Articles Posted in Legal News / Legal Information

The Securities Act of 1933 is referred to as the “truth in securities” law.   The act has two intended and effected results: It prohibits deceit, misrepresentations, and other fraud in the sale of securities.  It does that by requiring that all investors in the capital and equity markets receive significant information concerning the securities being offered for sale to the public.  It also does that by requiring the filing of a great deal of important information and facts in writing with the Security and Exchange Commission.

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The act starts by requiring registration, which enables investors to make informed judgments about whether to purchase the securities issued by a corporation, or not to buy. The information required by the Securities and Exchange Commission requires that it be accurate but not guaranteed. If you suffer a loss in the purchase of securities, you have the right to recover your loss if you can prove that there was inaccurate or incomplete disclosures of important information. It starts by requiring that all securities sold in United States be registered. The registration requires a description of the company’s properties and businesses, a description of the security type being offered for sale, information about the management of the company, and certified financial statements by independent accountants.

Companies with more than $10 million in assets, whose securities are owned by more than 500 people, must file annual reports. Usually, the report includes an opening letter from the Chief Executive Officer, financial data, results of operations, market segment information, new product plans, subsidiary activities, and research and development activities on future programs.  These reports are then available to the public through the Security and Exchange Commission’s database.

On January 10th, 2017, it was announced that Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law, was appointed as Senior Advisor to the future President.  News reports  of “conflict of interest” by Donald Trump, Jared Kushner and the Trump family have  morphed  into allegations of insider trading, a crime punishable by prison and significant financial penalties.

New York Senator and Senate Minority Leader, Charles Schumer, brought up the issue of insider trading and cabinet nominees at a news conference last week, and…POLITICO reports that Congressman Elijah Cummings is looking at corruption hearings on the Trump business and its ties into the government.

There is talk of a pending Congressional criminal hearing on violations of Stock Act of 2012 and insider trading charges in contemplation against Donald Trump and his family members.  The Stock Act of 2012 was enacted to restrict insider trading by members of Congress and their staff and can extend to the President.  The inquiry examines the extent to which Donald Trump, Mr. Kushner and Trump family members have exploited access to government policy in making real estate ventures.

Impeachment is governed by Article II Section Four of the U.S. Constitution, which  states that the President shall be removed from office on impeachment for and conviction of treason, bribery or other high crimes and misdemeanors.  Treasons is levying war against the United States, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.  Bribery is defined in federal statutes, not in the constitution.  High crimes and misdemeanors likewise is defined by looking at old British case law, there is no definition in our constitution.  And yes, a sitting president can be impeached for things done before being sworn in.

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Source: Wikimedia.org

Impeachment applies to the President, Vice President, and can, and has, been used to remove senators, congressman, federal judges and other “civil officers.” Remember Vice President Spiro Agnew? He avoided a near impeachment, and resigned instead in 1973.  Agnew was later indicted for things done when he was governor.  An impeachment is an indictment.

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Source: Wikipedia

The Daily Mail reports that Walter Palmer, the Minnesota millionaire dentist, is thriving and Cecil the Lion….is still dead.  But the first anniversary year of the killing has revived the protest by those who are still outraged at the staged killing of the park animal.

Dr. Walter Palmer, one year ago, had his trophy kill gutted and readied to be shipped to his home in the U.S. when the story broke and brought a firestorm of outrage on the bewildered dentist.  The millionaire dentist who was forced into hiding for a brief time has avoided prosecution both in Zimbabwe and the United States.  Zimbabwe abandoned its attempts to extradite Dr. Palmer and announced that no laws had been broken. I personally am starting a fundraising project to raise money for Dr. Palmer to have an all expense paid trip to China where he can have a free ride in an open door-less car to visit Badaling Safari World in Bejing, China.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced on July 22, 2016 the unsealing of what will be an epic Medicare fraud sweep involving members of the South Florida community, both in Miami and Fort Lauderdale.  This is the largest Medicare Fraud crime federal indictment in the history of the U.S. Department of Justice.  It involves a network of doctors, hospitals, health care providers, adult living facilities (ALF’s), nursing homes, and private physicians and health care providers who have collectively, (allegedly) fraudulently billed Medicaid and Medicare in excess of one billion dollars.

Named in 300px-FBISealthe unsealed indictment is the owner of a business that owns and operates over 30 facilities for profit that provide nursing and assisted living services.  The allegations include conspiracy, bribery, kickbacks and fraudulent billing of services either not provided or, as some unconfirmed reports indicate; provided to dead people.  The unsealed indictment is one of many that the joint task force anticipates will be bring dozens of people to court as criminal defendants in federal court in South Florida.  The Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health announced it believes in excess of $2.5 Billion of fraudulent charges are paid out every year by Medicare and Medicaid fraudulently and that South Florida is the focus of the task force.  Also named in the unsealed indictment is Odette Barcha, 49, and Arnaldo Carmouze, 56, all of Miami-Dade County.

