Tyson CFO pleads guilty to public intoxication and criminal trespass

Tyson Foods CFO, John R. Tyson has agreed to pay fines related to a late 2022 arrest involving two charges, public intoxication and criminal trespass.....»»

Category: topSource: foxnewsJan 24th, 2023

Spooky Torts: The 2022 List Of Litigation Horrors

Spooky Torts: The 2022 List Of Litigation Horrors Authored by Jonathan Turley, Here is my annual list of Halloween torts and crimes. Halloween of course remains a holiday seemingly designed for personal injury lawyers around the world and this year’s additions show why. Halloween has everything for a torts-filled holiday: battery, trespass, defamation, nuisance, product liability and more. Particularly with the recent tragedy in South Korea, our annual listing is not intended to belittle the serious losses that can occur on this and other holidays. However, my students and I often discuss the remarkably wide range of torts that comes with All Hallow’s Eve. So, with no further ado, here is this year’s updated list of actual cases related to Halloween. In October 2021, Danielle Thomas, former exotic dancer known as “Pole Assassin” (and the girlfriend of Texas special teams coach Jeff Banks), found herself embroiled in a Halloween tort after the monkey previously used in her act bit a wandering child at the house of horror she created for Halloween. Thomas considers the monkey Gia to be her “emotional support animal.” Thomas goes all out for the holiday and converted her home into a house of horrors, including a maze. She said that the area with Gia was closed off and, as for petting, “no one is allowed to touch her!”  She publicly insisted “No one was viciously attack this a lie, a whole lie! She was not apart of any haunted house, the kid did not have permission to be on the other side of my property!” She even posted a walk-through video of the scene to show the steps that a child would have to take to get to the monkey. Don’t worry folks I got the #MonkeyGate video — Christian Sykes (@ctsykes13) November 2, 2021 She insists in the video that she knows all of the governing legal rules and shows the path in detail. It is not helpful on the defense side: it is not a long path and easy to see how a child might get lost. She later deleted her account (likely after her attorney regained consciousness). The case raises an array of torts including animal liability, licensee liability, negligence, and attractive nuisance claims. In 2022, we often added conversion to the usual torts where multiple versions of the new giant skeleton were stolen, including one particularly ham-handed effort in Austin, Texas caught on video tape: * * * In Berea, Ohio, the promoters of the 7 Floors of Hell haunted house at the Cuyahoga County Fairgrounds appreciate realism but one employee took it a bit too far. An actor brandished this real bowie knife as a prop while pretending to stab an 11-year-old boy’s foot. He then stabbed him. The accident occurred when the actor, 22, approached the boy and stabbed at the ground as a scare tactic. He got too close and accidentally cut through the child’s shoe, piercing a toe. The injury was not serious since the boy was treated at the scene and continued through the haunted house. The case raises an interesting question of “respondeat superior” for the negligent acts by employees in the course of employment. The question is what is in the scope of employment.  The question is often whether an employee was on a “detour” or “frolic.”  A detour can be outside of an employer’s policies or guidelines but will be the basis for liability as sufficiently related to the employment.  A frolic is a more serious deviation where the employee is acting in his own capacity or for his own interests. In this case, the actor was clearly within his scope of employment in trying to scare the visitors. However, he admitted that he bought the knife in his personal capacity and agreed it “was not a good idea” to use it at the haunted house, according to FOX 8. That still does not negate the negligence — both direct and vicarious liability. There was a failure to monitor employees and safeguard the scene. His negligence is also likely attributable to the employer. Finally, this would constitute battery as a reckless, though unintended, act. * * * In 2020, parents in Indiana were given a warning in a Facebook post that the Indiana State Police seized holiday edibles featuring packaging that resembles that of actual name brands — but with the word “medicated” printed on the wrapper along with cannabis symbols. The packaging makes it easy for homeowners to confuse packages and give out drugged candy.  Indeed, last year, two children were given THC-infused gummies while trick-or-treating, according to police in Waterford, Conn.. Such candies include the main active ingredient linked to the psychedelic effects of cannabis – the plant from which marijuana is derived. Even an accidental distribution of such infused candies would constitute child endangerment and be subject to both negligence and strict liability actions in torts. * * * I previously have written how the fear of razor blades in apples appears an urban legend. Well, give it enough time and someone will prove you wrong. That is the allegation of Waterbury, Connecticut police who say that Jason A. Racz, 37, put razor blades in candy bags of at least two trick-or-treaters. Racz’ razor defense may not be particularly convincing to the average juror. According to police, “Racz explained that the razor blades were accidentally spilled or put into the candy bowl he used to hand out candy from.” However, police noted that he “provided no explanation as to how the razor blades were handed out to the children along with the candy.” The charge was brought soon after Halloween in 2019. Racz is now charged with risk of injury to a minor, reckless endangerment and interfering with a police officer. He could also be charged with battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress, but it is not clear if any children were injured. *  *  * Steven Novak, an artist from Dallas, Texas, believes that Halloween should be a bit more than a traditional plastic pumpkin and a smiling ghost.  Police were called to his home in Texas over a possible murder. They found a dummy impaled on a chainsaw with fake blood; another dummy hanging from his roof; a wheelbarrow full of fake dismembered body parts and other gory scenes.  Neighbors called the display too traumatizing.  Police responded by taking pictures for their families. A tort action for intentional infliction of emotional distress is likely to fail. There must be not just outrageous conduct but conduct intended to cause severe emotional distress. Courts regularly exclude injuries associated with the exercise of free speech or artistic expression . . . even when accompanied by buckets of fake blood. *  *  * The Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom in Pennsylvania tells customers that, if they come to their Halloween Haunt, “Fear is waiting for you.” In 2019, a new case was filed by Shannon Sacco and her daughter over injuries sustained from “unreasonable scaring.” They are seeking $150,000. The Allentown Morning Call reported that “M.S.” went with friends to the amusement park and was immediately approached by costumed characters. She said that she told them that she did not want to be scared and backed away. A little further on into the park however a costumed employee allegedly ran up behind her and shouted loudly. The startled girl fell forward and suffered what were serious but unspecified injuries. She alleges ongoing medical issues and inability to return to fully functioning activities. The lawsuit also alleges that the park failed to inform Sacco or her daughter that they could buy a glow-in-the-dark “No Boo” necklace to ward off costumed employees. The obvious issue beyond the alleged negligence of the Park is the plaintiffs’ own conduct. Pennsylvania is a comparative negligence state so contributory negligence by the plaintiffs would not be a bar to recovery. See Pennsylvania General Assembly Statute §7102. However, it is a modified comparative negligence state so they must show that they are 50 percent or less at fault. If they are found 51 percent at fault, they are barred entirely from recovery. Even if they can recover, their damages are reduced by the percentage of their own fault in going to a park during a Halloween-themed event. *  *  * In 2019, there is a rare public petition to shutdown a haunted house that has been declared to be a “torture chamber.” The move to “shut down McKamey Manor” that has been signed by thousands who believe Russ McKamey, the owner of McKamey Manor, has made his house so scary that it constitutes torture, including an allegation of waterboarding of visitors. The haunted house requires participants to get a doctor’s note and sign a 40-page waiver before they enter. People are seeking the closure of the houses located in Summertown, Tennessee and Huntsville, Alabama. McKamey insists that it is just a “crazy haunted house” and stops well short of the legal-definition of torture. The question is whether consent vitiates any extreme frights or contacts. He is also clear in both the waiver and the website that the house is an “extreme haunted attraction” for legal adults who “must be in GREAT HEALTH to participate.” Not only do people enter with full knowledge but there is no charge. McKamey owns five dogs and only requires a bag of dog food for entry. Presumably the food is cursed. *  *  * An earlier case was recently made public from an accident on October 15, 2011 in San Diego. Scott Griffin and friends went to the Haunted Trail in San Diego. The ticket warns of “high-impact scares” along a mile path with actors brandishing weapons and scary items. Griffen, 44, and his friends went on the trail and were going out of what they thought was an exit. Suddenly an actor jumped out as part of what the attraction called “the Carrie effect” of a last minute scare. While Griffen said that he tried to back away, the actor followed him with a running chain saw. He fell backwards and injured his wrists. The 2013 lawsuit against the Haunted Hotel, Inc., in the Superior Court of California, County of San Diego, alleged negligence and assault. However, Superior Court Judge Katherine Bacal granted a motion to dismiss based on assumption of the risk. She noted that Griffin “was still within the scare experience that he purchased.” After all, “Who would want to go to a haunted house that is not scary?” Griffen then appealed and the attorney for the Haunted Hotel quoted Hunter S. Thompson: “Buy the ticket, take the ride.” Again, the court agreed. In upholding the lower court, Justice Gilbert Nares wrote, “Being chased within the physical confines of the Haunted Trail by a chain saw–carrying maniac is a fundamental part and inherent risk of this amusement. Griffin voluntarily paid money to experience it.” *  *  * In 2018, a case emerged in Madison, Tennessee from the Nashville Nightmare Haunted House.   James “Jay” Yochim and three of his pals went to the attraction composed of  four separate haunted houses, an escape room, carnival games and food vendors.  In the attraction, people are chased by characters with chainsaws and other weapons.  They were not surprised therefore when a man believed to be an employee in a Halloween costume handed Tawnya Greenfield a knife and told her to stab Yochim.  She did and thought it was all pretend until blood started to pour from Yochim’s arm. The knife was real and the man was heard apologizing “I didn’t know my knife was that sharp.” It is not clear how even stabbing with a dull knife would be considered safe. The attraction issued a statement: “As we have continued to review the information, we believe that an employee was involved in some way, and he has been placed on leave until we can determine his involvement. We are going over all of our safety protocols with all of our staff again, as the safety and security of all of our patrons is always our main concern. We have not been contacted by the police, but we will cooperate fully with any official investigation.” The next scary moment is likely to be in the form of a torts complaint.  Negligence against the company under respondeat superior is an obvious start. There is also a novel battery charge where he could claim that he was stabbed by trickery or deceit of a third person. There are also premises liability issues for invitees.  As for Greenfield, she claims to have lacked consent due to a misrepresentation.  She could be charged with negligence or a recklessness-based theory of battery, though that seems less likely.  Finally, there is an interesting possible claim of negligent infliction of emotional distress in being tricked or misled into stabbing an individual. *  *  * Last year, a 21-year-old man surnamed Cheung was killed by a moving coffin in a haunted house in Hong Kong’s Ocean Park.   The attraction is called “Buried Alive” and involves hopping into coffins for a downward slide into a dark and scary space. The ride promises to provide people with the “experience of being buried alive alone, before fighting their way out of their dark and eerie grave.” Cheung took a wrong turn and went backstage — only to be hit by one of the metal coffins.  The hit in the head killed Cheung who was found later in the haunted house. While there is no word of a tort lawsuit (and tort actions are rarer in Hong Kong), the case is typical of Halloween torts involving haunted houses.  The decor often emphasizes spooky and dark environs which both encourage terror and torts among the participants.  In this case, an obvious claim could be made that it is negligence to allow such easy access to the operational area of the coffin ride — particularly in a dark space.  As a business invitee, Cheung would have a strong case in the United States. *  *  * A previous addition to the Spooky torts was the odd case of Assistant Prosecutor Chris White. White clearly does not like spiders, even fake ones. That much was clear given his response to finding fake spiders scattered around the West Virginia office for Halloween. White pulled a gun and threatened to shoot the fake spiders, explaining that he is “deathly afraid of spiders.” It appears that his arachnophobia (fear of spiders) was not matched by a hoplophobia (fear of firearms). The other employees were reportedly shaken up and Logan County Prosecuting Attorney John Bennett later suspended White. Bennett said “He said they had spiders everyplace and he said he told them it wasn’t funny, and he couldn’t stand them, and he did indeed get a gun out. It had no clip in it, of course they wouldn’t know that, I wouldn’t either if I looked at it, to tell you the truth.” It is not clear how White thought threatening the decorative spiders would keep them at bay or whether he was trying to deter those who sought to deck out the office in a Halloween theme. He was not charged by his colleagues with a crime but was suspended for his conduct. This is not our first interaction with White. He was the prosecutor in the controversial (and in my view groundless) prosecution of Jared Marcum, who was arrested after wearing a NRA tee shirt to school. *  *  * Another new case from the last year involves a murder. Donnie Cochenour Jr., 27, got a seasonal break (at least temporarily) on detecting his alleged murder of Rebecca J. Cade, 31. Cade’s body was left hanging on a fence and was mistaken by neighbors as a Halloween decoration. The “decoration” was found by a man walking his dog and reported by construction workers. A large rock was found with blood on it nearby. Donnie Cochenour Jr., 27, was later arrested and ordered held on $2 million bond after he pleaded not guilty to murder. Cade apparently had known Cochenour since he was a child — a relationship going back 20 years. Cochenour reportedly admitted that they had a physical altercation in the field. Police found a blood trail that indicates that Cade was running from Cochenour and tried to climb the fence in an attempt to get away. She was found hanging from her sleeve and is believed to have died on the fence from blunt force trauma to the head and neck. Her body exhibited “defensive wounds.” When police arrested Cochenour, they found blood on is clothing. *  *  * In 2015, federal and state governments were cracking down on cosmetic contact lenses to give people spooky eyes. Owners and operators of 10 Southern California businesses were criminally charged in federal court with illegally selling cosmetic contact lenses without prescriptions. Some of the products that were purchased in connection with this investigation were contaminated with dangerous pathogens that can cause eye injury, blindness and loss of the eye. The products are likely to result in a slew of product liability actions. *  *  * Another 2015 case reflects that the scariest part of shopping for Halloween costumes or decorations may be the trip to the Party Store. Shanisha L. Saulsberry sued U.S. Toy Company, Inc. after she was injured shopping for Halloween costumes and a store rack fell on her. The jury awarded Saulsberry $7,216.00 for economic damages. She appealed the damages after evidence of her injuries were kept out of the trial by the court. However, the Missouri appellate court affirmed the ruling. *  *  * The case of Castiglione v. James F. Q., 115 A.D.3d 696, shows a classic Halloween tort. The lawsuit alleged that, on Halloween 2007, the defendant’s son threw an egg which hit the plaintiff’s daughter in the eye, causing her injuries. The plaintiff also brought criminal charges against the defendant’s son arising from this incident and the defendant’s son pleaded guilty to assault in the third degree (Penal Law § 120.00 [2]). However, at his deposition, the defendant’s son denied throwing the egg which allegedly struck the plaintiff’s daughter. Because of the age of the accused, the case turned on the youthful offender statute (CPL art 720) that provides special measures for persons found to be youthful offenders which provides “Except where specifically required or permitted by statute or upon specific authorization of the court, all official records and papers, whether on file with the court, a police agency or the division of criminal justice services, relating to a case involving a youth who has been adjudicated a youthful offender, are confidential and may not be made available to any person or public or private agency [with certain exceptions not relevant here]” (CPL 720.35 [2]). This covers both the physical documents constituting the official record and the information contained within those documents. Thus, in relation to the Halloween egging, the boy was protected from having to disclose information or answer questions regarding the facts underlying the adjudication *  *  * We discussed the perils of pranks and “jump frights,” particularly with people who do not necessarily consent. In the case of Christian Faith Benge, there appears to have been consent in visiting a haunted house. The sophomore from New Miami High School in Ohio died from a prior medical condition at the at Land of Illusion haunted house. She was halfway through the house with about 100 friends and family members when she collapsed. She had an enlarged heart four times its normal size. She also was born with congenital diaphragmatic hernia, which prevents the lungs from developing normally. This added stress to the heart. In such a case, consent and comparative negligence issues effectively bar recovery in most cases. It is a terrible loss of a wonderful young lady. However, some fatalities do not always come with liability and this appears such a case. Source: Journal News *  *  * As discussed earlier, In Franklin County, Tennessee, children may want to avoid the house of Dale Bryant Farris, 65, this Halloween . . . or houses near him. Bryant was arrested after shooting a 15-year-old boy who was with kids toilet-papering their principal’s front yard. Bryant came out of his house a couple of houses down from the home of Principal Ken Bishop and allegedly fired at least two blasts — one hitting a 15-year-old boy in the right foot, inner left knee, right palm, right thigh and right side of his torso above the waistline. Tennessee is a Castle Doctrine state and we have seen past cases like the notorious Tom Horn case in Texas where homeowners claimed the right to shoot intruders on the property of their neighbors. It is not clear if Bryant will argue that he was trying to stop intruders under the law, but it does not appear a good fit with the purpose or language of the law. Farris faces a charge of aggravated assault and another of reckless endangerment. He could also face civil liability from the boy’s family. This would include assault and battery. There is a privilege of both self-defense and defense of others. This privilege included reasonable mistaken self-defense or defense of others. This would not fit such a claim since he effectively pursued the boys by going to a neighbor’s property and there was no appearance of a threat or weapon since they were only armed with toilet paper. The good news is that Farris can now discard the need for a costume. He can go as himself at Halloween . . . as soon as he is out of jail. *  *  * As shown below, Halloween nooses have a bad record at parties. In 2012, a club called Pink Punters had a decorative noose that it had used for a number of years that allowed party goers to take pictures as a hanging victim on Halloween. Of course, you guessed it. A 25-year old man was found hanging from the noose in an accidental self-lynching at the nightclub in England. The case would appear easy to defend in light of the assumption of the risk and patent danger. The noose did not actually tighten around necks. Moreover, this is England where tort claims can be more challenging. In the United States, however, there would remain the question of a foreseeable accident in light of the fact that patrons are drinking heavily and drugs are often present at nightclubs. Since patrons are known to put their heads in the noose, the combination is intoxication and a noose is not a particularly good mix. *  *  * Grant v. Grant. A potential criminal and tort case comes to us from Pennsylvania where, at a family Halloween bonfire, Janet Grant spotted a skunk and told her son Thomas Grant to fetch a shotgun and shoot it. When he returned, Janet Grant shined a flashlight on the animal while her son shot it. It was only then that they discovered that Thomas Grant had just shot his eight-year-old cousin in her black and white Halloween costume. What is amazing is that authorities say that they are considering possible animal gaming charges. Fortunately, the little girl survived with a wound to the shoulder and abdomen. The police in Beaver County have not brought charges and alcohol does not appear to have been a factor. Putting aside the family connection (which presumably makes the likelihood of a lawsuit unlikely), there is a basis for both battery and negligence in such a wounding. With children in the area, the discharge of the firearm would seem pretty unreasonable even with the effort to illuminate “the animal.” Moreover, this would have to have been a pretty large skunk to be the size of an eight-year-old child. Just for the record, the average weight of a standard spotted skunk in that area is a little over 1 pound. The biggest skunk is a hog-nosed skunk that can reach up to 18 pounds. *  *  * We also have a potential duel case out of Aiken, South Carolina from one year ago. A 10-year-old Aiken trick-or-treater pulled a gun on a woman who joked that she wanted take his candy on Halloween. Police found that his brother, also ten, had his own weapon. The 28-year-old woman said that she merely joked with a group of 10 or so kids that she wanted their candy when the ten-year-old pulled out a 9 mm handgun and said “no you’re not.” While the magazine was not in the gun, he had a fully loaded magazine in his possession. His brother had the second gun. Both appear to have belonged to their grandfather. The children were released to their parents and surprisingly there is no mention of charges against the grandfather. While the guns appear to have been taken without his permission, it shows great negligence in the handling and storage of the guns. What would be interesting is a torts lawsuit by the woman for assault against the grandfather. The actions of third parties often cut off liability as a matter of proximate causation, though courts have held that you can be liable for creating circumstances where crimes or intentional torts are foreseeable. For example, a landlord was held liable in for crimes committed in his building in Kline v. 1500 Massachusetts Avenue. Here the grandfather’s negligence led to the use of the guns by these children. While a lawsuit is unlikely, it would certainly be an interesting — and not unwarranted — claim. *  *  * Tauton High School District The Massachusetts case of Smith v. Taunton High School involves a Halloween prank gone bad. A teacher at Taunton High School asked a 15-year-old student to answer a knock on the classroom door. The boy was startled when he came face to face with a man in a mask and carrying what appeared to be a running chainsaw. The student fell back, tripped and fractured a kneecap. His family is now suing though the state cap on such lawsuits is $100,000. Dussault said the family is preparing a lawsuit, but is exploring ways