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Everyone agrees that pyramid schemes are unethical and unfair. While some people disagree on what constitutes a pyramid scheme, people who commit actions like those of Bernie Madoff are almost unequivocally condemned. The reason being is empathy: no one wants to be the person that sank their money into a plan or idea on false pretenses.
Less prevalent, though, is disgust for securities fraud. That simply needs to change. Securities fraud is a crime just the same as a pyramid scheme however fewer people know what constitutes securities fraud or why it is so morally abhorrent.
For a better understanding of securities fraud, I turned to the website for an Alabama law firm, Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton, LLP. On their site, they define securities fraud as a crime that takes place when the “Know Your Customer” rule. The rule requires stockbrokers and brokerage firms to keep customers’ goals, risk ability, and available assets when trading on their behalf.
This rule can be broken in a few different ways. If a stockbroker trades without their client’s permission, that could constitute securities fraud. Especially if the trade overtly benefits the stockbroker or is riskier than the client would normally want.
Another instance of potential securities fraud would be when a stockbroker doesn’t disclose necessary information to a potential purchaser of a stock. For example, if a person does not disclose that they stand to benefit — from, perhaps, owning a company or being on a company’s board — if the potential purchaser invests in the stock. This is not only wrong but may also be illegal!
Based on stereotypes from movies like “Wall Street” or “The Wolf of Wall Street,” people who work in the financial world are sometimes seen as greedy or immoral. I don’t think that’s always true. I know a few people who work in banks and even a few people that used to work as investors, and they are great people.
But I can see how crimes like securities fraud perpetuate stereotypes about investors and finance workers.
I was pretty fascinated by the description of potential securities fraud crimes, especially ones that I had never heard of. According to the Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton, LLP website, investors have to work with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) pretty frequently; the SEC is the agency with direct oversight on stocks/investment interactions.
If a person does not disclose certain information to the SEC about their finances or potential conflicts of interest, their actions could constitute securities fraud. However, I learned about a crime I had never even considered.
Some people commit securities fraud by selling or investing in securities (basically, a mechanism or document with financial value like a stock or bond) that are not registered with the SEC. I cannot imagine being so bold as to sell stocks without registering them — seems obvious that at some point, you’ll get caught.
The process was super fascinating, if not a little disappointing. Finding out that there are so many common ways that people break the law is a tad saddening. However, knowing that there are excellent lawyers available to represent people who may have been taken advantage of made me happy.
Amphetamines are fairly widely prescribed and over-prescribed. They are very common in high schools, colleges, and office buildings. They are crucial drugs that help millions of people across the country, and yet, if you are caught possessing them without a prescription, you can be in serious legal jeopardy.
Many people don’t realize that amphetamines can be dangerous or that using them without a prescription is illegal and can have some very stiff penalties. To reduce the risks to those ignorant of the risks amphetamines represent, we’ve used the information laid out by experienced criminal defense lawyer James Powderly to help provide some of the crucial information about these drugs for the residents of Massachusetts.
To begin with, let’s talk about what amphetamines do. They are used quite often to treat issues like ADHD. Used appropriately, they can help children and adults focus more effectively, allowing them to do better in school and at work. The drugs can also help those who suffer from narcolepsy, obesity, and treatment-resistant depression. In other words, they are highly effective and useful drugs, in the right circumstances.
However, when they are in the hands of those who haven’t been prescribed the drugs, they become a serious legal liability. Amphetamines are a Class B drug in Massachusetts, and conviction of possession can result in very serious penalties, including:
- Up to a year in prison, a $1,000 fine, and the loss of a driver’s license for a first offense
- Up to two years in prison, a $2,000 fine, and the loss of a driver’s license for a second offense
These penalties become far more severe when the charge isn’t just possession but distribution, manufacturing, or dispensation of amphetamines. In that case, the penalties include:
- Between 2.5 and 10 years in prison or 1 and 2.5 years in a House of Corrections, between $1,000 and $10,000 in fines, and the loss of a driver’s license for a first offense
- Between 3 and 10 years in prison, between $2,500 and $25,000 in fines, and the loss of a driver’s license for a second offense
Furthermore, trafficking amphetamines can result in huge punishments, depending on the amount in the person’s possession. Punishments include:
- Between 3 and 15 years in prison and between $2,500 and $25,000 in fines for between 14 and 28 grams
- Between 5 and 20 years in prison and between $5,000 and $50,000 in fines for 28 to 100 grams
- Between 10 and 20 years in prison and between $10,000 and $100,000 in fines for 100 to 200 grams
- Between 15 and 20 years in prison and between $50,000 and $500,000 in fines for more than 200 grams
In other words, any connection to amphetamines without a prescription is a very serious crime that leads to incredibly serious penalties. Don’t put yourself at risk. Avoid amphetamines. And, if you have been accused of an amphetamine crime, be sure to get a lawyer to defend you.