Philip Esformes, the owner of more than 30 facilities, was named as the “mastermind” of the conspiracy.  He is represented by attorney Marissel Descalzo and Michael Pasano of the Carton Fields law firm.  In 2013, Attorney Michael Pasano  also represented Karen Kallen-Zury who was convicted and found guilty,  along with others, of running a $70 million Medicare fraud and bribery scheme involving mental health hospitals.  Also convicted in the Southern District of Florida in that case was Daisy Miller of Hollywood and Michele Petrie of Fort Lauderdale.

mateenNoor Zahi Salman, (the second and current wife of the Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen),  told the FBI she knew of Mateen’s plan for a mass murder shooting, accompanied him to scout out potential targets, went with him to the Pulse Club in Orlando, and accompanied him to buy a holster and ammunition.

Is that enough to charge Mateen’s wife as aiding and abetting the murders?  Can the law support a conviction?  Is arresting her a public relations issue or a law enforcement issue? These are all questions that investigators will be looking to answer in the next few days.

Decide for yourself. But first understand the law.  Aiding and abetting means “assisting in the commission of someone else’s crime.”  According to 18 U.S. Code § 2, Salman, if convicted of aiding and abetting, could be punished as a principal.

Last month, on February 16, 2016, the U.S. Government asked a California federal court to compel Apple to assist the FBI in the search of the San Bernardino shooter,Syed Rizwan Farook’s, iPhone.  Apple has objected to doing so, claiming it has “…done everything that is both within our power and within the law to help them.”

Apple vs. FBIIn the past, Apple has complied with government search warrants, under its prior operating system, bypassing its passcode and unlocking some of its content pursuant to the warrant. But under Apple’s new encrypted software, the data is encrypted automatically using a digital key that can only be accessed by the user and not by Apple or anybody else.  And since developing the new iOS8 operating system, Apple claims in its policy that it can no longer bypass the passcode, “…and therefore it is not “technically feasible” for Apple to respond to government search warrants.  For this reason, the government’s already obtained search warrant has not been very useful and under the All Writs Act, the government is seeking assistance from Apple because they state, “Apple has the ability to modify software” to disable the auto-erase function only on Malik’s iPhone.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheri Pym issued an order approving the government’s petition and in response, Apple issued a statement outlining their reasons for refusing to cooperate with the FBI, stating the FBI is asking Apple to “build a backdoor” to its products, thus setting a dangerous precedent.

This week the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that E.S. Financial Services, a Miami based brokerage firm, settled what could have been a major criminal case with an agreed $ 1 million penalty payment to settle the charges and possibly avoid criminal prosecution.

The SEC issued a press release which suggested that the E.S. Financial, now known as Brickell Global Markets, Inc., committed acts that substantially violate anti-money laundering statutes and related rules.  The agreed allegations are that the brokerage firm allowed non-U.S. individuals to sell and buy securities without revealing the people who are the beneficial owners.

The SEC’s continued investigation led to their issuance of an order, which instituted a settled administrative proceeding, in lieu of a criminal indictment.  And while no fraud occurred in this case, the SEC investigation concluded that there were significant “holes” or shortcomings in the framework and implementation of the firm’s customer identification program (CIP), which required brokers to, “…at a minimum…, implement reasonable procedures to verify the identity of any person seeking to open an account.”

Bill Cosby was dealt a stunning setback and a legal major rebuke by a Pennsylvania state court judge this week. His lawyers filed court papers asking the judge to stop the newly renewed prosecution of three sexual assault charges filed against Mr. Cosby in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. His argument was based in equity and basic estoppel contract law.

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Source: Denverpost.com

Twelve years ago the prosecutor from Montgomery County announced that he would not prosecute Bill Cosby on the charges.  The allegations of sexual abuse in 2004 were and are the same Mr. Cosby is currently facing. Relying on the prosecutor’s statements that no prosecution would be undertaken, Mr. Cosby moved on with his life, responded to lawsuits in civil court, made statements in that lawsuit as required, and did nothing to preserve defenses, evidence, and witnesses which he could have used in this defense had he been prosecuted 12 years ago.  Now, 12 years later, the recently elected prosecutor Mr. Kevin Steele announced that he was reopening the case. Mr. Steele in his campaign to get elected as the prosecutor in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, featured his intent to prosecute Bill Cosby.