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Stories by Don Bauder

Dollar Rent A Car demands reporters' names

Company being sued for fraudulently pushing insurance

On February 11 of this year, the Reader published a column about lawsuits charging that Dollar Rent A Car incentivized its employees to use fraudulent methods to push superfluous insurance on car renters. San Diego ...

Gov. Brown vetoes bills to reform utilities commission

Reminder: his sister is on Sempra Energy's board of directors

Governor Jerry Brown today (October 9th) vetoed a package of bills that were meant to reform the California Public Utilities Commission. Assemblyman Anthony Rendon, sponsor of three bills that were vetoed, said, "I am disappointed ...

J. Douglass Jennings Jr. faces disbarment

State bar believes serious charges against La Jolla attorney

The California State Bar Court has declared that J. Douglass Jennings Jr. is ineligible to practice law because he is facing disbarment. The court found him culpable of of nine counts of failing to avoid ...

No Snapdragon, no problem for Samsung

South Korean company's good news may be bad news for Qualcomm

Possible subhead: If so, stock market not buying it -- today, anyway Tech giant Samsung this week announced third-quarter earnings that interrupted an almost two-year decline in profits. It also increased its guidance for future ...

That Democrat-Republican split may help

Ray Lucia taking SEC's decision to DC appeals court

National radio personality Ray Lucia Sr. is taking his banishment from the securities industry to the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, according to the publication Investment News. On September 3, the board of ...

Bitcoin ATM machine for Ocean Beach

Cryptocurrency has its risks and is difficult to trace

On Thursday, October 8, what's billed as the first Bitcoin ATM in the region comes to Ocean Beach. The first transactions will begin taking place at a launch party late that afternoon at 4796 Niagara ...

Former sheriff, police chief Kolender dies

Retired in 2009 after six decades in law enforcement

Former county sheriff Bill Kolender died today (October 6) after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease, according to a San Diego County Sheriff's Department press release. He was 80 years old. He joined the police ...

San Diego's got diversity

But does that suggest we are a melting pot?

San Diego ranks among the top U.S. cities in racial and ethnic, language, and region of birth diversity, according to WalletHub, a firm that studies cities, metro areas, and states for various characteristics. Out of ...

...and El Niño could cost billions

Economy suffered in 1997-1998 and 1982-1983

A severe El Niño this winter could put a dent in San Diego's economy, according to Vince Vasquez of the National University System Institute for Policy Research. The 1982–1983 storms caused more than $2 billion ...

State coastal commission bonkers?

Meeting on plan to store San Onofre nuclear waste 100 feet from ocean

The California Coastal Commission meets tomorrow in Long Beach to consider a matter critical to North County San Diegans: will 3.6 million pounds of nuclear waste repose within 100 feet of the ocean and only ...

Tribune Publishing sharpens the ax

Meeting at U-T today to introduce employee buyout program

Chicago-based Tribune Publishing, parent company of the L.A. Times and Union-Tribune, announced today (October 5) that it will have a company-wide "Employee Voluntary Separation Program," an employee-buyout proposal. If enough people don't sign up, there ...

Rocky for president in 2016?

Indications that Roque De La Fuente is running for highest office — hoax?

"America is already great, but we can make it greater." That appears to be the campaign slogan for San Diego businessman Roque "Rocky" De La Fuente II, who recently set up a website touting his ...

Two local lawyers disbarred

Both went to school at UC San Diego

According to the October edition of the California Bar Journal, two local lawyers, Charles Colin Cossio of Alpine and Louis Gordon Bruno of Escondido, have been disbarred. Cossio's disbarment involved moral turpitude. The state bar ...

Another echo from the dot-com bubble burst

Former New Yorker, now a San Diegan, ordered to pay up

The dot-com bubble, considered one of history's most malodorous stock market runups/rundowns, began around 1997 and lasted until March of 2000, when wildly absurd valuations peaked and the bubble burst. During the bubble period, a ...

This county is lousy for the disabled

Out of 150 cities, Chula Vista ranks 120th

San Diego is a disappointing middle-of-the-pack as a residence for those with disabilities, according to a new study by WalletHub, a firm that does statistical studies on states, metro areas, and cities. Out of 150 ...

State utility regulator re-examines secret meetings

Don’t expect big changes yet

By now, savvy folks know that the California Public Utilities Commission has to clean up its act — thoroughly. Commissioners and staff members used illegal, back-channel communications with Southern California Edison to fleece ratepayers over ...

Avoid foreclosure! Go see the Archbishop

San Diegans involved in $8 million mortgage fraud

People fearful of losing their homes through foreclosure were told they should consult the Archbishop of Shon-Te-East-A, Walks with Spirit, a group claiming to be a spiritual organization dedicated to helping people dodge foreclosure. A ...

