Indiana judge approves settlement in Simon's estate

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A central Indiana judge has approved a settlement in the estate of billionaire shopping mall magnate Melvin Simon nearly three years after it was challenged by his daughter.

Deborah Simon filed a lawsuit in January 2010 accusing her stepmother, Bren Simon, of taking advantage of her father's "weakened and susceptible state" to increase her share of the inheritance.

The Indianapolis Business Journal reports Hamilton County Superior Court Judge William Hughes approved of the agreement Wednesday, calling it "just and reasonable." The judge agreed to close the hearing and to keep the terms of the settlement under seal because some of the financial terms involve the estate's holdings in publicly traded Simon Property Group Inc.

The estate is believed to be worth about $2 billion.

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