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Scam Diego Entries for June, 2010

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Law Firm Giving Financial Advice Taking No New Cases

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Kerry Steigerwalt's Pacific Law Center, a heavily-advertised law firm, as of today (June 30) is taking few if any new cases, although it will finish cases it is now working on, according to two knowledgeable employees at the firm. It ...

Gin's Lead Indicators Rise in May

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The lead indicators of the San Diego economy, compiled by economist Alan Gin of the University of San Diego, continued rising in May to 109.4 from 109.2 in April. The number was 102.0 in May of last year.The index has ...

SEC Pays Gary Aguirre Big Sum, but More Cleansing Needed

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The Securities and Exchange Commission today (June 29) agreed to pay $755,000 to San Diego attorney Gary Aguirre. The sum represents four years and ten months of his salary since the agency fired him in 2005, plus his attorney fees. ...

San Diego Still Shines in Case-Shiller Numbers, but....

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Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller homes values data for the period ended April 30 came out this morning (June 29), showing continued price gains by major metro areas. However, S&P economist David Blitzer says, "Many of the gains are modest and somewhat ...

Former Dentist Who Battled IRS Found Guilty of Tax Fraud

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Former San Diego dentist L. Donald Guess has been found guilty of two felony counts of filing false income tax returns following a trial in federal court. He will be sentenced Sept. 16 at 9 a.m. in the chambers of ...

Despite $32.5 Million Funding Gap, City to Go Ahead with Library

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"This is the most irresponsible funding I have seen -- committing the City to building a library" even though there is $32.5 million left to be raised from private sources. That's the assessment of former City Attorney Mike Aguirre, who ...

Se San Diego Hotel Owner Goes Bankrupt

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According to the Wall Street Journal today (June 28), 5th Avenue Partners LLC has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. It owns and operates the tony Se San Diego Hotel and an adjacent building that houses the House of Blues. The ...

Two More Con Men Headed to Prison

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Two county cozeners who had previously pleaded guilty to bilking investors were sentenced today in cases brought by the U.S. Attorney's office. Richard M. Hersch was sentenced to 110 months. More than 150 investors had plunked $25 million in the ...

He Knowingly Sold Defective Parts to Military; Gets Two Years

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Joel H. Potter was sentenced to two years in prison today (June 28) for selling defective aircraft parts to the Navy and Marine Corps. The case was brought by the U.S. Attorney. Potter worked for Mackenzie Aircraft Parts in Vista. ...

Weakening of "Honest Services" Could Affect SD Cases

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The Supreme Court today (June 24) dealt a major blow to "honest services fraud," a prosecutorial technique that has been used in some high-profile corruption cases in San Diego. It is too early to tell whether those specific cases will ...

May New Home Sales Plunge; West Worst. Wall Street Stunned

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Sales of new single-family homes plummeted a record 33% in May, according to Commerce Department figures released this morning (June 23). Sales plunged to a seasonally adjusted rate of 300,000, the lowest since records were first compiled in 1963, according ...

Market Abhors Cypress Bioscience Deal

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Stock of biotech Cypress Bioscience plummeted 37.79% today (June 21) after the company announced a deal to purchase rights to market a potential schizophrenia drug that is currently in mid-stage development. Cypress will pay Israel-based BioLineRx $30 million upfront for ...

Auditor Spanks San Dieguito H.S. over Bond Disclosures

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The California State Auditor has issued a report criticizing the San Dieguito Union High School District for not telling bond buyers of the district's financial woes. The district issued bonds in 1998, 2004 and 2006. "In early 2008 the school ...

Boosted by Census Hiring, County Adds Jobs in May

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San Diego County added 8,400 jobs in May, sending the unemployment rate down to 10% compared with a revised 10.4% in April. Government jobs rose 4,300, and 3,400 were federal government positions. The Employment Development Department says those jobs were ...

U-T Axes 34 to 40

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The Union-Tribune whacked 34 to 40 heads of editorial or editorial support employees today. That was almost double what was expected, if my reports are correct. I have taken this list from a variety of sources, including the web site ...

When Governments Cut Spending, It's Citizens, not Bureaurats, Who Suffer

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Columnist Joe Mysak of Bloomberg.com has a column today (June 16) based on the San Diego County Grand Jury's recent study on City financing -- focusing particularly on the possibility of bankruptcy to test whether promises to workers allegedly set ...

"New" SDNN Looks Like Old SDNN Lite

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San Diego News Network, the online publication that laid off its free lancers at the end of May, has come out with a description of "the new SDNN." For the life of me, I can't tell how it differs from ...

