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Some legal authorities are commenting that Elon Musks public mention of taking Tesla private may have violated Securities and Exchange Commission Rule 14e-8. This prohibits publicly traded companies from announcing plans to buy or sell securities if executives don’t intend to follow through within a reasonable time.  The purpose of the rule is to prevent manipulation of the  stock price. Musk tweeted “Am considering taking Tesla private at $420. Funding secured.”  This tweet resulted in a stock price spike of Tesla to $387.49 closing price. At $420 per share, this would mean Tesla would need to come up with $71 billion to take the company private. I don’t think there is a violation despite the unusual nature of Musks tweet.

Here is the language of the regulation at issue

Sec 240.14e-8 Prohibited conduct in connection with pre-commencement communications.

Wells Fargo Bank will pay the U.S Treasury $2.09 billion to settle charges that it originated and sold residential mortgage loans which it knew contained misstated income information. Also that it did so when they did not meet the quality that Wells Fargo represented. Investors, including federally insured financial institutions, suffered billions of dollars in losses from investing in residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) containing loans originated by Wells Fargo.  “This settlement holds Wells Fargo accountable for actions that contributed to the financial crisis,” said Acting Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio. “It sends a strong message that the Department is committed to protecting the nation’s economy and financial markets against fraud.”

The Government alleged that, despite knowing that a substantial portion of its stated income loans had misstated income, Wells Fargo did not disclose this information Instead, it reported to investors false debt-to-income ratios in connection with the loans it sold. Wells Fargo also allegedly heralded its fraud controls while failing to disclose the income discrepancies its controls had identified. The United States further alleged that Wells Fargo took steps to insulate itself from the risks of its stated income loans, by screening out many of these loans from its own loan portfolio held for investment and by limiting its liability to third parties for the accuracy of its stated income loans. Wells Fargo sold at least 73,539 stated income loans that were included in RMBS between 2005 to 2007, and nearly half of those loans have defaulted, resulting in billions of dollars in losses to investors.

The Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989 (FIRREA)FIRREA authorizes the federal government to seek civil penalties against financial institutions that violate various predicate criminal offenses, including wire and mail fraud. The United States alleged that, in 2005, Wells Fargo began an initiative to double its production of subprime and Alt-A loans. As part of that initiative, Wells Fargo loosened its requirements for originating stated income loans – loans where a borrower simply states his or her income without providing any supporting income documentation.                                                             Contact: Jeffrey A. Newman Esq.



The island of Bermuda is preparing virtual currency legislation as part of its plan to attract financial technology entrepreneurs. The Virtual Currency Business Act (VCBA) defines “virtual currency business” as the provision of issuing, selling or redeeming virtual coins, tokens or any other form of virtual currency. . The act would also cover payment service providers, defined as: “a person whose business includes the provision of services for the transfer of funds.”It would also cover virtual currency exchanges, virtual currency wallets, and virtual currency services vendors, defined as any business providing specific virtual currency-related services to the public. The legislation will also address fraud prevention fraud and market manipulation, the integrity of cryptocurrency owners, clear descriptions of the risks for prospective investors, BMA enforcement powers, Caines said.

Cryptocurrency entrepreneurs coming to Bermuda wish to see rules as they will help to regulate the virtual currency industry. The government will also attempt to establish a Bermuda E-ID scheme this year. This will be a national digital identification program for businesses and residents that will strengthen the country’s fintech credentials. It will include rules for cryptocurrency exchanges.


The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force will also review Bermuda’s anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing measures.


Some common super-bacteria have developed a  resistance to a last-resort antibiotic, worrying doctors that the dangerous bacteria can evade one of what was thought to be a last resort antibiotic. But researchers from Emory University found this drug-resistant bacteria.

The results of their study were just publlished in the journal mBio. The Emory study’s focus, Carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae,the most common  “superbug” bacteria that are resistant to most antibiotics kills up to 50% of the people they infect. Over two million people in the U.S. are sickened every year with antibiotic-resistant infections, with at least 23,000 dying, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Colistin is an antibiotic which doctors administer to patients when the bacteria are resistant to all other antibiotics. However, the Emory study suggests that colistin may not work in some patients, even though lab tests show that it should. Carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae cause pneumonia, bloodstream and other infections in people with weakened immune systems, who are usually hospitalized with other conditions. The scientists infected mice with the bacteria and treated them with colistin, but the mice died.