to avoid a trial and do better than the $100,000 cap when suing city employees. This could make for an interesting case, but would be better for the Plaintiffs as a bench versus a jury trial. Many jurors are likely to view this as simply an attempt at good fun by the teacher and an unforeseeable accident. Source: CBS *  *  * In Florida, a woman has sued for defamation, harassment and emotional distress after her neighbor set up decorations that included an insane asylum sign that pointed to her yard and a fake tombstone with an inscription she viewed as a reference to her single status. It read, “At 48 she had no mate no date/ It’s no debate she looks 88.” This could be a wonderful example of an opinion defense to defamation. As for emotional distress, I think the cause of the distress pre-dates Halloween. *  *  * Pieczonka v. Great America (2012) A family is suing Great America for a tort in 2011 at Great Falls. Father Marian Pieczonka alleged in his complaint that his young daughter Natalie was at the park in Gurnee, Illinois for the Halloween-themed Fright Fest when a park employee dressed in costume jumped out of a port-a-potty and shot her with a squirt gun. He then reported chased the screaming girl until she fell and suffered injuries involving scrapes and bruises. The lawsuit alleges negligence in encouraging employees to chase patrons given the tripping hazards. They are asking $30,000 in the one count complaint but could face assumption or comparative negligence questions, particularly in knowingly attending an event called “Fright Fest” where employees were known to jump out at patrons. *  *  * A lawsuit appears inevitable after a tragic accident in St. Louis where a 17-year-old girl is in a critical condition after she became tangled in a noose at a Halloween haunted house called Creepyworld. The girl was working as an actress at the attraction and was found unconscious. What is particularly chilling is that people appeared to have walked by her hanging in the house and thought she was a realistic prop. Notably, the attraction had people walk through to check on the well-being of actors and she was discovered but not for some time after the accident. She is in critical condition. Creepyworld employs 100 people and can expect a negligence lawsuit. *  *  * Rabindranath v. Wallace (2010) Peter Wallace, 24, was returning on a train with fellow Hiberinian soccer fans in England — many dressed in costumes (which the English call “fancy dress.”) One man was dressed as a sheep and Wallace thought it was funny to constantly flick his lighter near the cotton balls covering his body — until he burst into flames. Friends then made the matter worse by trying to douse the flames but throwing alcohol on the flaming man-sheep. Even worse, the victim Arjuna Rabindranath, 24, is an Aberdeen soccer fan. Rabindranath’s costume was composed of a white tracksuit and cotton wool. Outcome: Wallace is the heir to a large farm estate and agreed to pay damages to the victim, who experienced extensive burns. What is fascinating is the causation issue. Here, Wallace clearly caused the initial injury which was then made worse by the world’s most dim-witted rescue attempt in the use of alcohol to douse a fire. In the United States, the original tortfeasor is liable for such injuries caused by negligent rescues. Indeed, he is liable for injured rescuers. The rescuers can also be sued in most states. However, many areas of Europe have good Samaritan laws protecting such rescuers. Notably, Wallace had a previous football-related conviction which was dealt with by a fine. In this latest case, he agreed to pay 25,000 in compensation. The case is obviously similar to one of our prior Halloween winners below: Ferlito v. Johnson & Johnson *  *  * Perper v. Forum Novelties (2010) Sherri Perper, 56, of Queens, New York has filed a personal injury lawsuit due to defective shoes allegedly acquired from Forum Novelties. The shoes were over-sized clown shoes that she was wearing as part of her Halloween costume in 2008. She tripped and fell. She is reportedly claiming that the shoes were dangerous. While “open and obvious” is no longer an absolute defense in such products cases, such arguments may still be made to counter claims of defective products. In most jurisdictions, you must show that the product is more dangerous than the expectations of the ordinary consumer. It is hard to see how Perper could be surprised that it is a bit difficult to walk in over-sized shoes. Then there is the problem of assumption of the risk. *  *  * Dickson v. Hustonville Haunted House and Greg Walker (2009) Glenda Dickson, 51, broke four vertebrae in her back when she fell out of a second story window left open at the Hustonville Haunted House, owned by Greg Walker. Dickson was in a room called “The Crying Lady in the Bed” when one of the actors came up behind the group and started screaming. Everyone jumped in fright and Dickson jumped back through an open window that was covered with a sheet — a remarkably negligent act by the haunted house operator. She landed on a fire escape and then fell down some stairs. *  *  * Maryland v. Janik (2009) Sgt. Eric Janik, 37, went to a haunted house called the House of Screams with friends and when confronted by a character dressed as Leatherface with a chainsaw (sans the chain, of course), Janik pulled out his service weapon and pointed it at the man, who immediately dropped character, dropped the chainsaw, and ran like a bat out of Halloween Hell. Outcome: Janik is charged with assault and reckless endangerment for his actions. Charges pending. *  *  * Patrick v. South Carolina (2009) Quentin Patrick, 22, an ex-convict in Sumter, South Carolina shot and killed a trick-or-treater T.J. Darrisaw who came to his home on Halloween — spraying nearly 30 rounds with an assault rifle from inside his home after hearing a knock on the door. T.J.’s 9-year- old brother, Ahmadre Darrisaw, and their father, Freddie Grinnell, were injured but were released after being treated at a hospital. Patrick left his porch light on — a general signal for kids that the house was open for trick and treating. The boy’s mother and toddler sibling were in the car. Patrick emptied the AK-47 — shooting at least 29 times through his front door, walls and windows after hearing the knock. He said that he had been previously robbed. That may be so, but it is unclear what an ex-con was doing with a gun, let alone an AK-47. OUTCOME: Charges pending for murder. *  *  * Kentucky v. Watkins (2008) As a Halloween prank, restaurant manager Joe Watkins of the Chicken Ranch in Paris, Kentucky thought it was funny to lie in a pool of blood on the floor. After seeing Watkins on the floor, the woman went screaming from the restaurant to report the murder. Watkins said that the prank was for another employee and that he tried to call the woman back on her cell phone. OUTCOME: Under Kentucky law, a person can be charged with a false police report, even if he is not the one who filed it. The police charged Watkins for causing the woman to file the report — a highly questionable charge. *  *  * Mays v. Gretna Athletic Boosters␣95-717 (La.App. 5 Cir. 01/17/96) “Defendant operated a haunted house at Mel Ott Playground in Gretna to raise money for athletic programs. The haunted house was constructed of 2×4s and black visqueen. There were numerous cubbyholes where “scary” exhibits were displayed. One booster club member was stationed at the entrance and one at the exit. Approximately eighteen people participated in the haunted house by working the exhibits inside. Near and along the entrance of the haunted house was a bathroom building constructed of cinder blocks. Black visqueen covered this wall. Plaintiff and her daughter’s friend, about 10 years old, entered the haunted house on October 29, 1988. It was nighttime and was dark inside. Plaintiff testified someone jumped out and hollered, scaring the child into running. Plaintiff was also frightened and began to run. She ran directly into the visqueen-covered cinder block wall. There was no lighting in that part of the haunted house. Plaintiff hit the wall face first and began bleeding profusely from her nose. She testified two surgeries were required to repair her nose.” OUTCOME: In order to get the proper effect, haunted houses are dark and contain scary and/or shocking exhibits. Patrons in a Halloween haunted house are expected to be surprised, startled and scared by the exhibits but the operator does not have a duty to guard against patrons reacting in bizarre, frightened and unpredictable ways. Operators are duty bound to protect patrons only from unreasonably dangerous conditions, not from every conceivable danger. As found by the Trial Court, defendant met this duty by constructing the haunted house with rooms of adequate size and providing adequate personnel and supervision for patrons entering the house. Defendant’s duty did not extend to protecting plaintiff from running in a dark room into a wall. Our review of the entire record herein does not reveal manifest error committed by the Trial Court or that the Trial Court’s decision was clearly wrong. Plaintiff has not shown the haunted house was unreasonably dangerous or that defendant’s actions were unreasonable. Thus, the Trial Court judgment must be affirmed. *  *  * Powell v. Jacor Communications␣ UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SIXTH CIRCUIT 320 F.3d 599 (6th Cir.2003) “On October 15, 1999, Powell visited a Halloween season haunted house in Lexington, Kentucky that was owned and operated by Jacor. She was allegedly hit in the head with an unidentified object by a person she claims was dressed as a ghost. Powell was knocked unconscious and injured. She contends that she suffered a concussion and was put on bed rest and given medications by emergency-room physicians. Powell further claims that she now suffers from several neuropsychological disorders as a result of the incident.” OUTCOME: Reversed dismissal on the basis of tolling of statute of limitations. *  *  * Kansas City Light & Power Company v. Trimble␣ 315 Mo. 32; 285 S.W. 455 (1926) Excerpt: “A shapely pole to which, twenty-two feet from the ground is attached a non-insulated electric wire . . Upon a shapely pole were standard steps eighteen inches apart; about seventeen feet from the ground were telephone wires, and five feet above them was a non-insulated electric light wire. On Halloween, about nine o’clock, a bright fourteen-year-old boy and two companions met close to the pole, and some girls dressed as clowns came down the street. As they came near the boy, saying, “Who dares me to walk the wire?” began climbing the pole, using the steps, and ascended to the telephone cables, and thereupon his companions warned him about the live wire and told him to come down. He crawled upon the telephone cables to a distance of about ten feet from the pole, and when he reached that point a companion again warned him of the live wire over his head, and threatened to throw a rock at him and knock him off if he did not come down. Whereupon he turned about and crawled back to the pole, and there raised himself to a standing position, and then his foot slipped, and involuntarily he threw up his arm, his hand clutched the live wire, and he was shocked to death.” OUTCOME: Frankly, I am not sure why the pole was so “shapely” but the result was disappointing for the plaintiffs. Kansas City Light & Power Company v. Trimble: The court held that the appellate court extended the attractive nuisance doctrine beyond the court’s ruling decisions. The court held that appellate court’s opinion on the contributory negligence doctrine conflicted with the court’s ruling decisions. The court held that the administrator’s case should never have been submitted to the jury. The court quashed the appellate opinion. “To my mind it is inconceivable that a bright, intelligent boy, doing well in school, past fourteen years of age and living in the city, would not understand and appreciate the fact that it would be dangerous to come in contact with an electric wire, and that he was undertaking a dangerous feat in climbing up the pole; but even if it may be said that men might differ on that proposition, still in this case he was warned of the wire and of the danger on account of the wire and that, too, before he had reached a situation where there was any occasion or necessity of clutching the wire to avoid a fall. Not only was he twice warned but he was repeatedly told and urged to come down.” *  *  * Purtell v. Mason␣ 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 49064 (E.D. Ill. 2006) “The Purtells filed the present lawsuit against Defendant Village of Bloomingdale Police Officer Bruce Mason after he requested that they remove certain Halloween tombstone “decorations” from their property. Evidence presented at trial revealed that the Purtells placed the tombstones referring to their neighbors in their front yard facing the street. The tombstones specifically referred to their neighbors, who saw the language on the tombstones. For instance, the tombstone that referred to the Purtells’ neighbor James Garbarz stated: Here Lies Jimmy, The OlDe Towne IdioT MeAn As sin even withouT his Gin No LonGer Does He wear That sTupiD Old Grin . . . Oh no, noT where they’ve sent Him! The tombstone referring to the Purtells’ neighbor Betty Garbarz read: BeTTe wAsN’T ReADy, BuT here she Lies Ever since that night she DieD. 12 feet Deep in this trench . . . Still wasn’T Deep enough For that wenches Stench! In addition, the Purtells placed a Halloween tombstone in their yard concerning their neighbor Diane Lesner stating: Dyean was Known for Lying So She was fried. Now underneath these daises is where she goes crazy!! Moreover, the jury heard testimony that Diane Lesner, James Garbarz, and Betty Garbarz were upset because their names appeared on the tombstones. Betty Garbarz testified that she was so upset by the language on the tombstones that she contacted the Village of Bloomingdale Police Department. She further testified that she never had any doubt that the “Bette” tombstone referred to her. After seeing the tombstones, she stated that she was ashamed and humiliated, but did not talk to Jeffrey Purtell about them because she was afraid of him. Defense counsel also presented evidence that the neighbors thought the language on the tombstones constituted threats and that they were alarmed and disturbed by their names being on the tombstones. James Garbarz testified that he interpreted the “Jimmy” tombstone as a threat and told the police that he felt threatened by the tombstone. He also testified that he had concerns about his safety and what Jeffrey Purtell might do to him.” OUTCOME: The court denied the homeowners’ post-trial motion for judgment as a matter of law pursuant to and motion for a new trial. Viewing the evidence and all reasonable inferences in a light most favorable to Officer Mason, a rational jury could conclude that the language on the tombstones constituted threats, that the neighbors were afraid of Jeffrey Purtell, and that they feared for their safety. As such the Court will not disturb the jury’s conclusion that the tombstones constituted fighting words — “those which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace.” *  *  * Goodwin v. Walmart 2001 Ark. App. LEXIS 78 “On October 12, 1993, Randall Goodwin went to a Wal-Mart store located on 6th Street in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He entered through the front door and walked toward the sporting goods department. In route, he turned down an aisle known as the seasonal aisle. At that time, it was stocked with items for Halloween. This aisle could be observed from the cash registers. Mr. Goodwin took only a few steps down the aisle when he allegedly stepped on a wig and fell, landing on his right hip. As a result of the fall, Mr. Goodwin suffered severe physical injury to his back, including a ruptured disk. Kelly Evans, an employee for appellee, was standing at the end of her check-out stand when Mr. Goodwin approached her and informed her that he had fallen on an item in the seasonal aisle. She stated that she “saw what he was talking about.” OUTCOME: Judgment affirmed because the pleadings, depositions, and related summary judgment evidence did not show that there was any genuine issue of material fact as appellant customer did not establish a plastic bag containing the Halloween wig which allegedly caused him to slip and fall was on the floor as the result of appellee’s negligence or it had been on the floor for such a period of time that appellee knew or should have known about it. *  *  * Eversole v. Wasson␣ 80 Ill. App. 3d 94 (Ill. 1980) Excerpt: “The following allegations of count I, directed against defendant Wasson, were incorporated in count II against the school district: (1) plaintiff was a student at Villa Grove High School which was controlled and administered by the defendant school district, (2) defendant Wasson was employed by the school district as a teacher at the high school, (3) on November 1, 1978, at approximately 12:30 p.m., Wasson was at the high school in his regular capacity as a teacher and plaintiff was attending a regularly scheduled class, (4) Wasson sought and received permission from another teacher to take plaintiff from that teacher’s class and talk to him in the hallway, (5) once in the hallway, Wasson accused plaintiff of being one of several students he believed had smashed Wasson’s Halloween pumpkin at Wasson’s home, (6) without provocation from plaintiff, Wasson berated plaintiff, called him vile names, and threatened him with physical violence while shaking his fist in plaintiff’s face which placed plaintiff in fear of bodily injury, (7) Wasson then struck plaintiff about the head and face with both an open hand and a closed fist and shook and shoved him violently, (8) as a result, plaintiff was bruised about the head, neck, and shoulders; experienced pain and suffering in his head, body, and limbs; and became emotionally distraught causing his school performance and participation to be adversely affected . . .” OUTCOME: The court affirmed that portion of the lower court’s order that dismissed the count against the school district and reversed that portion of the lower court’s order that entered a judgment in bar of action as to this count. The court remanded the case to the lower court with directions to allow the student to replead his count against the school district. *  *  * Holman v. Illinois 47 Ill. Ct. Cl. 372 (1995) “The Claimant was attending a Halloween party at the Illinois State Museum with her grandson on October 26, 1990. The party had been advertised locally in the newspaper and through flier advertisements. The advertisement requested that children be accompanied by an adult, to come in costume and to bring a flashlight. The museum had set up different display rooms to hand out candy to the children and give the appearance of a “haunted house.” The Claimant entered the Discovery Room with her grandson. Under normal conditions the room is arranged with tables and low-seated benches for children to use in the museum’s regular displays. These tables and benches had been moved into the upper-right-hand corner of the Discovery Room next to the wall. In the middle of the room, there was a “slime pot” display where the children received the Halloween treat. The overhead fluorescent lights were turned off; however, the track lights on the left side of the room were turned on and dim. The track lights on the right side of the room near the tables and benches were not lit. The room was dark enough that the children’s flashlights could be clearly seen. There were approximately 40-50 people in the room at the time of the accident. The Claimant entered the room with her grandson. They proceeded in the direction of the pot in the middle of the room to see what was going in the pot. Her grandson then ran around the pot to the right corner toward the wall. As the Claimant followed, she tripped over the corner of a bench stored in that section of the room. She fell, making contact with the left corner of the bench. She experienced great pain in her upper left arm. The staff helped her to her feet. Her father was called and she went to the emergency room. Claimant has testified that she did not see the low-seating bench because it was so dimly lit in the Discovery Room. The Claimant was treated at the emergency room, where she was diagnosed with a fracture of the proximal humeral head of her left arm as a result of the fall. Claimant returned home, but was unable to work for 12 to 13 weeks.” OUTCOME: “The Claimant has met her burden of proof. She has shown by a preponderance of the evidence that the State acted negligently in placing furnishings in a dimly-lit room where visitors could not know of their location. The State did not exercise its duty of reasonable care. For the foregoing reasons, the Claimant is granted an award of $20,000.” *  *  * Ferlito v. Johnson & Johnson 771 F. Supp. 196 “Plaintiffs Susan and Frank Ferlito, husband and wife, attended a Halloween party in 1984 dressed as Mary (Mrs. Ferlito) and her little lamb (Mr. Ferlito). Mrs. Ferlito had constructed a lamb costume for her husband by gluing cotton batting manufactured by defendant Johnson & Johnson Products (“JJP”) to a suit of long underwear. She had also used defendant’s product to fashion a headpiece, complete with ears. The costume covered Mr. Ferlito from his head to his ankles, except for his face and hands, which were blackened with Halloween paint. At the party Mr. Ferlito attempted to light his cigarette by using a butane lighter. The flame passed close to his left arm, and the cotton batting on his left sleeve ignited. Plaintiffs sued defendant for injuries they suffered from burns which covered approximately one-third of Mr. Ferlito’s body.” OUTCOME: Ferlito v. Johnson & Johnson: Plaintiffs repeatedly stated in their response brief that plaintiff Susan Ferlito testified that “she would never again use cotton batting to make a costume.” Plaintiffs’ Answer to Defendant JJP’s Motion for J.N.O.V., pp. 1, 3, 4, 5. However, a review of the trial transcript reveals that plaintiff Susan Ferlito never testified that she would never again use cotton batting to make a costume. More importantly, the transcript contains no statement by plaintiff Susan Ferlito that a flammability warning on defendant JJP’s product would have dissuaded her from using the cotton batting to construct the costume in the first place. At oral argument counsel for plaintiffs conceded that there was no testimony during the trial that either plaintiff Susan Ferlito or her husband, plaintiff Frank J. Ferlito, would  have acted any different if there had been a flammability warning on the product’s package. The absence of such testimony is fatal to plaintiffs’ case; for without it, plaintiffs have failed to prove proximate cause, one of the essential elements of their negligence claim. In addition, both plaintiffs testified that they knew that cotton batting burns when it is exposed to flame. Susan Ferlito testified that she knew at the time she purchased the cotton batting that it would burn if exposed to an open flame. Frank Ferlito testified that he knew at the time he appeared at the Halloween party that cotton batting would burn if exposed to an open flame. His additional testimony that he would not have intentionally put a flame to the cotton batting shows that he recognized the risk of injury of which he claims JJP should have warned. Because both plaintiffs were already aware of the danger, a warning by JJP would have been superfluous. Therefore, a reasonable jury could not have found that JJP’s failure to provide a warning was a proximate cause of plaintiffs’ injuries. The evidence in this case clearly demonstrated that neither the use to which plaintiffs put JJP’s product nor the injuries arising from that use were foreseeable. But in Trivino v. Jamesway Corporation, the following result: The mother purchased cosmetic puffs and pajamas from the retailer. The mother glued the puffs onto the pajamas to create a costume for her child. While wearing the costume, the child leaned over the electric stove. The costume caught on fire, injuring the child. Plaintiffs brought a personal injury action against the retailer. The retailer filed a third party complaint against the manufacturer of the puffs, and the puff manufacturer filed a fourth party complaint against the manufacturer of the fibers used in the puffs. The retailer filed a motion for partial summary judgment as to plaintiffs’ cause of action for failure to warn. The trial court granted the motion and dismissed the actions against the manufacturers. On appeal, the court modified the judgment, holding that the mother’s use of the puffs was not unforeseeable as a matter of law and was a question for the jury. The court held that because the puffs were not made of cotton, as thought by the mother, there were fact issues as to the puffs’ flammability and defendants’ duty to warn. The court held that there was no prejudice to the retailer in permitting plaintiffs to amend their bill of particulars. OUTCOME: The court modified the trial court’s judgment to grant plaintiffs’ motion to amend their bill of particulars, deny the retailer’s motion for summary judgment, and reinstate the third party actions against the manufacturers. Tyler Durden Mon, 10/31/2022 - 19:05.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeOct 31st, 2022

