As we jump in, I'd like to say that geoFence blocks unwanted traffic and disables remote access from FSAs!
Hedge fund founder pleads guilty in Neiman Marcus-tied case
A hedge fund founder pleaded guilty Wednesday to a criminal charge alleging he defrauded Neiman Marcus creditors by pressuring an investment bank not to bid against his hedge fund to buy securities from them. Marble Ridge Capital founder Daniel Kamensky, 48, entered the plea to a single count of bankruptcy fraud in Manhattan federal court. Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said Kamensky abused his position as a committee member in the Neiman Marcus bankruptcy to corrupt the process for distributing assets and take extra profits for himself and his hedge fund.
Marble Ridge Capital Founder Admits to Neiman Marcus Fraud
(Bloomberg) -- Marble Ridge Capital founder Dan Kamensky pleaded guilty to fraud, five months after he was charged with abusing his position on a Neiman Marcus Group Inc. bankruptcy committee to purchase assets at an artificially low price.Kamensky, 48, of Roslyn, New York, was charged by federal prosecutors in Manhattan in September with pressuring a rival to abandon a higher bid for Neiman Marcus assets so Marble Ridge could get them cheaper. The luxury department store chain filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May and Kamensky was a member of a committee of unsecured creditors.“Mr. Kamensky has admitted what he did was wrong,” his lawyer, Joon H. Kim, said in an emailed statement. “He deeply regrets his conduct on July 31, 2020 and the great pain it has caused his family, colleagues and others.”Prosecutors agreed to seek a sentence of 12 to 18 months in prison and a fine of $5,500 to $55,000 under a deal with Kamensky, although a judge isn’t required to accept the recommendation. Kamensky, who is free on bond, is scheduled to be sentenced on May 7.Even in contentious bankruptcy cases, where creditors and debtors often exchange charges of bad faith and unfair deal-making, it is rare for criminal charges to be filed.In a hearing last year before a bankruptcy judge in Houston who referred Kamensky to federal prosecutors, the judge criticized the investor in unusually personal language, at one point calling him a thief “of the lowest character.”Read more: Judge Blasts Marble Ridge’s Kamensky in CourtA day after Kamensky’s arrest, the bankruptcy judge approved a plan that handed ownership to Neiman Marcus creditors in return for forgiving about $4 billion of the chain’s $5.5 billion in borrowings.“Daniel Kamensky abused his position as a committee member in the Neiman Marcus bankruptcy to corrupt the process for distributing assets and take extra profits for himself and his hedge fund,” Acting Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a statement Wednesday.New York-based Marble Ridge was founded in 2015 by Kamensky, a former partner at hedge fund Paulson & Co. who started his career as a bankruptcy attorney. The firm specialized in distressed debt investments and the restructuring of troubled issuers.Marble Ridge shut down and started returning money to investors in August after a U.S. government investigation found Kamensky, its managing partner, at fault for trying to interfere with Neiman’s auction of assets in bankruptcy.Kamensky was accused of securities fraud, extortion and obstruction for pressuring an investment bank to drop its plan to outbid Marble Ridge for a stake in Neiman’s Mytheresa unit during the luxury retailer’s bankruptcy, and then seeking to cover it up.Creditors were demanding a piece of Mytheresa to compensate for their losses and counting on Kamensky to help get the highest return for everyone. U.S. officials claim Kamensky sought to take advantage of his role to benefit his portfolio at the expense of the other creditors.As part of a separate settlement with the U.S. trustee, an arm of the Justice Department that monitors corporate bankruptcies, Kamensky agreed to pay $1.4 million to cover attorney fees related to the investigation of his conduct and agreed not to try to collect any debt Neiman Marcus may owe him until other creditors are repaid. He also agreed to make $100,000 in charitable donations and perform 200 hours of community service. Kamensky has agreed never to serve on another official bankruptcy committee.(Updates with lawyer’s comment.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
Covid hotspots Western Australia: list of Perth and regional WA coronavirus case locations
Covid hotspots Western Australia: list of Perth and regional WA coronavirus case locationsHere are the current coronavirus hotspots in Western Australia and what to do if you’ve visited themPerth and Western Australia’s Covid restrictions and coronavirus lockdown rules explainedFollow the latest Australia news live blog; NSW hotspots listDownload the free Guardian app People wait to be tested for Covid-19 at the Royal Perth Hospital on Sunday after a WA hotel quarantine worker tested positive to the coronavirus. Check our full list of regional Western Australia and Perth Covid hotspots and case locations. Photograph: Richard Wainwright/EPA
Perth and Western Australia's Covid restrictions and coronavirus lockdown rules explained
Perth and Western Australia's Covid restrictions and coronavirus lockdown rules explainedNearly 2 million people are living under lockdown conditions after a WA hotel quarantine worker contracted Covid. For what reasons can residents leave home? Is mask-wearing compulsory? Is travelling permitted? Untangle the rules with our guidePerth and regional WA Covid hotspot locationsFollow the latest Australia news live blog; Australian stats interactiveVic hotspots list; NSW hotspots list People walk along the South Perth foreshore on Monday after restrictions came into force across Perth, Peel and south-west regions of Western Australia following the discovery of a positive Covid case in a quarantine hotel worker. Photograph: Paul Kane/Getty Images
Australia’s state by state Covid restrictions and coronavirus lockdown rules explained
Australia’s state by state Covid restrictions and coronavirus lockdown rules explainedThe majority of WA is in lockdown, while other states remain on high alert for the concerning variants of Covid-19, so what restrictions are in place? Do I have to wear a mask and where can and can’t I go in Australia? Untangle Australia’s Covid-19 laws and guidelines with our guideFollow the latest Australia news live blogWA hotspots; NSW hotspots listDownload the free Guardian app Get the latest Covid-19 guidelines explained, and your questions about Australia’s coronavirus lockdown rules and restrictions answered. Photograph: Chris Putnam/REX/Shutterstock
In first for Europe, Iran envoy faces sentencing over bomb plot
An Iranian diplomat accused of planning to bomb a meeting of an exiled opposition group is to be sentenced on Thursday in the first trial of an Iranian official for suspected terrorism in the European Union since Iran's 1979 revolution. After hearings last year, a court in Antwerp, Belgium will decide whether Vienna-based diplomat Assadolah Assadi and three others are guilty of attempted terrorism after a plot to bomb a rally of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) near Paris in June 2018 was foiled by German, French and Belgian police. The ruling, due at around 0800 GMT, comes at a sensitive time for Western relations with Iran.