Harvey Weinstein has changed everything. Since the story broke about how heinous behavior with Hollywood’s stars, there has been a growing movement to finally demand a crackdown on sexual assault and sexual harassment. Already, the issue is spreading. Other major media figures are getting called out and started to get the disdain and punishments they deserved. Most recently, the journalist Mark Halperin was let go at his position because of allegations of his misbehavior. This is an excellent start, we as individuals and as a culture need to go further.
For many in this country, these stories are not shocking. Women in the workplace already knew how many men misbehaved. Whether it was inappropriate touching, suggestions, or harassment, or something even worse, most women have experienced some version of this behavior. I say most because statistics suggest 52% of women have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace.
Women are not the only ones who were aware of this problem. Lawyers who specialize in work-related issues have all heard the horror stories and had to deal with the difficulties of proving a case against such men.
It isn’t just the lawyers either. Many male coworkers have been aware to some extent what is going on. Returning to the Weinstein case, Quentin Tarantino is an excellent example. He has come out and apologized for not taking the allegations he hears second- or third-hand more seriously. He said he knew on some level something was going on but he just didn’t want to do anything about it. He is not alone. Many men are aware on some level that something inappropriate is taking place in their offices, in their workplaces, on the subway, and on the street. But they, like many others, have chosen the easier path of ignoring the issue and being in denial.
It seems when the point is really examined, that everyone on some level was aware this was happening throughout our society, but it is only now that anyone has decided to do something about it.
We must not complain that it’s taken long enough. Instead, we should use the energy created by the revulsion of the Weinstein case and push forward to make a proactive change in the culture. The continuing unmasking of sexual predators is a great start, but other things must go along with it.
We should push for legislation to make it easier for women (or men, we must not forget this isn’t exclusively a woman’s problem) to come forward and report on issues of sexual assault or sexual harassment. The great protections people have, the more these cases will come to light.
We have to also work to keep publicizing these stories and demanding action. So far, the story has been one of allegation, denial, public upset, firing and shunning of the guilty person. We need that crucial third step, otherwise, we could return to the time when women stayed silent because they were sure nothing would change for their assaulter, but their own careers would be in jeopardy.
Despite the horrors of these stories, it is important we realize we are at the beginning of a great moment. We can stop sexual harassment in the workplace, we have to stay focused.
Couples pursuing divorce may be able to significantly simplify the dissolution of their relationship through divorce mediation or arbitration. These processes involve both partners resolving their divorce agreement through an impartial, third-party mediator or arbitrator, allowing both spouses to reach a fair, equitable resolution to end their marriage.
Divorce arbitration is one of three types of alternative dispute resolutions in divorce; the other two are mediation and litigation. In settling divorce issues, such as child custody, visitation rights, child support, spousal support or alimony, and division of property, assets and debts, arbitration offers the following advantages:
- A speedy divorce process. As soon as the spouses and the hired arbitrator agree on the date, the place, the issues to be settled and all other conditions surrounding the arbitration, then everything can be expected to proceed much faster than a court litigation.
- Convenience. Unlike in court litigation, where spouses can only follow the hearing scheduled by the court, in arbitration the schedule can be set by the spouses themselves.
- It finalizes disputes. The decisions on all divorce-related issues that will be made by an arbitrator are binding, even if both spouses find these disagreeable. These decisions cannot be appealed to a higher court, making both spouses stuck with all decisions made.
- Privacy. Unlike court litigations, which can be heard and witnessed by anyone, arbitration is private process, allowing the spouses to keep their past activities hidden.
- Flexibility and Informality. Aside from being able to choose the arbitrator they want, both spouses can also set the rules of the proceeding, as well as the issues the arbitrator will decide on. This particular advantage also allows the spouses to present their arguments whenever they want.
Arbitration has been used as an alternative dispute resolution for many years; however, not all states recognize it. Couples who want the advantages offered by this procedure will need to ask a lawyer first if this particular divorce process is available in their state.
An article posted in a website with the address www.marshalltaylorlawfirm.com, says, however, that pursuing mediation or arbitration may not be right for every couple, despite all of its advantages. Couples who wish to avoid contentious and drawn-out divorce proceedings, though, are well advised to pursue divorce mediation and/or arbitration, which is extremely beneficial.
