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Stories by Don Bauder

Not quite rags to riches, but...

Two local brokers win back $5 million from Morgan Stanley

The Fourth Appellate District has overturned a Superior Court decision that denied two San Diego brokers a judgment of almost $5 million. In 2008, Wall Street's Morgan Stanley had recruited Todd Vitale and John Paladino ...

How much did they pay you to move to Texas?

Recreation-software-maker Active Network going to Dallas

Active Network, which makes recreational software for golf courses, camps, and the like, announced today (July 3) that it is moving its headquarters from Sorrento Valley to Dallas, Texas. In a news release, Texas officials ...

FBI thinks they smell a rat

Border official charged with taking bribes, stealing government property

Timothy Francis Cashman, General Services Administration manager at Otay Mesa, San Ysidro, and Tecate ports of entry, was arrested July 1 and charged with taking bribes and stealing government property, according to the local office ...

How can convention centers be so dumb?

Faulty convention-center projections swallowed whole.

Although their forecasts are usually wrong by 50 percent, cities keep hiring convention center consultants.

Dead kids don't sue

Lawyer convicted of stealing identities of deceased children

After only 30 minutes of deliberation, a federal jury yesterday (June 30) convicted Lloyd Irving Taylor, tax attorney and accountant, of 19 felony counts, including aggravated identity theft and tax evasion. Evidence at trial reportedly ...

Supreme Court rules in favor of carriers

Decision buttresses U-T carriers' claims in case finalized in January

The California Supreme Court ruled today (June 30) that a worker is an employee if the employer has the right to control the worker's behavior. The matter at hand was whether carriers for Antelope Valley ...

Maybe Potrero citizens sensed something

Spine-chilling details of Blackwater violence, hubris

In early 2007, citizens of tiny Potrero — 45 minutes from downtown San Diego and 8 minutes from Tecate — rebelled. A mercenary firm, Blackwater USA, wanted to build an 824-acre training facility three miles ...

SD's for-profit colleges devour GI Bill bucks

University of Phoenix in San Diego gets more than the entire UC campus system

The Center for Investigative Reporting yesterday (June 28) came out with a study of GI Bill funds flowing to for-profit colleges that fail state aid standards. "California is the epicenter of this problem with nearly ...

Jack sued by Michael Shames!

Says Jumbo Jack pricing unsavory

Michael Shames, deposed head of Utility Consumers' Action Network (UCAN), says that San Diego–based fast food chain Jack in the Box is ripping off its customers. Shames's lawsuit, filed June 18 in San Diego Superior ...

Take a gamble: buy a house

SD 9th riskiest housing market

Zillow.com and Bloomberg.com have combined forces to figure out which American housing markets have been the riskiest over the past 35 years. Here's the methodology: assuming buyers held their homes for five years before selling, ...

A-1, baby

California gets highest debt rating since 2001

Moody's Investors Service today (June 25) gave California its highest debt rating since 2001, boosting the rating from Aa3 to A1. Moody's rating is two steps higher than those given by Standard & Poor's and ...

Mercy for an elder fleecer?

His scam victims screaming in protest

Philip Rand Lochmiller is a notorious fleecer of elderly investors. In 1985 in North County, he was sentenced to three years behind bars for his role — along with his mother and brother — in ...

Video of CHP officers confronting Mike Aguirre

Local attorney was asked to surrender box of papers at public meeting

Mike Aguirre tells the audience at a June 16 public meeting of the California Public Utilities Commission in Costa Mesa why he opposes the so-called “settlement” that would force ratepayers to shell out $3.3 billion ...

Collateral damage on and off Wall Street

Stock-loan fraud yields ten years in jail, a suicide, and a few poorer execs

Floridian Jeffrey Spanier was today (June 23) sentenced to serve ten years in custody for his role in a $100 million stock loan fraud. The case was handled by San Diego's U.S. Attorney's office. Spanier ...

Black and stopped in Utah

Speeding San Diegan subjected to drug search can sue

In a dispute that has been dragging on for six years, a judge of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday, June 20, that San Diegan Sherida Felder can go ahead with a racial-profiling ...

Is there a tax dodger in the house?

Doctor and wife evaded revenuers for ten years

A federal jury has returned guilty verdicts on all counts against Dr. James Francis Murphy and his wife, Denise Christine Murphy, for their decade-long dodging of taxes. They practiced osteopathic medicine in Encinitas and Omaha, ...

