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Scam Diego Entries for November, 2009

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Hedge Funds Buying Stocks, Wee Folk Selling

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The so-called smart money (in this case, hedge funds) continues to buy stocks while small investors sell, notes Bloomberg News. Individual investors have pulled $37.3 billion from stocks since August, according to the Investment Company Institute, a trade group of ...

AIG (That's Us) to Pay Its Ex-CEO's Legal Fees

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The insurance conglomerate A.I.G. waited until late in the day before Thanksgiving to announce an outrageous move that has the Internet abuzz. The firm, which is 80% owned by U.S. taxpayers, has had a long-running legal dispute with its former ...

Rate of Home Price Declines Continues Dropping

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San Diego home values rose 0.9% from August to September, according to the Case-Shiller index published by Standard & Poor's. Prices had risen 1.6% from July to August. San Diego values are now down only 5.7% for the year. Of ...

Kelley Stresses Breen's Purported Amnesia in New Motion

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Cartoonist Steve Kelley, whose suit against the Union-Tribune was thrown out by Superior Court Judge Jay Bloom in early November, has filed a motion of reconsideration with the judge. It will be heard Dec. 22. In the suit, Kelley charges ...

SDGE Disconnects Rise to Low Income Households, but at Slower Rate Than Other Utilities

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A report by the California Public Utilities Commission's Division of Ratepayer Advocates, a division of the PUC that represents interests of ratepayers, indicates that at the major state utilities, service disconnections for lower-income households rose 19% last year (Sept. '08-Sept. ...

SEC Busts Somali Promising 5% a Month

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The Securities and Exchange Commission has gotten a court order stopping Mahamud Ahmed of Spring Valley from running an investment scheme in which he guaranteed people in the Somalian community 5% a month returns. His victims were in San Diego, ...

Local Unemployment Rate Rises to 10.5% in October

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The San Diego County unemployment rate for October rose to 10.5% from a revised 10.4% in September, according to the California Employment Development Department. The metro area gained 8,100 jobs from September, but lost 52,000 from a year ago. October's ...

Isis Experimental Drug Lowers Cholesterol, but Has Damaging Side Effects

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Stock of Carlsbad-based biotech Isis Pharmaceuticals plunged 17.01% today to $11.12 on good/bad news. Isis is developing a drug with Genzyme for reducing cholesterol in an extremely rare genetic disorder in which a gene that should remove cholesterol from the ...

Isis Experimental Drug Lowers Cholesterol, but Has Damaging Side Effects

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Stock of Carlsbad-based biotech Isis Pharmaceuticals plunged 17.01% today to $11.12 on good/bad news. Isis is developing a drug with Genzyme for reducing cholesterol in an extremely rare genetic disorder in which a gene that should remove cholesterol from the ...

He Promised Investors 2% to 6% a Week; He's Headed to Prison

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Rancho Santa Fe residents have come up with some wild frauds in the past, but this one deserves special mention. Richard M. Hersch pleaded guilty today (Nov. 16) in federal court to recruiting 150 investors to plunk $25 million in ...

"Crisis of Unprecedented Proportions" Coming in Commercial Real Estate

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Randall Zisler of Zisler Capital Partners warns of a "crisis of unprecedented proportions" looming in commercial real estate. His report was picked up in California Controller John Chiang's November review of state finances, as well as by news services Dow ...

Blackwater OK'd $1 Million Hush Payments to Iraqis: Reports

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Blackwater Worldwide, the mercenary firm that failed in its attempt to put a training camp in East County's Potrero, is back in the news tonight (Nov. 10). According to the New York Times, top Blackwater officials "authorized secret payments of ...

Former Mail Boxes Etc. Franchisees' Suit against UPS Certified

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Superior Court in Los Angeles has announced the certification of a class action suit brought by former Mail Boxes Etc. franchisees against the chain's current owner, United Parcel Service (UPS). Mail Boxes Etc., a national chain competing with the Post ...

Final Peregrine Settlement Is $117 Million

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Federal court in San Diego has approved $56 million in settlements in the Peregrine Systems fraud. This was approved by the parties Oct. 16, as reported here, pending the court's approval. The funds will primarily come from John Moores, former ...

Employment Numbers Worse Than Reported, but Main Street's Pain Is Wall Street's Gain

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The U.S. unemployment rate surged to 10.2% in October, up from 9.8% in September, as the nation lost 190,000 jobs. Economists had expected job loss of 150,000 to 175,000. The number of unemployed persons rose by 558,000 to 15.7 million. ...

Defense, Fire Reconstruction Propel San Diego Economy

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War and natural disasters propped up the San Diego economy last year. According to Kelly Cunningham, economist for the National University System Institute for Policy Research, the county's metropolitan gross domestic product, or total output of goods and services, grew ...

Supreme Court Justice Asks: Who Passed Bribe?

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The California Supreme Court is hearing today (Nov. 4) the case of whether former San Diego City pension board members should stand trial for conflict of interest. The district attorney's office is pressing the case; the 4th district court of ...

SDGE Lobbyist Said to be Innocent, Reinstated

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In early September, there were reports that then-Assemblyman Mike Duvall had earlier bragged about his sexual conquests -- unfortunately, captured on an open microphone. A San Diego Gas & Electric lobbyist was identified in the media, and in a complaint ...

Here's A New One: U-T Owners Understate Claimed Readership

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The Union-Tribune boldly asserts that 1.15 readers look at its printed edition each week. This is based on data provided by Scarborough Research. The claim has raised many eyebrows, because Audit Bureau of Circulations reported recently that weekly circulation in ...

Dollar "Carry Trade" Creates Global Asset Bubble That Will Burst

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New York University economist Nouriel Roubini, who predicted the current woes, says that borrowing cheap dollars has created a massive, global asset bubble that will burst in ignominy -- although he doesn't know when. It's a column in the Nov. ...

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