Law Firm News
Today's Legal News Bookmark Page
Citibank Stole From 53,000 Customers
Top Legal News | 2008/08/27 18:24
Citibank agreed Tuesday to repay $14 million taken from 53,000 customer credit accounts, plus interest and penalties, after after a three-year investigation by the California Attorney General's office revealed the bank's policy of clearing positive balances off customer credit accounts.

Citibank used a computerized process between 1992 and 2003, which automatically and immediately erased positive balances from credit-card accounts. The Attorney General's office quotes a bank executive saying, "Stealing from our customers is a business decision, not a legal decision."

Underscoring the intentional nature of the bank's actions, the Attorney General said an insider at Citibank reported the credit sweeps to an internal audit team in 2001, and was first ignored and then fired.

The investigation took three years to complete because the state investigators had to overcome legal trench warfare from Citibank which resisted subpoenas from the state to third parties who had information about the theft, said a spokesman for the Attorney General.

"The company knowingly stole from its customers, mostly poor people and the recently deceased when it... implemented the sweeps," said California Attorney General Jerry Brown Jr.

Positive balances happen when a customer over-pays, or when a customer returns a purchase for credit. A spokesman for Brown's office, Dana Simas, said the poor and the dead tend to be less financially organized, which accounts for their increased exposure to Citibank's credit sweeps.

$1.6 million was swiped from Californians alone.

Citibank was represented in the matter by Julia Strickland and Julie Nelson with the Stroock law firm.

The settlement calls on Citibank to refund the victims for the amount stolen, along with a 10% interest. It also imposes a $3.5 million fine to be paid to California, and prevents Citibank from re-initiating the credit sweeps.

Once Citibank has complied, an independent auditor will ensure that Citibank has fulfilled its requirements.

The state's investigation was led by Frederick Acker.


US soldier sentenced for desertion
Headline News | 2008/08/26 15:15
A US military judge in Colorado sentenced US Army Pfc. Robin Long Friday to 15 months in prison, dishonorable discharge and demotion after Long pleaded guilty to desertion with intent to remain away permanently. Long fled to Canada in 2005 in moral opposition to the war in Iraq and filed for refugee status there, but a Canadian immigration judge denied his motion in August 2007, writing: 
I find nothing in the claimant’s evidence that would support a finding that he could not rely upon the state to protect him from persecution or any other harm. There is no support for a finding that it was objectively reasonable for the claimant not to have sought protection in his country.
Canadian officials deported Long to the US in July. US authorities initially charged him with desertion with intent to shirk hazardous duty, a more serious offense under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, but Long pleaded to the lesser offense of desertion with intent to remain away permanently the same day as the scheduled start of his court-martial proceedings.

In early July, Canada's House of Commons passed a non-binding resolution to grant US military deserters asylum. In November 2007, the Supreme Court of Canada declined to hear the appeals of Jeremy Hinzman and Brandon Hughey, two US military deserters who had unsuccessfully applied for asylum before the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. The IRB had concluded that the two men would receive a fair trial if they were returned to the US and that they would not face persecution or cruel and unusual punishment.


Gay marriage foes mobilize for ban in California
Headline News | 2008/08/25 14:03
Michael Bumgarner says he's never campaigned for a political cause before, but his strong opposition to same-sex marriage has prompted him to join thousands of volunteers going door-to-door in support of a ballot initiative that would ban gay nuptuals here.

"I've never stumped before, but I want to be a part of this," Bumgarner said. The retired insurance executive and devout Mormon said his late mother would "turn over in her grave" if she knew that gays and lesbians could marry.

With less than 11 weeks until Election Day, supporters of Proposition 8 are ramping up their field organization and refining their message as they seek to persuade California voters to shut the door on same-sex marriage. It's the first time voters will be asked to weigh in on the issue in either California or Massachusetts — the states where gays have won the right to wed.

An estimated 15,000 backers of the measure, most of them members of Mormon, Catholic and evangelical Christian churches, knocked on doors and distributed campaign literature to registered voters throughout the state this weekend and last, according to Jennifer Kerns, spokeswoman for the Yes on 8 campaign.

The initiative is a constitutional amendment, similar to ones already enacted in 26 other states, that would overturn the California Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage. It needs a simple majority of votes to pass.



IRS updates and expands EPCRS procedures
Press Releases | 2008/08/24 15:37

The IRS has released the long-awaited revenue procedure, updating and expanding the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS), the system of voluntary correction programs for retirement plans. The EPCRS has been expanded to cover additional plan failures and includes streamlined application procedures under the Voluntary Correction Program (VCP) for numerous categories of plan failures.

“Employers and plan administrators want to comply with the tax laws and regulations to protect plan participants,” said Michael Julianelle, director of the IRS’s Employee Plans division. “EPCRS helps employers and plan administrators take a proactive role in identifying and fixing mistakes. It also encourages implementation of practices and procedures that ensure retirement plans comply with laws and regulations.”

The updated EPCRS revenue procedure generally will be effective January 1, 2009. However, plan sponsors will be permitted to apply the provisions of the updated revenue procedure beginning September 2, 2008.

Time to self-correct expanded
The Self-Correction Program (SCP) permits a plan sponsor to correct insignificant operational failures in plans such as qualified plans, 403(b) plans, SEPs or SIMPLE IRA plans without having to notify the IRS and without paying any fee or sanction. The updated procedure expands the SCP in situations where employers discover failures in their plans and have begun the correction process.

