Civil asset forfeiture is big government at its worst.
Tonya Smith and her husband, Dimitrios Patlias, went to a casino in Maryland a few years ago and struck luck. They took their winnings and headed for dinner at another casino in West Virginia, but they never made it. On their ride over, they were stopped by police and forced to exit their car. Smith, who was 34 weeks pregnant at the time, was placed in handcuffs along with her husband as cops searched their car with dogs. Officers then questioned them about a slew of illegal activities: drugs, guns, smuggling untaxed cigarettes, gift-card fraud.
Ultimately, nothing illegal was found in the vehicle and they were allowed to leave with just a warning citation for crossing into another lane—but not before cops robbed them of the gift cards, an iPhone, and the $10,478 cash in their possession.
The bodyguards filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against Depp for a variety of charges, including unpaid wages, missing overtime, wrongful termination and unlawful business practices, E! News stated. The men said they were exposed to unsafe working conditions and that they acted more like babysitters and chauffers than security to Depp and his family and friends.
The plaintiffs, Eugene Arreola and Miguel Sanchez, said that one of their main duties was to protect Depp from his own vices and that the job was more about caretaking than protecting the actor from the public.
The lawsuit said that Arreola and Sanchez were originally hired to protect Depp through Premier Group International, but they began work for the actor directly in 2016, the year that his financial problems began to escalate. They said that while working as his in-house security from May 2016 to January 2018 they were not given overtime pay or breaks during their 12-hour shifts.
Full Read – https://www.jdjournal.com/2018/05/02/ex-bodyguards-sue-johnny-depp-for-unpaid-wages/
Singer, songwriter, and producer R. Kelly was recently evicted from two properties in the Atlanta suburbs for failing to pay more than $30,000 in back rent and fees.
The two properties, situated in the tree-lined Johns Creek neighborhood of Duluth, GA, have had a shadow cast on them by the scandals surrounding Kelly. There’s a large mansion and a smaller home, both of which Kelly had been renting. The homes have taken center stage in sex abuse allegations against the entertainer, in addition to dual burglaries committed in December.
The larger home on Old Homestead Trail was used as a primary residence by Kelly, according to BuzzFeed, which published a bombshell report in October accusing the popular R&B crooner of running a “sex cult” involving brainwashing, with a stable of young women kept in guesthouses near his Johns Creek home.
Kelly denies these allegations.
The singer rented the large mansion for $11,542.45 per month. Built in 2000, the 9,000-square-foot estate is situated on 2.5 acres and has its own batting cage and a tennis court that Kelly turned into a basketball court. Indoors, the home boasts luxe amenities, including a home theater and cigar bar.
Full Article and pictures – https://www.realtor.com/news/celebrity-real-estate/r-kelly-evicted-two-atlanta-properties/
Celebs endorsing ICOs must now disclose if their social media posts are paid promotions.
When celebrities endorse things on social media, a lot of people tend to take their word for it. Now that some of them have also begun endorsing a controversial means of crowdfunding called “initial coin offering” or ICO, which was recently banned in China and South Korea, the US Securities and Exchange Commission has had to step in with a warning. Since ICOs are an unregulated means to raise money using cryptocurrencies, people could use them to sell products that don’t exist or to entice investors to sink their money into projects that will never materialize. That’s why SEC has decided to be on the lookout for celebrity ICO endorsements to protect potential investors.
The agency’s warning says:
“Any celebrity or other individual who promotes a virtual token or coin that is a security must disclose the nature, scope, and amount of compensation received in exchange for the promotion. A failure to disclose this information is a violation of the anti-touting provisions of the federal securities laws. Persons making these endorsements may also be liable for potential violations of the anti-fraud provisions of the federal securities laws, for participating in an unregistered offer and sale of securities, and for acting as unregistered brokers.”
SEC’s warning comes after The New York Times published a piece on celebrities like Floyd Mayweather and Paris Hilton endorsing various ICOs. The famous boxer help a Miami-based ICO called Centra Tech raise $30 million. According to the publication, Centra Tech’s founders created a chief executive that doesn’t exist. In addition, despite promising a Visa or a Mastercard debit card to its backers that will supposedly allow them to spend their Centra coins anywhere, the company reportedly doesn’t have any kind of deal or partnership with either credit card company.
Full Read – https://www.engadget.com/2017/11/02/sec-bitcoin-endorsements-warning/
For some tenants, the rent is still “too damn high” — but is that something the city’s Rent Guidelines Board can consider when it decides just how high rents can go for more than 1 million rent stabilized apartments?
That is what a Manhattan judge has been asked to determine by landlords who argued Tuesday that tenant affordability is not a factor that the board can weigh when it sets rent increases each year.
“Affordability is not the be all and end all of the rent stabilization law,” Jeffrey Turkel, the lawyer for the Rent Stabilization Association, a landlord group, told Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Debra James.
The RSA has asked the judge to rule that the board was “arbitrary and capricious” in 2015 and 2016 for even considering tenant affordability when it decided to freeze rents for stabilized tenants renewing their leases.
Full Article – http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/manhattan/landlords-don-rent-guidelines-based-tenant-paychecks-article-1.2960656