CHICAGO - Former Bear, Stearns & Co. public finance banker P. Nicholas Hurtgen faces a March trial on federal charges that he participated in an extortion scheme involving a Chicago-area hospital as it sought Illinois regulatory approval to build a new facility.

At a status hearing yesterday in Chicago, U.S. District Court Senior Judge John F. Grady set another hearing for next month on various motions ahead of the March 9 start of the trial. Hurtgen remains the lone holdout among four individuals charged in the case, as the others have pled guilty and are cooperating with the government.

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