All Articles Tagged "charges"
Too often at the beginning of a New Year, we don’t address one of the biggest problem areas in our lives: our finances. Instead of striving to be financially fit, our physical fitness is more important. While health and wellness should be a main priority in our lives, our finances should also take some type of priority as well. And as 2013 approaches, striving to be more wealthy should be another resolution to put on our list.
If you are looking to make a few changes in your financial part of life this New Years, here are a few suggestions of resolutions for your finances. Get in better financial shape in 2013!
By now you’ve probably forgetten about the investigation into the two Los Angeles police officers who leaked photos of Rihanna to the media after her 2009 domestic dispute with Chris Brown. The officers, Blanca Lopez and Rebecca Reyes, reportedly sent the images of the bruised and beaten Rihanna which became a media spectacle at the time to TMZ, but because prosecutors couldn’t find sufficient evidence to prove the gossip site paid the cops for the photos, they will not face criminal charges.
That decision was actually made in March but just went public in a report obtained by the LA Times. Internal investigators had obtained numerous search warrants and forensic exams of computer hard drives, phones and e-mail accounts, over the past three years but apparently came up short in terms of making anything stick. One report is said to have shown the officers received $62,000 for the pics but searches of the officers’ bank accounts revealed no evidence of a payment. Of course the cops could have had the money funneled to them in other ways but District Attorney’s office spokeswoman Jane Robison said, “You can’t go on a fishing expedition and subpoena everybody who might be related or a friend.”
Though these two may have escaped formal charges, they will likely lose their jobs at the very least. Both women are to appear before LAPD disciplinary panels in August and the department will recommend that they be fired. I would think leaking criminal evidence to the press regardless of whether these two were paid or not would be enough to warrant charges but maybe pay was the only thing that would have definitively linked them to the leak.
What do you think, should these officers have been charged?
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Not really sure when those with positions of authority in these organizations and bands will get the memo that hazing is wrong on so many levels and needs to stop. But maybe, just maybe, after the death of Robert Champion and the charges brought against 13 members of FAMU’s legendary band, people will learn.
Champion, a 26-year-old drum major at FAMU, was beaten to death aboard a chartered bus after a performance last fall. Band members beat Champion severely, leaving large bruises on his chest, arms, shoulders and back, according to the AP. Witnesses to the beating say Champion might have been targeted not only because he was against members partaking in hazing, but also because he was gay, and was a candidate for the role of chief drum major.
The 13 individuals had the charges brought against them today, five months after the incident happened, and 11 out of the 13 people will face a hazing resulting in death charge, which can carry up to six years. The other two individuals will face misdemeanor charges for their role in Champion’s death. While the parents of the young man were pleased that charges were being filed, they were disappointed that the charges were not more severe. The mother of Champion, Pam, told the AP, “I thought there would be more serious charges. I thought it should send a harsher message.” It seems the possibility of manslaughter and second-degree murder charges were shut down. But State Attorney Lawson Lamar said these charges weren’t sought because murder didn’t seem to be the motive, plus, there’s no evidence to support that thought:
“The testimony obtained to date does not support a charge of murder, in that it does not contain the elements of murder. We can prove participation in hazing and a death. We do not have a blow or a shot or a knife thrust that killed Mr. Champion. It is an aggregation of things which exactly fit the Florida statute as written by the Legislature.”
Because of the incident, the school has suspended the band, and Champion’s parents are even trying to sue the bus company for standing by and allowing the beating to happen–on the bus. But representatives of the company said the driver was not near the bus during the beating, and if he was, he wouldn’t have let it happen.