SDG&E attempts brazen caper #2

Utility wants to make consumers to pay for fire

San Diego Gas & Electric late today (September 25) asked the California Public Utilities Commission to get consumers to pay the uninsured costs of the 2007 wildfires. After a thorough investigation, a unit of the ...

La Jolla Banker bought ticket to perdition

She took bribes, kickbacks to issue bad loans

Amalia Martinez, head of Small Business Administration lending at the now-defunct La Jolla Bank, pleaded guilty today, September 25th, to conspiracy to misapply bank funds. Martinez admitted that she and other senior bank officials accepted ...

Oceanside's Galanis and sons in trouble again

Criminal and civil charges for stock market fraud

Oceanside's Galanis family is in trouble again for alleged stock market fraud. Yesterday (September 24), the Securities and Exchange Commission civilly charged some family members with manipulating the stock market. At the same time, the ...

Go build your freakin' stadium elsewhere

Former Padres president Larry Lucchino strikes out on East Coast

Larry Lucchino, former Padres president, has been thwarted in his attempt to get a $60 million subsidy and free parking so he could move the minor league Pawtucket Red Sox to Providence, according to fieldofschemes.com. ...

San Diego developer ousted in Oakland

Floyd Kephart won't develop stadium there

Rancho Santa Fe developer Floyd Kephart is no longer in the running to build a new stadium for the Oakland Raiders in their home town. Chargers fans were hoping that Kephart would come up with ...

Biotechs belted

Hillary and Bernie holler at price jack-up of pill that jumped from $13.50 to $750

Biotech stocks got walloped today (September 21) after a startup pharmaceutical company named Turing Pharmaceuticals boosted the price of a drug overnight from $13.50 to $750 a tablet. It's a 62-year-old drug for treating life-threatening ...

Tribune says L.A. operation lags

Forecasts for Southern California lowered

The Chicago Tribune has publicly stated that the Southern California operation of Tribune Publishing is not doing well financially, and doing poorly compared with the rest of the company. Earlier this month, Tribune Publishing fired ...

County unemployment rate back down to 5.1 percent

July's 5.4 percent rise looks like aberration

The San Diego County unemployment rate was down to 5.1 percent in August, an improvement from the 5.4 percent rate of July, which was probably an aberrant spike. The county added 1700 jobs from July ...

San Diego's poverty rate 15.7 percent

U.S. Census Bureau finds El Cajon and Escondido county's highest

The percentage of City of San Diego residents living below the poverty line slipped slightly last year to 15.7 percent from 2013's 15.8 percent, according to United States Census Bureau data released today (September 17). ...

Qualcomm layoffs begin

Bitter posts on thelayoff.com

Qualcomm, which announced it would be laying off 15 percent of its workforce in July, is now reducing its full-time head count and making "a significant reduction of our temporary workforce," according to a statement ...

BBG Communications greases senator's palm

Otay Mesa company has history of ripping off service members

Wisconsin media, along with the state's Democratic Party, are hammering United States senator Ron Johnson, a Republican, for taking $5400 from Otay Mesa's BBG Communictions, which charges service members as much as $55 for a ...

Busted for bogus money transmitting

Attorney admits violating Bank Secrecy Act

On September 15th, attorney Richard Medina Jr. pleaded guilty in federal court to operating an unlicensed money-transmitting business. Medina and others illegally conducted almost $12 million worth of international financial transactions in violation of the ...

How much welfare is doled out to corporations?

There’s property tax reductions, sales tax exemptions, corporate income tax credits...

The city’s sweetheart real estate deals are how sweet?

Supes want San Onofre waste dump removed

Consider the 20-mile radius surrounding the shuttered nuke plant

The San Diego County Board of Supervisors today (September 15) voted unanimously to write a letter to the United States Department of Energy requesting the removal of the nuclear waste dump at the now-shuttered San ...

La Jolla lipo litigation

Jerrell Borup, M.D., faces medical board discipline

The executive director of the Medical Board of California has filed an accusation against Jerrell Lawrence Borup, M.D., who took a job as a "supervising physician" at a liposuction company although he was not interested ...

Ponzi schemer Sunil Sharma gets 33 months

Told investors Goldman Sachs managed their money, so it was "safe"

Carlsbad's Sunil Sharma was sentenced today (September 14) to 33 months in prison for running a Ponzi scheme. He had raised $8.36 million from 32 companies through his companies, Gold Coast Holding and Safe Harbor ...