Do’s and Don’ts of High Net Worth Divorce
Divorce is already complicated on its own, but it becomes even more complicated when it involves high net worth. This is justifiable, because assets and liabilities can affect the financial standing, earning capability, and quality of life of the spouses involved, so it is likely that they are going to act according to their best interests.
- Do account all your current assets and liabilities. An error in your asset and liability documentation may make you lose assets that are rightfully yours or gain liabilities that are rightfully your partner’s.
- Do investigate about financial sophistications. Finance is a complicated thing, so you should investigate the assets your ex-partner’s assets, liabilities, and financial movements. Failing to know these things may put you in a disadvantage in the division of assets and liabilities.
- Do consider tax consequences and other new liabilities. Divorce is not just about you and your spouse dividing assets, as there will be new liabilities, such as alimony, spousal support, and tax consequences from the assets you have received.
- Don’t let emotion take over. Emotions can be destructive in the legal process, especially if they are negative, such as anger, hatred, guilt, and jealousy, because they may make you do things that can have a negative impact on the divorce agreements.
- Don’t sign agreements immediately. High net worth divorce may involve a variety of issues, such as valuations of businesses and divisions of stock options. The complexities may be too stressful for you that you will sign everything immediately just to get over them. This can lead to unfair divisions and future financial problems.
- Don’t try to hide assets and liabilities. Firstly, hiding assets and liabilities is unethical. Secondly, getting caught of hiding these assets and liabilities may result into the loss of your credibility, which is the very thing that can easily turn around a high net worth divorce case against you.
You go out for dinner at a new restaurant and the food seems great, but a few hours later your stomach aches and you cannot seem to keep anything down. You may have fallen victim to food poisoning, or food borne illness, an illness caused by eating contaminated food.
According to Mayo Clinic, most cases of food poisoning are mild. These victims will experience symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, or fever; these symptoms should only last a few hours, up to a day. Some cases, however, are more severe and require medical attention. If you are experiencing frequent episodes of vomiting, are unable to keep liquids down, have bloody vomit or stool, severe abdominal pain, a high oral temperature, or signs and symptoms of dehydration, you should see a doctor immediately. Cases such as these can lead to life-threatening situations, loss of income, emotional distress, and expensive medical bills, in addition to pain and suffering.
Food-related illnesses are usually the result of negligence occurring at some point during the food preparation. According to Clawson & Staubes, LLC: Injury Group, some causes of illnesses include: unsanitary preparation, undercooked food, poorly preserved product, mislabeling or defective packaging. Although it may be difficult to identify exactly what caused a food-related illness, it is important to try to identify the party responsible so that they can be held accountable for whatever actions caused the illness. If you suspect that you have food poisoning, monitor your symptoms, seek medical attention if necessary, do your best to identify the source of your illness, and be aware of your rights as a customer.
While theft and robbery are used interchangeably, there are various differences between the two terms. They are similar because theft and robbery both involves the taking of someone’s personal property. The two acts can harm your reputation and may impact your personal as well as professional life. Let us now discuss the difference between theft and robbery.
Theft is an act of taking another person’s property without their knowledge with the aim of permanently depriving that person of the property. Theft is often interchanged with larceny, depending on the state. It is usually prosecuted by the state. When the economy of a state is at stake, the Federal government may handle the case. Theft can either be a misdemeanor or felony depending on the monetary value of the property that was taken.
Aside from that, theft may not involve the presence of a victim. Also, it does not involve the use of a deadly weapon. Theft also includes embezzlement and fraud. The former refers to an employee diverting money from the company for his personal use. The latter is theft that uses tricks to permanently remove someone else’s property.
Robbery, on the other hand, is an act of taking someone else’s property through the use of threat, force, or intimidation. A “holdup” and “stickup” are some common forms of robbery. It always involves the presence of a victim. Robbery is a felony crime and the degree is determined by state laws. In a robbery case, the facts will be examined such as the presence of an accomplice, use of weapons, or the amount of violence used.
There are two types of robbery namely aggravated robbery and Class E felonies. With the first type, a deadly weapon was used. Class E felonies, on the other hand, refers to physical assaults or threats to use force without a weapon.
Life is unpredictable. Sometimes, the surprises it offers can be advantageous. Other times, these surprises can be bad news. There’s no way to predict if you’re going to be in a car accident, fall ill, or if you’re going to find your home engulfed by fire. The only way to protect yourself from these accidents is to ensure that you have a reliable backup plan. For many, that safety net is having a reliable insurance policy. Unfortunately, in some occasions, these insurance policies don’t always pan out as planned.
