080807 Gibson Guitar Factory (4) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Roomy Khan Takes The Stand - The woman who is believed to be the person who was the first to turn as a government informant in the insider trading cases that have been prosecuted in New York for the past 18 months took the stand today in the Doug Whitman (Whitman Capital) trial. Khan, who had a previous conviction for insider trading, pled guilty in 2009 and is awaiting sentencing. This marks the first time that the government has used her in a trial. She made no appearance at the Raj Rajaratnam trial though many thought she would testify. She told jurors today that she passed inside information on to Whitman, her neighbor for some time, on various companies including Marvell. She will be on the stand for the next few days.
Muni-Bond Trial Update - Mark Zaino took the stand in the second week of the trial of 3 Ex-UBS investors (Gary Heinz, Michael Welty, Peter Ghavami). On one transaction, Zaino testified that Heinz told him to "forget about" a transaction involving the Massachusetts Education Financing Authority. Zaino said he understood that to mean, "...we should come up with a lie with a credible reason for the payments." This, prosecutors say, was a direct reference to a kickback Zaino would receive for sending business to UBS.
Gibson Guitar Settles Criminal Charges - Gibson Guitar had illegally imported Madagascar Ebony wood, in violation of the Lacey Act. Last August, FBI agents stormed the Nashville, TN company in bullet proof vests with guns drawn to confiscate 100 guitars. The Lacey Act has been criticized by many, including me, for being too tough on small violations. The Act was meant to protect endangerd plants and animals but it has turned into arrests of people who had not realized they had even violated a law. Gibson will pay a fine and move on, sans the Madagascar Ebony wood.
Church Usher Operated Ponzi Scheme - A Georgia man, Joseph Klos, looks like he will be doing some time in federal prison after he pled guilty to charges that he operated a Ponzi-type scheme to defraud victims out of $3 million. Most of the victims were from his local gym and the church. He seemed like a trustworthy guy, especially since he was 86 YEARS OLD!!!!! Sentencing is in December. Suffice it to say that the sentence will most likely equal LIFE.
Former Illinois Governor Denied Appeal - No I'm not talking about Former Gov. Rod Blagojevich from Illinois .... I'm talking about the other Illinios governor who is nearing the end of his prison sentence on corruption charges, George Ryan. Ryan had asked the courts to have his sentence reduced. Next year Ryan is scheduled to complete his 6 1/2 year sentence anyway. He'll be 79 years old.