Issa says criminal history should be shielded

His own past raises eyebrows

On Thursday (September 10) a bill called the Fair Chance Act was introduced in Congress. It would stop federal employers and contractors from inquiring about an applicant's criminal history until the final stages of hiring. ...

Former Carlsbad treasurer in trouble

James Comstock admitted stealing from ArtSplash nonprofit

The California Board of Accountancy has filed an accusation against James Milton Comstock of Carlsbad. Last year he pleaded guilty to stealing more than $212,000 from ArtSplash, a nonprofit organization promoting the arts. Accountants who ...

La Costa developer Merv Adelson dead at 85

After long lawsuit, and denial, he admitted he had mob ties

Merv Adelson, one of the co-founders of La Costa, is dead at age 85, according to a story yesterday (September 9) on deadline.com. Adelson, co-founder of Lorimar Television and former spouse (twice) of TV star ...

I earned one month for each $27,000 in bribes

Robert Moreno admits to rigging mortgage bids

Robert Moreno, a banker for GMAC, was sentenced today (September 8) to 37 months in prison for accepting more than $1 million in bribes to rig bids in the secondary mortgage market so that certain ...

San Diego as sports fans' city: so-so

Not just cold-weather places push this town to 22nd place

One of the considerations in the stadium-subsidy brouhaha is seldom on the table: how enthusiastic a sports-fan city is San Diego? It's well known that outdoor participation sports such as golfing, surfing, and hiking often ...

SEC kicks Ray Lucia's "Buckets of Money" ploy

Business talk-radio personality banned from investment industry

San Diego radio host Ray Lucia Sr. has lost his appeal of the action by the Securities and Exchange Commission to ban him from the investment business. The appeal was heard August 6 by the ...

Lawyer Carrillo won't fight charges

No word on his former law partner, Huettel

On September 2, a New York law firm sent an unusual letter to a judge in the Southern District of New York. The letter stated that San Diego attorney Luis Carrillo will no longer fight ...

Divorce of a billionaire (cont'd)

Charles Brandes goes back to court, contests $450K per month for ex-wife

In a decision that was issued August 31, the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, has sent the well-publicized divorce of Charles and Linda Brandes, who separated in 2004, back to the trial court. In ...

Doctor enjoyed 'shrooms and ecstasy

Two San Diego physicians get probation

Two San Diego physicians, Jason Roman Hess and Bret Robert Gerber, have been given probation by the Medical Board of California in decisions that became effective August 27. Hess was given five years of probation. ...

Beat up in La Jolla? Or posturing for money?

Accused lawyer claims wife is attempting end-around for lack of pre-nup

The San Diego County district attorney's office is "reviewing" possible criminal charges against prominent Atlanta class-action lawyer Martin Chitwood, according to Tanya Sierra, public affairs officer of the local D.A.'s office. He and his wife, ...

New convention center study likely to fail test

Consultant's dubious track record ignored by San Diego leaders

The consulting firm of Convention, Sports and Leisure International has come out with a $90,000 study telling San Diego that if it builds a contiguous convention-center expansion, it will gain $157.1 million in direct convention-attendee ...

USD’s Frank Partnoy might scare you

The inscrutable derivatives

Can one trust the accounting of the big banks? Take a guess.

San Diegans cause Southwest Airlines plane diversion

"Racist" flight attendant or was booze a factor?

A Southwest Airlines plane en route from San Diego to Chicago was diverted to Amarillo yesterday (August 31) because of alleged misbehavior of six San Diego area residents. They were taken off the plane by ...

Good/bad news in Manchester world

Austin hotel could benefit from larger center and Jr.'s marriage is over

Manchester Texas Financial Group of Austin, Texas, headed by Douglas W. Manchester, son of Douglas F. ("Papa Doug") Manchester, has enjoyed some good news. Manchester Texas is building a $350 million convention center hotel in ...

Sharp rebuked

Hospital loses wrongful termination suit on appeal

A wrongful-termination suit that had been thrown out by a Superior Court judge was reinstated in August by the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District. Karen Nosal-Tabor, a registered nurse who formerly worked in the ...

Former UCAN founder wins lawsuit

Michael Shames awarded $141,000

Michael Shames yesterday (August 27) won a lawsuit filed against him by the Utility Consumers Action Network (UCAN), which he had cofounded. UCAN had filed suit claiming that Shames owed it $450,000. By 11 to ...

Iranian national sentenced in San Diego

Arash Ghahreman gets 78 months for tech-smuggling scheme

Arash Ghahreman, a naturalized United States citizen and former Iranian national, yesterday (August 27) was sentenced to six and a half years in prison for his role in a scheme to purchase marine navigation and ...

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