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Showing posts from August, 2009

TACO BELL SETTLES EEOC SEXUAL HARASSMENT LAWSUIT

Two Teens Assaulted at Memphis Store, Federal Agency Charged

MEMPHIS – Taco Bell Corporation will pay a total of $350,000 in monetary damages to two young women to resolve a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced on 08/28/09. The EEOC had charged that two teenaged workers were assaulted at a Memphis Taco Bell.

The EEOC’s suit (Civil Action No. 2:07-cv-02579, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee at Memphis) charged that Terence E. Davis, a former manager at Taco Bell’s restaurant No. 613 on Frayser Boulevard in Memphis, sexually assaulted a 16-year-old female employee on her first day of work. The EEOC said Davis sexually assaulted the young woman on the work premises and then tried to follow her as she fled home. The EEOC also uncovered evidence during discovery that Davis had forcibly raped another 16-year-old female employee just five months earlier. The EEOC moved to amend it…

Justice Department Seeks Removal of Detroit-Area Man Who Shot Jews While Serving as Nazi Policeman

The Department of Justice has initiated removal proceedings against a Troy, Mich., resident based on his participation in violent acts of persecution while serving as an armed member of the Nazi-sponsored Ukrainian Auxiliary Police (UAP) in occupied L’viv, Ukraine, during World War II.

The charging document, filed Aug. 27, 2009, in U.S. Immigration Court in Detroit, alleges that John (originally Iwan) Kalymon served as a member of the UAP from at least May 1942 to March 1944; that he personally shot Jews while serving, killing at least one; and that he participated in violent anti-Jewish operations in which Jews were forcibly deported to be murdered in gas chambers and to serve as slave laborers.

"These charges once again demonstrate the resolve of the Department of Justice to deny safe haven in this country to human rights violators, no matter how long ago they committed their heinous acts," said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer. "The ultimate removal of Joh…

Robert M. Morgenthau announced today the indictment, arrest and extradition of VIATCHESLAV VASILYEV and VLADIMIR KRAMARENKO

Manhattan District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau announced today the indictment, arrest and extradition of VIATCHESLAV VASILYEV and VLADIMIR KRAMARENKO for global trafficking in stolen credit card account numbers, cybercrime, and identity theft. Mr. Morgenthau also announced the unsealing of an indictment as to three additional co-defendants - EGOR SHEVELEV, DZIMITRY BURAK and OLEG KOVELIN. The indictment is the product of a joint investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office and the Secret Service.

The defendants in custody in New York, VASILYEV and KRAMARENKO, were indicted on charges of enterprise corruption, grand larceny, money laundering, criminal possession of stolen property, scheme to defraud, and conspiracy. SHEVELEV, who faces similar charges, is awaiting extradition from Greece. The unapprehended individuals, BURAK and KOVELIN, were also indicted on like charges. The crimes charged in the indictment occurred between November 2001 and August 2007.

Today’s announ…

CUOMO SECURES HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS IN RESTITUTION FOR CARNIVAL WORKERS

NEW YORK, NY (August 31, 2009) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that his office reached an agreement with Dreamland Amusements, Inc. (“Dreamland”), a New York-based traveling carnival operator to pay workers back for unpaid wages as well as to change its policies and procedures to ensure compliance with labor and civil rights laws. Today’s announcement comes as a result of an extensive investigation into allegations of labor and civil rights violations.

Attorney General Cuomo’s investigation began after his Office received complaints from ride operators who are primarily Mexican workers who Dreamland recruited through a temporary work visa program, which is referred to as the H2B program. The complaints alleged that the workers were denied minimum and overtime wages and subjected to substandard living conditions, while other workers who were not Mexican received preferable conditions. Under the agreement, the company must pay its workers $325,000 in back wages, ensur…

International Paralegal Management Association 25th Annual Conference

The hallmark event for the IPMA is the Annual Conference & Expo. This professional development and networking event includes general sessions and workshops focusing on management and other topics of interest to paralegal managers, a tradeshow of vendors that provide services and products to the profession and multiple opportunities for peer-to-peer interaction. The IPMA 25th Annual Conference & Expo will be held October 14 - 17, 2009 at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando, Florida.