The time by which a plan sponsor substantially corrects a significant operational failure and is therefore entitled to use the SCP has been liberalized. Sample correction methods for improperly excluded employees for both employer and employee contributions have been added to Appendix A. In addition, sample correction methods for the failure to implement an employee’s elective deferral election and to provide matching contributions have been added to Appendix B.




Russian oil tycoon's parole bid rejected
Headline News | 2008/08/22 15:36
A Russian court rejected jailed oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky request for parole on Friday.

The judge said Khodorkovsky was ineligible for early release from a sentence for tax evasion and fraud because he had refused to undertake professional training at his prison, which specializes in sewing, and because of an incident in which he flouted prison rules.

Khodorkovsky reacted by shaking his head as the decision was announced in the courtroom in the Siberian city of Chita.

Khodorkovsky — who headed the Yukos oil company and was once Russia's richest man — has spent almost five years in jail. He was sentenced in 2005 to an eight-year term and has been eligible for parole for the past 10 months.

Khodorkovsky's parole hearing was seen as a test of new President Dmitry Medvedev's commitment to reforming the judiciary.

The prosecution of the oligarch was widely viewed as an attempt to silence a Kremlin opponent and consolidate control over Russia's strategic energy sector.

The charges and subsequent demand for huge back taxes led to the effective renationalization of Yukos, which was taken over by the state oil company Rosneft.

Khodorkovsky also faces new charges of embezzlement and money laundering, brought in June against both the former billionaire and his business associate Platon Lebedev.



Court says Guantanamo documents should be released
Top Legal News | 2008/08/22 15:36
A British court ordered Foreign Secretary David Miliband on Thursday to disclose secret documents that could prove critical to the defense of a Guantanamo Bay detainee who claims he was tortured while in U.S. custody on terrorism charges.

Miliband now has a week to decide whether to comply with the order to release of the documents pertaining to Binyam Mohamed's detention. The British government has argued the release of the documents could compromise national security, and it could appeal the court order.

The High Court made the ruling in the case of Mohamed, who was captured in Pakistan in April 2002 and accused of conspiring with al-Qaida leaders to attack civilians. His lawyers say the British government is withholding information about his treatment in U.S. custody which is critical to his hope of receiving a fair trial.

"The information held by the foreign secretary is not merely necessary, but essential, if Binyam Mohamed is to have his case fairly considered," Judge John Thomas wrote in the 75-page judgment.

Mohamed claims he was transferred illegally from Pakistan to Morocco after his arrest and alleges he was tortured during his 18 months in detention. Neither the United States nor Britain has disclosed any information about his time in custody until he arrived at Guantanamo Bay in 2004.



Urban League Challenges Illinois School Funding
Top Legal News | 2008/08/21 14:09
Poor schools in Illinois suffer the nation's second-largest funding gap with wealthy districts because of the state's unconstitutional school funding formula that disparately hurt black and Latino students, the Chicago Urban League claims in Cook County Court.

As a result, poor and minority students face financial crises that force them into larger classes in poorly maintained facilities; programs for music, arts and sports have been slashed; and students are denied a "high quality" elementary and secondary education guaranteed under the Illinois Constitution, the complaint states.

Despite its great capacity for raising revenue and its obligations under the Illinois Constitution to take "primary responsibility" for school funding, the State over-relies on local property taxes to finance schools, states the complaint against the State of Illinois and the State Board of Education.

Plaintiffs, the Chicago Urban League and the Quad County Urban League, are represented by Lisa Scruggs with Jenner & Block.


[PREV] [1] ..[226][227][228][229][230][231][232][233][234].. [261] [NEXT]
All
Legal News
Law Firm Business
Headline News
Court Center
Legal Watch
Legal Interview
Top Legal News
Attorneys News
Press Releases
Opinions
Lawyer Blogs
Firm Websites
Politics & Law
Firm News
Trump moves to limit asylum;..
Ginsburg, 85, hospitalized a..
Malaysia court to resume Kim..
Supreme Court agrees to hear..
Attorney files challenge to ..
S. Korea court upholds consc..
Group asks court to reject A..
Trump visit stirs debate; ma..
Bomb suspect set for Florida..
Condemned inmate's last meal..
Trump Foundation lawsuit pau..
Judge: Michael Avenatti must..
Young climate activists say ..
Supreme Court hopeful had DW..
Court to hear case over ID o..
Court orders some fixes in T..
EU court orders Poland to re..
Georgia high court won't sto..
   Law Firm News



San Francisco Trademark Lawyer
San Francisco Copyright Lawyer
www.onulawfirm.com
Immigration Law Office Web Designs
Immigration Attorney Website Templates
webpromo.com
Santa Ana Workers' Compensation Lawyers
www.gentryashtonlaw.com
 
 
© Legal World News Center. All rights reserved.

The content contained on the web site has been prepared by Legal World News Center as a service to the internet community and is not intended to constitute legal advice or a substitute for consultation with a licensed legal professional in a particular case or circumstance. Legal Blog postings and hosted comments are available for general educational purposes only and should not be used to assess a specific legal situation. Law Firm Web Design by Law Promo