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Scam Diego Entries for April, 2010

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U-T Puffs up Bridgepoint. Uh, Look Further

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I suppose it was inevitable that the Union-Tribune would pen a fluff piece this morning (April 30) on Bridgepoint Education, the for-profit, online school that is the new sponsor of the Holiday Bowl, has signs hanging in Petco Park, and ...

La Jolla Officials Get Advice from Li Mandri

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Members of La Jolla Town Council recently took a trip to Little Italy to study the work of controversial Marco Li Mandri, head of the privately-held New City America, according to the La Jolla Light. La Jolla has been having ...

Utility Customers get $400 Million from Sempra Settlement

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California utility customers will get $400 million in refunds from San Diego-based Sempra Energy, stemming from the 2000-2001 energy crisis. The settlement was announced today (April 28) by Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. The deal provides $270 million to ...

Local Lead Indicators Continue Rising

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The lead indicators of the San Diego economy, compiled by Alan Gin of the University of San Diego, rose to 109 in March from 108 in February, continuing the uptrend that has been in force since April of 2009. Building ...

San Diego Shines Amid Gloomy Housing News

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"San Diego was the only market that continued to show improvement in home prices between January and February," says Standard and Poor's, reflecting on the Standard and Poor's/Case-Shiller indices released this morning (April 27). San Diego home values rose 0.6% ...

Fabiani Joins Goldman Sachs Cleanup Team

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San Diego Chargers spokesman Mark Fabiani has joined the crisis response team of Wall Street's beleaguered Goldman Sachs, according to Mike Allen of the online Politico.com. Allen says that Fabiani, whom he identifies as "the Master of Disaster," got on ...

U-T Circulation Continues Fall. Ditto for Other Southern California Dailies

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Union-Tribune Monday-Friday paid circulation dropped to 249,630 for the six months ended March 31, down from 261,235 for same period of 2009, according Audit Bureau of Circulations data released this morning (April 26). U-T Sunday circulation dropped to 310,869 from ...

"VA" May Not Be What It Seems

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CNNMoney.com reported this month on what it called a "new legal trick: fake hospital sites for finding clients." A writer found that dozens of websites bore names such as "VA Medical Center Palo Alto." But they had no affiliation with ...

Remember: Most Scams Are Legal

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Wall Street's Goldman Sachs vows to fight recent fraud charges by the Securities and Exchange Commission. In short, Goldman put together a portfolio of mortgages. A hedge fund that intended to bet that portfolio would drop in value allegedly helped ...

Developers Bankrolling "Strong Mayor" Campaign

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The League of Women Voters on its website (www.lwvsandiego.org) shows that real estate developers are throwing wads of money at the "Yes on D" campaign that would make the so-called strong mayor concept permanent. Among those associated with real estate ...

City Threatens to Sue Promote La Jolla BID

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The city attorney's office has notified Promote La Jolla, a business improvement district which has been accused of accounting irregularities and misuse of funds, that it will sue for recovery if it doesn't get $112,070 by by May 10. Rick ...

Qualcomm Stock Belted after Profit Report

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Investors are shooting down stock of telecom superstar Qualcomm in after-hours trading (1.29 p.m.) The stock is down 6.76%% to $39.75. During regular trading, it had been down 1.52% to $42.63. After the close, Qualcomm reported second quarter earnings of ...

County Employees Warned of Possible Security Breach

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AmeriChoice, which services County of San Diego health programs, has warned employees of a possible security breach. In a letter dated March 30, AmeriChoice told employees that in 2007, the company hired an individual who used another person's identity in ...

Artworks Owned by Copley Press Go to Auction

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Copley Press continues to shed assets. A.N. Abell Auction Co. of Los Angeles on Thursday (April 22) begins auctioning works of art that Copley Press collected through the years. The really expensive items from the former Copley Library are being ...

Craig Biddick Expelled from Brokerage Business

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The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), which has jurisdiction over securities broker-dealers and registered representatives, has banned Craig Biddick from the brokerage industry, and officially expelled his penny stock brokerage, Mission Securities, which has already closed down. The action of ...

Michael Fanghella Seeking $150,000 Job

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A former executive from Rancho Santa Fe, Michael Fanghella, has posted his resume online. He wants a "CEO consultancy" position for a salary of $150,000. This would be doing much better than his last stop: prison. Fanghella was chief executive ...

