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Gender: Male
Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
Home country: United States
Current location: Bryan, Texas
Member since: Sun Aug 14, 2011, 03:57 AM
Number of posts: 87,074

About Me

Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Most Dunleavy budget cuts face legal, political obstacles

A series of political and legal obstacles could prevent most of Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s budget cut proposals from happening this year.

Lawmakers are opposed to key portions of his plan. An action the Legislature took regarding school funds last year — and the challenge of cutting Medicaid costs — also may stop much of Dunleavy’s plan.

Dunleavy’s budget relies on a few major strategies. As the legislative session has unfolded, the strategies intended to do the most to close the budget increasingly appear to be unachievable.

Dunleavy proposed a $299 million reduction in school funding. It’s nearly one-fifth of his plan to close the budget gap.

Read more: https://www.alaskapublic.org/2019/03/29/most-dunleavy-budget-cuts-face-legal-political-obstacles/

Judge blocks Trump administration move to undo Obama ban on Arctic oil leasing

A judge has ruled in favor of environmental groups in their effort to block the Trump administration’s push to re-open large portions of Arctic waters to oil drilling.

U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Gleason, in an opinion released late Friday, said President Donald Trump exceeded his authority by issuing an executive order in 2017 that reopened large parts of the Beaufort and Chukchi seas to offshore oil leasing. Former President Barack Obama had protected those areas from development in his second term.

The decision once again puts the vast majority of the Arctic Ocean and parts of the Atlantic off-limits to oil development. The Interior Department had been moving forward with an effort to hold oil lease sales in the Arctic Ocean as soon as this year.

The Trump administration can appeal the decision.

The lawsuit hinged on a single line in the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, which governs offshore leasing: “The President of the United States may, from time to time, withdraw from disposition any of the unleased lands of the outer Continental Shelf.”

Read more: https://www.alaskapublic.org/2019/03/29/judge-blocks-trump-administration-move-to-undo-obama-ban-on-arctic-oil-leasing/

Fresenius Medical Care Agrees to Pay $231 Million in Criminal Penalties and Disgorgement to Resolve

Fresenius Medical Care Agrees to Pay $231 Million in Criminal Penalties and Disgorgement to Resolve Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Charges

Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA (Fresenius), a German-based provider of medical products and services, has agreed to pay approximately $231 million to resolve investigations by the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) into violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in connection with Fresenius’s participation in various corrupt schemes to obtain business in multiple foreign countries.

Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling of the District of Massachusetts, Assistant Director Robert Johnson of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division and Special Agent in Charge Joseph R. Bonavolonta of the FBI Boston Field Division made the announcement.

According to Fresenius’s admissions in connection with the resolution, between 2007 and 2016, Fresenius paid bribes to publicly employed health and/or government officials to obtain or retain business in Angola and Saudi Arabia. In Angola and Saudi Arabia, as well as in Morocco, Spain, Turkey and countries in West Africa, Fresenius knowingly and willfully failed to implement reasonable internal accounting controls over financial transactions and failed to maintain books and records that accurately and fairly reflected the transactions, the company admitted.

“Fresenius doled out millions of dollars in bribes across the globe to gain a competitive advantage in the medical services industry, profiting to the tune of over $140 million,” said Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski. “Today’s resolution, under which Fresenius has agreed to retain an independent compliance monitor for at least two years, reflects the Department’s firm commitment to both rooting out bribery and promoting the kind of effective corporate compliance programs that will prevent misconduct going forward.”

Read more: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/fresenius-medical-care-agrees-pay-231-million-criminal-penalties-and-disgorgement-resolve

Edmond Man Pleads Guilty to Embezzling over $750,000 and Tax Fraud

OKLAHOMA CITY – ODIS AUBREY KING, 74, of Edmond, has pleaded guilty to embezzling over $750,000 from his employer and filing a false federal income tax return, announced Robert J. Troester of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

According to federal charges filed on February 15, 2019, King worked as an accountant from 2002 until August 2017 for a company in Oklahoma City that sold pipe handling tools for drilling rigs. He was responsible for preparing checks drawn on the company’s bank account and recording those payments in the company’s check register. From July 2009 to July 2017, King forged the owner’s signature on over 200 company checks without the company’s permission or knowledge. He made the checks payable to himself and disguised the payments in the check register as legitimate business expenses. In total, King deposited approximately $755,000 into his personal bank account using forged company checks. He also did not report the embezzled funds as income on his federal income tax returns.