As the IPMA celebrates 25 years, this year's theme Vision, Vigor & Visibility: Managing the Future, reflects the need to look to the future as you. Revitalize and enhance your management techniques to successfully lead in challenging times. More Info>>

UPS SUED FOR DISABILITY DISCRIMINATION

EEOC Says Class of Disabled Employees Fired After Taking Medical Leaves of Absence

CHICAGO - In a major class lawsuit filed here in federal court, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged that Atlanta-based United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS), the world's largest package delivery company, violated federal law by rejecting an extension of medical leave as a reasonable accommodation for its employees with disabilities.

The EEOC's administrative investigation, conducted prior to filing the lawsuit and supervised by Chicago District Director John Rowe, found that UPS violated the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA). According to Rowe, Trudi Momsen, an administrative assistant at UPS, took a 12-month leave of absence from work when she began experiencing symptoms of what was later diagnosed as multiple sclerosis. She returned to work for a few weeks, but soon thereafter needed additional time off after experiencing what she believed to be negative side effect…

Son of Imprisoned Spy Pleads Guilty to Two Counts of Federal Indictment

Defendant Admits Role as Agent of the Russian Federation And in Money Laundering Conspiracy

Nathaniel James Nicholson, 25, of Eugene, Oregon, appeared before U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown and pled guilty to the crimes of conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The maximum penalties for those crimes are five years in prison and a fine of $250,000, and 20 years in prison and a fine of $500,000, respectively. Judge Brown scheduled sentencing on January 25, 2010.

Nicholson’s father, Harold J. Nicholson, a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee, is serving a 283-month sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution (FCI) in Sheridan, Oregon, for a 1997 conviction of conspiracy to commit espionage. The government alleges that defendant Harold J. Nicholson, working through his son Nathaniel J. Nicholson, received cash proceeds for his past espionage activities from agents of the Russian Federation between 2006 and 2008.

ROCKLAND BANK MANAGER PLEADS GUILTY TO STEALING MORE THAN $700,000

New York, NY - The United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that MILAGROS RODRIGUEZ pleaded guilty yesterday in White Plains federal court to stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from customer accounts at Hudson City Savings Bank. According to the Information to which RODRIGUEZ pleaded guilty, statements made during the plea proceeding, and other documents publicly filed in the case:

From approximately April 2002 through March 2009, RODRIGUEZ, who was employed as a teller and later as a branch manager with Sound Federal Savings and Loan Association ("SFSLA") in New City, New York, and then with Hudson City Savings Bank "HCSB") after HCSB acquired SFSLA, embezzled more than $700,000 from the accounts of customers at the bank.

RODRIGUEZ surrendered on April 8, 2009, and pleaded guilty yesterday, before United States District Judge CATHY SEIBEL, to one count of embezzling bank funds. RODRIGUEZ faces a maximum sentence of 30 years i…

International Fugitive Captured

On August 19th, 2009, PAWEL GUZAL dob 05/09/1970 a.k.a. JAROMIR HAVRANEK dob 04/26/1973, was captured in the Baltic Sea resort town of Wladyslawowo, Poland.

In or around 2000, GUZAL arrived in the U.S. on a stolen Czech passport. As a result of FBI New York’s investigation, GUZAL was indicted in February 2006 on federal RICO charges, and on March 1, 2006, a federal arrest warrant was issued by the Eastern District of New York. While GUZAL eluded authorities, he continued to defraud victims located in the United States.

GUZAL’s recent capture was a result of co-operative efforts between the New York FBI/NYPD Eurasian Organized Crime Task Force, the FBI’s Legal Attaché Office in Warsaw, the Polish National Police, the International Police Cooperation Bureau, and several Regional Police entities in Poland.

GUZAL is facing charges in the United States, Poland, France, and Germany.

Persons believing they may have been a victim of fraudulent activity involving GUZAL are requested to contact…

Former New York State Supreme Court Justice Thomas J. Spargo Convicted of Attempted Extortion and Bribery

Former New York State Supreme Court Justice Thomas J. Spargo was convicted today by a federal jury in Albany, N.Y., of attempted extortion and soliciting a bribe.