Coinbase is paying a $50 million fine over allegations it fell behind on a mountain of internal warnings

The settlement, which totals $100 million including the $50 million fine, is the culmination of New York state investigators' review of the platform. Coinbase agreed to a $100 million settlement with a New York state agency on Wednesday.Photo by Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images Coinbase is paying a $50 million fine after a New York agency found fault with its crypto platform. It will also invest $50 million into improving its own vetting of customers and transactions. Coinbase said it has taken "substantial measures" to improve its monitoring tech and protocols. Coinbase has agreed to a $100 million settlement with a New York financial agency that said the crypto exchange fell behind on acting on a mountain of internal warnings about potentially problematic transactions on its platform. The settlement, which the New York Department of Financial Services disclosed on Wednesday, includes a $50 million fine, and also calls for Coinbase to spend another $50 million on a monitoring plan overseen by the agency. The agency, which has been investigating the crypto exchange since 2020, said it found that Coinbase hadn't kept up with some 14,000 customers that needed additional vetting and 100,000 monitoring alerts on its platform as of December 2021. Coinbase, a crypto exchange founded in 2012, has more than 100 million users on its platform.  The agency said that the platform had allowed in new users with "a simple check-the-box exercise" rather than the more robust background checks required to prevent those charged with serious crimes from misusing its platform.  Those practices left the company "overwhelmed, with a substantial backlog of unreviewed transaction monitoring alerts, exposing its platform to risk of exploitation by criminals and other bad actors," according to the agency's consent order posted on Wednesday.  Coinbase, which said it has been working with the financial regulators in their investigation, said it's created new programs to protect against money laundering on its platform and to evaluate the risk posed by certain types of customers. "Coinbase has taken substantial measures to address these historical shortcomings and remains committed to being a leader and role model in the crypto space, including partnering with regulators when it comes to compliance," Coinbase's chief legal officer Paul Grewal said in a statement. Coinbase also acknowledged the publicity around crypto companies in the past year, which has seen the bankruptcies of platforms including Voyager, Celsius and FTX, whose founder Sam Bankman-Fried is facing serious criminal charges and potential jail time if he pleads guilty or is convicted in a trial. "We recognize that the crypto industry is at an inflection point right now and that every public move by a crypto company will receive intense scrutiny," Grewal wrote in a blog post Wednesday. "That is one of the reasons why we knew it was important to bring this matter to a conclusion, even though it is never the type of agreement reached lightly."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJan 4th, 2023

Australian woman speaks out after a man — who she alleges broke into her home, raped her, and sent an apology text for doing "the most heinous thing possible" — was found not guilty

On September 7th, Lyndon Montgomery was found not guilty of breaking into Holly Harris' home and raping her. Holly Harris told Insider why she’s deciding to finally speak publicly.Submitted by Holly Harris Lyndon Montgomery was found not guilty of breaking into Holly Harris' home and raping her. Harris spoke with Insider about why she's deciding to speak publicly about the case.  "I just refuse to accept that this is the reality for women," Harris said. When Holly Harris woke up, she was freezing. The sliding door in her bedroom was ajar, which puzzled her. She never slept with the door open, especially on a cold, September night in Melbourne, Australia.As she sat up, she realized she was naked, her hair was matted, and she was in pain. She looked to her left and saw a man lying there. His name way Lyndon Montgomery.Nearly four years later, on September 7, Montgomery was found not guilty of breaking into Harris' home and raping her.In her first interview since the tense trial, Harris spoke with Insider about how the case impacted her and why she's decided to identify herself.Harris' name is not in any of the previous stories about her case because she did not consent to have it published. Under Victorian law, which governs the Australian state in which she lives, it is an offense to publish any information that could lead to the identification of a person against whom a sexual offense is alleged to have been committed but an adult complainant can consent to make their own identity public.After the verdict, Harris changed her mind about remaining unidentified because she wanted other women who may have gone through something similar to not feel ashamed. "I just refuse to accept that this is the reality for women and it's devastating for other women who have been raped or allegedly raped," she told Insider.'I've done the most heinous thing'On September 23, 2018, Harris went out with friends to a local bar on Chapel Street in Melbourne. Prior to arriving at the bar, she said had quite a few drinks at a friend's boyfriend's place and continued to drink with friends at the bar until she became intoxicated. Her memory after this, she told Insider, isn't as clear.Upon leaving the bar, friends recounted that she got into an Uber with her best friend, her best friend's boyfriend, and Montgomery — an acquaintance. When Harris arrived outside of her home, she said she remembered getting out of the car, walking to her door, and then noticing Montgomery following her. She said she asked him what he was doing and he told her he was walking her to her door. According to Harris, after they exchanged a few words — which included him professing his love to her — she said she wasn't interested, said goodbye, and then locked the door behind her.Harris said her nightly routine always consists of taking a shower before bed, and that's what she said she did on this particular night. At one point, she said she turned around and noticed Montgomery standing in the bathroom. That's when she told him to get out, she said. Harris told Insider her memory is limited after this point but that she remembered Montgomery on top of her in her bed. Later, in court, Montgomery did not dispute that they had sex but testified that it was consensual.After waking up the next morning disheveled with Montgomery lying next to her, Harris said she asked him to leave, which he did. That morning, she told her friends what happened. At their urging, Harris went to the hospital later that night but was told she could not be seen. She said the emergency doctor's reasoning was that she was a "crime scene," meaning the medical professionals didn't want to interfere with a potential criminal investigation. At the time she wasn't in the mindset of pressing charges, Harris said, adding she just wanted help because she was in pain. Four days later she received a text message from Montgomery. In the text, which was obtained by Insider, he said: "I've done the most heinous thing possible you can do to a woman, and I've done it to you. It was never my intention for things not to be consensual, I should have realized what you were communicating to me, but I didn't." Lyndon Montgomery's text message to Holly Harris.Submitted by Holly HarrisLyndon Montgomery's text message to Holly Harris.Submitted by Holly Harris'Open, shut, guilty'At the time, Harris was 19 years old. Initially, she wasn't sure if she wanted to press charges. That changed a few weeks later when Montgomery began telling people his version of what happened that night, she said.Harris went to the Victoria Police and after some convincing, law enforcement had her initiate a pretext phone call — a recorded call used in sexual assault investigations. The phone calls have drawn criticism from advocates who say the practice can be traumatic for sexual assault survivors, according to The Australian Broadcasting Corporation. In the phone call between Harris and Montgomery, he admitted to entering Harris' home through her sliding door but claimed the sex was consensual, according to The Herald Sun, a newspaper based in Melbourne.During the trial, Montgomery gave the court his account of what happened that night, saying he believed things were "flirty" between him and Harris at the bar. He testified that when the Uber they took together arrived at Harris' house, he walked her to her door, and she told him that she "wanted [it] to happen" but was unsure because she was in a relationship. According to Montgomery, they entered the house together, but Harris soon asked him to leave, which he did. "I honestly felt like we had this good and emotional connection together and I wanted to go and talk to her about that," he said.He said he noticed a sliding door to Harris' bedroom and checked to see if it was unlocked: "It was so I went in." Montgomery claimed that he knocked on Harris' bathroom door, where he heard Harris showering, and "she said yes, you can come in." He said they then showered together before moving back to the bedroom where they had consensual sex, according to The Herald Sun.Montgomery said sending the text message was a mistake and that he sent it to appease Harris in an effort to prevent her from going to the police, as per the outlet.The Herald Sun reported his lawyer, Belinda Frajic, argued that Harris' recollection of the night was "patchy" due to her level of intoxication. Franjic also asked the jury not to jump to conclusions over the text message."It's easy to read a text like that and go 'open, shut, guilty,'" Franjic said in court, according to the newspaper.  The Herald Sun also reported that Franjic asked the jury to ignore the "current climate" around consent and women's safety.Franjic did not respond to Insider's request for comment. 'I just refuse to accept that this is the reality for women'Throughout the three-week trial, Harris was on-edge and anxious. She said her Apple Watch alerted her that her resting heart rate had gone from 60 beats per minute to 83 beats per minute.Harris wasn't in the courtroom during the trial and gave her testimony virtually on the advice of her legal team, but looking back, she said she regrets doing that. She told Insider she wished she had faced the 12-person jury."Having somebody sit in front of you and tell them the worst thing that's ever happened to them is often more impactful in person," she said. When the not-guilty verdict was announced, the 23-year-old said she was devastated but not surprised. "It was sort of just a crushing reality," she told Insider. "I think this outcome has said that it doesn't matter how much evidence you have. It will never be enough when you've got a rich, white, private-school boy standing up there with the best lawyer that money can buy," she said.Harris said she believes her case is an example of how women are expected to be the perfect victim when making sexual assault allegations. Despite all of the evidence presented in court — her hospital visit, the pretext phone call, and Montgomery's text message — it still wasn't enough to convince the jury. Harris worries that her case may discourage others with less evidence from coming forward."There's no accountability in that and men will continue to think that they can get away with it and that's so not okay," she said. "That's what I want to change somehow. I have no idea how, but even if it's just speaking out about it."Harris is currently in university studying law. After her experience with the Australian legal system, she said her desire to become a criminal lawyer has been tainted. "I imagine it would be very difficult to take on such a broken system and work in it every day. I think it'd be quite exhausting even if you were trying to do the right thing," she said.The case's outcome has garnered outrage from a number of Australians, including Clementine Ford, a writer who posted a video to her Instagram about the verdict. "You are so strong to have withstood the legal system and every single way it disempowers survivors. I think you're incredible. I'm so sorry you were let down. I believe you," Ford said.If you are a survivor of sexual assault, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline (1-800-656-4673) or visit its website to receive confidential support.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 21st, 2022

Tyson Foods CFO charged with public intoxication says he"s "embarrassed" after allegedly falling asleep in the bed of a woman who didn"t know him

John Tyson, who was named Tyson Foods' CFO last month, was charged with public intoxication and criminal trespass. John Tyson mugshotWashington County Sheriff's Office Tyson Foods CFO was arrested last week after he was found in the bed of a woman who didn't know him. John Tyson, who was named CFO last month, was charged with public intoxication and criminal trespass. He told investors he took "full responsibility" for his actions on a quarterly conference call Monday. Tyson Foods CFO John Tyson told the company's investors he's "embarrassed" and takes "full responsibility" after he was arrested for allegedly becoming intoxicated and trespassing in the home of a woman who didn't know him."I'm embarrassed, and I want to let you know that I take full responsibility for my actions," he said on the company's quarterly call with investors Monday. "I also want to apologize to our investors as I have to our employees. This was an incident inconsistent with our company values as well as my personal values. I just wanted you guys to hear this directly from me and to know that I'm committed to making sure this never happens again."Tyson Foods CEO Donnie King said a "thorough review" of Tyson's actions is being done by the company's independent board of directors. Tyson, 32, was arrested last Sunday in Arkansas. He was found asleep in a stranger's bed around 2am, according to a preliminary arrest report obtained by Insider.The home where Tyson was found belongs to a woman who said she didn't know him. She said she believed Tyson was able to get inside because her front door was unlocked. The report said Tyson was identified from his drivers license. He was released later that evening after being charged with public intoxication and criminal trespass. Tyson became chief financial officer on October 2 after he served as executive vice president of strategy and chief sustainability officer at Tyson Foods. He is the son of the company's current board chairman and former chief executive, and is the great-grandson of Tyson Foods founder John W. Tyson.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 14th, 2022

Tyson Foods CFO John Tyson was arrested in Arkansas after allegedly becoming intoxicated and falling asleep in the bed of a woman who didn"t know him

Tyson Foods CFO John Tyson was charged with public intoxication and trespassing after he allegedly got intoxicated and fell asleep in a woman's house. John Tyson mugshotWashington County Sheriff's Office Tyson Foods CFO John Tyson was arrested Sunday in Arkansas after allegedly becoming intoxicated. He was also arrested on trespassing after a woman who didn't know him found him asleep in her bed. Tyson is a fourth-generation member of the Tyson family, and was made CFO of the company last month. John Tyson, chief financial officer of Tyson Foods, was arrested in Arkansas after he allegedly became intoxicated and fell asleep in the bed of a woman who didn't know him.Tyson, 32, was found asleep around 2am in a stranger's home, according to a preliminary arrest report obtained by Insider. The woman, who the report notes is "college age" called police and said she believed Tyson was able to enter her home because the front door was unlocked. He was identified by his drivers license.When police tried to wake Tyson up, he sat up but was unable to verbally respond, then tried to go back to sleep. The police report said that Tyson's breath and body had the smell of alcohol, and he was "sluggish and uncoordinated."Tyson was charged with public intoxication and criminal trespass, and released Sunday evening after being held in the Washington County Detention Center.Tyson Foods did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment. A representative for the company told KNWA and other outlets that it was aware of the incident, but has no additional comment because it "is a personal matter."Tyson was named CFO of Tyson Foods on October 2, after serving as executive vice president of strategy and chief sustainability officer. His father, John H. Tyson, is currently the board chairman for Tyson Foods, and previously served as the company's chief executive from 2000 t0 2006. He is also the great-grandson of Tyson Foods founder John W. Tyson. The company is known for tapping members of the Tyson family to lead and is largely controlled by the family, according to The Wall Street Journal.At the time of Tyson's appointment, a company spokesperson told the WSJ there was no conflict of interest. Tyson is the second C-suite food executive who has been arrested in the past two months. In September, Beyond Meat suspended its chief operating officer after he was arrested after allegedly biting "the flesh" off a man's nose during a road rage incident at a football game.Doug Ramsey was arrested and charged with 3rd-degree battery and terroristic threatening. Ramsey, who formerly worked at Tyson Foods, was fired along with 19% of Beyond Meat's workforce in October.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 7th, 2022

Conrad Black: Can This Be Happening In America?