More tippling? Bar employment up

County gains 5100 jobs in month

. San Diego County's unemployment rate dropped to 5.8 percent in May, down from a revised 6.1 percent in April, according to the state Employment Development Department. The county gained 5100 jobs in the month, ...

U-T shuns climate change in wildfire stories

Other state media pick up such coverage

According to Media Matters, a liberal nonprofit research organization that monitors media, the U-T is barely mentioning climate change in its wildfire coverage. However, other state media are doing the reverse. The media watchdog reports ...

Woes at Bridgepoint, United States University

State and federal regulators, legislators, and accreditors finally seem to be getting wiser to the for-profit universities. San Diego’s publicly held Bridgepoint Education — target of investigators but darling of the local business establishment — ...

Because 1 billion is not enough

Qualcomm's Paul Jacobs uses tax maneuver that helps drain U.S. Treasury

Qualcomm chairman Paul Jacobs and his wife, Stacy, employ a legal but controversial tax strategy that can greatly lessen or eliminate estate and gift taxes, according to Qualcomm and Securities and Exchange Commission filings. It's ...

Armed with papers

Public Utilities Commission advisor calls cops on Michael Aguirre

Yesterday (June 16), the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) held an open meeting in Costa Mesa at which proponents and opponents of the San Onofre payment settlement could express their opinions. At 4 p.m., San ...

PriceSmart brouhaha in Jamaica resolved

Cubans can now shop at membership stores

Cubans working in Jamaica are again free to shop at membership retailer PriceSmart, according to the publication The Gleaner. Earlier this year, PriceSmart suspended accounts of residents and staff of the Cuban embassy on Jamaica. ...

Never go to Tax Court on Friday the 13th

Turf club owner Reddam loses suit over Cayman Islands tax dodge

John Paul Reddam, one of the owners of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, lost an appeal from the U.S. Tax Court on Friday (June 13). According to the Metropolitan News-Enterprise, a Los Angeles publication specializing ...

Tony Gwynn dies at 54

He believed his cancer came from chewing tobacco

San Diego Padres Hall of Fame outfielder Tony Gwynn died today (June 16) of cancer. Since the end of March, Gwynn had been on medical leave as baseball coach at San Diego State, his alma ...

La Jolla surgeon slated to lose license

Medical board cites cases of negligence

Dr. Timothy G. Canty, Sr. of La Jolla will lose his physician's and surgeon's license June 17 if the executive director of the Medical Board of California agrees with negligence accusations filed by the attorney ...

What kind of racket is this, Lansdowne?

Former SDPD chief joins controversial cell-phone recycling firm

Retired San Diego police chief William Lansdowne has joined a controversial firm named ecoATM. The company installs ATM-like receptacles that pay instant cash for cell phones. Trouble is, law-enforcement officials were saying last year that ...

Indian bilker

San Diegan pleads guilty to defrauding Indians

Bart Wayne Volen, who has residences in San Diego and Hawaii, yesterday (June 12) pleaded guilty to looting $17 million to $19 million from owners of the Thunder Valley Casino near Lincoln, according to the ...

Construction falters when empty nest refills

Post-teens living at home dent SD economy

If you want to help the local economy, shoo those in their 20s out of the family home. That's the unstated message of a study by Kelly Cunningham of the National University System Institute for ...

Good news for Mickelson

Cleared of some insider trading charges (not all) and the golf game is strong

The New York Times did an unusual mea culpa today (June 11), admitting that sources who told the paper that local golfing star Phil Mickelson had possibly traded illegally in shares of Clorox have acknowledged ...

Ringleader of casino kiosk scam confesses

Cheated big bank of $1 million

Ara Keshishyan pleaded guilty today (June 10) to leading and organizing a 14-defendant conspiracy to steal money from Citibank's casino kiosks. The gang pulled the stunt in ten casinos in California and Nevada, including Pechanga ...

Super Bowl "wish list" items are requirements

Minneapolis finds out how much it must give up for the 2018 game

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune today (June 9) published the confidential wish list that the National Football League (NFL) demands of a Super Bowl host. Minneapolis will host the game in 2018. The requirements are detailed in ...

Paul's princely pay

In line with exec pay average…which went up 32 percent from previous year

Qualcomm's Paul Jacobs raked in $20.7 million in total compensation last year — 62nd among 200 chief executives of companies with capitalization of at least $1 billion filing proxies last year by May 30. The ...

California or Corrupt Public Utilities Commission?