This is definitely a sad situation, and I hope the family can get some justice for Robert. Unfortunately, this has become far too common of a thing on college campuses. People hoping to get the shine of being a member of a prestigious band or having the chance to wear certain letters have been getting beat, run like mules, forced to drink to the point of alcohol poisoning and more for years now, and sometimes death is the result. Well a lot of the time actually. Look up names like Carson Starkey, Michael Starks, Kenitha Saafir and Kristin High, Vann L. Watts, Michael Davis, Joseph Green–just to name a few names. While this might change the way FAMU and their band happen to do things, what’s it really going to take for students in these organizations and groups elsewhere to get the memo? If the death of someone innocent isn’t the glaring sign these students need, then what’s really left to get them to wake up?
How can schools step in more to stop hazing? Is it possible?
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Horizon City’s Angie Gomez, 19, was recently indicted for receiving donations of up to $17, 000 after lying to people in her community about having cancer. The young woman started her lie in January of last year, telling her high school classmates that she’d found out that she had cancer and only had six months to live. Once word spread about her “diagnosis,” the publications in the area, including the El Paso Times, reached out to interview Gomez and to get her story to the masses. According to ABC News, this is what she told the paper:
“The doctors are telling me to prepare myself and to start planning for what’s about to come. They think the worst is coming, when you start to feel sick and you can’t move. I think they’re all crazy.”
It’s understandable why Gomez was so optimistic and thought doctors were crazy. She was faking, of course! Detective Liliana Medina of the Horizon City Police told ABC News that after investigating, it became clear that Gomez hadn’t had cancer at any point. Ever. In life. Gomez and people in the community started the Achieve the Dream Foundation that was supposed to help young people with cancer. They sold T-shirts and accessories to raise money, but a lot of that money wound up in the hands of Gomez. They even threw a prom in her honor after she told people she missed her high school prom because of treatments for her cancer.
But by summer, people who were helping to raise money for Gomez started to become suspicious of her. Though her cancer was allegedly terminal, she was still up, moving and appeared in great health and spirits. These same individuals informed police, and the investigation kicked off in June of last year. If you’re wondering what role her parents played, somehow the mother of Gomez was unaware for a time that she was doing all of this, but when she found out, she allegedly pushed her daughter to tell the truth. Gomez, now 19, was arrested last week and indicted on a state felony charge of theft of property of $1,500 to $20,000. Her bail is set at $50,000.
And as you should know, Gomez is not the only person who got caught lying about having cancer to attain money and gifts. We told you the story earlier in the month of 25-year-old Jessica Vega, who lied about having leukemia so that she could get people to help her have a lavish wedding and honeymoon. The mother of two told people in her town, which is near NYC, that she just wanted to have her “dream” wedding before she passed. And she did have it–at the expense of those who opened their wallets and hearts to her. But when her new husband found out about her lies, they fell out and eventually divorced, and he told everyone involved that she was a liar. She was arrested on April 3.
Vega was just ordered to somehow pay back $13,368 to her victims, and she will have to remain in jail until May 15 to see if she will have to do any real time. She plead guilty in Orange County Court to scheming to defraud and possession of a forged instrument. The forged instrument was a fake letter by her that was supposed to be signed by a doctor to prove that she was indeed ill. Though her ex-husband is the one who told people she was lying, he plans to help her pay back the victims. Guess he doesn’t want to see the mother of his children go out like that.
It’s truly sad to see the extent people will go to get a little bit (or a lot) of money. There are individuals out here with cancer-stricken children and battling these illnesses themselves, and they could use all the help and d0nations they can get. But instead you’ve got these trifling fools tricking people. Once again, karma is one evil, well-dressed b***h, and these two better look out…
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A former resident of New York, 25-year-old Jessica Vega has been charged for lying about having leukemia in order to get lavish wedding gifts and money. People donated to the woman after she made them believe that she was dying. An Orange County grand jury has indicted her with five counts of grand larceny and one count of scheme to defraud for accepting thousands of dollars worth of items and donated services for her big day. Vega got married in 2010, and she and her husband, Michael O’Connell, went to Aruba for their honeymoon. However, four months later O’Connell revealed to people that his new wife faked the illness. I’m guessing he thought her actions were just as dirty as everyone else, because they allegedly divorced over the incident (according to AP). O’Connell says that he wasn’t aware that she was faking when they got married (sounds like someone got trapped…), and when he found out, he helped with the attorney general’s investigation. O’Connell and Vega have two kids now, and despite how bad this makes Vega look, her former husband says, “She’s a good mom, and that’s all that counts at the end of the day. I want my kids to have their mother back.” He believes that she needs mental health treatment rather than jail.