Conrad Black: Can This Be Happening In America? Op-ed by Conrad Black via The Epoch Times, We have familiar experience of the phenomenon of what are clearly intolerable circumstances being tolerated if they worsened only gradually. Everyone has looked back on a grueling experience and thought that it could not have been endured had the individual known how unpleasant it would become. No matter how familiar anyone may be with the horrors of the Nazi regime, it remains to us inconceivable that the culture of Beethoven and Goethe could have committed such crimes. The United States has now reached the point where the sequence of outrageous and unconstitutional measures that have occurred in the last six years would have been inconceivable six years ago. The seal of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is seen outside of its headquarters in Washington on Aug. 15, 2022. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images) It’s unimaginable that anyone who has ever been nominated for president by a serious American political party could be an intelligence asset for a foreign power. We now know that there has never been one scintilla of evidence remotely hinting that Donald Trump was guilty of any such offense, or that he had any inappropriate relations or even a particular regard for the government of Russia. Yet for over two years it was endlessly bandied about that Trump had been “groomed” by Russian agents like the Manchurian Candidate to debase the presidency of the United States into boot-licking subordination to the national interest of Russia. The former directors of the National and Central Intelligence Agencies, James Clapper and John Brennan, solemnly told national audiences that Trump was a Russian intelligence agent and was guilty of treason in favor of the Russians. Both these senior officials on occasion allegedly lied to Congress but were never prosecuted. Former FBI Director James Comey, who improperly removed government property from his office, improperly leaked confidential information to the media, improperly presumed to decide that Hillary Clinton should not be prosecuted for destroying 33,000 emails that were under subpoena from Congress, signed a false affidavit in support of a FISA warrant to conduct illegal telephone intercepts on the Trump campaign, and supported the pretense that the infamous Steele dossier, which he knew to be a pastiche of lies and defamations, was authentic intelligence, indicating the guilt of Trump of unlawful collusion with the Russian government. The ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), and other Democrats repeated ad nauseam that they had conclusive evidence of Trump’s guilt. They lied. The inspector general of the Justice Department recorded 17 separate instances of improper official behavior. There has been no prosecution of any of this. In all of pre-Trump U.S. history, there had been two impeachment trials of presidents: Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Bill Clinton in 1998. Neither of them should have occurred and both failed, but in the last four years Trump was impeached twice, once for a telephone conversation with the president of Ukraine in which he asked if the Biden family and particularly the current president’s son Hunter Biden had committed illegalities in Ukraine. He did not direct the verdict; he did not ask for any incrimination of the Bidens. This was a completely inadequate pretext for impeaching a president and yet he was impeached, and on one count 49 senators including a former Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, did vote Trump guilty, though he was, of course, acquitted. And at the end of his term, he was impeached again for having allegedly fomented an insurrection even though the FBI director had already testified that there was no evidence that Trump or his campaign organization or his administration were connected in any way to the trespass and the vandalism that occurred at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and Trump requested and offered extra security, but this was declined by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Washington mayor Muriel Bowser. The various comprehensive accumulations of evidence about the behavior of Hunter Biden incite the strong inference that he has committed a number of illegalities and that the president repeatedly lied to the public about his own connections to his son’s activities. There is no evidence that U.S. official conduct was altered in respect of Ukraine, China, or other countries, in consideration for bribes paid to the Biden family. But there seems to be no doubt the current president and his family were engaged in improper activity that not only allegedly involves substantial lawbreaking by family members but also seems to have been suppressed rather than investigated by the FBI. The allegation that the FBI seems to have suggested to Facebook that the allegations against Hunter Biden were likely Russian disinformation and requested that they not publicize them would have been unthinkable six years ago. But it seems to have been assimilated by the American political community as a perfectly normal and acceptable occurrence. It seems clear that in the 2020 presidential election, where Trump could have prevailed in the Electoral College if 50,000 votes had flipped in Pennsylvania and any two of Arizona, Georgia, and Wisconsin, that millions of ballots potentially passed through hands that could not be identified. All of this occurred in swing states where rules were changed ostensibly to facilitate voting during the pandemic. But in the case of a number of states, contrary to the Constitution, these changes were determined not by the state legislatures but by executive branches or state judiciaries. In every one of the 19 lawsuits launched to attack these questionable changes to voting and vote counting rules, the judiciary, including in the case of the Texas attorney general’s action against the swing states and supported by 18 other state attorneys general, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear any of these cases on their merits; they were disallowed for technical reasons, some of those quite spurious. Now we have had, on the complaint of federal archivists, the intrusion and occupation for nine hours of the former president’s home on a warrant alleging just cause to believe that crimes have been committed involving the improper removal and retention of classified information. Trump had been collaborating with the archivists, possessed the power to act as he pleased with classified material when he was president, and this isn’t a classified material case anyway. He didn’t pack any of this himself as he left the White House, has not mislaid or misused any of this material, and 19 months have gone by since he left office. It’s a document-handling case. There’s no conceivable justification for such a sensational invasion in the absence of any plausible claim of significant wrongdoing—except that it’s a political tainting job against the former president, and the Presidential Records Act isn’t a criminal statute. This is just the Democrats transmuting a grumpy librarian’s complaint into the insinuation that the former president committed unimaginable crimes. A disastrous and shaming flight from Afghanistan is described by President Joe Biden as “a triumphant success.” Dr. Anthony Fauci retires with dignity after doing terrible damage to the country with his nonsense about shutting schools, “droplets,” the ups and downs of masking, the “abolition of hand-shakes”—almost all of it now thoroughly discredited. Six years ago, no one could have imagined that these outrages would have occurred, much less that they would be accepted by a bedraggled, degraded, demoralized America, its federal government in the hands of lawless and authoritarian myth-makers, applauded by the complicit national political media. Can this be America? Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times or ZeroHedge. Tyler Durden Thu, 09/01/2022 - 00:00.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytSep 1st, 2022

New Jan. 6 Bodycam Videos Show DC Police Officer Assaulting Unconscious Protester

New Jan. 6 Bodycam Videos Show DC Police Officer Assaulting Unconscious Protester Authored by Joseph M. Hanneman via The Epoch Times, A District of Columbia police officer used a large wooden stick to strike the body and head of protester Rosanne Boyland three times as she lay motionless on the ground on Jan. 6, 2021, according to bodycam footage from several officers obtained by The Epoch Times. Use-of-force expert Stanley Kephart, upon reviewing the previously unreleased footage, concluded that the three full-force blows by D.C. police officer Lila Morris constituted a felony assault with intent to cause great bodily harm. Kephart called Morris’s use of force “indefensible” and the internal-affairs investigation of Boyland’s death a “clear and convincing coverup.” “I think that the first thing that occurred is an assault under the color of authority by Morris,” Kephart told The Epoch Times. “That is a crime, an arrestable offense.” Police at the mouth of the Lower West Terrace tunnel at the U.S. Capitol ignored dozens of pleas to help Boyland after she collapsed, the videos show. When a lifeless Boyland was pulled inside the building more than 10 minutes later, other police and EMS personnel began 50 minutes of life-saving efforts that ultimately failed. An independent forensic pathologist hired by the Boyland family contends that her cause of death wasn’t an overdose of the prescription drug Adderall—as reported by the D.C. medical examiner—but manual asphyxia. Boyland was crushed under a pile of people when police gassed protesters and pushed them out of the tunnel at about 4:20 p.m. on Jan. 6. ‘Under the Color of Authority’ Kephart, a 42-year law enforcement veteran and former director of security for the 1984 Los Angeles Summer Olympics, reviewed Boyland’s case at the request of The Epoch Times. He has testified as a witness more than 350 times on topics including excessive force, police discipline, officer safety, and crowd control. Kephart concluded that Morris’s use of force was a felonious “assault under the color of authority,” with intent to cause great bodily harm. He said that Morris should be prosecuted in criminal court and fired from the D.C. Metro police force. “I believe two things were in operation here. One was anger at this person,” Kephart said, referring to Boyland. “That was overridden by fear. And those two elements were the causal connection between what was done to the person by the officer and the result.” Rosanne Boyland was struck with a wooden stick on Jan. 6, 2021: once in the ribs and twice in the head, video evidence shows. (Metropolitan Police Department Bodycams/Graphic by The Epoch Times) The force used against Boyland fails a four-part standard set in the 1989 U.S. Supreme Court case Graham v. Connor, Kephart said: whether force was ever needed and appropriate in the situation, the extent of the injury, and “whether the force was applied in a good-faith manner to maintain and restore discipline, or maliciously and sadistically.” Police are trained not to strike people in the head with a blunt object. In the West Terrace tunnel, something overcame that training, Kephart said. “If you have a trained officer who is angry at what the crowd is doing and the crowd rises up and puts him in a position where he feels his personal safety is compromised, fear begins to take over the anger, and the reflexive response throws the training right out the window,” Kephart said. Chief Robert Contee of the Metropolitan Police Department didn’t respond to a request for comment. A message left with the department’s public information office wasn’t returned. Justin Winchell reacts in horror when his friend Rosanne Boyland is struck in the head with a wooden stick. Boyland was struck three times. Officer Lila Morris tried striking a fourth time, but the stick flew from her hand. (Metropolitan Police Department Bodycam/Screenshot via The Epoch Times) One protester who allegedly used the same wooden stick to strike and jab at police in the terrace tunnel was charged with assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers using a dangerous weapon. Jonathan Mellis was charged in a 10-count indictment on March 10, 2021. He pleaded not guilty. Mellis is being held in jail pending trial. Police Ignored Pleas for Help Police bodycam video shows protesters begging officers to render life-saving aid to Boyland from the moment she collapsed at the mouth of the tunnel. The pleas grew more desperate as it became apparent Boyland was dying. That sparked a violent backlash from rioters, who attacked the police line with fists, flag poles, sticks, and a whisk broom. “There’s people under here!” shouted Justin Winchell, Boyland’s friend who accompanied her to Washington that day. “There’s people trapped under here!” A protester right at the police line who was bleeding from a baton strike to the head pointed to Boyland and pleaded for help. “Get her up. Get her up! Get her up, please,” the man urged. “Save her life! Save her life, please!” One officer used his baton and boots to push five protesters on top of Boyland, bodycam video shows. “Please get her up! She’s gonna die!” Winchell shouted. There was the sound of a female coughing as a battle raged above and around Boyland. The coughing stopped at 4:26:04 p.m., according to a timeline developed by The Epoch Times from police bodycam footage. A few seconds later, the large crowd on the terrace began chanting, “I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!” “My God! She’s dead! She’s dead! Rose!” Winchell cried at 4:26:52 p.m. “Rosanne! I need somebody! She’s dead! … I need somebody! I need medics!” Just shy of 4:28 p.m., protester Luke Coffee of Dallas stepped to the front of the police line, held up his hand, and shouted, “Stop!” He was squirted in the face with pepper spray but maintained his position. A rioter threw a large wooden stick at Morris from out in the crowd. At the time, Morris was in the tunnel, crouching behind a protester who had his arms covering his head. 3 Strikes Morris picked up the wooden stick, raised it over her head, and struck Coffee on the right elbow, bodycam video shows. She aimed a second strike at Coffee but missed. The video then shows that Morris raised the stick over her head with both hands and unleashed three quick hits to Boyland’s body: one to the ribs and two to the head. The second blow to the head drew a horrified reaction from Winchell. The wooden stick flew from Morris’s left hand as she wound up for another strike on Boyland, the videos show. Morris whiffed in her final attempted hit. The stick ricocheted off the tunnel arch and flew over Morris’s head. Coffee reached down and picked up an aluminum crutch that had been thrown at police several times during the afternoon. He held the crutch over his head for several seconds, then used it like a plow to push the police line back into the tunnel several feet. As Coffee pushed the police line back, bystanders dragged Boyland down several steps and began CPR. Nearly three minutes later, they carried her directly in front of the police line and continued doing CPR. No officers moved to lend assistance. At 4:31 p.m., Boyland was dragged by officers to the back of the tunnel and inside the Capitol. In the process, she lost her jeans, backpack, and top, leaving her clothed only in leggings, according to bodycam video. First responders perform CPR on Rosanne Boyland just inside the lower West Terrace tunnel entrance at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (Metropolitan Police Department Bodycam/Screenshot via The Epoch Times) A SWAT team member in a green tactical uniform began CPR. The D.C. Fire and EMS Department was summoned. Within a few minutes, a team of six to eight first responders was working to resuscitate Boyland. She was hooked to an automated external defibrillator. Morris watched the resuscitation efforts. At 4:38 p.m., her bodycam captures a female voice—likely Morris—asking, “Is he dead?” Boyland was loaded onto a makeshift gurney and wheeled to the east wing of the Capitol to meet a medical transport unit from D.C. Fire and EMS. “When we got into the Capitol, they had her on some sort of dolly or pull cart, and they were pulling her down the hallway towards us,” Capt. Ellen Kurland, an EMS supervisor, said in a Jan. 6 documentary produced by DC Fire and EMS. “We worked her for 30 minutes, and she had been down 20 minutes before we were even able to get to her.” Boyland was put on an IV and given epinephrine every four minutes to stimulate her heart. The rescue squad requested approval to depart for The George Washington University Hospital at 5:10 p.m. “Authorization was not granted,” read a summary of records obtained by the Boyland family. The records don’t indicate why the ambulance wasn’t allowed to leave the Capitol for a half-hour after requesting approval. A message from The Epoch Times left at the D.C. Metro Fire and EMS Department hasn’t been returned. The ambulance finally left the Capitol at 5:40 p.m. for the one-mile trip to the hospital. Due to traffic and road closures, the ambulance didn’t arrive at the emergency room until 6 p.m. Boyland was pronounced dead at 6:09 p.m. “We are not 100 percent [certain of] when she actually passed, but agree it was in that time frame [4:21 to 4:26 p.m.] and probably before Lila Morris got hold of that stick,” Bret Boyland, Rosanne’s father, told The Epoch Times. “No matter whether Rosanne was alive or not, we were shocked and appalled at the officer’s attack.” ‘Objectively Reasonable’ Troubled by the contradictions in the Boyland case, Gary McBride of Decatur, Texas, filed an excessive-force complaint against Morris with the Metropolitan Police Department in September 2021. “I don’t condone what happened at the Capitol, and I don’t condone the beating of anyone who is defenseless either,” McBride wrote to the D.C. Metro Internal Affairs Bureau on Sept. 14. “It doesn’t matter if you are a protester, preacher, or politician; you should be held accountable for your actions.” Two months later, in November 2021, Capt. David K. Augustine wrote to McBride and said, “The use of force within this investigation was determined to be objectively reasonable.” Cause of Death Disputed The D.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner performed an autopsy on Boyland on Jan. 7, 2021. The cause of death was ruled amphetamine intoxication. Boyland’s family questioned that conclusion. Boyland had a prescription for Adderall, a medication used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). There was no visual evidence or witness statements to indicate any signs the drug impaired her on Jan. 6. First responders pull Rosanne Boyland on a makeshift gurney to meet a transport unit from DC Fire and EMS at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. (Metropolitan Police Department Bodycam/Screenshot via The Epoch Times) The Boyland family hired Park Dietz & Associates to review the autopsy findings. The Park Dietz forensic pathologist agreed that the manner of death was an accident but concluded Boyland’s death was caused by manual asphyxia. Boyland was cremated, so a new autopsy was not possible. “Compressional asphyxia refers to a situation in which pressure exerted on the chest or back of an individual impedes normal breathing and often leaves no diagnostic physical findings,” read a summary of the Park Dietz report provided to The Epoch Times by the Boyland family. Amphetamine toxicity “was not the proximate cause of Ms. Boyland’s death, although it cannot be ruled in or out as a contributory factor,” the pathologist wrote. “The circumstances surrounding Ms. Boyland’s death are not consistent with a drug overdose as the proximate cause and cannot be ignored.” The original autopsy didn’t note any evidence of injury, except for a four-inch bruise on her right forearm. However, bodycam footage of Boyland being dragged from the tunnel entrance at 4:31 p.m. shows what appears to be a wound on her forehead. Another bodycam view seems to show a long red mark starting on the lower section of her left rib cage. Winchell told an Atlanta television station in 2021 that Boyland developed a nosebleed after the officer struck her in the face with the walking stick. “I want you to hear me: She was already blue, and the Capitol police—I kid you not—had been hitting everyone with batons and stuff, understandably,” Winchell said. “But I’m talking, she is laid out, maybe dead at this point, but they hit her at least two times in the body. And then they hit her once in the face, once right here in her nose, and some blood started coming out of her nose.” Rosanne Boyland and Justin Winchell in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021. (Boyland family/Screenshot via The Epoch Times) According to the autopsy, Boyland suffered left and right anterior rib fractures, but those were likely caused by CPR compressions, the Park Dietz report said. The report noted no evidence that a beating or traumatic injury contributed to her death. “This does not mean that she was not beaten by a police officer, only that she was already deceased at that time,” the Boyland family said in a statement. The report said it’s unclear what role chemical irritants sprayed by police and protesters might have had on Boyland’s death. Videos show mace dripping off the clothing of protesters near the police line. “Please stop pepper spraying,” an unknown man near Boyland pleaded at 4:26 p.m. “Her lungs are full of it.” Police used an unknown gas on protesters in the tunnel at 4:20 p.m. According to security video, a loud explosion was heard seconds beforehand, causing many protesters in the tunnel to drop to the ground. Chemical agents such as pyrotechnic oleoresin capsicum, delivered via an exploding munition, work primarily on the lungs. Witnesses in the tunnel described feeling like the oxygen was sucked from the air, making it impossible to breathe. The response was panic. Kephart said crowd-control munitions were a mistake in such a tight and crowded space. “If you’re using gas munitions to cause the air to be saturated with a gas displacing the oxygen, and causes them to panic and pass out, thereby clogging the ability for them to disperse because they’re passed out, you have created and worsened the problem,” Kephart said. “This is an absolute symptom of a lack of proper training. This offends common sense.” Police can allow fear to overcome their training in high-stress situations, but so can crowds like the one in the West Terrace tunnel. “The same thing is true with the crowds: If fear [strikes], they do the wrong thing,” he said. “They either drop-down, or they try to flee. And in attempting to do either of those two options, they worsen the circumstance in crowd compaction.” Birthday Filled With Sadness April 26 was a sad day at the Georgia home of Bret and Cheryl Boyland. Their late daughter Rosanne would have turned 36. Instead of enjoying a birthday celebration, the Boyland family had to confront the grief that has been ever-present since the night of Jan. 6, 2021. Rosanne’s parents struggle with many lingering questions about her death. Among them is the exact time their daughter died. Bret Boyland said that based on the review of Rosanne’s autopsy and other factors, he believes she died between 4:21 p.m. and 4:25 p.m. A review of video and audio from police bodycams identified a series of female coughs between 4:25:34 and 4:26:04. Boyland said the coughs were too short for him to tell if they came from his daughter. Bodycam and security video of Boyland’s time in the Capitol before being taken to the hospital provided some comfort to her family. “We were glad to get details of life-saving efforts after she was dragged into the Capitol,” Bret Boyland said. “She just got that attention too late.” Tyler Durden Fri, 04/29/2022 - 23:00.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytApr 29th, 2022

