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Stories by Don Bauder

Gulp! Where'd that bourbon come from?

Lawsuit charges that label on Bulleit isn't truthful

Law firms Hyde & Swigart of San Diego and Kazerouni Law Group of Costa Mesa on June 1 filed a suit in federal court claiming that Diageo, the big London distributor of alcohol brands, is ...

There's gold in that burgh

Jewish center's CFO and accounting clerk stole half a million, combined

Nancy Johnson, the former chief financial officer of La Jolla's Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center, pleaded guilty Tuesday (June 2) to embezzling $412,289.64 from the organization between 2008 and 2014. During the period, she was ...

One could trust international investor guy

Sunil Sharma fleeced investors of $6 million

Sunil Sharma of Carlsbad pleaded guilty yesterday (June 2) of scamming local investors of more than $6 million through a fraudulent day-trading strategy. Through one of his companies, Gold Coast Holding, Sharma told investors they ...

Don't seek legal help from these guys

California Bar disbars one, suspends two

One San Diego lawyer has been disbarred and two have been suspended by the California State Bar. Joseph James Rego of San Diego (now living in Joshua Tree) has been disbarred for collecting advanced fees ...

San Diego ranks 30th as baseball city

Padres tickets cheapest in majors, averaging $16.37

WalletHub, which crunches numbers about cities, metro areas, and states, is out with its ranking of the best baseball cities. To no one's surprise, St, Louis comes in first, and the others in the top ...

White-collar lash

Hundreds of thousands in bribes equal six months in pokey

Lynda Sanabria, a banker for J.P. Morgan Chase, was sentenced today (June 1) to six months in prison followed by six months of home confinement. She had taken hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of ...

Megan's Law, Step-Grandpa — deal with it

Court decides Terrence Lee Yohner won't be excluded from website

The Court of Appeal of the Fourth Appellate District has upheld a Superior Court decision stating that a step-grandparent cannot get exclusion from a Megan's Law website. In May of 2009, Terrence Lee Yohner was ...

Longtime residents will bear water conservation burden

Despite drought, SANDAG says real estate development should continue.

Long-range drought forecasts get bleaker, while long-range economic and demographic forecasts get giddier. Something’s gotta give, San Diego. Both forecasts aren’t likely to be right. The reality is that the people who really run the ...

As we whistle past the graveyard...

Union-Tribune employees got layoff announcements today

As expected, today (May 26) was the Union-Tribune's layoff announcement date. According to whispers among employees at the company, 179 employees got a layoff notice, but that is not confirmed. I could not get a ...

Power company's Darling

Utilities commission judge and Edison had cozy relationship

A new batch of emails released Friday, May 22, in the California Public Utilities Commission probe show snug and questionable relationships between an administrative law judge and Southern California Edison. The role of Michael Peevey, ...

Better read than dead

U-T layoff plans supposed to be announced Tuesday

On Tuesday, May 26, the new ownership of the U-T is expected to announce layoff plans. The press room will certainly be wiped away, as Douglas Manchester will retain the Mission Valley building and the ...

SD unemployment rate down to 4.8 percent

County gained 40,900 jobs from a year ago

The San Diego County employment rate was 4.8 percent in April, down from 5.1 percent in March and below the 6.1 percent of a year earlier. Between March and April, the number of nonfarm jobs ...

NFL team could play in L.A. in 2016

Goodell upbeat on L.A. at S.F. meeting

The Associated Press is reporting today (May 20) that a National Football League team could be playing in the Los Angeles metropolitan area in the 2016 season. The window for applications would be moved up ...

On the value of fish wrap...

Expert says Tribune Co. wanted to buy U-T in gloomy 2008

Ken Doctor, probably the reigning expert on the economics of the newspaper industry, said yesterday (May 19) in a story for capitalnewyork.com that Chicago's Tribune Co. wanted to buy the U-T in depressed 2008 for ...

This Chargers stadium proposal? Watch it.

Is city really on solid financial footing? What about the plume?

The Citizens' Stadium Advisory Group today, May 18, offered a plan for a new, municipally owned Chargers Mission Valley stadium that supposedly does not raise taxes and therefore averts any two-thirds public vote. The plan ...

Fallbook Hospital spanked by court

Problems with facility's former management still being unravelled

On May 8, Fallbrook Hospital (which closed in December) got a spanking from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. In April of last year, the National Labor Relations Board had ...

No hard drive, no sex neither

But ample lies and hidden video camera convict Border Patrol supervisor

Supervisory Border Patrol agent Armando Gonzalez pleaded guilty in federal court today (May 14) to video voyeurism and lying to cover up the crime. He admitted to placing a hidden camera in the floor drain ...

