All New Wilmott Jobs Board                     (r)

IMF Chief Christine Lagarde Charged With "Negligence" Over Multi-million Dollar Graft Case

Paris (AFP) - IMF chief Christine Lagarde, one of the world's most powerful women, announced Wednesday she had been charged with "negligence" over a multi-million-euro graft case relating to her time as French finance minister.

 

The shock announcement came a day after she was grilled for more than 15 hours by a special court in Paris that probes ministerial misconduct, the fourth time she has been questioned in a case that has long weighed upon her position as managing director of the International Monetary Fund.

Please read more here.

Former MIT Dean Gabriel Bitran Pleads Guilty to Running a $500 Million Scam - Connected to Madoff

 

Former Associate Dean at MIT's Sloan School of Management Pleads Guilty in Hedge Fund Scam

A former Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor and his son have agreed to plead guilty (DOJ) to running a $500 million hedge-fund scam that was uncovered by investigators probing Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme.

Gabriel Bitran, who was a chair professor and associate dean at MIT’s Sloan School of Management (VisualCV), and his son, Marco, told investors that their money management firm GMB Capital Management LLC had a successful real world track record, when in fact they simply assembled back data that would show a spectacular track record.

The men, who raised more than $500 million from 2005 to 2011, meanwhile put money into “funds of funds,” (Blm) which rely on investments by other hedge funds, mostly Bernie Madoff’s firm and Madoff feeder funds, according to prosecutors.

The Bitrans’ funds suffered losses of more than $140 million. The professor paid himself and his son as much as $16 million in management fees over the life of the businesses and recovered $12 million of their own investments when the funds were doing poorly, the U.S. said, adding that the two discussed their scheme in e-mail exchanges.

 

Gabriel Bitran was one of my bosses when I taught at the M.I.T. Sloan School of Management. SMH

U.S. Government Target Taxpayers for Their Parents' Debts

by Marc Fisher

Washington Post

A few weeks ago, with no notice, the U.S. government intercepted Mary Grice’s tax refunds from both the IRS and the state of Maryland. Grice had no idea that Uncle Sam had seized her money until some days later, when she got a letter saying that her refund had gone to satisfy an old debt to the government — a very old debt.

When Grice was 4, back in 1960, her father died, leaving her mother with five children to raise. Until the kids turned 18, Sadie Grice got survivor benefits from Social Security to help feed and clothe them.

Now, Social Security claims it overpaid someone in the Grice family — it’s not sure who — in 1977. After 37 years of silence, four years after Sadie Grice died, the government is coming after her daughter. Why the feds chose to take Mary’s money, rather than her surviving siblings’, is a mystery.

Across the nation, hundreds of thousands of taxpayers who are expecting refunds this month are instead getting letters like the one Grice got, informing them that because of a debt they never knew about — often a debt incurred by their parents — the government has confiscated their check.

If you have the strength and you have not thrown your computer upside the wall, then please read more here.

How the Real "Wolf Of Wall Street" Ruined a Family's Life

 

Christina McDowell (then Prousalis) with her father and his private plane during headier times.

BY CHRISTINA MCDOWELL

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, dear Kings of Hollywood, but you have been conned.

Let me introduce myself. My name is Christina McDowell, formerly Christina Prousalis. I am the daughter of Tom Prousalis, a man the Washington Post described as "just some guy on trial for penny-stock fraud." (I had to change my name after my father stole my identity and then threatened to steal it again, but I'll get to that part later.) I was eighteen and a freshman in college when my father and his attorneys forced me to attend his trial at New York City's federal courthouse so that he "looked good" for the jury -- the consummate family man.

And you, Jordan Belfort, Wall Street's self-described Wolf: You remember my father, right? You were chosen to be the government's star witness in testifying against him. You had pleaded guilty to money laundering and securities fraud (it was the least you could do) and become a government witness in two dozen cases involving your former business associate, but my father's attorneys blocked your testimony because had you testified it would have revealed more than a half-dozen other corrupt stock offerings too. And, well, that would have been a disaster. It would have just been too many liars, and too many schemes for the jurors, attorneys or the judge to follow.