Yankee Clipper Food Services I Corporation on felony charges stemming from an extensive scheme to avoid paying New York taxes between 2011 and 2015. Following an investigation conducted by the Attorney General’s Office, the company, along with several individuals and affiliated airport food service companies doing business under the trade name “Express Hospitality Group,” agreed to pay $13 million to settle separately filed civil claims initially raised by a whistleblower under New York State’s False Claims Act. The plea and civil settlement are the first resolution in the Attorney General’s ongoing investigation into the contracting and procurement process at JFK Airport—an investigation dubbed “Operation Greased Runway.” 

“For years, Express Hospitality Group disregarded  state law and New York taxpayers,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “Today’s felony conviction and settlement should send a clear message to those attempting to avoid paying their fair share: tax evasion is illegal, disgraceful — and it will not be tolerated.”

The Attorney General’s investigation revealed that Express Hospitality Group engaged in schemes by which certain of its businesses intentionally underpaid over $5 million in taxes owed to New York and underpaid approximately $350,000 owed to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as part of a fee for operating at the airport. The investigation also uncovered that the company’s tax schemes involved maintaining a double set of books, collecting – but failing to remit – State and City sales tax, failing to withhold taxes on employee compensation, and underreporting receipts for corporate franchise tax purposes.   

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged three individuals who defrauded investors in a company that falsely claimed to be developing a caffeinated chocolate snack and nearing an acquisition by Monster Energy or Coca-Cola Co.

The SEC’s complaint alleges that Lisa Bershan and her husband, Barry Schwartz, together with business associate Joel Margulies, falsely promised investors that after being acquired, Starship Snack Corp. investors would get a one-to-one exchange of Starship shares for Monster or Coca-Cola shares.

According to the SEC’s complaint, Bershan and Margulies also falsely claimed that investors had “no downside risk,” and Bershan personally guaranteed that investors could get their investment back with 5% interest if the shares failed to appreciate over a year.

Dr. Allan Spagnardi and Dr. Stacy Spagnardi have been arraigned on conspiracy and fraud charges for using their chiropractic clinic to submit false claims to private insurance providers.

“These two chiropractors are alleged to have reported fake patient visits in order to enrich themselves through fraudulent insurance claims,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “Fraudulent healthcare billing threatens the integrity of our healthcare system and is ultimately paid for by the taxpayers.”

“Healthcare providers need to think twice before trying to illegally maximize their profits at the expense of honest citizens,” said David J. LeValley, Special Agent in Charge of the Atlanta FBI. “Bringing this case to federal court is an example of our determination to protect those citizens and root out waste, fraud and abuse of our healthcare system.”

There are visible symptoms connected with many illnesses. Where a disease does not present visible symptoms  they frequently can be diagnosed through b blood test readings. As I mentioned yesterday, Google is building artificial intelligence into its Google lens connected to its smart phone. So, with regard to disease detection and “roughcut” diagnoses, I want to suggest  applying the lens to spote, for example, liver diseases such as cirrhosis or hepatitis. Initially, there may be obvious signs such as jaundice, a yellowish tinge in the skin and weight loss. Not to suggest this supplant g medical training but where doctors  aren’t available  initial symptom recognition at basic health clinics might be able to reduce the time in which those in significant need are transported to a hospital to be treated by a physician. Blood tests too can now be taken and sent by the web to specially trained “readers”. The connection here is between those disorders which can be initial “possible” diagnoses via an app  then verified  before precious funds used to transport individuals to available medical facilities. There is another potential benefit here which could reduce massive economic burdens on the global community  by to identifying blood disorders of virulent infectious diseases at the earliest stages through distribution of the lend and smart phones throughout those geographic locations where epidemics are most likely to spawn. This would allow the most efficient use of resources to quell a potential epidemic with the early intervention, again to be verified once the initial alarms sound.

Jeffrey Newman

Marc Tupler, a former vice president at the Santa Fe Wells Fargo branch , says his superiors knew exactly what was happening when employees created millions if unauthorized accounts since 2011. He has also filed a lawsuit alleging that he was fired for raising the issue with his supervisors. His suit in state District Court alleges wrongful discharge, malicious breach of contract, and intentional infliction of mental and emotional distress.

Wells Fargo has paid  $185 million in fines to the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the city of Los Angeles. Tupler says that while he was employed at the Santa Fe bank from 2011 to 2014, the company implemented “a number of fraudulent schemes and/or scams … and unfair and deceptive business practices which, among other things, aggressively directed employees to fraudulently open multiple customer accounts to increase their cross-sell numbers and objectives.”

In some cases, Tupler says  the bank used customer signatures already on file to forge documents to create new accounts without the customer’s knowledge.