According to the Times Herald-Record, Vega told numerous publications and people that her wish before she passed was to marry O’Connell, the father of her daughter. Reports on it helped the woman garner more and more donations, as people from far and wide rushed to help her have a beautiful wedding and honeymoon. She even showed fake documentation to prove she was in fact ill:
“Vega had offered a letter, purportedly from a Westchester doctor, as proof of her diagnosis, but the doctor’s staff later denied seeing Vega. Along with the felonies, Vega faces a misdemeanor charge of possessing a forged instrument.”
Blame it on the wedding obsessed culture we live in (Hey Bridezillas!) or the fact that this lady just really is a very troubled and cold person, but it’s very sad and pathetic to see that people are out here lying about a serious illness so that they can drop it low in an expensive gown and tan on the beach during a honeymoon they lied to get. She needs to do a lot of community service, soul searching, pay everyone back and hope that karma doesn’t come back to bite her in the behind, because she was wrong on every level possible.
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Many of us have been there: you’ve either been asked to hold the burden of being the designated driver for the night, or you’ve had the tough task of duping someone into being the DD so you can ditch taxi fees. But it’s safe to say that you wouldn’t look at your child, whether they’re over 16 or not (who cares?), and say, “Honey, you’re taking the wheel tonight.” But a Michigan man proved how low he could go. The man had his 9-year-old daughter, boosted up in her seat, drive her father to a gas station at 3 a.m. on October 8. According to CNN, the man was seen and heard on surveillance tape telling the gas station attendant, “She drives us here. Nine years old, in the truck, we’re here. She drove all the way here.” What a proud dad, huh?
Once the two got back in the car, a witness called police. During the call, the man told police she was staying on the road, using turn signals, and that he couldn’t believe it. Now, could he not believe that she was driving altogether, or that she was a GOOD driver? That is the question (kidding). In the end, the daddy and daughter were stopped. The father refused to take a breathalyzer, and he was charged with one felony count of child endangerment, a misdemeanor count of child abuse and habitual-offender fourth offense based on previous convictions, according to CNN.
Daddy wasn’t the only one pissed off about being stopped and arrested it seems. When the cops pulled the two over, the little girl said to police, “What did you stop me for? I was driving good.” Judge for yourself though, because video of the little one driving at the gas station has been provided below, thanks to the good
When Gary Foster left for his vacation in Bangkok, he was a wealthy and successful man who most likely thought he had it all. But his trip was cut short when he received information that his former employer suspected the secret behind his success was an elaborate embezzlement scheme.
Bloomberg reports that Foster, a former Citigroup Inc. vice president, is accused of stealing $19 million from the bank and transferring the money to his private account with JP Morgan Chase. The alleged fraud lasted from May 2009 to the end of 2010.
The NY Post reports he used the money to buy a Garden State house for his parents and pay off a mortgage for his ex-wife. He also spent $3 million on a six-bedroom mansion in Englewood Cliffs, NJ and $1.93 million on a Rockefeller Center apartment directly across from the Citi branch on West 48th Street.
“We are outraged by the actions of this former employee,” spokeswoman Shannon Bell from the Citigroup based in New York said in a June e-mail to Bloomberg. “Citi informed law enforcement immediately upon discovery of the suspicious transactions and we are cooperating fully to ensure Mr. Foster is prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
The thirty-five year old New Jersey native came back from his Bangkok trip early upon hearing that he was under investigation. He was arrested in June at the John F Kennedy International Airport in New York and charged with bank fraud. On June 27, he was released on an $800,000 bond secured by his parents. One of his lawyers, Isabelle A Kirshner, told Bloomberg that her client does intend to plead guilty to the charge.
