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Man in Iced Body Probe Pleads Not Guilty
Headline News | 2008/03/11 11:00
A man arrested after police found a woman's body packed in dry ice in his hotel room pleaded not guilty Monday to two drug-related charges.

Stephen David Royds, 46, is charged with one count each of the sale or transport of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance with intent to sell. A prosecutor said the substance was cocaine.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Derek G. Johnson set Royds' bail at $1 million.

Royds was arrested Thursday after police found the body of Monique Trepp packed in dry ice in a large Rubbermaid container in his hotel room. Police had obtained a warrant to search Royds' room for drugs.

An autopsy concluded that Trepp's death was not a homicide and Royds has not been charged with killing her. Toxicology reports were pending, but Dennis Conway, an Orange County assistant district attorney, said it appeared the 33-year-old died of an overdose.

Royds' court-appointed public defender, Richard Carmona, did not make himself available to reporters after the brief hearing and didn't immediately return a call for comment.

In addition to finding Trepp's body, investigators found drug paraphernalia, drugs and Christmas presents in Royds' room, Conway said.

Police and prosecutors have released few other details about the case, including how long Trepp's body was kept in the room. Conway said she had been dating Royds.

Royds has a prior drug conviction in Orange County in 2002, but did not appear for sentencing. Even if he were to post the $1 million bail on the new charges, he would be held with no bail on the older case, Conway said.



US cracks multimillion-dollar piracy ring
Headline News | 2008/03/10 16:25

Two brothers in the US have been given lengthy jail terms for selling large amounts of pirated computer software. A federal court in Alexandria, Virginia sentenced Maurice Robberson, 48, to three years in prison and ordered him to pay $855,917 in restitution.

His brother Thomas Robberson, 55, was sentenced to 30 months in prison and ordered to pay $151,488 in restitution. Maurice Robberson pleaded guilty to conspiracy and felony copyright infringement, while his brother Thomas Robberson pleaded guilty to a single count of felony copyright infringement.

Thomas Robberson grossed more than $150,000 selling software with a retail value of nearly $1m by operating Bestvalueshoppe.com and TheDealDepot.net.

Maurice Robberson grossed more than $855,000 selling software with a retail value of nearly $5.6m through CDsalesUSA.com and AmericanSoftwareSales.com. Both brothers have agreed to forfeit all proceeds from the illegal businesses.

"People who steal the intellectual property of others for their personal financial gain, while defrauding consumers who think they are buying legitimate products, will be punished for their crimes, as today's sentences prove," said Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher.



Girard Gibbs Investigates Possible Violation of Diebold, Inc.
Press Releases | 2008/03/10 14:28
The law firm of Girard Gibbs LLP (http://www.girardgibbs.com) announces that it is investigating alleged violations of fiduciary duties by the board of directors of Diebold, Inc. (NYSE:DBD) (Diebold) relating to a buyout offer by United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX) (United Technologies).

It is alleged that Diebolds directors are violating their fiduciary duties of due care, good faith and loyalty by rejecting without discussion an acquisition offer at a substantial premium by United Technologies, to the detriment of Diebold and its shareholders. Despite the potential to enhance shareholder value beyond that which Diebold can offer as an independent corporation, the board of directors has refused to negotiate with United Technologies.

On March 3, 2008, United Technologies went public with an offer to buy Diebold for $2.63 billion, or $40 a share. This represented a 66% premium to Diebolds February 29, 2008 share price of $24.12. United Technologies has stated, in a press release, that if the Diebold board begins merger discussions, it is open to raising the offer price. On the same day, Diebolds board categorically rejected the offer and refused further negotiation.

If you own stock in Diebold and you wish to discuss your rights as an investor, please visit our website, http://www.girardgibbs.com/dbd.html, or contact Jonathan K. Levine, Esq. (jkl@girardgibbs.com) or Aaron M. Sheanin, Esq. (ams@girardgibbs.com) toll free at (866) 981-4800.