As pointed out by Evans Moore, LLC, there are some insurance companies that, instead of providing the best options for their clients, do what they can to cut corners and limit their own losses. These insurance companies fail to follow through with the benefits they promised their policyholders, leaving them cheated out of the higher premiums they’ve paid for. Those expecting to receive payments that can help them out of troubling situations are often given benefits that are of less value than their owed. Such dodgy practices are known as insurance bad faith and are considered unethical and punishable by law.
Specific instances of insurance bad faith include delayed and denied claims, reduced claims, and insurance fraud. Those that fall victim to such practices might feel discouraged, but it’s important to know that insurance policyholders have rights protected by law. While resolving cases of insurance bad faith can seem complicated, they might be worth pursuing in order to deter companies from fraudulent behavior in the future.
If you believe that you have fallen victim to insurance bad faith, do not hesitate to seek proper legal counsel to for more information. With the assistance of an experience lawyer, you can learn what action to take in order to hold your insurance provider accountable for their illegal practices.
“Alopecia Universalis” or Total Hair Loss on Scalp and Body, the Most Frequent Hair Loss Condition Reported with Taxotere Use
There may be nothing more wonderful than surviving a cancer diagnosis; however, permanently losing your hair due to a drug that you had been treated with could be heartbreaking as this can cause you to lose your self-confidence as well as enjoyment of life.
Alopecia, or permanent hair loss, is the basis of many current lawsuits filed against Sanofi-Aventis, manufacturer of Taxotere (Generic name is Docetaxel), an intravenous chemotherapy drug. Taxotere was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for treatment of operable node-positive breast cancer in women (it was also approved by the FDA to treat other types of cancer, including non-small cell lung cancer, prostate cancer, gastric cancer, and head and neck cancer).
As early as 2005, permanent hair loss due to Taxotere use was already reported by women patients outside of the U.S. It is, however, alleged that Sanofi-Aventis concealed this risk that is associated with the use of its drug, and incentivized doctors to continue prescribing Taxotere to unsuspecting breast cancer patients. It was only in December of 2015, after being mandated by the FDA, that Sanofi-Aventis began warning U.S. patients of the risk of permanent alopecia if they use Taxotere.
Hair loss is actually a common symptom among those who undergo chemotherapy treatment. Their hair, though, should grow back three to six months after chemotherapy treatment is stopped. A substantial number of women, however, reported no hair growth for as long as ten years after chemotherapy treatment. Many of them complained not just of baldness, but of “alopecia universalis” or total hair loss on the scalp and body (this means that, aside from baldness, they have also lost their eyebrows and eyelashes, and hair growth under arms and around the genital area).
The law firm Williams Kherkher explains that chemotherapy drugs are expected to eradicate or slow the growth of cancer cells without any risk of permanent side effects. This is not exactly the case with the drug Taxotere, however, for though effective, it caused women to lose their hair permanently. Worse, despite Sanofi-Aventis’ alleged knowledge of this side-effect, it is said that the manufacturer concealed this from breast cancer patients to still increase Taxotere sales.
At Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Learning Center in Westborough, Massachusetts, 89-year-old Westminster resident Betty Ford Crane fell from her personal recliner on July 29, 2015, sustaining a head injury; she was then characterized by a nurse the day after the fall to be “lethargic, very unresponsive, and had great difficulty keeping foods, liquids, and medication in her mouth”. However, a physician was not notified of her condition until she died on Aug. 7, 2015.
Beaumont is currently prohibited to train nursing assistants until Dec. 20, 2017.
At Wingate Nursing Home in Lowell, 23-year-old nursing aid Sabrina Costa was charged with assault and battery on a person 60 years of age or older while her co-worker, 22-year-old Kala Lopez, had been charged with permitting abuse on an elder or disabled person after they allegedly filmed inappropriate videos of dementia patients and uploaded them on Snapchat in August 2015.
In 2014, Massachusetts listed around 55 cases of abuse, neglect, and misappropriation that has happened in nursing homes all around the state.
Department of Public Health spokesman Scott Zoback said that it is rquired by both the federal and the state government that a nursing home should notify the resident’s family members if said resident has been involved in an accident that has resulted in the injury, or any untoward incident that would elicit concern from the family members. However, Zoback became vague in the matter of explaining to family members why a resident lost his life, especially if such death was due to a negligence on the part of the nursing home staff.
The website of Crowe & Mulvey, LLP says that Healthcare Reform Statute of 2012 – Massachusetts General Law Chapter 231 Section 60L requires nursing home operators to apologize to residents and their family should the nursing home facility make a transgression against the resident that proved to be detrimental to his/her welfare.