Alibaba and ten executives

Local law firms open (sesame) a case against Chinese company

China's Alibaba Group Holding, one of the hottest initial public offerings in the United States last fall, is being sued by San Diego law firms as well as other firms across America. Early this year, ...

California public utilities vs. us

“The legal system is rigged for the corrupt [California] Public Utilities Commission.”

Utilities commissioner Peevey accused of terrorizing colleagues who stood up for consumers.

Former U-T head keeps rolling around the desert

During Platinum Equity era, Ed Moss was president during staff axings

Ed Moss was president and publisher of the U-T from May of 2009 to December 2011 — a period marked by mass layoffs. He lasted two years and eight months. He had been president of ...

Too much sexy times in Oceanside

Police officer's comments damage city — on the hook for more than $1M

Kimberli Hirst, a phlebotomist working for a private company, has been awarded $1.125 million as as result of being the victim of sexual harassment by Oceanside police officer Gilbert Garcia, who was later fired by ...

Texas-sized b.s.

Alfred Louis "Bobby" Vassallo pleads guilty to fraud

Alfred Louis "Bobby" Vassallo, former La Jollan and inveterate name-dropper, has confessed to wire fraud and will be sentenced August 24. He pleaded guilty in federal court in Santa Ana in April. The Texan blew ...

Fix you up good, mahn!

"Dr." Mitchell Holland, once a chiropractor, convicted of international fraud

Mitchell Holland, a former San Diego chiropractor who still uses the title "Dr." in touting his financial expertise, has been convicted in Florida of nine counts of wire fraud. The U.S. Attorney's office in Jacksonville ...

U-T to be sold to L.A. Times parent for $85 million

"There will be layoffs," says editor

Both the U-T and the Los Angeles Times announced today that they are joining forces. The Times' parent, Tribune Publishing, will pay $85 million for the U-T. This does not include the U-T's Mission Valley ...

La Jolla fabulist earns what he deserves

James Yiu Lee claimed he had PhD, JD, and MBA — now he has 78 months behind bars

James Yiu Lee, a La Jolla resident, was sentenced yesterday (May 4) to 78 months in prison for defrauding investors of $10.5 million through online trading. Lee told potential clients that he was a certified ...

Ambulances chased and caught

U.S. attorney's office squeezes companies involved in kickback scheme

In a lawsuit unsealed in federal court today, five Southern California ambulance companies agreed to pay more than $11.5 million to resolve Department of Justice kickback allegations. Among the five were two San Diego–based companies, ...

Rancho Santa Fe lawyer suspended from practice

Donald William McVay left hanging last year and in 2013, 2012, 2011, 2008, and 2006

The State Bar of California has suspended Donald William McVay of Rancho Santa Fe Law Group from the practice of law. McVay accepted a client when he was not eligible to practice law, collected an ...

Fraudulent, felonious, and malicious

State bar investigating J. Douglass Jennings Jr., San Diego's "best tax attorney"

The State Bar website reveals that California's attorneys' registry and certifying body is investigating John Douglass Jennings Jr., who claims that many consider him "San Diego's best tax attorney." The bar charges that Jennings cheated ...

Commission of lies, company of duplicity

Edison's own documents raise questions

The question of "who is telling the truth?" arises from documents Southern California Edison recently released related to the decision to force ratepayers to pay 70 percent of the nearly $5 billion cost of decommissioning ...

If it ain't a craft beer, sue!

San Diegan says MillerCoors'(™) Blue Moon (™) is illegitimate

Evan Parent in late April went to Superior Court to prove that Blue Moon beer is not a craft beer, as its brewer, MillerCoors, claims. Parent says he used to drink Blue Moon and was ...

No están los mas machos ahora

Macho Sports gambling guys Jan Harald and Erik Portocarrero plead guilty

Brothers Jan Harald Portocarrero and Erik Portocarrero pleaded guilty today (May 1) to operating an internet and telephone sports-gambling ring in the San Diego and Los Angeles areas. It was based in Lima, Peru, and ...

Peevey the pusher man

Edison officials claim former commissioner didn't influence them, however...

The San Onofre–related documents that Southern California Edison turned over to the California Public Utilities Commission yesterday (April 29) are all one needs to know about the company's credibility. The commission is supposed to turn ...

This is a job for the master of disaster

Edison hired Fabiani; utility company won't turn over documents

San Diego attorneys Mike Aguirre and Maria Severson tonight (April 29) received word from Southern California Edison on the documents it refuses to turn over in a lawsuit the lawyers filed against the company in ...