Spargo, 66, was convicted following a three-day jury trial. Evidenced introduced at trial showed that on Nov. 13, 2003, Spargo solicited a $10,000 payment from an attorney with cases pending before him in Ulster County, while Spargo was serving as a state supreme court justice. The trial evidence showed that when the attorney declined to pay the money, Spargo increased the pressure by a second solicitation communicated through an associate. According to evidence presented at trial, on Dec. 19, 2003, Spargo directly told the attorney in a telephone conversation that he and another judge close to him had been assigned to handle cases in Ulster County, including the attorney’s personal divorce case. According to the evidence at trial, the attorney felt that if he did not pay the money, both the cases handled by his law firm and…

Justice Department Settles Race Discrimination Allegations Against Davie, Florida, Apartment Complex

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department today announced an agreement with the owner of College Square Apartments, in Davie, Fla., to settle allegations of discrimination against African Americans. Under the consent decree, approved today in U.S. District Court in Miami, the defendants must pay a total of up to $140,000 to victims of discrimination and a civil penalty of $74,000 to the government.

The lawsuit, filed in August 2008 and later amended, alleged that the property manager at the time, Don Murroni, acting under the direction of Craig Forman, the president and sole shareholder of C.F. Enterprises, falsely told African Americans that no apartments were available and discouraged African Americans from applying. Murroni also allegedly offered to waive the application fee or other costs for white applicants, and told white testers that a selling point of College Square Apartments was the absence of black tenants. The allegations were based on evidence obtained through the Department’s…

Stanford Financial Group CFO Pleads Guilty to Charges Related to $7 Billion Scheme to Defraud Investors

James M. Davis, 60, the former chief financial officer of Houston-based Stanford Financial Group (SFG), pleaded guilty today to fraud and obstruction charges related to a $7 billion scheme to defraud investors.

Davis was charged in a criminal information, filed on June 18, 2009, with conspiracy to commit mail, wire and securities fraud; mail fraud; and conspiracy to obstruct a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation. The criminal information also seeks forfeiture of up to $1 billion in fraud proceeds.

According to the plea documents, Davis admitted that as part of the scheme, he and his co-conspirators defrauded investors who purchased approximately $7 billion in certificates of deposit (CDs) administered by Stanford International Bank Ltd. (SIBL), an offshore bank located on the island of Antigua. Davis further admitted that he and his co-conspirators misused and misappropriated most of those investor assets, including by diverting more than $1.6 billion into undi…

Court Rules in Favor of FTC, Orders Supplement Marketers to Pay Nearly $70 Million for Consumer Refunds

A federal district court has ordered the marketers of two dietary supplements – "Supreme Greens" and "Coral Calcium" – who claimed the products would cure ailments ranging from cancer and Parkinson’s disease to heart disease and autoimmune diseases to pay nearly $70 million for deceiving consumers about the products’ effectiveness and safety. The court also froze the assets of some of the defendants.

In July 2008, the court found that infomercial pitchman Donald W. Barrett and his affiliates deceptively touted the supplement Supreme Greens to treat, cure, or prevent cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis. Barrett also deceptively claimed that the product could cause dramatic weight loss and could safely be taken by children, pregnant women, and people on medication. In addition, Barrett marketed a second dietary supplement, Coral Calcium, which the court found he and the other defendants deceptively claimed could treat cancer, Parkinson’s disease, heart dis…

ATTORNEY GENERAL CUOMO FINES WNY’S BASIL TOYOTA AND BASIL RESALE SHERIDAN FOR DECEPTIVE ADS REGARDING FEDERAL “CASH FOR CLUNKERS” PROGRAM

BUFFALO, N.Y. (August 27, 2009) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that his office has obtained a court order and settlement agreement amounting to a combined $70,000 in fines and costs against two Buffalo-area car dealers for deceptive and misleading advertising regarding the federal Car Allowance Rebate System (“CARS” or “Cash for Clunkers”).

Cuomo’s office took the action after Basil Resale Sheridan and Basil Toyota failed to abide by cease-and-desist letters recently sent to the two dealerships and nearly 40 others across the state.

“My office sent out letters to dealerships in order to give them a chance to correct their misleading advertisements,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “Unfortunately, these two companies failed to abide by the law and continued to try to lure consumers with misleading information about the federal program. All car dealerships must comply with the advertising guidelines in order to ensure a marketplace that is fair for both consumers and co…

FTC Settlement Bars Seller's Deceptive 'Biodegradable' Claims

A retailer of rayon towels will be barred from making false claims that mislead consumers into thinking that its products are "biodegradable," under a proposed settlement with the Federal Trade Commission.

The settlement with Dyna-E International and its owner George Wheeler resolves the third administrative complaint the Commission issued earlier this year against companies that made false biodegradability claims. The Dyna-E International complaint charged the company with making false claims that its Lightload brand compressed dry towels are biodegradable.