On March 28, King pleaded guilty to a single count of making and possessing a forged check written in October 2015, as well as a single count of filing a materially false federal income tax return covering calendar year 2014.

Sentencing will take into account the full scope of King’s embezzlement and tax fraud. He faces a sentence of up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 on the embezzlement count. He also faces a sentence of up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000 for filing a false federal income tax return. Sentencing will take place in approximately 90 days.

Read more: https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdok/pr/edmond-man-pleads-guilty-embezzling-over-750000-and-tax-fraud

Man Sentenced to Prison for $1.8 Million in Real Estate Fraud Scheme

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Culpepper man was sentenced today to nine years in prison for operating a Ponzi scheme that took in approximately $9 million and defrauded over 20 victims of $1.8 million.

According to court documents, from 2014 through 2018, Brian Thomas Sapp, 38, formerly of Alexandria, committed wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in executing the scheme. Sapp preyed on his closest friends and their families, many of whom described Sapp as a “best friend” and “like a brother.” He caused financial hardship to many victims, including those with special needs children.

To execute the scheme, Sapp set up Novus Properties, claiming he had identified distressed single family homes in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, which he would purchase and then resell to guaranteed buyers. All he needed was investor funds to finance the property flips. On hundreds of occasions, Sapp fabricated a sophisticated set of interlocking purchase, sale, guarantee, and HUD-1 settlement documents to induce victims to part with money. He stole real identities of sellers and buyers and digitally forged their signatures hundreds of times. Sapp bragged that he was “killing it” and “dominating the market.” In reality, he never closed a single deal.

Instead, Sapp used investor money to fund a lavish lifestyle, including golf trips, meals out, and attending wealth-building seminars. Sapp spent $80,000 to purchase and customize a Mercedes van that he outfitted with special rooftop satellite TV antennas and flat screen TVs. Sapp loaded the van with professional grilling equipment, tents, food and beverage service stations, and other amenities so that he could host elaborate tailgating parties at Penn State football games, where he ate and drank with his victims at their expense, unbeknownst to them at the time.

Read more: https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/pr/man-sentenced-prison-18-million-real-estate-fraud-scheme

Owner of Former Springfield Medical Supply Business Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for Medicaid

Owner of Former Springfield Medical Supply Business Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for Medicaid Fraud

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A former Springfield, Ill., man whose business supplied incontinence products to Medicaid recipients, Kevin W. Schaul, was sentenced today for defrauding Illinois’ Medicaid program. U.S. District Judge Sue E. Myerscough ordered that Schaul, 53, currently of Augusta, Mo., serve 24 months in federal prison and pay restitution in the amount of $582,844. Schaul’s prison term will be followed by a three-year term of supervised release, with the first six months as home confinement. Schaul was ordered to report to serve his prison term on a date to be determined by the federal Bureau of Prisons.

On Aug. 30, 2018, Schaul pleaded guilty to five counts of health care fraud related to his business, Childrite Medical Supply, Inc., which he operated from a residence at 201 N. Natchez Trace, in Springfield, Ill. Childrite supplied incontinence products, such as diapers, pull-ups and underpads, to Medicaid recipients, specifically to special-needs adults and children. Medicaid paid Childrite approximately $2.3 million based on submitted claims. The Childrite corporation was involuntarily dissolved in October 2014.

Schaul admitted that from August 2009 through at least September 2013, he repeatedly submitted and caused false claims to be submitted to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services for delivery of incontinence products. The false claims represented that products had been delivered to Medicaid recipients when no products were delivered or were not delivered in the amount claimed. Schaul used the fraudulent Medicaid payments for his personal use, including for clothing, food, entertainment, fuel, travel, mortgage payments and payments to a family member.

The charges were investigated by the Illinois State Police Medicaid Fraud Control Bureau and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General. The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Office of Inspector General provided assistance in the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Timothy A. Bass prosecuted the case.