Is yoga a religion?

Courts say it is, but Encinitas schools have scrubbed their yoga programs clean

Since 2012, the Encinitas-based Sonima Foundation has given $3.3 million to the Encinitas Union School District so that students can practice yoga. Sonima is spreading money around elsewhere — for example, it is giving $400,000 ...

Water deal with Imperial Valley on the line

San Diego's paltry water assets may soon be significantly reduced

San Diegans haven't awakened to a major water-supply peril: the possibility that a 2003 deal arranged to bring water from the Imperial Valley could be in deep trouble. A May 4 New Yorker article says ...

Picked at and peeved

Group alleges mischief done by new public utilities commissioner

State and federal investigators are looking into whether critical decisions of the California Public Utilities Commission were made in secret by Michael Peevey, retired president of the regulatory body. Now, a group known as Protect ...

Thanks, alleged global warming

San Diego hotels' occupancy rate and prices jumped last month

Occupancy and average daily room rate of hotels in warmer climates have done well this year, and San Diego is one of the leaders, says Jerry Morrison of Encinitas-based Morrison & Co. According to Smith ...

At least Granddad Sefton cared

Years of court give way to ruling in favor of disinherited Thomas Jr.

When Tom Sefton, scion of the San Diego banking family, died in 2006, he left nothing to Thomas Sefton Jr., his son by his first marriage. He left most of the estate to his children ...

Yes…no...yes to public-financed sports

Former Padres head Lucchino seeks taxpayer funds for baseball team

Larry Lucchino, former president of the Padres, was a driving force in the massive subsidies that built Petco Park and lined John Moores's pockets. Earlier, Lucchino had also loved subsidies when he pushed for a ...

Legalese in long-hand

From jail, Michael T. Pines says some trying to murder him

During the housing crisis, North County attorney Michael T. Pines advised clients who had lost their homes to foreclosure to break in and retake the house, even though new owners had taken title. Pines was ...

Is the smartphone fad dying?

Chip-making Qualcomm not feeling so strong

Qualcomm yesterday (April 22) predicted weaker-than-expected revenue and earnings for its third quarter. The chip-maker said its third quarter net income will be 67 cents to 82 cents a share on sales of $5.4 billion ...

Surprise! San Diegans are good budgeters

Study suggests locals are mindful about saving dough to avoid debt

Statistics show it: San Diego has a median household income that is moderately higher than the nation's, but the cost of living — particularly housing — is far higher than the national average. Locals call ...

Put that in your pipeline and smoke it

"California was AWOL in fighting against fraud, manipulation…"

The United States Supreme Court decided today (April 21) that companies can sue under state antitrust laws when they believe pipeline companies are committing fraud by manipulating indexes they use to figure the market price ...

Need: males, Republicans, Latinos

Stadium vote: "challenging but winnable"

The passing of a new Chargers stadium ballot measure next year will be "challenging but winnable," according to a study by the National University System Institute for Policy Research. The Republican-Latino coalition that put the ...

Publications again point finger at Copley water use

Law protects big guzzlers

As the drought threatens California, journalists are once again pointing to a 1997 law that weakened California open government laws by shielding huge water users — corporations as well as rich folks. On Thursday, April ...

Retired master sergeant headed to slammer for two years

He cruised gyms, stole credit cards, went on spending sprees

Christopher Dwan Underwood, a retired Air Force master sergeant, was sentenced to two years in prison today (April 17) for stealing government credit cards and personal identifying information from service members. According to United States ...

He stole from elderly, served time

Now he is banned from securities industry

The Securities and Exchange Commission today (April 17) banned Charles Duane Lewis from association with anyone in the securities industry. Lewis, who resides in La Mesa, was a broker with H.D. Vest Investment Securities from ...

County unemployment rate keeps dropping

March hit 5.1 percent as county gained 8000 jobs

The San Diego County unemployment rate was 5.1 percent in March, down from a revised 5.3 percent in February, as 8000 nonfarm jobs were added in the month. Government was the big gainer, adding 2000 ...

"Patriots"? Hah.

Army reservists caught selling guns to drug cartel impostors

Two United States Army reservists were arrested yesterday (April 15) for illegally selling military firearms to an undercover agent posing as a member of a Mexican drug cartel. Jaime Casillas and Andrew Reyes were to ...

Order in the court, Judge Bencivengo!

Attorney Mike Aguirre to point out utilities commission case is not dead

Attorney Mike Aguirre will argue this afternoon (April 16) that U.S. District court judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo was wrong when she ruled tentatively earlier this week that Aguirre's "taking" case could not be heard in ...

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