The Oath Keepers: What The Indictment Says (And Does Not Say) About "Jan 6"

The Oath Keepers: What The Indictment Says (And Does Not Say) About 'Jan 6' Authored by Jonathan Turley, The indictment of eleven individuals associated with the “Oath Keepers” produced an immediate deluge of the postings that an insurrection had finally been established on the January 6th attack at the Capitol. The charges do not establish an insurrection. It does reveal how extremist groups show the protest as an opportunity and hoped that it might trigger greater unrest. However, the indictment does not offer the long-sought proof of an insurrection to fulfill the narrative of many commentators and politicians. While I would not be surprised by additional charges against other co-conspirators and more details could emerge, the indictment does not support the prior allegations of a coordination or collusion with the Trump campaign. Here is a first take on what the indictment says and does not say. Is this the Insurrection? Before addressing the details of the indictment, it is important to state the obvious about this indictment and how it is already being spun as proof of an insurrection. It is not.  These are charges of seditious conspiracy based on efforts to disrupt the proceedings. There was discussion among some of the defendants about the prospects of civil war, particularly after January 6th. However, the charge itself is much broader. The provision in 18 U.S.C. 2384 has long been controversial because it is so sweeping and includes any effort to “prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law”: If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both. Most of us discussed the riot previously noted that there were people who clearly came to the Hill that day to commit violent acts and interrupt the legislative process. Indeed, most of us predicted that a small group of people would receive the more serious charges. I have never had much sympathy for those who rioted or those who recklessly fueled such anger. Saying that this was not an insurrection does not mean that this was not a desecration of our constitutional process and values. I publicly condemned Trump’s speech while it was being given and I called for a bipartisan vote of censure over his responsibility in the riots. The charges of a relatively small number of extremists in this large protest belies rather than supports the broader allegations of an actual insurrection. This remains a protest that became a riot — a view shared by the vast majority of the public. Over seven hundred people have been charged and most face relatively minor charges of trespass and unlawful entry. The fact that there were a small number of people intent on violence does not convert the intent or actions of the thousands in the protest into an insurrection. FBI sources previously told the media that, despite months of intense investigation, they could find “scant evidence” of any “organized plot” and instead found that virtually all of the cases are “one-offs.” One agent explained: ”Ninety to 95 percent of these are one-off cases. Then you have 5 percent, maybe, of these militia groups that were more closely organized. But there was no grand scheme with Roger Stone and Alex Jones and all of these people to storm the Capitol and take hostages.” This is clearly part of that five percent that the FBI and most of us have been discussing. Their views or intentions do not convert hundreds of defendants from trespassers into insurrectionists. The same is true for rioters in prior summers. We have seen groups anarchist and extremist groups like Antifa come to protests to fuel violence. This small number of individuals often discuss (as did these defendants) a desire to see an overthrow of the government. They tried to further such objectives by burning police stations and trying repeatedly to burn down a federal courthouse. However, their intentions did not convert the thousands of other protesters into rioters or insurrectionists. Even these extremist groups have not been called domestic terrorists or seditionists by the media or Democratic politicians. The Indictment and Likely Trial Issues The indictment itself details the same extremist rhetoric and calls that we have seen from extremist groups on both the left and right in past years. It is an unsettling part of this age of rage. The defendants adopted pseudo military jargon and beat their chests about the coming civil war. It is important not to dismiss the danger that such groups pose. They come across at points as clowns but this is why clowns can be so scary. They are clowns who openly discussed storing weapons and fostering a civil war. The indictment details evidence that most of these men entered the Capitol and encouraged the rioting. Most of the charges are similar to those in other cases in that respect and seem well-based. It is really the first charge that has drawn the most attention and is likely to draw the most litigation.  However, as discussed above, keep in mind that a conspiracy requires only two people to conspire to hinder the executive of any law. Nevertheless, the Justice Department works hard to reinforce the view of this group as launching a military attack, using their own military jargon. It divides the group into “stacks” that “marched” on the Capitol. Thus, Stack 2 (composed of just three people) is described as not walking but marching around the crowded grounds: “[Stack Two] breached the Capitol grounds, marching from the west side to the east side of the Capitol building and up the east stairs.” The defense is likely to question these characterizations in pre-trial motions. Each “stack” was composed of a handful of people. Stack 1 was composed of Kelly Meggs, Kenneth Harrelson, Jessica Watkins, and Jospeh Hasckett, and David Moerschel. Stack 2 was composed of just Joshua James and Robero Minuta. Then there is the ominous sounding “Quick Reaction Force,” which the indictment said was composed of only Thomas Caldwell and Edward Vallejo. The indictment is strong on detailing the alleged violent rhetoric and machinations of the defendants. It shows men who speak of civil war and actively acquire weapons in the anticipation that they might be used. However, as a criminal defense attorney, there are some gaps and disconnects that I expect could cause difficulties at trial on the sedition conspiracy charge. (The rest of the charges will be more difficult to contest on things like obstructing an official proceeding). These are eleven people who were not armed with guns and some apparently never entered the Capitol. While the Justice Department discussed plans for river landings and arsenals of weapons and forces held in reserve, the individuals in Stack 2 were equipped with: “battle apparel and gear, including hard-knuckle tactical gloves, tactical vests, ballistic goggles, radios, chemical sprays, a paracord attachment, fatigues, goggles, scissors, a large stick, and one of the Stack Two member’s 82-pound German Shepherd named ‘Warrior.’” That is undistinguishable (and in some cases less lethal) than material seized from Antifa, Proud Boys, and other rioters in prior summer.  Despite buying and storing weapons, they did not bring them to the Hill, did not use them, and left the Hill with many others. Only one, Joshua James, is charged with the broad offense of “assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers.” (Count 8). The rest are charged with the common crimes of trespass, obstruction, and unlawful entry. The indictment details discussions of a civil war after the riot. On January 12, 2021, James messages “after this, … if nothing happens, its war … Civil War 2.0.” There was no apparent follow through after January 6th with an actual attack or rebellion against the government. The indictment also does not allege the broader conspiracy often raised by politicians and pundits. The defendants themselves appeared to acknowledge that they were acting without coordination with the Administration or President Trump. Rhodes messages “All I see Trump doing is complaining. I see no intent by him to do anything. So the Patriots are taking it into their own hands. They’ve had enough.” There may be more charges coming given the references to unnamed “co-conspirators.” For example, on page 18, Watkins is quoted in discussions with someone who is only referenced as a “co-conspirator.” It is not clear if that person is a cooperating witness or a soon-to-be-charged defendant. There are other glaring issues for defense counsel, including the possibility that  a couple of the defendants who did not even participate in the actual riot at the Capitol building. That does not mean that they cannot be guilty of a conspiracy but it contradicts earlier published accounts. The government, for example, previously held Caldwell as a key organizer of the attack and claimed that he entered the Capitol with this co-conspirators.  The indictment, however, omits that allegation and now lists Caldwell with the two-man “Quick Reaction Force.” A federal judge ultimately refused to continue to hold Caldwell over the objections of the Justice Department. Those issues will have to be hashed out in the forthcoming criminal indictments. After such charges are brought, defendants are under overwhelming pressure to cooperate and reach a plea deal. We will have to see if that proves the case here or with any additional indictments. Conversely, these defendants will be able to demand exculpatory evidence from the government. Indictments always look more ominous before they are subject to adversarial challenge. However, it will be difficult to rebut some of these charges on obstructing the process or damaging government property. It will be the seditious conspiracy count that will produce the greatest factual and legal challenges in the months to come. Here is the indictment: Rhodes et al indictment Tyler Durden Sat, 01/15/2022 - 13:30.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJan 15th, 2022

Boeing pleads not guilty in case over deadly 737 Max crashes

Boeing has pleaded not guilty to a criminal charge in a case revolving around two crashes of Boeing 737 Max planes.Boeing has pleaded not guilty to a criminal charge in a case revolving around two crashes of Boeing 737 Max planes......»»

Category: topSource: chicagotribuneJan 26th, 2023

Sam Bankman-Fried"s new dog is reportedly trained to attack would-be assailants with a secret code word

Former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, who is under house arrest in Palo Alto, can use a single word to set off his new German shepherd, per Forbes. Sam Bankman-Fried's new dog, Sandor, can reportedly attack on command. The former FTX CEO has said in court filings that the publicity around his case has exposed his family to "harassment and threats."Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images Sam Bankman-Fried's new dog can attack with a single command, per Forbes. His parents reportedly gave him the dog, a German shepherd named Sandor.  Bankman-Fried has said in court filings that his family has faced "harassment and threats." Sam Bankman-Fried's new German shepherd can reportedly attack on command. The former FTX CEO's animal companion, named Sandor, pounces in response to a "secret word," according to Forbes.The 75-pound Sandor, whose name evokes the meaning "defender of men," was a gift from Bankman-Fried's parents, per a Puck interview.A representative for Bankman-Fried declined to comment on Thursday. Bankman-Fried is currently under house arrest at his parents' home near Stanford University, confined there with an ankle monitor after being released in December on a $250 million bail package. Earlier this month, he pleaded not guilty to the criminal wire fraud and conspiracy charges against him. He faces the prospect of a trial in October, though he could theoretically work out a deal with prosecutors any time before then. In court filings this month, Bankman-Fried referenced the toll of the public proceedings on his parents, Barbara Fried and Joseph Bankman, saying that they're dealing with "intense media scrutiny, harassment, and threats." His lawyers referred to an episode in which three men in a car hit a security barrier at his parents' home and made a threat to a security guard who had to send them away.  Bankman-Fried's lawyers have argued that such concerns about personal safety also extend to his two other bail sponsors, who have posted a total of $700,000, and told the New York federal court overseeing his case that they shouldn't be publicly named. News organizations, including Insider, have challenged that argument, telling the court that the identities of Bankman-Fried's backers are a matter of public interest in light of the scale of the alleged fraud at FTX, which government agents have alleged led to the loss of $8 billion in customer funds. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytJan 26th, 2023

: Tyson Foods CFO’s guilty plea in drunken trespass case latest example in long line of corporate executive misbehavior

The record is mixed for how companies deal with executives who get arrested for public, often alcohol-fueled, shenanigans......»»

Category: topSource: marketwatchJan 25th, 2023

Bitcoin, ether slip as crypto rally falters after regaining $1 trillion market cap

Bitcoin is taking a breather after leading a broader crypto rebound in January. The digital coin remains up by nearly 40% in January. Bitcoin and Dogecoin cryptocurrencies.Jakub Porzycki/NurPhoto via Getty Images Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies lost ground Wednesday following a recent rally.  Bitcoin in January has been in recovery mode after tumbling 64% in 2022.  The broader crypto market this month regained a valuation of more than $1 trillion.  Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies moved lower Wednesday, after recent gains propelled the broader cryptocurrency market's valuation back above $1 trillion. Bitcoin fell 1.3% to $22,699, and ether declined 2.1% to $1,565.60. Among other altcoins, Solana gave up 1.5% to trade at $24.16, and dogecoin lost 1.8%.  Bitcoin so far in 2023 has flown up about 37%, rebounding after a bleak 2022 "crypto winter" performance that left the digital asset down by 64%. Its January advance contributed to the cryptocurrency market recapturing a valuation of more than $1 trillion. The market lost grip of that valuation after the November collapse of FTX which has since led founder Sam Bankman-Fried to face eight criminal charges. He has pleaded not guilty to the charges. "Bitcoin is consolidating after making a five-month high. The recent rally couldn't break above the $23,500 level, which could pave the way for a minor dip towards the $22,000 region," Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, said in a note late Tuesday. He said bitcoin faces major macro events that could lead the world's largest cryptocurrency to tread water in the short term."When all the dust settles from Q4 GDP, the Fed's preferred inflation gauge, and the Federal Open Market Committee decision, strong resistance should come from the $25,000 level," he said.Meanwhile, stablecoin USDC slipped 0.2%. Its parent company Circle has blamed the US Securities & Exchange Commission for the failure of its $9 billion plan to go public through a SPAC, according to the Financial Times.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJan 25th, 2023

You could be buying shoplifted stuff on Amazon, eBay, or Facebook Marketplace

"E-fencing," or selling stolen goods online, could be on the rise as CEOs complain of worsening shoplifting. You might be supporting it. ...Getty Retail executives at companies like Target and Walmart are pointing to a spike in shoplifting. Experts say organized crime deserves much of the blame. Many are selling stolen goods on online platforms to unwitting consumers. Executives at retailers like Target and Walmart are raising alarms about shoplifting in their stores — and you may have unknowingly bought one of these items when you shopped online.That's because criminal enterprises are selling over $500 billion in stolen or counterfeit products through online marketplaces like Amazon, Craigslist, eBay, and Facebook Marketplace across the globe each year, the Prosecutors Alliance of California, an advocacy organization that promotes criminal justice reforms, estimated in 2022.If true, this would mean illicit goods account for up to 10% of the total e-commerce market.Couple a spike in shoplifted items with the rise of online shopping in recent years, and it's possible you could be one of these unwitting customers. Given the sellers often appear legitimate — and the goods are often sold at discounted prices — many consumers are happy to do business. Rather than being driven by a surge of one-off thieves, experts say organized criminal organizations are largely to blame, and are hurting not only the businesses they steal from, but the legitimate online sellers they're competing with."This is a professional criminal," Jason Brewer, the spokesperson for the Buy Safe America Coalition, a lobby group for the retail industry, previously told Insider. "They're not looking to steal food for dinner, or something they need because they can't afford it. They are stealing specific items that they know they can resell online."Insider reached out to Amazon, eBay, Craigslist and Meta for comment. Spokespeople from both eBay and Amazon said the platforms do not allow sellers to list stolen goods and that they work with law enforcement to identify this activity.A Meta spokesperson said Facebook Marketplace prohibits the sale of stolen items and has "specialized teams that work with law enforcement to respond to legal requests." "We enforce our commerce policies (including reviewing complaints and reports against sellers and reports of stolen goods) through our commerce review system," they added. "While this review is largely automated, we rely on our teams to build and train these systems, and in some cases, to manually review listings."Craigslist did not respond to Insider's request for comment. Retailers say shoplifting is on the riseIn July, a Tulsa woman pleaded guilty to her role as the leader of a 29-person retail theft organization. The group targeted stores that included Walmart, Costco, and Walgreens and sold items through sites like Amazon and eBay, netting $4.5 million in sales.This e-fencing — the selling of stolen goods online — is not a new phenomenon. Organized retail theft increased nearly 60% between 2015 and 2020, the National Retail Federation found in a 2020 survey, costing retailers an average of over $700,000 per $1 billion in sales. In 2021, a law enforcement officer told The Wall Street Journal that Amazon "may be the largest unregulated pawnshop on the face of the planet." The apparent rise in shoplifting over the past year, however, suggests the online selling of stolen goods may be becoming more common. In November, Target said it expected to lose $600 million in 2022 to "inventory shrink" — when stores have less on their shelves than is recorded in their inventory — much of which it attributed to organized retail crime. In December, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said theft was "higher than what it has historically been" and that stores could close if the problem did not improve. It's not just big-box retailers that have been impacted, however. 54% of small-business owners reported an uptick in shoplifting in 2021, according to a survey of 700 small businesses, with 23% saying theft happened every day. While there appears to be a growing problem, robust, up-to-date data on the situation can be hard to come by, and there's some evidence shoplifting hasn't surged in recent years after all. A different National Retail Federation survey released last September, for instance, found that the average "shrink rate" across the retail industry was 1.4% in 2021, down from the prior two years. On an earnings call earlier this month, Walgreens CFO James Kehoe said the company may have "cried too much" about shoplifting over the prior year, as its shrinkage rate returned to more normal levels. Going forward, businesses are taking steps to reduce shoplifting, but it also might get harder for criminal enterprises to sell their stolen goods online.As part of its $1.7 trillion spending package in December, Congress passed a piece of legislation retailers had been pushing for for years, one platforms like Amazon and eBay ultimately came out in support of. The Inform Act will require online marketplaces to collect and verify the government ID, tax ID, and bank account information of "high volume third party sellers" — those that make 200 or more sales or earn at least $5,000 in a given year, the hope being this will help kick some illicit sellers off online platforms. "If the marketplaces have to start verifying the people selling on their platform and providing that information to the public, it's going to be a lot harder for people to sell stolen goods," Brewer said prior to the bill's passing. In recent years, many online platforms have already taken steps to crack down on the selling of stolen goods. Amazon, for instance, has required all new selling accounts to undergo a more strict verification process. And in 2021, the company said it invested over $900 million as part of its efforts to combat fraud. To what degree the legislation, along with other measures, reduces the sale of stolen goods across these platforms remains to be seen.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJan 24th, 2023

Trump claims lawsuits are a conspiracy to "keep him busy" ahead of 2024. He"s the one making lawsuits political, judges say.

