June 2012 archive

Funds donated to well known charities are mostly going towards further marketing

Recent allegations that funds intended for veterans and mistreated animals is actually mainly dedicated to further marketing efforts (and lining the pockets of one marketing company in particular) are causing anger among many donors. SPCA International raised $27 million dollars, but CNN.com reports that it spent nearly the same amount on direct mail services purchased …

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Investment fraud and financial exploitation of seniors is an epidemic

Results of a study entitled “Elder Investment Fraud and Financial Exploitation Survey” were released on June 13, 2012. 762 responses from primarily state securities regulators, adult protective services workers, social workers, medical professionals, and financial planners provided an unequivocal message that the elderly are being taken advantage of to an alarming degree. The results include: …

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Big Players in the gTLD Applications

The application period is over and now ICANN has published the nearly 2000 applications for new Global Top Level Domans (gTLD). For those unfamiliar with the terminology, a Top Level Domain is what goes after the dot in a domain name,  By far the most common TLD is .com, but you no doubt have come …

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Fraud School?

Six men in Britain have been convicted of not only selling fraudulent documents, but effectively operating a “school” to teach customers how to perpetuate frauds with the documents they purchased.  Confidential Access, the website at the center of the multi-level fraud, sold (mostly stolen) full credit profiles to its 11,000 customers for approximately $8,500 a …

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Hebrew National Forced to “Answer to a Lower Authority”

A class action lawsuit has been filed against ConAgra Foods, Inc. [“ConAgra” or “Defendant”], the manufacturer and distributor of Hebrew National meat products such as beef franks, deli meats, and beef knockwursts.  The lawsuit alleges that the Defendant misled consumers in labeling its products “strictly 100% kosher.”  Con Agra has responded that the lawsuit is …

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Microsoft Does “One More Thing” to the Tablet

When he was alive and leading Apple product announcements, Steve Jobs had a moment that was nearly as signature as his black turtleneck and jeans.  He would get to what seemed to be the end of the event and then say “Oh, and one more thing.” Microsoft’s unexpected announcement that they would be selling a …

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Fed reports a significant decline in net worth under two measures, but in different amounts

Last week, the media quickly dispersed the jaw dropping statistic just released by the Federal Reserve in its Survey of Consumer Finances (SCF):  household median net worth fell by almost 40% from 2007 to 2010, the mean fell almost 15%.   According to SCF, the median inflation adjusted net family worth (i.e.,  the value of its home(s), bank account(s) and retirement …

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Fathers Are Getting More Expensive Gifts (But Still Below Spending on Moms)

The National Retail Foundation reports that the average person will spend $117 on Father’s Day gifts, up 10% from last year’s number.  Spending for Father’s Day is expected to total $12.7 billion.  While an impressive number, it still falls well short of Mother’s Day spending, when consumers spend $152 on average. Some have suggested that …

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Another 100+ Years for a Ponzi Schemer

Allen Stanford was facing up to 230 years for bilking investors out of $7 billion in one of the largest frauds in US history.  As a reminder, Bernie Madoff, the most famous name in Ponzi schemes aside from Charles Ponzi himself, received a sentence of 150 years for his $20 billion fraud.  So in the interest of …

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MF Global Trustee Reports Significant Management Malfeasance

On June 4, 2012, James Giddens, the SIPA (Securities Investor Protection Act) Trustee for MF Global, issued a detailed 275 page report that provides enormous detail of what happened at MF Global before it became the eighth-largest U.S. bankruptcy.  MF Global appropriately received even greater attention because substantial amounts of customer deposits were missing.  The …

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