 

...

As an eighteen-year-old, I had no idea what was going on. But then again, did anyone? Certainly your investors didn't -- and they were left holding the bag when you cashed out your holdings and got rich off their money.

So Marty and Leo, while you glide through press junkets and look forward to awards season, let me tell you the truth -- what happened to my mother, my two sisters, and me. 

.....

 

So here's the deal. You people are dangerous. Your film is a reckless attempt at continuing to pretend that these sorts of schemes are entertaining, even as the country is reeling from yet another round of Wall Street scandals. We want to get lost in what? These phony financiers' fun sexcapades and coke binges? Come on, we know the truth. This kind of behavior brought America to its knees.

And yet you're glorifying it -- you who call yourselves liberals. You were honored for career excellence and for your cultural influence by The Kennedy Center, Marty. You drive a Honda hybrid, Leo. Did you think about the cultural message you'd be sending when you decided to make this film? You have successfully aligned yourself with an accomplished criminal, a guy who still hasn't made full restitution to his victims, exacerbating our national obsession with wealth and status and glorifying greed and psychopathic behavior. And don't even get me started on the incomprehensible way in which your film degrades women, the misogynistic, ass-backwards message you endorse to younger generations of men.

Please read more here.

Report: NSA Changing Bank Account Balances

 

from the that-would-be-big dept

Matt Blaze has been pointing out that when you read the new White House intelligence task force report and its recommendations on how to reform the NSA and the wider intelligence community, that there may be hints to other excesses not yet revealed by the Snowden documents. Trevor Timm may have spotted a big one. In the recommendation concerning increasing security in online communications, the second sub-point sticks out like a sore thumb:
If you can't read that, it says:
Governments should not use their offensive cyber capabilities to change the amounts held in financial accounts or otherwise manipulate the financial system.
 

Please read more here and here.

U.S. Marine Veteran's Home (Paid for in Cash) Confiscated Over $134 Tax Bill?

by Michael Sallah, Debbie Cenziper, Steven Rich

The Washington Post

On the day Bennie Coleman lost his house, the day armed U.S. marshals came to his door and ordered him off the property, he slumped in a folding chair across the street and watched the vestiges of his 76 years hauled to the curb.

Movers carted out his easy chair, his clothes, his television. Next came the things that were closest to his heart: his Marine Corps medals and photographs of his dead wife, Martha. The duplex in Northeast Washington that Coleman bought with cash two decades earlier was emptied and shuttered. By sundown, he had nowhere to go.

All because he didn’t pay a $134 property tax bill.

The retired Marine sergeant lost his house on that summer day two years ago through a tax lien sale — an obscure program run by D.C. government that enlists private investors to help the city recover unpaid taxes.

So, let me get this straight. We need to fly half way around the world to "fix" Syria?  We can't even fix D.C., Detroit, New Orleans, NYC....  This is a disgrace!

Please read more here.

"Breaking Inequality" (Film about Financial Fraud & Political Corruption)

Breaking Inequality is a documentary film about the corruption between Washington and Wall Street that has resulted in the largest inequality gap in the history of America

$43 Trillion Money Laundering & Racketeering Lawsuit Filed Against Banks & U.S. Government Officials

MSNBC: Many on Wall Street Think Cheating Breeds Success

Britain's Interest Rate-Fixing Scandal (video)

The attempts to rig LIBOR (the London inter-bank offered rate), a benchmark interest rate, not only betray a culture of casual dishonesty; they set the stage for lawsuits and more regulation right the way round the globe. This could well be global finance’s “tobacco moment”.

This story stretches far beyond Britain. Barclays is the first bank in the spotlight because it offered to co-operate fully with regulators. It will not be the last. Investigations into the fixing of LIBOR and other rates are also under way in America, Canada and the EU. Between them, these probes cover many of the biggest names in finance: the likes of Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, UBS, Deutsche Bank and HSBC. Employees, from New York to Tokyo, are implicated.

Please read more here.

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