In June, the FTC settled similar cases against Kmart Corp. and Tender Corp., as part of a broad effort to ensure that environmental marketing is truthful and based on solid evidence. Since 1992, the FTC’s “Green Guides” have advised marketers that to make unqualified biodegradable claims, they must have scientific evidence that their product will completely decompose within a reasonably short period of time under customa…

Former Sand and Gravel Subcontractor Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison After Conspiracy and Bribery Conviction in Connection with a Levee Reconstruction Project

WASHINGTON — A former sand and gravel subcontractor was sentenced today to serve five years in prison and to pay a $5,000 criminal fine by U.S. District Judge Carl J. Barbier after being convicted by a federal jury of conspiracy and bribery in connection with a $16 million hurricane protection project for the reconstruction a New Orleans levee, the Department of Justice announced today. The project involved the Lake Cataouatche Levee, which is south of New Orleans.

Durwanda Elizabeth Morgan Heinrich was found guilty on April 1, 2009, of conspiracy and bribery. The conduct centered on Heinrich’s offer to pay Kern Carver Bernard Wilson and Raul Miranda, former contract employees of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in exchange for their attempt to steer a dirt, sand and gravel subcontract on the levee project to her. Heinrich planned to use part of the proceeds from the subcontract to pay the bribes. A jury found both Heinrich and Wilson guilty in the charged conspiracy and bribery. The …

Sixth Person Pleads Guilty to Illegally Accessing Confidential Passport Files

A sixth individual pleaded guilty today to illegally accessing numerous confidential passport application files. Karal Busch, 28, of District Heights, Md., pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan Kay in the District of Columbia to a one-count criminal information charging her with unauthorized computer access. Busch is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 15, 2009.

According to court documents, Busch worked fulltime for the State Department as a citizens services specialist in the Office of Children’s Issues from June 2003 through July 2006. In pleading guilty, Busch admitted that she had access to official State Department computer databases in the regular course of her employment, including the Passport Information Electronic Records System (PIERS), which contains all imaged passport applications dating back to 1994. The imaged passport applications on PIERS contain, among other things, a photograph of the passport applicant as well as certain personal information including th…

CEO OF NEMAZEE CAPITAL CHARGED WITH BANK FRAUD

MANHATTAN - PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and JOSEPH M. DEMAREST, JR., the Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI"), announced the arrest this morning of HASSAN NEMAZEE, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Nemazee Capital Corporation, in connection with a scheme to defraud Citibank, N.A. ("Citibank"). According to the Complaint filed in Manhattan federal court:

NEMAZEE engaged in a fraudulent scheme to induce Citibank to lend up to $74 million to NEMAZEE based on false representations that NEMAZEE owned millions of dollars in collateral. NEMAZEE submitted, and caused to be submitted, to Citibank numerous documents that purported to establish the existence of accounts in NEMAZEE's name at various financial institutions containing many hundreds of millions of dollars. In fact, those were fraudulent and forged documents.

Specifically, the various acco…

Epson Imaging Devices Agrees to Plead Guilty

WASHINGTON – Japanese electronics manufacturer Epson Imaging Devices Corporation (Epson) agreed to plead guilty and pay a $26 million criminal fine for its role in a conspiracy to fix prices in the sale of Thin Film Transistor-Liquid Crystal Display panels (TFT-LCD) sold to Motorola Inc., the Department of Justice announced today.

According to a one-count felony charge filed today in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, Epson, a subsidiary of Seiko Epson Corporation, participated in a conspiracy to fix the prices of TFT-LCD panels sold to Motorola for use in Razr mobile phones from the fall of 2005 to the middle of 2006. According to the plea agreement, which is subject to court approval, Epson has agreed to cooperate with the Department’s ongoing antitrust investigation.

TFT-LCD panels are used in computer monitors and notebooks, televisions, mobile phones and other electronic devices. In 2006, the worldwide market for TFT-LCD panels was approximately $70 billion. Epson, based in Japa…

CAVA’s Carrie Whalen ordered to repay stolen funds

WATERTOWN, NY (August 25, 2009) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the arrest and conviction of the former Executive Director of the St. Lawrence County chapter of the Citizens Against Violent Acts (CAVA) for using her official position to steal more than $20,000 from the organization.

