The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which seized Cleveland's faltering AmTrust Bank late last year, is seeking more than a half-billion dollars from the failed thrift's corporate parent in a dispute the agency says is of "critical importance" to the nation's taxpayers.

The FDIC says AmTrust Financial Corp. owes it at least $518.6 million, according to a claim filed Thursday against the holding company in its bankruptcy case. That amount is equal to the gap between how much capital the bank was required to have and what it actually had on hand when it was seized by regulators.

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