MF Global One Year Later: Where’s the Money?

One year after MF Global “misplaced” $1.6 billion in customer funds, those funds still haven’t been recovered for investors. The money has allegedly been found, but that still doesn’t help customers who would like to get their misappropriated funds back.

Francine McKenna, a contributor at Forbes, notes there is another party that still hasn’t been held accountable in the MF Global debacle: auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers. She says:

The global audit firm would rather come off as stupid than complicit in the actions of whomever broke the law and stole MF Global customer funds.

Read moreMF Global One Year Later: Where’s the Money?

Marc Randazza Versus “The Takedown Lawyer”

Marc Randazza is exposing a scam being run on a site called “Is Anybody Down”. Ken White at Popehat has gotten in on the fun too.  The concept behind Anybody Down site is that angry exes submit nude pictures to the site (without the permission of the people in the pictures) and they are posted publicly to shame the subjects.

That’s bad enough, but the scam appears to go further. There is a site that appears to be related, called “The Takedown Lawyer.” For the low, low price of $250, an alleged attorney named David Blade III (supposedly a public defender in New York) can guarantee that your picture is removed from the Anybody Down site. (Note that since being exposed, the owner of the Takedown Lawyer site is now calling it “Takedown Hammer” and making no references to being an attorney.)

Read moreMarc Randazza Versus “The Takedown Lawyer”

Medifast Lawyers Lie to the Court (Again)

UPDATE: On February 17, 2010, Medifast Inc. filed suit in US District Court, Southern District of California, alleging defamation, violation of California Corporations Code, and unfair business practices. On March 29, 2011, Judge Janis Sammartino dismissed all of Medifast’s claims against me in her ruling on my anti-SLAPP motion.

In the never-ending saga of Medifast Inc’s $270 million lawsuit against me for defamation related to their Take Shape for Life division (TSFL), the company and its lawyers have repeatedly lied to the court about what I have said, written, and done. Apparently, this is the only way they think they might win their case. Thankfully, the judge saw through their lies and dismissed me from the case under California’s anti-SLAPP legislation.

That hasn’t stopped Medifast from continuing the lies, however. And the company appears to be upset over my writings about the lawsuit. Management and the attorneys have falsely stated that I am writing about this case to get publicity for myself. The truth is that I write about this case to expose the lies and shady litigation procedure employed by the company.

I do not believe a company like Medifast should be allowed to commit these acts in the dark of night. I want to expose management and the attorneys for the liars that they are, so the whole world can see it.

Read moreMedifast Lawyers Lie to the Court (Again)

Defamation and Statements of Opinion

A couple of months ago, a ruling on an anti-SLAPP motion in a defamation case against Gawker Media (owner of website Gizmodo) got my attention. Scott Redmond, with his service called Peep Telephony (or Peep Wireless), was upset because Gizmodo posted a negative review of the service. More specifically, Gizmodo called the service a scam, saying that it offers “free” cellular service for phone calls, texts, and data access. A look at Peep’s website produced this criticism:

To be frank, this all sounds like bullshit. In fact, the combination of everything described was so strange, it almost made the company seem like a larger-than-life prank on the tech world. The closest thing to a technical explanation for Peep is this:

Read moreDefamation and Statements of Opinion

Examining MckMama’s Automobile Accidents

If you’re not interested in the saga of the bankruptcy fraud allegedly committed by Jennifer McKinney (blogger “MckMama”) and her husband Israel, skip this article. In the latest turn of events, MckMama has claimed to have two serious car accidents in the past 8 months that have landed her in the hospital. And oddly enough, both “accidents” occurred when MckMama was alone in the vehicle.

What’s curious about this is that MckMama, the woman who obsessively photographs everything about her life and posts oodles of pictures on the internet, never posted any pictures of her damaged vehicle. Two major accidents in 8 months, and no pictures to share with her loyal readers?

Read moreExamining MckMama’s Automobile Accidents

Cooking the Books: Financial Statement Revisions

In the current issue of Forbes magazine, accounting watchdog Francine McKenna has written an article about the SEC’s failure to take a hard line on accounting fraud in public companies. Despite all of the high profile accounting frauds uncovered in the past decade, the Securities & Exchange Commission appears to be focusing its efforts on going after Ponzi schemes rather than accounting fraud. Francine reports that of the 735 enforcement actions brought by the SEC in 2011, only 89 were related to fraudulent or misleading accounting and disclosures by public companies.

Some people say that Sarbanes Oxley has been doing its job relative to increasing prevention and detection of accounting fraud, but evidence of that is almost non-existent.  Auditors would have the public believe that auditors are being more effective in finding and reporting fraud, but the evidence does not back this up.

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McKinney Bankruptcy Denied: MckMama Must Pay Creditors!

Great news out of the United States Bankruptcy Court in Minnesota, where Jennifer McKinney (blogger MckMama) and Israel McKinney filed for bankruptcy nearly a year ago. After trustee Gene Doeling ferreted out Jennifer’s financial shenanigans, he filed a complaint with the bankruptcy court objecting to the discharge of the debts. Mr. Doeling alleged that the McKinneys engaged in manipulation, destruction, concealment, and falsification of information in the bankruptcy process.

Yesterday a signed Application for Approval of Waiver of Discharge was filed with the court. This means that Jennifer and Israel McKinney have agreed that their debts should not be discharged in bankruptcy.

Read moreMcKinney Bankruptcy Denied: MckMama Must Pay Creditors!

Creditors Line Up in the McKinney Bankruptcy

Jennifer McKinney, (Morally) Bankrupt Blogger

I’ve written previously about the bankruptcy of Jennifer “MckMama” McKinney and her husband Israel McKinney of Kieran’s Contracting. Jennifer was once a popular mommy blogger at mycharmingkids.net and mckmama.com.

Until the United States Bankruptcy Court got her number and decided to take action on allegations of fraud.

Jennifer Howe Sauls McKinney has a colorful history of lying to the internets about all sorts of things, most notably her debts and her alleged repayment of said debts.

Read moreCreditors Line Up in the McKinney Bankruptcy

Professional Service Providers and Criminal Charges

Lauren Stevens, former in-house counsel for GlaxoSmithKline was acquitted last year of criminal charges of obstructing a government agency. She was accused of withholding documents from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration when it was looking into allegations of off-label marketing of the antidepressant Wellbutrin.

Stevens has said, “I think the criminalization of the practice of law is here, and I don’t think it’s necessarily going away. The government will continue to be aggressive in looking at in-house counsel.”

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Multi-Level Marketing Companies and Pyramid Schemes

For decades, muti-level marketing companies like Amway, Mary Kay, Herbalife, Avon, and Usana have fought against being labeled as pyramid schemes. They say that pyramid schemes are illegal, and that their MLM business format is perfectly legal.

My definition of MLMs is a little nuanced. I tend to call them legalized pyramid schemes. What I mean by this is that multi-level marketing companies are indeed pyramid schemes, but our state and federal governments allow them to operate and generally call them legal if they have the right window dressing.

Read moreMulti-Level Marketing Companies and Pyramid Schemes