Carrie Whalen, 46, of Colton, was arraigned before Canton Village Court Justice Michael C. Crowe and pleaded guilty to Petit Larceny. Whalen agreed to repay $20,475.85, and resigned from her position as the CAVA Executive Director. Whalen was sentenced to a conditional discharge and agreed to repay an additional $5,025 in excess travel reimbursements that she received.

“This non-profit was used as a piggy bank for personal gain,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “Organizations like CAVA provide an invaluable service to the community, and this individual took advantage of her position and the public’s trust.”

According to court records, CAVA is a not-for-profit victims’ advocacy group based in C…

Brown Forces Predatory Lender to End Illegal and Abusive Debt Collection Practices

Los Angeles - Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today forced CashCall, Inc., an Anaheim-based fast-money lender, to stop using "loan shark tactics" in collecting debt, including abusive calls at all hours of the day and night and empty threats of law enforcement action.

The court-ordered judgment also forces CashCall to stop misleading consumers with deceptive advertising and pay $1 million in civil penalties and legal expenses. CashCall used former child actor Gary Coleman as its television spokesman.

"CashCall preyed on consumers desperate for cash, charging triple digit interest rates and using loan shark tactics to collect on their debts," Brown said. "This judgment forces CashCall to stop harassing its customers and should serve as a warning to consumers to be wary of fast-money lenders."

CashCall, owned by Paul Reddam, founder and former owner of DiTech mortgage company, currently charges 139.34% annual interest on the $2,600 loan it offers to consu…

Trademark Public Advisory Committee Meets on August 28

A meeting of the Trademark Public Advisory Committee will be held on August 28 at USPTO's Headquarters, Madison South Auditorium, Concourse Level, 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, VA . The public may participate from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. either in person or by webcast. Click here for public meeting agenda and to join in webcast.

Guantanamo Bay Detainee Transferred to Afghanistan

The Department of Justice today announced that Mohammed Jawad, a native of Afghanistan, has been transferred from the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay to Afghanistan.

On July 30, 2009, consistent with the U.S. government’s notice that it would no longer treat Jawad as detainable under the Authorization for Use of Military Force, a federal court ordered the U.S. government to release him from detention at Guantanamo Bay. On Aug. 6, 2009, in accordance with Congressionally-mandated reporting requirements, the administration informed Congress of its intent to transfer Jawad.

Jawad’s transfer was carried out under an arrangement between the United States and the government of Afghanistan. The United States has coordinated closely with the government of Afghanistan to ensure the transfer takes place under appropriate security measures and will continue to consult with the Afghan government regarding Jawad.

Since 2002, more than 540 detainees have departed Guantanamo for other countries in…

Boca Raton Man Convicted of Securities Fraud, Tax Fraud

WASHINGTON - Donald Platten of Boca Raton, Fla., was convicted today of conspiracy, securities fraud and tax charges following a jury trial before Judge Donald Middlebrooks in West Palm Beach, Fla., the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced.

In December 2008, Platten was indicted on 17 charges, including conspiracy to commit securities fraud, securities fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and impeding the internal revenue laws. He was convicted on the conspiracy to commit securities fraud count, 6 of the 14 securities fraud counts, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and impeding the internal revenue laws.

According to the indictment and evidence introduced at trial, Platten was the president of Harvard Learning Centers Inc., a Florida corporation also located in Boca Raton. Harvard Learning changed its name several times and claimed to be involved in several different business ventures. From 2004 to 2007, Platten caused Harvard Learning to issue stock to his wi…

Former Government Official Indicted on Public Corruption Charges

WASHINGTON - A former Congressional staffer and chief of staff in two federal agencies was indicted today (08/21/09) by a federal grand jury in the District of Columbia on public corruption charges, the Justice Department announced.

The five-count indictment charges Horace M. Cooper, 44, of Lorton, Va., with one count of conspiracy, one count of fraudulent concealment, two counts of false statements, and one count of obstruction of an official proceeding. U.S. Magistrate Judge Alan Kay today on (08/21/09) issued a criminal summons directing Cooper to make an initial appearance in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2009, at 1:45 p.m.