Judges are slamming Donald Trump and his lawyers for "frivolous" attempts to use the courts for a "political purpose." Former President Donald Trump during an event at his Mar-a-Lago home on November 15, 2022, when he announced he would run for president in 2024.Joe Raedle/Getty Images Donald Trump said litigation against him is meant to "defeat" him ahead of 2024. Judges have repeatedly slammed Trump for using lawsuits "to advance a political narrative." A judge last week sanctioned him and his lawyer Alina Habba with a $1 million fine. Former President Donald Trump is trotting out a new argument against everyone suing him: They're trying to distract him.In a deposition taken in October and unsealed this month, Trump lashed out at the attorney interviewing him. His perceived enemies were trying to "defeat" him by keeping him busy, said Trump, who has announced he'll run for president in 2024."Keep Trump busy, because this is the way you defeat him, to keep him busy with litigation," Trump testified in the deposition, speaking in the third person.The deposition was taken for a lawsuit brought by the writer E. Jean Carroll, who has alleged that Trump raped her in the 1990s and defamed her by calling her a liar when she went public with her claims. Portions of the deposition were unsealed earlier this month.Elsewhere in the deposition, Trump said he believed Carroll and her lawyer, Roberta Kaplan, were "somehow aligned with Hillary Clinton." When pressed by Kaplan about his claims that the litigation was political in nature, Trump testified he did not have "any documents indicating that she was pursuing a political agenda" and that he made the claim because "somebody had mentioned it."This isn't the first time Trump has cast litigation against him as politically motivated. He's used the term "witch hunt" to describe *deep breath* the Manhattan district attorney's investigation into the Trump Organization, which resulted in convictions at a jury trial; the ongoing New York attorney general office's investigation and 220-page lawsuit into his company's finances; the former special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the links between his 2016 campaign and Russia, which found many; and the ongoing Justice Department investigation into him keeping classified government documents at Mar-a-Lago, his Palm Beach, Florida, estate.In a decision handed down Thursday night, a federal judge in Florida said the opposite was true. US District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks said that Trump has a "pattern of misusing the courts to serve political purposes.""Mr. Trump's deliberate use of a frivolous lawsuit for an improper purpose constitutes bad faith," Middlebrooks wrote in his ruling. "And the behavior is not unique, but part of a plan, or at least a playbook."A federal judge said one of Trump's lawsuits was 'drafted to advance a political narrative'Middlebrooks fined Trump and his attorney Alina Habba nearly $1 million for a frivolous lawsuit filed against Hillary Clinton, the Democratic National Committee, the former FBI director James Comey, and a smattering of other people and entities that Trump harbors grudges against.Over 46 scathing pages, the judge described how the lawsuit made no sense on its own terms and constituted "abusive litigation tactics."The lawsuit's real purpose, he wrote, was a "deliberate attempt to harass" that was "drafted to advance a political narrative" rather than "address legal harm." "This case should never have been brought," Middlebrooks wrote. "Its inadequacy as a legal claim was evident from the start. No reasonable lawyer would have filed it. Intended for a political purpose, none of the counts of the amended complaint stated a cognizable legal claim."Lawyers who do Trump's bidding run the risk of getting into hot water themselves.Trump's former fixer Michael Cohen famously pleaded guilty to criminal charges for arranging hush-money payments to women who said they had affairs with the mogul before the 2016 election. The conviction stripped Cohen of the ability to practice law.Trump lawyers Michael Madaio, left, and Alina Habba, center, leaving Manhattan Supreme Court on April 25, 2022.Molly Crane Newman/New York Daily News/Tribune News Service via Getty ImagesA December analysis from Insider found that 16 attorneys have been sanctioned for lawsuits filed on Trump's behalf, including Rudy Giuliani and a host of other attorneys who pushed conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.Among Trump's large team of lawyers and legal advisors, Habba may run the greatest risk of being sanctioned.She is handling many of Trump's most personal cases. Some have been successful, such as a settlement with Summer Zervos, who had accused Trump of sexual misconduct; the settlement of a case brought by protesters who said they were beaten up by his security guards outside Trump Tower; and dismissals of lawsuits brought by Mary Trump and Michael Cohen. She and her law partner Michael Madaio are also defending Trump in Carroll's litigation against him. Habba has also acted as Trump's attack dog in the courts. She's sued CNN, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and the Pulitzer board on his behalf.As Middlebrooks pointed out in his sanctions order, those cases have a political flavor.Trump touted several of those lawsuits to ask his supporters for donations, leading Middlebrooks to remark that the former president was "using the courts as a stage set for political theater and grievance."Habba personally advises Trump's MAGA political-action committee, and public filings show her firm has been paid more than $2 million in fees from Trump's Save America PAC.Another judge threatened sanctions over 'frivolous litigation' There are signs Trump may finally be rethinking his litigation strategy.Hours after Middlebrooks' sanctions order, Trump withdrew a separate lawsuit against the New York state attorney general, Letitia James. The lawsuit, filed in a federal court in Florida, sought to halt a lawsuit James filed in New York against the Trump Organization alleging a pattern of financial misconduct over the course of decades.That lawsuit also landed in front of Middlebrooks. He hasn't ruled on it yet, but in his sanctions order last week, he made it clear that he took a dim view of the lawsuit against James.New York State Attorney General Letitia James.Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty ImagesMiddlebrooks drew from comments made by a New York judge, Arthur Engoron, who's overseeing the James lawsuit and has spent years overseeing litigation related to the Trump Organization's efforts to slow her investigation. Engoron had repeatedly slapped down the Trump family's efforts to squirm out of handing over documents and sitting for depositions and has been repeatedly backed up by appeal courts. At one point, he found Donald Trump to be in contempt of court and fined him $10,000 a day until he sat for a deposition.Engoron also rejected Trump's arguments that the attorney general's "investigation was based on 'personal animus' and that it amounted to selective prosecution," Middlebrooks noted.Earlier this month, Engoron said he was considering another set of sanctions against Habba and Madaio, as well as two other law firms representing Trump, for setting forth "the same legal arguments that this court previously rejected," as Insider's Laura Italiano previously reported. Those legal arguments include claiming that James' investigation amounted to a "witch hunt," and that the New York attorney general did not have the standing to sue Trump's New York-based business."This widespread and persistent conduct points to the need for deterrence," Middlebrooks wrote in justifying the $1 million fine.Trump's lawyers have to deal with his 2024 runIn the Trump lawsuits that haven't been dismissed, those trials may need to be scheduled around his 2024 campaign events. He can't be chowing down corn dogs at the Iowa State Fair if he needs to be in court defending himself against Carroll's rape allegations.A scheduling scuffle played out in court filings late last year in a class-action lawsuit brought by a group of people who said Trump scammed them by promoting a multi-level marketing scheme. Roberta Kaplan, who is also representing plaintiffs in the case, asked the judge to set a trial date "before primary contests and other campaign-related events begin in earnest.""Plaintiffs have no desire to interfere with the upcoming campaign, and are mindful that, should the schedule in this case extend into 2024, Defendants likely will, as they have in the past, use the campaign as a basis to seek further delay," Kaplan wrote in a November 21 letter, shortly after Trump announced his candidacy.Attorneys for Trump described the concerns as "wholly manufactured" and said Trump wouldn't have a problem with an early 2024 trial date, even though he sought to have trials moved during the 2016 campaign."There is nothing before the Court that even remotely suggests that President Trump is unwilling or will be unable to 'participate at trial' or be subjected to 'cross examination' in early 2024," Trump's attorney Clifford S. Robert wrote.A trial for Carroll's claims is set for April of this year, and James' lawsuit against Trump is on track for October. The judge overseeing the class-action lawsuit ultimately scheduled the trial to begin in January 2024.Trump's docket may continue to fill up. Within weeks, the Fulton County district attorney, Fani Willis, is expected to reach a decision about whether to bring criminal charges against him for trying to overturn Georgia's 2020 election results. Jack Smith, a special counsel for the Justice Department, is also expected to reach a charging decision as soon as this summer over Trump keeping government documents after leaving the presidency, according to The New York Times.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJan 23rd, 2023

The rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes, the former Theranos CEO found guilty of wire fraud and conspiracy who prosecutors say still shows "no remorse to her victims"

