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Fidelity to pay regulators $365K

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Fidelity National Title Co. has agreed to pay $365,000 in penalties and reimbursement to California regulators to settle allegations that the company's Orange County office provided printing, gifts, travel and entertainment to Realtors and lenders in a position to refer the company business. The California Department of Insurance announced the Feb. 17 agreement Monday, saying it related to illegal rebating activities that allegedly took place from 2000-02. The department said it opened an investigation in September 2002. Fidelity stipulated that it was waiving its right to a hearing in the matter without admitting liability or wrongdoing "to avoid the expense, uncertainty and distractions of litigation." Fidelity will pay a $345,000 penalty in three installments, plus $20,000 to reimburse the state for attorneys' fees and costs. In a press release, Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner said Fidelity had "brought the questionable practices to a halt" and s...