Prosecutors accuse timber company of deception in efforts to reverse forest fire settlement


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SACRAMENTO, California — Federal prosecutors in Sacramento accuse the state's largest timber company of deception in its efforts to reverse a $100 million settlement it agreed to pay over a wildfire that destroyed more than 100 square miles of forest in Northern California.

Court papers cited by the Sacramento Bee this week ( ) show the government contends Sierra Pacific Industries' efforts to overturn the settlement "lack integrity" and are based on false accusations. Prosecutors claim the company "only pretended to settle" the lawsuit it faced.

Officials have blamed the Shasta County company for the 2007 Moonlight Fire.

Last October, Sierra Pacific filed court papers accusing prosecutors of misconduct and unethical behavior in prosecuting the civil suit and said the settlement should be overturned because of "fraud upon the court."

Prosecutors rejected that claim.

Information from: The Sacramento Bee,

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