Holmes was sentenced to over 11 years in prison in November. She appealed her conviction, and in the meantime, she's living on $13,000-a-month estate. Elizabeth Holmes leaves after a hearing at a federal court in San Jose, California, on July 17, 2019.Reuters/Stephen Lam Elizabeth Holmes dropped out of Stanford at 19 to start blood-testing startup Theranos. The technology was praised as revolutionary and Holmes was hailed as the next Steve Jobs.  Theranos' value grew to $9 billion until flaws in the technology were exposed and Holmes was charged with fraud. After a months-long trial, Holmes was found guilty.  Here's how Holmes went from precocious child, to ambitious Stanford dropout, to an embattled startup founder sentenced to prison. Elizabeth Holmes was born on February 3, 1984 in Washington, D.C. Her mom, Noel, was a Congressional committee staffer, and her dad, Christian Holmes, worked for Enron before moving to government agencies like USAID.@eholmes2003/TwitterSource: Elizabeth Holmes/Twitter, CNN, Vanity FairHolmes' family moved when she was young, from Washington, D.C. to Houston.Washington, D.C.Getty ImagesSource: FortuneWhen she was 7, Holmes tried to invent her own time machine, filling up an entire notebook with detailed engineering drawings. At the age of 9, Holmes told relatives she wanted to be a billionaire when she grew up. Her relatives described her as saying it with the "utmost seriousness and determination."Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes.REUTERS/Carlo AllegriSource: CBS News, Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupHolmes had an "intense competitive streak" from a young age. She often played Monopoly with her younger brother and cousin, and she would insist on playing until the end, collecting the houses and hotels until she won. If Holmes was losing, she would often storm off. More than once, she ran directly through a screen on the door.Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of Theranos, attends a panel discussion during the Clinton Global Initiative's annual meeting in New York, September 29, 2015.REUTERS/Brendan McDermidSource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupIt was during high school that Holmes developed her work ethic, often staying up late to study. She quickly became a straight-A student, and even started her own business: she sold C++ compilers, a type of software that translates computer code, to Chinese schools.Tyrone Siu/ReutersSource: Fortune, Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupHolmes started taking Mandarin lessons, and part-way through high school, talked her way into being accepted by Stanford University’s summer program, which culminated in a trip to Beijing.Yepoka Yeebo / Business InsiderSource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupInspired by her great-great-grandfather Christian Holmes, a surgeon, Holmes decided she wanted to go into medicine. But she discovered early on that she was terrified of needles. Later, she said this influenced her to start Theranos.Hollis Johnson/Business InsiderSource: San Francisco Business TimesHolmes went to Stanford to study chemical engineering. When she was a freshman, she became a "president's scholar," an honor which came with a $3,000 stipend to go toward a research project.STANFORD, CA - MAY 22: People ride bikes past Hoover Tower on the Stanford University campus on May 22, 2014 in Stanford, California. According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities by China's Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Stanford University ranked second behind Harvard University as the top universities in the world. UC Berkeley ranked third. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)Justin Sullivan/GettySource: FortuneHolmes spent the summer after her freshman year interning at the Genome Institute in Singapore. She got the job partly because she spoke Mandarin.An office worker walks along the Singapore River front during the lunch hour.Wong Maye-E/APSource: FortuneAs a sophomore, Holmes went to one of her professors, Channing Robertson, and said: "Let's start a company." With his blessing, she founded Real-Time Cures, later changing the company's name to Theranos. Thanks to a typo, early employees’ paychecks actually said "Real-Time Curses."Getty ImagesSource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupHolmes soon filed a patent application for a "medical device for analyte monitoring and drug delivery," a wearable device that would administer medication, monitor patients' blood, and adjust the dosage as needed.Reuters/Brian SnyderSource: Fortune, US Patent OfficeBy the next semester, Holmes had dropped out of Stanford altogether, and was working on Theranos in the basement of a college house.Jeff Chiu/APSource: Wall Street JournalTheranos's business model was based around the idea that it could run blood tests, using proprietary technology that required only a finger pinprick and a small amount of blood. Holmes said the tests would be able to detect medical conditions like cancer and high cholesterol.Theranos Chairman, CEO and Founder Elizabeth Holmes (L) and TechCrunch Writer and Moderator Jonathan Shieber speak onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt at Pier 48 on September 8, 2014 in San Francisco, CaliforniaSteve Jennings/Getty ImagesSource: Wall Street JournalHolmes started raising money for Theranos from prominent investors like Oracle founder Larry Ellison and Tim Draper, the father of a childhood friend and the founder of prominent VC firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson. Theranos raised more than $700 million, and Draper has continued to defend Holmes.Investor Tim Draper (right).CNBCSource: SEC, CrunchbaseHolmes took investors' money on the condition that she wouldn't have to reveal how Theranos' technology worked. Plus, she would have final say over everything having to do with the company.JP Yim/GettySource: Vanity FairThat obsession with secrecy extended to every aspect of Theranos. For the first decade Holmes spent building her company, Theranos operated in stealth mode. She even took three former Theranos employees to court, claiming they had misused Theranos trade secrets.Kimberly White/GettySource: San Francisco Business TimesHolmes' attitude toward secrecy and running a company was borrowed from a Silicon Valley hero of hers: former Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Holmes started dressing in black turtlenecks like Jobs, decorated her office with his favorite furniture, and like Jobs, never took vacations.Steve Jobs.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: Vanity FairEven Holmes's uncharacteristically deep voice may have been part of a carefully crafted image intended to help her fit in in the male-dominated business world. In ABC's podcast on Holmes called "The Dropout," former Theranos employees said the CEO sometimes "fell out of character," particularly after drinking, and would speak in a higher voice.Former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Elizabeth Holmes, CEO of Theranos, during the Clinton Global Initiative's annual meeting in New York.Lucas Jackson/ReutersSource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup, The CutHolmes was a demanding boss, and wanted her employees to work as hard as she did. She had her assistants track when employees arrived and left each day. To encourage people to work longer hours, she started having dinner catered to the office around 8 p.m. each night.TheranosSource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupMore behind-the-scenes footage of what life was like at Theranos was revealed in leaked videos obtained by the team behind the HBO documentary "The Inventor: Out for Blood in Silicon Valley." The more than 100 hours of footage showed Holmes walking around the office, scenes from company parties, speeches from Holmes and Balwani, and Holmes dancing to "U Can't Touch This" by MC Hammer.Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes at the company's headquarters.Courtesy HBOSource: Business InsiderShortly after Holmes dropped out of Stanford at age 19, she began dating Theranos president and COO Sunny Balwani, who was 20 years her senior. The two met during Holmes' third year in Stanford’s summer Mandarin program, the summer before she went to college. She was bullied by some of the other students, and Balwani had come to her aid.Footage of Sunny Balwani presenting."60 Minutes"Source: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupBalwani became Holmes' No. 2 at Theranos despite having little experience. He was said to be a bully, and often tracked his employees' whereabouts. Holmes and Balwani eventually broke up in spring 2016 when Holmes pushed him out of the company.Sunny Balwani pictured in January 2019.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupIn 2008, the Theranos board decided to remove Holmes as CEO in favor of someone more experienced. But over the course of a two-hour meeting, Holmes convinced them to let her stay in charge of her company.Jamie McCarthy / GettySource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupAs Theranos started to rake in millions of funding, Holmes became the subject of media attention and acclaim in the tech world. She graced the covers of Fortune and Forbes, gave a TED Talk, and spoke on panels with Bill Clinton and Alibaba's Jack Ma.Elizabeth Holmes with former President Bill Clinton, left, and Alibaba cofounder Jack Ma.Andrew Burton/Getty ImagesSource: Vanity FairTheranos quickly began securing outside partnerships. Capital Blue Cross and Cleveland Clinic signed on to offer Theranos tests to their patients, and Walgreens made a deal to open Theranos testing centers in their stores. Theranos also formed a secret partnership with Safeway worth $350 million.A Theranos testing center inside a Walgreens.Melia Robinson/Business InsiderSource: Wired, Business InsiderIn 2011, Holmes hired her younger brother, Christian, to work at Theranos, although he didn’t have a medical or science background. Christian Holmes spent his early days at Theranos reading about sports online and recruiting his Duke University fraternity brothers to join the company. People dubbed Holmes and his crew the "Frat Pack" and "Therabros."Elizabeth Holmes and her brother, Christian.Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesSource: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupAt one point, Holmes was the world's youngest self-made female billionaire with a net worth of around $4.5 billion.Kimberly White/Getty Images for Breakthrough PrizeSource: ForbesHolmes was obsessed with security at Theranos. She asked anyone who visited the company’s headquarters to sign non-disclosure agreements before being allowed in the building, and had security guards escort visitors everywhere — even to the bathroom.Michael Dalder/Reuters Holmes hired bodyguards to drive her around in a black Audi sedan. Her nickname was "Eagle One." The windows in her office had bulletproof glass.Source: Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley StartupAround the same time, questions were being raised about Theranos' technology. Ian Gibbons — chief scientist at Theranos and one of the company's first hires — warned Holmes that the tests weren't ready for the public to take, and that there were inaccuracies in the technology. Outside scientists began voicing their concerns about Theranos, too.Melia Robinson/Tech InsiderSource: Vanity Fair, Business InsiderBy August 2015, the FDA began investigating Theranos, and regulators from the government body that oversees laboratories found "major inaccuracies" in the testing Theranos was doing on patients.Mike Segar/ReutersSource: Vanity FairBy October 2015, Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou published his investigation into Theranos's struggles with its technology. Carreyrou's reporting sparked the beginning of the company's downward spiral.Wall Street Journal reporter John Carreyrou.CBS "60 Minutes"Source: Wall Street JournalCarreyrou found that Theranos' blood-testing machine, named Edison, couldn't give accurate results, so Theranos was running its samples through the same machines used by traditional blood-testing companies.Carlos Osorio/APSource: Wall Street JournalHolmes appeared on CNBC's "Mad Money" shortly after the WSJ published its story to defend herself and Theranos. "This is what happens when you work to change things, and first they think you're crazy, then they fight you, and then all of a sudden you change the world," Holmes said.CNBC/YouTubeSource: CNBCBy 2016, the FDA, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and SEC were all looking into Theranos.GettySource: Wall Street Journal, WiredIn July 2016, Holmes was banned from the lab-testing industry for two years. By October, Theranos had shut down its lab operations and wellness centers.Mike Blake/ReutersSource: Business InsiderIn March 2018, Theranos, Holmes, and Balwani were charged with "massive fraud" by the SEC. Holmes agreed to give up financial and voting control of the company, pay a $500,000 fine, and return 18.9 million shares of Theranos stock. She also isn't allowed to be the director or officer of a publicly traded company for 10 years.Jeff Chiu/APSource: Business InsiderDespite the charges, Holmes was allowed to stay on as CEO of Theranos, since it's a private company. The company had been hanging on by a thread, and Holmes wrote to investors asking for more money to save Theranos. "In light of where we are, this is no easy ask," Holmes wrote.Kimberly White/Getty Images for FortuneSource: Business InsiderIn Theranos' final days, Holmes reportedly got a Siberian husky puppy named Balto that she brought into the office. However, the dog wasn't potty trained, and would go to the bathroom inside the company's office and during meetings.A Siberian husky (not Holmes' dog).Kateryna Orlova/ShutterstockSource: Vanity FairIn June 2018, Theranos announced that Holmes was stepping down as CEO. On the same day, the Department of Justice announced that a federal grand jury had charged Holmes, along with Balwani, with nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.Elizabeth Holmes, founder and CEO of Theranos, speaks at the Wall Street Journal Digital Live (WSJDLive) conference at the Montage hotel in Laguna Beach, California, October 21, 2015.Mike Blake/ReutersSource: Business Insider, CNBCTheranos sent an email to shareholders in September 2018 announcing that the company was shutting down. Theranos reportedly said it planned to spend the next few months repaying creditors with its remaining resources.Mike Blake/ReutersSource: Wall Street JournalAround the time Theranos' time was coming to an end, Holmes made her first public appearance alongside William "Billy" Evans, a 27-year-old heir to a hospitality property management company in California. The two reportedly first met in 2017, and were seen together in 2018 at Burning Man, the art festival in the Nevada desert.Jim Rankin/Toronto Star via Getty ImagesSource: Daily MailHolmes is said to wear Evans' MIT "signet ring" on a chain around her neck, and the couple reportedly posts photos "professing their love for each other" on a private Instagram account. Evans' parents are reportedly "flabbergasted" at their son's decision to marry Holmes.—Nick Bilton (@nickbilton) February 21, 2019Source: Vanity Fair, New York PostIt's unclear where Holmes and Evans currently reside, but they were previously living in a $5,000-a-month apartment in San Francisco until April 2019. The apartment was located just a few blocks from one of the city's top tourist attractions, the famously crooked block of Lombard Street.Lombard Place Apartments, where Holmes used to live.Rent SF NowSource: Business InsiderIt was later reported that Holmes and Evans got engaged in early 2019, then married in June in a secretive wedding ceremony. Former Theranos employees were reportedly not invited to the wedding, according to Vanity Fair.Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images; Samantha Lee/Business InsiderSource: Vanity Fair, New York PostHolmes' and Balwani's cases have since been separated.Justin Silva/Getty, Stephen Lam/Reuters, Business InsiderSource: Department of Justice, Business InsiderBesides the criminal case, Holmes was also involved in a number of civil lawsuits, including one in Arizona brought by former Theranos patients over inaccurate blood tests. The lawyers representing her in the Arizona case said in late 2019 they hadn't been paid over a year and asked to be removed from Holmes' legal team.Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes leaves after a hearing at a federal court.Reuters/Stephen LamSource: Business InsiderHolmes' lawyers in the federal case had tried to get the government's entire case thrown out. In February 2020, Holmes caught a break after some of the charges against her were dropped when a judge ruled that some patients didn't suffer financial loss.Brendan McDermid/ReutersSource: Business InsiderAmid the coronavirus outbreak, Holmes' lawyers asked the judge in April 2020 to deem the case "essential" so the defense team could defy lockdown orders and continue to travel and meet face-to-face. The judge said he was "taken aback" by the defense's pleas to violate lockdown.Reuters/Robert GalbraithSource: Business Insider It soon become clear that the pandemic — and the health risks associated with assembling a trial in one — would make the July trial date unrealistic. Through hearings held on Zoom, the presiding judge initially pushed the trial back to October 2020 and later postponed it further to March 2021.Passengers wear masks as they walk through LAX airport.Reuters/Lucy NicholsonSource: Business Insider In March 2021, Holmes requested another delay to the trial because she was pregnant. She asked to push back the trial to August 31, and her request was granted. Holmes reportedly gave birth to the child in July.Nhat V. Meyer/MediaNews Group/Mercury News via Getty ImagesSource: Business Insider, CNBCHeading into the trial, Holmes felt "wronged, like Salem-witch-trial wronged," says a person who used to work with her closely.Holmes, right, leaving the Robert F. Peckham Federal Building in San Jose, California with her defense team on May 4, 2021.Nhat V. Meyer/MediaNews Group/Mercury News via Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderThe trial kicked off in September. In opening statements, prosecutors argued that, "Out of time and out of money, Elizabeth Holmes decided to lie." Meanwhile, the defense argued that although Theranos ultimately crumbled, "Failure is not a crime. Trying your hardest and coming up short is not a crime."Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes arrives at the Robert F. Peckham Federal Building with her defense team on August 31, 2021 in San Jose, California.Ethan Swope/Getty ImagesSource: Business Insider The list of possible witnesses for the trial named roughly 200 people, including the likes of Rupert Murdoch, Henry Kissinger, James Mattis, and Holmes herself.Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes leaves the Robert F. Peckham U.S. Courthouse with her mother, Noel Holmes, during her trial.Brittany Hosea-Small/ReutersSource: Business InsiderIn the end, the trial featured testimony from just over 30 witnesses.Vicki Behringer/ReutersSource: Business InsiderOver the course of 11 weeks, prosecutors called 29 witnesses to testify — including former Theranos employees, investors, patients, and doctors — before resting their case in November.Vicki BehringerSource: Business Insider The defense then began making its case, calling just three witnesses, including Holmes herself.Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/The Mercury News via Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderOn the stand, Holmes said Balwani emotionally and sexually abused her during their relationship.Former Theranos COO Ramesh "Sunny' Balwani leaves the Robert F. Peckham U.S. Federal Court on June 28, 2019 in San Jose, California.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderHolmes also admitted that she added some pharmaceutical companies' logos to Theranos' reports without authorization. Investors previously said they took some reassurance in those reports because, based on the logos, they thought major pharmaceutical companies had validated Theranos' technology. Holmes said she added the logos to convey that work was done in partnership with those companies, but in hindsight she wishes she had "done it differently."Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderHolmes also acknowledged on the stand that she hid Theranos' use of modified commercial devices from investors. She said she did this because company counsel told her that alterations the company made to the machines were trade secrets and needed to be protected as such.Brittany Hosea-Small/ReutersSource: Business InsiderHolmes spent seven days on the stand before the defense rested its case in early December.Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes arrives to attend her fraud trial at federal court in San Jose, California, U.S., December 16, 2021.Peter DaSilva/ReutersSource: Business InsiderIn closing arguments, prosecutors argued that Holmes "chose fraud over business failure" while the defense argued she was "building a business, not a criminal enterprise."Elizabeth Holmes walks into federal court in San Jose, Calif., Friday, Dec. 17, 2021.Nic Coury/Associated PressSource: Business InsiderAfter 15 weeks of trial, Holmes' case headed to a jury of eight men and four women on December 17, 2021.Elizabeth Holmes, founder and former CEO of blood testing and life sciences company Theranos, leaves the courthouse with her husband Billy Evans after the first day of her fraud trial in San Jose, California on September 8, 2021.Nick Otto/AFP/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderJurors deliberated for a total of seven days over the next few weeks before telling the court on January 3, 2022, that they were deadlocked on three of the 11 charges against Holmes. The judge read off some jury instructions to the group in court before instructing them to go back and deliberate further.Kate Munsch/ReutersSource: Business InsiderHours later, the jury returned a mixed verdict for Holmes, finding her guilty on one count of conspiracy to defraud investors and three counts of wire fraud. They found her not guilty on four other counts and failed to reach a verdict on the remaining three counts.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderThe counts Holmes was found guilty of were all related to investments; she wasn't convicted on any of the charges involving patients who received inaccurate test results.David Odisho/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderHolmes faced the possibility of decades in prison. Each count carries a maximum 20-year prison sentence, a $250,000 fine, and a requirement to pay victims restitution.AP Photo/Nic Coury, FileSource: Business Insider Legal experts told Insider it was unlikely Holmes would get 20 years at sentencing, but she probably wouldn't get off without serving any time either.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderHolmes was not taken into custody following the verdict and was to remain free until her sentencing on a $500,000 bond secured by property.Peter DaSilva/ReutersSource: Business InsiderSince the conviction, Holmes and Theranos have been the focus of a Hulu limited series, "The Dropout," based on the ABC News podcast of the same name.Amanda Seyfried in "The Dropout" (left); Elizabeth Holmes (right)Beth Dubber/Hulu; Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunchSource: Business InsiderHolmes is played by Amanda Seyfried in the dramatized series, which asks the question, "How did the world's youngest self-made female billionaire lose it all in the blink of an eye?"Amanda Seyfried in "The Dropout."HuluSource: HuluThe show premiered March 3, 2022, and also stars Naveen Andrews as Balwani, Holmes' right-hand man at Theranos.Beth Dubber/Hulu; Michael Short/Bloomberg via Getty ImagesSource: Business Insider In May 2022, Holmes pleaded with a judge to toss her conviction.APSource: Business Insider In a 24-page filing on May 27, Holmes' attorneys argued for her acquittal, saying the evidence was "insufficient to sustain the convictions."Nick Otto/AFP via Getty ImagesThey wrote, "Because no rational juror could have found the elements of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud beyond a reasonable doubt on this record, the Court should grant Ms. Holmes' motion for judgment of acquittal.""Even if Ms. Holmes committed wire fraud against an investor (she did not) and even if Mr. Balwani committed wire fraud against an investor, that does not prove a conspiratorial agreement between them, nor does it prove that Ms. Holmes willfully joined any agreement," the attorneys continued in the filing.The presiding judge tentatively denied Holmes' request in September.But that wasn't the end: Holmes filed three motions requesting a new trial, one of which centered on the testimony of a prosecution witness who allegedly went to Holmes' house in August and expressed regret that he helped convict her.David Odisho/Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderThe witness was former Theranos lab director Adam Rosendorff. According to an account of the incident from Billy Evans, Holmes' partner, Rosendorff showed up at their home looking "disheveled" and said he felt "guilty."David Odisho/Getty Images"He said when he was called as a witness he tried to answer the questions honestly but that the prosecutors tried to make everybody look bad (in the company)," Evans recalled in an email to Holmes' attorneys about their interaction. "He said that the government made things sound worse than they were when he was up on the stand during his testimony. He said he felt like he had done something wrong. And that this was weighing on him, He said he was having trouble sleeping."In another of Holmes' motions for a new trial, she says the prosecution portrayed her relationship with Balwani differently in their respective trials, to her detriment.In the final motion, Holmes said she was denied emails showing prosecutors failed to take appropriate steps to preserve a Theranos database that she claims would have helped her defense, even though the government furnished these materials when Balwani was on trial.Holmes notched a small victory when the presiding judge ordered an evidentiary hearing regarding Rosendorff's testimony and appearance at her home. This hearing meant that Holmes' sentencing was postponed from October 17, 2022, to November 18 of that year.Dai Sugano/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty ImagesSource: Business InsiderThe evidentiary hearing proved useless to Holmes, though, as witness Rosendorff said he stood by his initial testimony and only went to her home because he was "distressed" at the idea of Holmes' child growing up without a mother.Justin Sullivan/Getty Images"At all times the government encouraged me to tell the truth and only the truth," Rosendorff clarified at the hearing."I don't want to help Ms. Holmes," Rosendorff added. "The only person that can help her is herself. She needs to pay her debt to society."On November 8, the presiding judge denied all three of Holmes' motions for a new trial, paving the way for sentencing.Chris Ryan/GettyDays before her sentencing, Holmes' attorneys asked that she get no more than 18 months, preferably under house arrest. They submitted 130 letters from friends and family — spanning everyone from Senator Cory Booker to even an ex-CDC chief — pleading for leniency.In the end, they didn't get their wish. On November 18, 2022, Holmes was sentenced to 135 months, or 11.25 years, in prison with three years of supervised release beginning on April 27. "I stand before you taking responsibility for Theranos. I loved Theranos, it was my life's work," Holmes said through tears at the hearing.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: KRON, InsiderMeanwhile, Balwani's trial began in March 2022 and also returned a conviction. He was found guilty in July on all 12 counts brought against him, and in early December Balwani was sentenced to nearly 13 years in prison with three years of probation. As with Holmes, restitution will be decided at a later date. The judge ordered Balwani to self-surrender on March 15, 2023.Former Theranos COO Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani and his legal team leave the Robert F. Peckham Federal Building on July 7, 2022 in San Jose, California.David Odisho/Getty ImagesSource: InsiderHolmes appealed her conviction in December 2022, and US prosecutors said in recent court filings that she "continues to show no remorse to her victims" and is currently living on an estate that costs $13,000 a month.Holmes attending a court hearing.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesSource: InsiderMaya Kosoff, Paige Leskin, and Áine Cain contributed to earlier versions of this story.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 20th, 2023

British police officer pleads guilty to 49 counts of rape, sexual assault, and other crimes, as head of London"s Metropolitan Police says: "We"ve let women and girls down"

David Carrick, a former constable with London's Metropolitan Police, victimized 12 women over the course of roughly 20 years, authorities said. The UK's Metropolitan Police announced Monday that a policeman has pled guilty to dozens of counts of rape.Robert Evans David Carrick, a former British police officer, pled guilty to dozens of counts of rape and sexual assault. Carrick, who will be sentenced February 6, vicitimzed 12 women over roughly 20 years, authorities said. By failing to stop Carrick sooner, the head of the Metropolitan Police said the agency "let women and girls down." Britain's Metropolitan Police announced Monday that a policeman with more than two decades of experience has pled guilty to dozens of counts of rape, sexual assault, false imprisonment, attempted rape, and other crimes.David Carrick, 47, a former armed officer with the Metropolitan Police, pled guilty to six counts, including rape and sexual assault, at Southwark Crown Court in London on Monday. He previously pled guilty to committing 43 offenses — including 20 counts of rape and several counts of sexual assault as well as controlling or coercive behavior — in December, the UK's Crown Prosecution Service said. He is set to be sentenced on February 6.In total, Carrick, who held the rank of constable, has now pled guilty to 24 counts of rape and nine counts of sexual assault, among numerous other charges (a full list is available on the Crown Prosecution Service's website). An investigation into his actions began in October 2021 after a woman reported him to police, leading a dozen other victims to come forward. He was arrested and suspended at that time.The BBC reported that Carrick met victims on dating apps and bragged about high-profile friendships with people like the prime minster in a bid to lure women. Among other violent acts, he is accused of whipping a woman with a belt and imprisoning another in a cupboard in his house, the BBC said."I want to apologize the women who have suffered at the hands of David Carrick," said Barbara Gray, assistant commissioner at the Metropolitan Police, in a statement. "I commend their outstanding bravery in coming forward and reporting the horrific crimes they were victims of."Complaints about Carrick's behavior reached police over the years, but did not result in charges or punitive action.Carrick was previously accused of domestic incidents, harassment, and assault against a coworker, and other disturbances like being removed from a nightclub while drunk, the police said. In 2019, he was accused of assault and grabbing a woman by her neck. Afterward, Carrick received "words of advice" about alerting his chain of command to off-duty incidents, but nothing further.Reached by phone on Monday, the Metropolitan Police, commonly called the Met, referred Insider to statements on its website.Police commissioner: 'We've let women and girls down'In a second statement, the chief of the Metropolitan Police took responsibility for Carrick's evasion of the authorities for so long. Law enforcement hadn't "applied the same sense of ruthlessness to guarding our own integrity that we routinely apply to confronting criminals," and the police had "let women and girls down," said Sir Mark Rowley, the Met commissioner who stepped into the post on September."I do understand also that this will lead to some women across London questioning whether they can trust the Met to keep them safe," Rowley said. "We failed as investigators where we should have been more intrusive and joined the dots on this repeated misogyny over a couple decades," he added. Rowley promised to "reform at speed."Sir Mark Rowley has served as the commissioner of London's Metropolitan Police since September.Metropolitan Police/Media UseGoing forward, the Metropolitan Police said, Carrick's crimes have laid the foundation for new protocols to deal with offenders within law enforcement's own ranks."Were these incidents to have occurred today, we are more confident they would have been identified as forming a pattern of behavior requiring further investigation," the police said. "Cases where no further action is taken in relation to criminal allegations are now more likely to be further interrogated to identify any underlying concerns."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 16th, 2023

FTX US"s former boss has opened up on "spiteful" ex-CEO Sam Bankman-Fried and problems at the collapsed crypto exchange. Here are 10 things we just learned, in his top quotes.