Local Unemployment Rate Back to 11%

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The unemployment rate in San Diego County rose to 11% in March from 10.7% in February, although employment increased by 5,000 in the month. The comparable rate for California was 13% and the nation 10.2%. Local government jobs went up ...

Taxpayers Absorb Cost of Highly Paid Players

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Today's (April 13) Wall Street Journal has an op-ed piece showing how highly paid professional athletes essentially get their money from taxpayers who subsidize stadiums. The idea is not new; economists opposing the stadium scams have pointed this out for ...

Last of SPAWAR Defendants Sentenced to Prison

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Gary Alexander, a former branch head at Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) was sentenced today (April 12) to 75 months in prison for his role in the long-running military contract fraud case. Alexander was told to forfeit $332,072 ...

Kittle to Take News Slot at KUSI-TV

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Bob Kittle, former chief editorial writer for the Union-Tribune, confirmed today (April 12) that he will become director of programming and content on KUSI. Kittle said he will be reporting to the news director. The news director, Steve Cohen, said ...

San Diegans Dominate Delinquent Tax List

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The California Franchise Tax Board has released its list of major individuals and corporations with the largest tax delinquencies. Three of the top eight are from San Diego County. They are Jeffry C. Howard, $5.4 million, fifth; Kevin D. Mitchell ...

Tom Blair Leaving San Diego Magazine

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Tom Blair is ending his 15-year reign as editor of San Diego Magazine, according to SanDiego.com. Yesterday (April 9) he told the staff that he had tendered his resignation to Maureen Sullivan, president of the magazine. He will stay on ...

Copley Library Goes for Steep Discount

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The La Jolla Light has reported that the Copley Library in La Jolla has been sold for $3.75 million. It was originally listed by Copley Press for $5.4 million after the Union-Tribune was sold. The company's former La Jolla headquarters ...

Judge Dumps Criminal Pension Charges

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U.S. District Court Judge Roger Benitez yesterday (April 6) dismissed fraud charges against five former San Diego pension system members who had been charged in 2006 with violations of the honest services fraud law. It was not surprising: Benitez had ...

Did Sanders Order Detective Reprimanded?

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New filings in the case of Scott Kessler versus City of San Diego suggest Mayor Jerry Sanders played an even bigger role than earlier reported. On March 3 and March 17, The Reader carried columns about an FBI/police investigation of ...

Qualcomm CEO: Pay Down Slightly While Profits Plunge

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The New York Times published today (April 4) its performance assessment of the highest-paid 30 corporate executives in the U.S. Paul E. Jacobs, chief executive of Qualcomm, comes in 21st on the list in total compensation. Jacobs's total compensation last ...

Bersin Didn't Fill Out Certain Domestic Worker Forms, Says Mag

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American Shipper Magazine, a reputable trade publication, says that San Diegan Alan Bersin did not fill out I-9 forms from U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services used by an employer "to verify an employee's identity and to establish that the worker ...

NY Times Knocks Company Copley Used to Fight Unemployment Claims

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A major story in this morning's (April 4) New York Times raises serious questions about a company named Talx, which is owned by Equifax. Talx helps employers process and contest unemployment claims. Companies hire Talx to fight ex-employees' unemployment claims, ...

Frye Thwarts Preposterous Proposed Ballot Language

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Can you imagine the cost of a new council district being zero? This is exactly what Mayor Jerry Sanders's office tried to get away with until Councilmember Donna Frye sued Monday. The mayor's and city attorney's office agreed to a ...

Bearded Man Denied Entry into U.S.

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A 22-year old man with a beard was denied entry into the U.S. Friday night at the San Ysidro port of entry. He was trying to use a SENTRI card of a 44-year old woman whose photo was, hardly surprisingly, ...

County's Job Loss One of Worst in U.S.

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San Diego County lost 88,300 jobs in the year ended Sept of 2009, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data released today (April 1). This was seventh worst among large U.S. counties. Los Angeles County and Maricopa County in Arizona ...

SD Landlords Doing Fine

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You may be hurting, but your landlord is doing great. "It is pretty hard to find a better place to own apartments than in San Diego," says Alan Nevin, head researcher for MarketPointe Realty Advisors. As of March 10, the ...

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