The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. tentatively has settled two lawsuits filed against the agency by William A. Brandt Jr., trustee for defunct Southeast Banking Corp. in Miami.
Details of the settlement were not released, but Mr. Brandt said creditors will receive up to $160 million. Other sources, however, said the actual figure will be closer to $80 million.
The government in 1991 seized two Florida banks owned by Southeast. Mr. Brandt-a controversial Democratic Party fund-raiser and now president of Mercury Finance Co.-later sued the FDIC, trying to recover $300 million left over from the sale of Southeast's assets.
FDIC lawyers argued that the agency was due interest payments that amounted to most of the surplus.
One of the suits was scheduled to go to trial today, but a postponement will be sought pending approval of the settlement by the FDIC board and federal bankruptcy court in Miami. Mr. Brandt said he expects those approvals by the end of September.
"This failure will end up not having cost the government a dime, nor will it have cost the creditors of the bank or the holding company any of their principal," Mr. Brandt said.
FDIC officials declined to discuss the case in depth, but they confirmed the tentative settlement.
In 1994, Mr. Brandt wrested $152 million from the FDIC for debts owed to Southeast. But he lost a 1994 lawsuit accusing First Union Corp. of using confidential financial information to persuade regulators to close Southeast's banks.