Ex-FTX.US president Brett Harrison has pulled back the curtain on problems at now-bankrupt FTX and "insecure" Sam Bankman-Fried in a long Twitter thread. Former FTX President Brett Harrison.Kelly Sullivan / Stringer The ex-president of FTX's US affiliate has shared his view of problems at the now-bankrupt crypto empire. Brett Harrison said founder Sam Bankman-Fried was "spiteful" and laid out what happened when he spoke up. Here are 10 things we learned from Harrison's huge Twitter thread this weekend, in his best quotes. Former high-ranking FTX executive Brett Harrison has opened up about problems at the now-bankrupt crypto exchange and his experiences trying to get them fixed — with lots of criticism for founder Sam Bankman-Fried. Harrison, who was the president of the group's FTX.US affiliate, made his revelations in a 49-part Twitter thread on Saturday. He resigned from his role in September, before FTX's implosion in November, and is now seeking to raise $6 million to build a new crypto startup.Meanwhile, US prosecutors are looking into what they have called a "fraud of epic proportions" at the FTX group of companies, with $8 billion in customer funds thought to be missing. They have charged Bankman-Fried on eight criminal counts, and the CEO of its trading arm Alameda Research has pleaded guilty to fraud.Here's what Harrison had to say about Bankman-Fried, transparency flaws, and the way he was treated when he flagged issues.Here are Harrison's 10 best quotes, lightly edited and condensed for clarity:1. "My relationship with Sam Bankman-Fried and his deputies had reached a point of total deterioration, after months of disputes over management practices at FTX." (On his decision to resign after 17 months at FTX.US.)2. "From the start, I noticed that while Sam was rarely engaged on the US business, decisions impacting the US would come, without warning, from the Bahamas."3. "Six months into my time at the company, pronounced cracks began to form in my own relationship with Sam. Around then I began advocating strongly for establishing separation and independence for the executive, legal, and developer teams of FTX US, and Sam disagreed." 4. "I saw in that early conflict his total insecurity and intransigence when his decisions were questioned, his spitefulness, and the volatility of his temperament. I realized he wasn't who I remembered."5. "There was tremendous pressure not to disagree with Sam, but I did so anyway. At that time, and for all of my time at FTX US, his influence over the media, FTX's partners, the venture capital industry, and the traditional finance industry was pervasive and unyielding."6. "Standing up to an insecure, prideful manager is hard under any circumstance. But it's nearly impossible when every day, every major voice of culture and commerce deafens you with a narrative that implies if you disagree with your manager *you* clearly must be wrong."7. "Sam was uncomfortable with conflict. He responded at times with dysregulated hostility, at times with gaslighting and manipulation, but ultimately chose to isolate me from communication on key decision-making."8. "I wasn't the only one at FTX US who disagreed with Sam and members of his inner circle. FTX US was staffed with experienced professionals from US finance firms, law firms, and regulated exchanges.""Our collective experience and professional acumen were frequently treated as though they were irrelevant and valueless. It was extremely frustrating for all of us."8. "I raised concerns at the company believing that the management and organizational issues I saw were typical of growing start-ups, and that my role, as an experienced financial services executive, was to correct them and unlock the next stage of the company's growth.""I never could have guessed that underlying these kinds of issues — which I'd seen at other more mature firms in my career and believed not to be fatal to business success — was multi-billion-dollar fraud."6. "In early April 2022, my eleventh month, I made one last try. I made a written formal complaint about what I saw to be the largest organizational problems inhibiting FTX's future success. I wrote that I would resign if the problems weren't addressed."In response, I was threatened on Sam's behalf that I would be fired and that Sam would destroy my professional reputation. I was instructed to formally retract what I'd written and to deliver an apology to Sam that had been drafted for me."9. "It's clear from what has been made public that the scheme was held closely by Sam and his inner circle at FTX. com and Alameda, which I was not a part of, nor were other executives at FTX US. I understand now why they carefully concealed their criminal activity from us."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: dealsSource: nytJan 16th, 2023

The ways federal officials from Richard Nixon to Donald Trump — and now Joe Biden — have been accused of mishandling government records

The raid at Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago was unprecedented, but other federal officials have been accused and even charged with mishandling records. Hillary Clinton; Joe Biden; Donald Trump; Richard NixonMatt Rourke/Associated Press; Manuel Balce Ceneta/Associated Press; Julia Nikhinson/Associated Press; Associated Press The FBI raided Mar-a-Lago in August while investigating Trump's handling of government records. This week it was revealed the President Joe Biden is also being investigated over documents. Hillary Clinton and Richard Nixon are among the officials who have also been accused of mishandling records. Both former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden have recently made headlines for investigations into their handling of government documents, but the potential issues being investigated are not new territory for the Justice Department.It's relatively rare, but not unheard of, for the Department of Justice to investigate and even bring charges against federal officials accused of mishandling government records, including some that are considered classified or top secret.From former President Richard Nixon to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, here are some examples that include documents, emails, and audio tapes.President Joe BidenPresident Joe Biden speaks at the White House on January 12, 2023.AP Photo/Andrew HarnikOn Monday, the White House announced that lawyers for Biden discovered about 10 classified documents at his office in the Penn Biden Center, a nonprofit think tank in Washington, DC. His counsel said the documents were immediately turned over to the National Archives, though the information was not made public for months.Since then, the White House said additional documents were found at other locations, including Biden's home in Delaware. Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday appointed a special counsel, Robert K. Hur, to investigate Biden for potential mishandling of classified documents.Former President Donald TrumpDonald Trump answers questions from reporters after making a video call to the troops stationed worldwide at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach Florida, on December 24, 2019.NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty ImagesIn August, federal agents conducted an unprecedented raid on Trump's Mar-a-Lago residence. It was part of a Justice Department investigation into whether Trump broke several laws related to the handling of national security information. One of the potential violations falls under the Espionage Act and concerns the removal of information that pertains to national defense. The others involve concealing or destroying government records.The FBI seized 11 sets of classified or top secret documents from Mar-a-Lago, according to court documents. The National Archives has said Trump took more than 700 pages of classified documents. Federal officials also spent over a year requesting Trump return the documents before the raid was conducted. Trump has denied any wrongdoing.In November, Attorney General Merrick Garland appointed a special counsel, Jack Smith, to oversee investigations involving Trump, including that of the Mar-a-Lago documents.President Richard NixonPresident Richard Nixon waves goodbye from the steps of his helicopter outside the White House, Aug. 9, 1974, after he gave a farewell address to members of the White House staff.AP Photo/Chick Harrity, FileNixon is in part responsible for the creation of the Presidential Records Act, a law passed in 1978 that mandates the preservation of records created or received by the president and vice president during their time in office. It also established that presidential records belong to the US and are to be maintained by the National Archives and Records Administration at the end of a president's time in office.The law was part of a series of measures passed to address potential corruption after Watergate, when Nixon sought to destroy millions of pages of documents and hundreds of hours of tape recordings from his time in the White House.Following Nixon's resignation, Congress passed a law in 1974 that would require him to turn over the documents. Nixon challenged it, but the Supreme Court ultimately ruled it was within the legislative body's rights to request them.The Presidential Records Act was passed four years later, solidifying presidential records as public, rather than private, documents.Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Clinton speaks during a press conference the day after the election on Wednesday November 9, 2016, in New York City.Photo by Matt McClain/The Washington Post via Getty ImagesClinton's emails are perhaps the most well-known example of a federal official being accused of mishandling government documents. While serving as President Barack Obama's secretary of state from 2009 to 2013, Clinton used a personal email address and server to conduct official business, rather than a more secure government email server.After The New York Times first reported in 2015 on her use of a private email and potential violation of federal requirements, it became one of the major stories of the 2016 election cycle, when Clinton was the Democratic nominee for president against Trump.A State Department inspector general report released in May 2016 found she had violated government policy but that it did not constitute criminal conduct. In July 2016, FBI Director James Comey said their separate investigation found there was "evidence of potential" criminal violations concerning the handling of classified information but that there wasn't sufficient reason to bring charges.Another State Department investigation that lasted for three years and ended in 2019 found Clinton's use of a private email server put classified information at risk but that there was "no persuasive evidence of systemic, deliberate mishandling of classified information." No charges were ever brought against her.Clinton's email server was found to contain more than 100 emails with classified information, 22 labeled top secret, and over 2,000 that were designated classified at a later date.Sandy Berger, national security adviser to President Bill ClintonSandy Berger, who served as a national security adviser to President Bill Clinton from 1997 to 2001, pleaded guilty in 2005 to the unauthorized removal and destruction of classified documents from the National Archives.After leaving his White House post, Berger testified before Congress's 9/11 commission, which was examining the government's response to the September 11, 2001, terror attacks. Berger said he made multiple visits to the National Archives to revisit relevant materials.But a National Archives employee said they saw Berger leaving with documents wrapped around his socks and under his pant leg, prompting a criminal investigation by the Justice Department. Berger was found to have smuggled out highly classified documents, destroying some, and lying about possessing them.He agreed to plead guilty and was fined $50,000, sentenced to two years of probation and 100 hours of community service, and stripped of his security clearance for three years.Lower-profile federal officials are more commonly chargedIn addition to former presidents and top White House officials, lower-profile federal agents are more commonly charged with mishandling government documents.The FBI and the Justice Department have conducted at least 11 investigations into such crimes since 2005, Voice of America reported.The outlet compiled a list of notable cases that included former members of the military and Defense Department employees or contractors; NSA and CIA contractors; and former CIA, FBI, and NSA employees. The sentences included thousands of dollars in fines and several years of probation.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: personnelSource: nytJan 15th, 2023

The Dystopian Roots Of California"s COVID-19 Misinformation Law

The Dystopian Roots Of California's COVID-19 Misinformation Law Authored by Douglas Eckenrood via The Epoch Times, It is late 2024, and the special agent in charge of the COVID Misinformation Compliance Task Force begins her daily brief by disseminating a list of the days’ five targets to her team of ten sworn peace officers on special assignment from local law enforcement agencies. The team reviews the targets’ criminal histories and firearm ownership records, takes note of logistical concerns, and employs a host of social media and “not to be mentioned” electronic data gathering tools. Warrants are confirmed and onsite surveillance is initiated, providing real-time information to the incoming arrest team. The law enforcement team exits their vehicles at a safe distance and approaches the suspect’s location with caution. As the team makes its approach, verbal commands are given to the women and children entering and exiting the pediatric clinic to clear a path in front of the office door and vacate the area immediately. After the team enters, clerical and medical staff are ordered to take seats and provide their doctor’s location. The doctor is located in the hallway between patient rooms, placed in restraints, searched for weapons, and immediately taken to the transport vehicle idling outside. Witnesses state they could hear the doctor protesting loudly, “My license appeal is still under review!” Could This Happen? Of course you’re asking, “What the heck is this guy talking about?” Please, allow me to explain. Using the same perfect pitch that George Orwell used to author “1984,” the California State Senate authored another piece of legislation that summoned the intertwined spirits of Josef Mengele and Joseph Goebbels. As you may already know, the current Sacramento political lineup is the gift that keeps on giving. Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 2098 on Sept. 30, 2022, and it became state law effective Jan. 1. The bill, titled “Physicians and surgeons: unprofessional conduct,” adds the following section to California’s Business and Professions Code: 2270. (a) It shall constitute unprofessional conduct for a physician and surgeon to disseminate misinformation or disinformation related to COVID-19, including false or misleading information regarding the nature and risks of the virus, its prevention and treatment; and the development, safety, and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines. It defines misinformation as “false information that is contradicted by contemporary scientific consensus contrary to the standard of care.” In a nutshell, if you are a doctor who deviates from the established CDC talking points or even attempts to assess and advise their patient as an individual, you may be guilty of COVID misinformation and thus be guilty of unprofessional conduct. What are the potential penalties? Well, let’s just say that the student loan forgiveness plan won’t be helping you, as the $10,000 forgiveness limit won’t even cover the lab fees you incurred with your now worthless medical degree. The Medical Board of California has been imbued with expanded authority to investigate, review, and refer for disposition to the State Attorney General’s Health Quality Enforcement Section’s office, complaints against “COVID misinformation.” The outcome of this completely vaporous virtue-signaling trope may include having your medical license pulled by the state, as well as exposure to fees and other sanctions. Don’t forget that this assault on the pursuit of the truth came out of a change in business code! I hear you saying, “What’s this have to do with the dystopian scene above?” Ah, good reader! Yes, what happens if you don’t comply and continue to practice medicine anyway? Business and Professions Code 2052 nicely dovetails into the above by making this an arrestable offense with with the potential of a year in county jail. I cannot possibly know the percentage of doctors who will either submit to a CCP-style tyranny or adopt skillful wordplay like 15th century astronomers wrestling with heliocentric revelations that the dominant church of their day forbid. But I can predict the number will not be zero. What Consensus? Obviously I am not a doctor, but I do have a memory and do archive the articles I read, especially when I’m making medical decisions. I generally review the same sources that AB 2098 references when regarding consensus, for example the American Medical Association. The only consistencies I’ve seen surrounding COVID-19 and the “vaccine” are the consistent inconsistencies. Wait a week and it will change. Remember the “protect grandma and get the jab” mantras? Or “do your part for herd immunity?” Now we learn that mRNA vaccination doesn’t accomplish either, and the new goal is “reduce severe illness and hospitalization.” I won’t mention some of the latest data regarding that claim, but it doesn’t look good. And I won’t speak more on the issue of defining the undefinable, because I run the risk of losing focus on the real problem. Sacramento power-hungry politicians have pulled off the ultimate gaslighting. We have been debating the way government is going to intercede in our lives rather than focusing on the fact that they don’t have the authority to do so. The inherent desire for government to give itself additional authority is one of the reasons our Constitution and Bill of Rights were constructed the way they were. The founders made individual liberty the underpinning of much of their writing and have warned future generations to protect it at all costs. Public Health Overreach Unfortunately, the California Legislatures’ penchant to rely on questionable medical “consensus” is nothing new. During the 1920s, California adopted “model laws,” in which law enforcement conducted the proactive arrest of women suspected to have sexually transmitted diseases—all in the name of public health. Literal law enforcement sweeps, arrests, and forced gynecological exams would happen with no probable cause needed. California relied on the U.S. Attorney General’s published opinion that these proactive public health efforts were constitutional and that the public’s interest trumped individual liberty. One of the reasons that this unbelievable and sick overreach is even known is that during a particular morality sweep, of the 22 women arrested and inspected that day, two of the arrestees were sisters, one of whom was Margaret Hennessy. The wife of a Standard Oil manager, she was recovering from influenza and was out for some fresh air with her sister, which was a common practice in that day. Mrs. Hennessy had the courage to go to the news media and let her outrage be known, which should be an example to all of us. California’s “morality policy” using public heath concerns to expand the power to investigate, detain, and arrest individuals was illegal then and is still illegal now. The first step in combating authoritarian overreach is not debating what or why they are doing something. It’s making the government identify where their authority to impose a mandate or new law comes from and then impose the constitutional test. You already know the answer, don’t you? They don’t have the authority to do what they are doing. Since 1850, California has suffered through innumerable attempts to exceed its own constitutional authority, not to mention the Constitution of the United States. Historically, we seem to work things out and get as close to what’s right as possible. However, I’m afraid that much of today’s public has forgotten what freedom looks like and is suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. Tyler Durden Fri, 01/13/2023 - 17:40.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJan 13th, 2023

Billionaire investor Bill Ackman says the public shouldn"t "rush to convict" Sam Bankman-Fried

Bill Ackman, who leads the hedge fund Pershing Square Capital, said his own past run-in with regulators showed the perils of rushing to judgement. Bill Ackman said he wasn't defending Sam Bankman-Fried, but that the FTX co-founder deserves a presumption of innocence.Brian Snyder/Reuters Bill Ackman, known for his lucrative bet on COVID-19 crashing the market, extolled due process for SBF. Ackman was cleared after his own past brush with the law over allegations of market manipulation. He said defendants like Sam Bankman-Fried deserve the presumption of innocence at this stage. The billionaire investor Bill Ackman, who heads the hedge fund Pershing Square Capital, can relate to the public pile on against Sam Bankman-Fried. Ackman, known for his $2.6 billion bet that the COVID-19 crisis would hurt the stock market, tweeted on Thursday that defendants like Bankman-Fried should be considered "innocent unless and until proven guilty," citing his own past run-in with regulators over allegations against him in the early 2000s of market manipulation.He was cleared in that investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission and New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.Although that outcome vindicated him, he said the process gave him the sense that "some attorneys" at the New York Attorney General's office at the time "were interested in finding me guilty regardless of the facts." "I remember the other parents pulling their children away from me and my daughter at nursery school drop off when the Spitzer news about me dropped," he tweeted. "I will never forget. And I was lucky as I had the resources to hire good lawyers and defend myself."  "Let's not sacrifice our core values in a rush to convict @SBF_FTX as it does no one any good," he wrote. —Bill Ackman (@BillAckman) January 13, 2023 Bankman-Fried pleaded not guilty this month in the US government's criminal case against him and his right-hand people Caroline Ellison and Gary Wang, both of whom flipped and took plea deals.  Painting Bankman-Fried as the mastermind, government enforcers accused all three of executing a scheme to leverage FTX customer funds for unrelated investments for Bankman-Fried's separate company, Alameda Research, and borrowing and spending huge sums of money with no boundaries or guardrails protecting customer deposits.  Ackman said that the plea deals of Bankman-Fried's associates don't change Bankman-Fried's right to be presumed innocent at this stage, suggesting that government agents could have their own career goals in mind in felling a major defendant. "An SBF conviction means a partnership at the best white collar defense firm for an aspiring prosecutor," he tweeted, referring to Bankman-Fried by a frequently used abbreviation of his name. "SBF's two associates would gladly see him convicted in exchange for dramatically reduced sentences for themselves so we can't rely on their words as proof that he is guilty." After FTX's bankruptcy filing in November, Ackman tweeted in support of cryptocurrency, saying it could still "enable the formation of useful businesses and technologies."In his own Substack post this week, former FTX CEO Bankman-Fried insisted that he "didn't steal" from the company.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJan 13th, 2023