CPUC fires lawyer pressing for PG&E pipeline records

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has abruptly fired a lawyer who was pressing Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) to reveal which pipelines it had tested for high pressure, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, ...

Mr. Buckets of Money

Lucia Sr. barred from securities, but firm prospers

In September of 2012, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged that nationally syndicated radio personality Raymond Lucia Sr. was spreading misleading information to potential investors at seminars. Lucia had told participants that his "Buckets of ...

Ponzi is never pretty

San Diegan settles with securities commission

Matthew Sample of San Diego raised around $1 million, mainly from New Mexico investors, then fraudulently diverted one-third of the funds to himself, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission. According to the publication Albuquerque ...

NFL seeks larger (court) audience

Ex-Charger Ken Neil filed originally in state court, league seeks federal justice

The National Football League and a group of related entities, including equipment manufacturers, moved June 3 to have a concussion-related suit tried in U.S. District Court, instead of Superior Court. The defendants, who were served ...

$6 million glass home for sale

Project has mob-associated ties

A luxurious glass house in Pacific Beach has gone on the market for $5.995 million. "Press a button and part of the roof — 30 feet above the floor at the house's entryway — retracts ...

An ex-Marine, a gay guy, and a doctor enter a primary...

Race for 52nd District seat could surprise Republicans

Tomorrow's (June 3) primary in the 52nd District could produce some surprises. Recently, Republicans have been playing down once-hot-button social issues (gay marriage, abortion), and some think that's giving short shrift to a significant portion ...

Golfer Mickelson under insider trading investigation

He did trades with big sports bettor.

According to the New York Times, San Diego golf hero Phil Mickelson is under investigation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Securities and Exchange Commission for a series of well-timed trades in the ...

Bridgepoint restating revenue, earnings

Laments weakness in internal controls

San Diego's controversial Bridgepoint Education reported today (May 30) that its accounting for the year 2013 should no longer be trusted, as the company discovered "material weaknesses in internal control over financial reporting." It made ...

Don't call him the skinny lady

San Diego Opera names Chicago pro as artistic advisor

San Diego Opera today (May 30) named William Mason as artistic advisor. He was general director of Lyric Opera, Chicago's prestigious company, from 1997 to 2011, when he retired. At the newly restructured San Diego ...

Good news for San Diego hotels

Occupancy, room rates up

Occupancy at San Diego hotels was up 5.9% to 72.5% year-to-date for April of this year versus the same period a year ago, according to Smith Travel Research figures. Average daily room rate rose 4.8% ...

Peeved Commissioner Peevey hints at CPUC's disarray

The regulators' fixed deal is naked

On May 14, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) held an evidentiary hearing on a deal that would permit Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) to sock ratepayers for $3.3 billion ...

Electricity refund? Not in California

California utility regulators want to screw you, boost company profits.

“California historically has offered one of the most constructive regulatory environments in the nation,” says Hugh Wynne, a Wall Street research analyst. Because the California Public Utilities Commission strives mightily to boost utility profits, the ...

Public utilities commission's rape of the ratepayers

1 hour and 15 minutes to examine the unfair $3.3 billion bill

San Diego attorneys Mike Aguirre and Mia Severson are vehemently protesting another move by the California Public Utiliities Commission (CPUC) to fleece ratepayers over the closing of the San Onofre nuclear plant. They note in ...

Three county lawyers disciplined

Cheating clients, drinking involved

According to the California Bar Journal, three county lawyers have been disciplined. Verne Craig Scholl of Carlsbad was suspended for one year and placed on two years of probation for five acts of misconduct with ...

Tales from Scam Diego

Tax cheating, obstruction, break-in

The Department of Justice announced yesterday (May 2) that it has permanently barred Michael Turner from preparing federal tax returns. The government says that Turner entered bogus deductions on his customers' returns. When the Internal ...

Union-Tribune circulation takes a hit

Numbers drop every day but Saturday

This morning's (May 1) data from the Alliance for Audited Media (formerly the Audit Bureau of Circulations) show the Union-Tribune taking a circulation beating from last year. For the six month period ended March 31, ...

Feel sorry for Donald Sterling?

Don't worry. Financially, he'll be all right.

The National Basketball Association has banned Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, for life. Sterling was done in by racist remarks. If three-fourths of the league's team owners agree, Sterling will be forced ...

SD tech bounceback happened last year

Industry accounts for 12% of San Diego output

By the end of last year, San Diego technology industries had more than bounced back from the Great Recession, according to a study by Kelly Cunningham of the National University System Institute for Policy Research. ...

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