MobiTV, HowardForums avoid legal skirmish
Top Legal News | 2008/03/09 16:32

Mobile broadcast service provider MobiTV appears to be softening its stance against mobile community resource community HowardForums after hitting the site with a cease-and-desist letter last week. HowardForums earned MobiTV's wrath after posting a web address purportedly enabling end-around access to premium MobiTV content, promising readers free access to all of the firm's streaming mobile TV channels via mobile device or PC. The URL, posted by a HowardForums member, was originally discovered on a Sprint forum and reportedly has been circulating on the web for several months. MobiTV threatened HowardForums with legal action if the site did not remove the URL and related links by 5 p.m. PST Friday, alleging the post constitutes "a violation and infringement of MobiTV's intellectual property rights, including, without limitation, its copyright, trademark, and trade secret rights."

But in a statement issued late Friday, MobiTV said it would attempt to solve the problem via technological means instead of legal recourse, stating it was "actively implementing additional security measures to address this unauthorized access as well as the isolated issue of certain content feeds posted on HowardForums.com and on other websites. It is our responsibility to ensure that our service and the programming entrusted to us by our content providers is protected at all times." MobiTV added it would not attempt to interrupt or shut down HowardForums. While MobiTV maintains the URL was not publicly available, and procured only through hacking or debugging, HowardForums proprietor Howard Chui told OnlineMediaDaily that is untrue: "No hacking was involved," he said. "MobiTV could've added access control and people wouldn't be able to view it anymore. When I want to protect something online I put a password on it or encrypt it."



Saddam Kickbacks Earn Oil Exec Prison
Legal Watch | 2008/03/08 19:13
Texas oilman David Chalmers was sentenced to two years in prison on Friday after admitting to paying millions of dollars in kickbacks to Iraq in connection with the U.N. oil-for-food program.

Chalmers, 54, and his two corporations, Bayoil Supply and Trading Ltd. and Bayoil USA Inc., were sentenced in federal court in Manhattan. Chalmers and his companies were ordered to forfeit $9 million dollars.

He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in August, weeks before he was due to go on trial with Texas oil tycoon Oscar Wyatt. Wyatt was sentenced to a year in prison in November for his role in the oil-for-food scandal.

"I feel horribly remorseful for this," a sniffling Chalmers told U.S. District Judge Denny Chin. "Because others were doing it I thought it was OK. But I was wrong."

Chalmers' lawyer told Chin that Chalmers deserved a lighter sentence than Wyatt, who met directly with Saddam Hussein and became the most prominent figure jailed over the scandal.

Chin disagreed, saying Chalmers had agreed to buy many more barrels of oil than Wyatt that represented "money that should have gone to the Iraqi people."

Prosecutors said they could prove Wyatt paid at least $200,000 in kickbacks, compared to Chalmers, whom they said played a leading role in corrupting the program by agreeing to pay at least $9 million while other oil companies refused.


Pfizer Protects Celebrex Patent From Teva
Headline News | 2008/03/08 19:12

Pfizer continued to serve up the pain to Teva Pharmaceutical Industries on Friday when the company reaffirmed its patents on the arthritis pain drug Celebrex.

The U.S. Court of Appeals of the Federal District said that two of the three patents were valid, but threw out the third, saying that it was not valid for the treatment of inflammation. Teva will now have to wait until May 2014 to market the copycat. Celebrex provided Pfizer with annual global sales of $1.7 billion in 2007. Bear Stearns analyst project that it will reach global sales of $2.5 billion in 2008, an increase of 9%, and that the drug will pull in $3.1 billion by 2012.

The New York-based pharma company has been battling it out with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries to hang on to Celebrex for almost four years. Pfizer sued the Israel-based drug maker after it applied to U.S. regulators for permission to sell the generic in 2004. In March 2007, Pfizer won a ruling from a U.S. federal court over three of the main patents regarding Celebrex, barring Teva from manufacturing the generic until 2015.



Nixon Peabody taps ex-Choate partner
Press Releases | 2008/03/07 19:31

Boston Law firm Nixon Peabody LLP has hired William Tripp as counsel in the firm's private client practice, the firm said on Friday.

Tripp, who has been a trusts and estates lawyer for more than 35 years, joins Boston-based Nixon Peabody from crosstown law firm Choate Hall & Stewart LLP, where he was a partner.

"Bill brings years of experience to our firm regarding the management and financial oversight of hundreds of millions of dollars in trusts assets," said Jack Fitzgerald, leader of the firm's private clients practice, in a statement.



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