Senate Panel Wants Investigation of SEC "Revolving Door"

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According to the Wall Street Journal, the Senate Finance Committee has asked David Kotz, the inspector general of the Securities and Exchange Commission, to review the recent departure of a top SEC official who went with a high-frequency trading firm. ...

SDNN Will Go It Alone, Change Focus

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San Diego News Network, the troubled online publication that was trying to sell itself, has now said that it will remain under current ownership, Neil Senturia and his wife, associate publisher Barbara Bry. In a message, Bry said SDNN would ...

Here Are More OC Register Alums in U-T Management

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More veterans of the Orange County Register are taking significant management posts at the Union-Tribune under Jeff Light, a Register alum who was named editor earlier this year. Some of the Register alums are taking jobs as so-called "topic leaders," ...

City Wants Assessment of Qualcomm Stadium

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The City of San Diego today (June 10) sent out a request for a proposal (RFP) for a "qualified consultant" to assess the practical value of Qualcomm Stadium. The consultant is supposed to analyze the path of the sports and ...

U-T Editor Brings in Former O.C. Register Pals

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Will the Union-Tribune rename itself the San Diego Register? (The Orange County Register's parent, Freedom Newspapers, went into bankruptcy in September and emerged April 30.) The U-T brought in Jeff Light, formerly of the Register, as editor. Here is what ...

U-T Staffers Meet Their Team Leaders

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Editorial staff members of the Union-Tribune today (June 9) were introduced to so-called "team leaders," supposedly a new concept. For example, one person will be in charge of features, arts and the Night & Day section. Newsroom employees were asked ...

Grand Jury Says City Should Consider Bankruptcy

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The 2009/2010 San Diego County Grand Jury today (June 8) released a 22-page report of the City's financial travails. "Presently, the City of San Diego's obligations, liabilities and debts exceed $7 billion," said the report. Also, "It is still untested ...

Fitch Warns of Tax Increases

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You have to read a bit between the lines, but Fitch Ratings, in coming out with new bond and note ratings for the City of San Diego, warns that tax increases or other revenue enhancements are coming. The good news: ...

Hyatt Hotels Wants to Take Over Manchester Grand Hyatt

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The port district is scheduled to vote tomorrow (June 8) on a proposal to change the control of Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel to Hyatt Hotels Corporation. The move needs consent of the port board. Hotelier Doug Manchester's lease expires in ...

Fat Cats Still Pouring Money into Proposition D

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Companies with reasons to cozy up to City Hall continue to make late contributions to Prop. D, the so-called strong mayor initiative that is on tomorrow's (June 8) ballot. Veolia Water North America gave $10,000 on June 4. Sempra Energy ...

Bypassing Adulthood in San Diego

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"San Diego is a very strange town. Like many other beach towns, it's a place where you can go directly from arrested adolescence to early retirement, skipping adulthood entirely. Every time I go back there my IQ drops ten points, ...

Employment Report Suggests Economy Weakening Alarmingly

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The Labor Department's May employment report released today (June 4) indicates the so-called economic recovery is sputtering noticeably. The nation added 431,000 jobs in May, but 411,000 of them were temporary census workers. The private sector added just 41,000 jobs, ...

Paean to Jerry Dominelli

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"De mortuis nil nisi bonum." (Speak no ill of the dead.) The University of San Diego Magazine for summer of 2010 notes in its "In Memoriam" section the death of J. David "Jerry" Dominelli, who graduated from USD in 1969 ...

Local Biotech Executive Lied about Test, Says SEC

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) charged today (June 2) that Elizabeth A. Dragon, former senior vice president of research and development at biotech Sequenom, lied during at least three public presentations to analysts and investors. She claimed that Sequenom's ...

Hewitt Leaves U.S. Attorney Office, Joins Jones Day

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U.S. Attorney Karen P. Hewitt said today (June 2) that she will resign from the Department of Justice to join the San Diego office of law firm Jones Day as a partner. Jones Day, whose managing partner is based in ...

Greenberg Leaves San Diego, Back on CNBC

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Herb Greenberg has returned to CNBC, the business/market TV news channel, and departed North County. He is now living in Connecticut. For some time, he wrote a column for the Wall Street Journal and appeared on CNBC while living in ...

City Trying to Block Deposition of Sanders

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The City of San Diego has filed a protective order directing that the deposition of Mayor Jerry Sanders either not be taken or the scope of the deposition be limited. The case in question was filed by Scott Kessler, a ...

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