A $2.5 billion-asset Chicago bank said it is close to settling with the Department of Justice over allegations that the bank defrauded the student loan program.Corus Bankshares Inc. said in its fourth-quarter earnings release that it has reached "substantial agreement" on a proposed settlement with the Justice Department's Chicago office.

Under the proposal, Corus would pay restitution of $8.4 million - the government sought $63 million in damages and fines - and the Justice Department would not pursue civil or criminal prosecution of Corus employees in connection with the six-year-old investigation.

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