Read more: https://www.justice.gov/usao-cdil/pr/owner-former-springfield-medical-supply-business-sentenced-two-years-prison-medicaid

Credit Union Manager Who Allegedly Embezzled $40M from His Employer Faces Bank Fraud, Identity Theft

Credit Union Manager Who Allegedly Embezzled $40 Million from His Employer Faces Bank Fraud, Identity Theft Charges

LOS ANGELES – A long-time manager at CBS Employees Federal Credit Union is in federal custody on a criminal complaint alleging he embezzled $40 million from his employer over two decades and spent the money on gambling, expensive cars and watches, and travel by private jet.

Edward Martin Rostohar, 62, of Studio City, has been charged with two felony counts: bank fraud and aggravated identity theft. He was arrested on March 12 and has been ordered detained as both a flight risk and an economic danger to the community. Rostohar’s arraignment is scheduled for April 18.

The charges against Rostohar were made in conjunction with today’s announcement by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), a federal agency that regulates credit unions, that it has liquidated CBS Employees Federal Credit Union and discontinued its operations after determining CBS Employees was insolvent with no prospect of restoring viable operations on its own. University Credit Union, located in Westwood, immediately assumed CBS Employees’ assets, loans, and all member shares.

According to an affidavit filed with the criminal complaint, beginning before 2000 and continuing until this month, Rostohar used his position as a manager at the credit union, a federally insured financial institution, to make online payments from the credit union to himself or by forging the signature of another credit union employee on checks made payable to himself.

Read more: https://www.justice.gov/usao-cdca/pr/credit-union-manager-who-allegedly-embezzled-40-million-his-employer-faces-bank-fraud

Tech layoffs to top 1,000 in Bay Area by late May, state reports show

Tech and web-based companies intend to cut well over 1,000 jobs in the Bay Area between now and Memorial Day, according to new official filings with state labor officials.

SAP, Oracle America, PayPal, Instacart and Thin Film Electronics are among the technology companies that have alerted the state’s Employment Development Department of their intentions to reduce staffing levels.

All told, about 1,200 jobs will be lost through the employment reductions being planned by the five companies, WARN notices filed with the state EDD show.

According to the filing, SAP will eliminate 446 jobs — 179 in Palo Alto, 173 in San Ramon and 94 in South San Francisco.

Read more: https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/03/27/tech-layoffs-to-top-1000-in-bay-area-by-late-may-state-reports-show/

Employers hope to recruit more Samoans

The horticulture sector in New Zealand is faced with a shortage of labour and employers have asked theNew Zealand Government to lift the cap and increase the number of Recognised Seasonal Employers workers.

Perrys Berrys Limited, one of the biggest strawberry growers in Auckland, New Zealand, is no different, says owner Francie Perry.

She is in Samoa with her partner, Larry Coombes, to meet immigration officials and discuss ways to potentially increase the number of Samoans going to New Zealand to work for them.

"The problem I think is fair to say is the New Zealand Government. Because, not only in the strawberry business, but in the whole horticulture business right across the country, there's a tremendous short of people," Larry said.

Read more: https://www.samoaobserver.ws/category/samoa/39528

As the Democratic field grows, Stacey Abrams weighs a presidential race

Stacey Abrams, who narrowly lost her bid to become governor of Georgia last fall, has a series of decisions to make. Should she run for the Senate in 2020? Should she wait until 2022 to run again for governor? Or, audaciously, should she join the crowded field of candidates seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination?

Losing campaigns are not the normal launching pad for a run for the White House. But these are not normal times, and Abrams, who came within a percentage point and a half of becoming the first African-American female governor in U.S. history, is in the unusual — some might say enviable — position of being encouraged to think about running for president.

Abrams, who was the former minority leader of the Georgia House of Representatives, sat down last week with my colleague Steven Ginsberg, the Post’s national editor, and talked about the choices, the timetable and what kind of presidential campaign she would run. If she decides to make the leap, the campaign would talk about race and identity, organizing, voter engagement and voter suppression, among other things.

“I think that I am a skilled communicator,” she said. “I think I’m a very good thinker. No, I know I’m a good thinker. I know I have policy chops. I have foreign policy experience. … I’ve done a great deal of work on a number of issues. But I need to make certain that I am the best person at this moment for that job, and that’s what I need to think about.”

Read more: https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/03/16/as-the-democratic-field-grows-stacey-abrams-weighs-a-presidential-race/
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