US Attorney Loretta Lynch says that Foster allegedly committed the “ultimate inside job,” given his position and knowledge of bank operations.
The criminal complaint asserts that Foster managed to move $900,000 from an interest expense account and $14.4 million from a debt-adjustment account to the bank’s cash account between July to December of last year. A fake contract was then created to cover up Foster’s scheme under a pre-existing contract. Through a series of eight transfers, he then had the money wired from the cash account to his personal account.
Foster, who was hired by Citigroup in 1999, left his role voluntarily in January. In his role he supervised the derivative’s unit of Citigroup’s treasury finance department which funds loans and various business transactions within the bank. An internal audit revealed Foster’s wire transfers to his account.
If prosecutors find Foster guilty of the crime, he could face a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
By Charlotte Young
The woman who claims Dominique Strauss-Kahn raped her is no “money-grubbing opportunist”, her lawyer states. A recorded conversation between the woman, Nafissatou Diallo, and her incarcerated friend reveals that the hotel maid was more concerned about what happened to her than Strauss-Kahn’s wealth.
At the request of Diallo’s attorney, Kenneth Thompson, the tapes of the conversation were reviewed in a meeting with prosecutors on Wednesday. The meeting lasted almost eight hours.
On the tapes, Diallo speaks in Fulani, a West African language, to her friend detained in an Arizona immigration detention center. In the first conversation, Diallo details that someone had forced her to do something she didn’t want to do and had tried to rape her and that this person was a powerful man.
According to the Salon, this directly contrasts with the New York Times report that a law enforcement official had anonymously disclosed that Diallo had told her friend that “this guy has a lot of money,” and that she knew what she was doing, shortly before Strauss-Kahn was arrested.
Mentions of Straus-Kahn’s status and her plans to get a lawyer took place in two separate conversations.
Diallo’s credibility has been brought under question as she admittedly exaggerated her background in Guinea with tales of gang-rang in efforts to secure asylum in the US. Prosecutors also doubt her account of her actions on what she did directly after the alleged assault took place on May 14.
While traces of his semen were found on her work uniform, Diallo’s shaky accounts have hurt the possibility of a prosecution.
Diallo recently made appearances on Newsweek and ABC News, asking for prosecutors to keep the case alive. Prosecutors decided on Tuesday to postpone Strauss-Kahn’s court date from Aug. 1 to Aug. 23. At that time, they will then make the decision whether or not to continue with the case.
Before the incident, the former International Monetary Fund leader had been a solid French presidential contender. He was arrested after Diallo released statements that he had “forced her to perform oral sex, manhandled her and ripped down her stockings” in his Sofitel Hotel luxury suite close to Times Square in Manhattan.
While Diallo may not have focused on Strauss-Kahn’s money, Thompson said that it was within her rights to sue him. For the moment, the Salon reports Diallo plans to visit religious, women’s and African community groups at a Brooklyn Christian center to thank her supporters.
After years of hearing about rapper Foxy Brown, aka Inga Marchand, being sued and arrested, jailed, arrested again and then sued, homegirl wants some payback for the fact that prosecuters recently pressed charges against her for allegedly mooning her neighbor. The same neighbor she hit in the face with a BlackBerry that wound up putting her in Rikers Island for violating her prior probation. The charges for this little supposed behind-revealing encounter however, were dropped. So not only is she hoping to sue, but Brown would be suing for a whopping $100 million dollars (COUNT IT!) for her supposed suffering. I don’t see girlfriend getting a red cent from the city. If you ask me, she should be glad and feel blessed that the case was dismissed, and use it as a sign that she either needs to get her life together or just please, please sit down somewhere!
To hear why her mooning case was dismissed and to learn more about why she is suing, check out AOL’s Black Voices for the full story.
A federal grand jury has indicted former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick on 19 fraud-related charges.