Couple’s Homeless Man Generosity Story is an Alleged Fraud

After raising nearly $400,000 in donations on popular charitable giving site GoFundMe with an inspiring story of a homeless man who gave his last $20 to help a stranded woman motorist, the story is now alleged to be a fraud perpetuated by a couple in conspiracy with him.  The three have been charged with second-degree theft …

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NFL Player Claims Lost Earnings of $180 Million

It has been reported that Sharrif Floyd, a former Minnesota Vikings defensive tackle, will sue the notable surgeon who he claims prematurely ended his NFL career.  Floyd is claiming damages of $180 million, an amount described as his lost future earnings in the NFL. Many have questioned the reasonableness of the reported claim.  While NFL …

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The Appropriate Discount Rate in a Lost Earnings Claim

Every few years, the Journal of Forensic Economics (JFE) publishes the results of its survey of National Association of Forensic Economics (NAFE) members regarding their methods, estimates, and perspectives on lost earnings calculations.  As described in this related article, this survery demonstrates how damages experts often disagree regarding the appopriate discount rate in a lost …

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Cannabis Company Valuations Present Unique Challenges

There has been a flurry of activity in the emerging legalized cannabis industry, as regulations and restrictions continue to decrease.  Given that the U.S. cannabis market is estimated to be approximately $60 billion, with still plenty of room to grow, it is not surprising that many investors are looking at this industry.  However, prudent investors …

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The Many Forms of Elder Financial Abuse

American seniors, holding trillions in wealth, are increasingly targeted by fraudulent schemes to separate them from their hard earned savings.  This epidemic of elder financial abuse takes on many forms, including: Predatory Lending, often using reverse mortgage loans Pyramid or Ponzi schemes with promises of unreasonably high returns Internet/Email phishing to obtain access to bank …

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IRS Confirms Continued Deductibility of Business Meals (When Separable from Entertainment)

For months, the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) and American businesses have been requesting guidance from the U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) regarding changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) (Pub. L. No. 115-97) that disallowed the deductibility of entertainment, amusement, recreation and qualified transportation fringe expenses. Businesses and their accounting …

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SEC Charges San Diego Duo in Alleged Ponzi Scheme

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) charged Jonny Ngo, Donato “Mick” Baca, Jr., and NL Technology, LLC with defrauding hundreds of investors by running a Ponzi scheme. A Ponzi scheme is a type of investment fraud that sustains itself by paying claimed returns to existing investors with fresh money from new investors, while also enriching …

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Check Amounts Can Differ Substantially from Class Action Settlements Per Claim

The reported value per claim in a class action settlement can differ significantly from the actual check a class member receives.  Both StarKist and Trader Joe’s have faced class action lawsuits involving damages for allegedly under-filled cans of tuna.  Both defendants settled for cash amounts in the range of $25-29 per claim (although StarKist also …

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Alleged Kickback Scheme at Popular Pharmacy

A universal risk to companies that employ individuals and engage outside vendors are vendor billing schemes.  The most recent instance to hit the news is an alleged kickback scheme involving advertising services provided to Rite Aid. The Central Penn Business Journal (“CPBJ”) reports that a former Rite Aid Vice President of Advertising has tentatively agreed …

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After The Storms Come the Scams

While natural disasters bring out the worst elements of nature, it can bring out the best in humanity.  There is often a tremendous outpouring of support and generosity toward those affected.  Unfortunately there is also a darker underside, as the opportunity arises to take advantage of the good intentions of others or the desperation of …

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