According to the indictment, Cooper was employed from approximately 1994 to late 2001 as a staffer for a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. From approximately late 2001 to December 2002, Cooper served as the chief of staff for Voice of America (VOA), an executive branch agency of the U.S. government and subseq…

RAMPANT SEX HARASSMENT COSTS LOWE'S $1.7 MILLION

Home Improvement Giant Subjected Young Workers to Physical and Verbal Abuse, Retaliation

SEATTLE - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced a major settlement of a discrimination lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act against Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse, Inc. for $1.72 million and significant remedial relief on behalf of three employees in their twenties who were subjected to a pervasive sexually hostile work environment and retaliated against for complaining about it.

The former employees, two young men and one woman, were subjected to widespread and repeated sexual harassment by male and female managers and coworkers at a Lowe's store in Longview, Wash., according to the EEOC. The sexually hostile workplace, which endured for more than six months, included physical and verbal abuse which culminated in one instance of sexual assault.

Among the many allegations in the litigation (Civ. No. CV08-331 JCC in U.S. District Court for the …

JURY FINDS ATTORNEYS GUILTY OF WITNESS TAMPERING

Two Defendants Face Up to Life in Prison

Benton J. Campbell, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, announced that following a four-week trial a federal jury in Brooklyn today returned verdicts in which they found criminal defense attorneys Robert Simels and Arienne Irving guilty of conspiracy to obstruct justice through witness tampering, attempted witness tampering, and importation and possession of illegal eavesdropping equipment. Simels was also convicted of bribing a witness. When sentenced by United States District Judge John Gleeson, both defendants will face a maximum sentence of life in prison.

The evidence at trial established that Simels, and his associate, Irving, schemed to obstruct justice and tamper with witnesses in connection with the representation of drug king pin Shaheed Khan in federal court in Brooklyn. The defendants sought to use their client’s Guyana-based criminal organization in an effort to identify, locate, and tamper with individuals t…

WILCOX FARMS SETTLES EEOC SEXUAL HARASSMENT AND RETALIATION SUIT FOR $260,000, OTHER RELIEF

Federal Agency Says Latina Employee Forced to Quit to Escape Abusive Supervisor

PORTLAND, Ore. Wilcox Farms, which operates dairy and egg production facilities in Oregon and Washington, will pay $260,000 and provide remedial relief to settle a federal sexual harassment and retaliation suit, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today.

The EEOC's lawsuit charged that a male supervisor repeatedly grabbed, sought to forcibly undress and propositioned Wilcox Farms employee Diana Dominguez at its Aurora, Ore., facility. According to the federal agency's investigation, the harassment continued over many months despite Dominguez's complaints to management, to the point where she began to fear for her physical safety. The EEOC found that Wilcox retaliated against Dominguez for reporting the harassment by isolating her from co-workers, forcing her to continue to work with the harasser and pressuring her to resign. Dominguez ultimately was forced to quit o…

Swiss Banking Executive and Swiss Lawyer Charged with Conspiring to Defraud the United States

Defendants Aided Wealthy Americans Conceal Assets in Secret Swiss Bank Accounts

WASHINGTON - Hansruedi Schumacher and Matthias Rickenbach, both of Switzerland, were indicted today for conspiring to defraud the United States, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced. According to the indictment, Schumacher worked as an executive manager at Neue Zuercher Bank (NZB), a Swiss private bank located in Zurich, Switzerland. Rickenbach worked as a Swiss attorney who provided legal advice and services to U.S. clients. Both are alleged to have aided wealthy Americans conceal assets and income in Switzerland from United States authorities.

According to the indictment, Schumacher and Rickenbach helped wealthy American clients conceal their assets by establishing sham and nominee offshore entities to hide their U.S. clients' assets and income while allowing these clients to still control the assets and make investment decisions.

The indictment further alleges that Sch…

FTC Settlement Bars Deceptive Online Marketing Tactics; Payday Loan Applicants Were Charged for Unwanted Debit Cards

A debit card company that charged consumers a fee for a debit card they had ordered unknowingly while applying for a payday loan online, has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that the company and its principals violated federal law. The settlement bars future violations and requires the company’s owner to pay $52,000. The FTC also filed suit in federal court, charging the company’s marketing affiliate and its principals with deceptive marketing practices and seeking to bar the deception and obtain redress for consumers.

The FTC alleged that thousands of consumers who applied for a payday loan online were charged up to $54.95 for a prepaid debit card with a zero balance. According to the FTC, the debit card company sold Visa- and MasterCard-brand debit cards through a payday loan marketer whose Web site homepages contained a loan application form and a button for submitting it. On numerous Web sites, consumers who clicked the submit button were taken to another page off…