have 530 active corporate fraud investigations, 38 of which involve some of the biggest names in corporate finance.

Associated Press

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