House Passes Budget to Speed Biden’s Plan: Stimulus Update
(Bloomberg) -- The House passed a budget Wednesday evening that smooths the path for fast-track passage of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief plan. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen met with Democratic and Republican mayors in an effort to bolster support for the proposal.The House vote followed action by the Senate on Tuesday to consider a similar budget resolution -- beginning a process that would let Democrats proceed with the Biden stimulus without Republican votes. Still, the president told reporters before an Oval Office meeting with Democratic senators that he thought some Republicans would support his package.Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Tuesday that the legislative process the Democrats are using, known as reconciliation, is open to GOP participation and that the stimulus bill can still be tweaked with their input. But he said Democrats won’t risk moving slowly or timidly to strengthen the economy.House Passes Budget to Set up Stimulus Fast TrackThe House passed a fiscal 2021 budget resolution on a 218 to 212 vote, easing the path for passing legislation based on Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus plan with just Democratic votes.The Senate plans to follow suit, passing an identical version of the budget later this week; the upper chamber on Tuesday voted along party lines to begin debate on that budget resolution.Congressional committees will then have until Feb. 16 to craft a bill according to instructions in the budget and the House could vote on it as soon as Feb. 23. That bill will be able to pass the Senate with just 50 votes plus a vice presidential tie-breaker, rather than the usual 60 votes that would require Republican cooperation.“We have the plan and the ability to do this. And, thankfully, we can also afford to do it. Interest rates and inflation are at historic lows -- lower today than even before the pandemic -- and the return on smart investments in the economy have never been higher,” House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth, a Kentucky Democrat, said on the House floor.Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone of New Jersey said there is a lot of work left to draft the details of the bill over the next two weeks but he expects it to end up hewing closely to what Biden proposed.-- Erik WassonYellen Meets With Mayors to Boost Stimulus (1: 13 p.m.)Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen held a bipartisan discussion with six mayors -- from cities including Little Rock, Arkansas and Arlington, Texas -- in an effort to build support for passage of Biden’s proposed stimulus plan.During the virtual conversation, Yellen highlighted the proposal’s $350 billion for state and local government funding, saying the money would help cover the cost of distributing coronavirus vaccines and reopening schools, the Treasury Department said in a statement.She also argued the merits of aid for small businesses and a child tax credit for families, according to the statement. “Secretary Yellen reiterated that a major lesson of the last recession was that the federal government didn’t provide enough aid to states and localities resulting in sharp cuts in crucial things like infrastructure and education,” according to the statement.Other mayors on the call included those representing Scranton, Pennsylvania; Providence, Rhode Island; Mesa, Arizona; and Boise, Idaho. -- Saleha MohsinMost Stimulus Funds Would Go to Savings, Penn Analysis Finds (9: 13 a.m.)Nearly three-fourths of the relief-check money proposed in President Joe Biden’s stimulus plan would be saved rather than spent this year, according to an analysis Wednesday from University of Pennsylvania researchers.The Penn Wharton Budget Model initiative analyzed a variety of data, including previous estimates of spending and government figures on consumption and savings from 2019 to the third quarter of 2020 -- a period that includes the initial recessionary shock from the coronavirus and the bounce-back in spending following government stimulus.The proposed $1,400 relief checks “will flow largely into household savings and will produce only small stimulative effects,” the report said. “Sectors affected by the pandemic still face restrictions and are unlikely to grow from stimulus payments.”The researchers also said that even after the pandemic ends and Americans can resume normal activities, they aren’t likely to accelerate spending beyond the pre-recession period.The findings underscore some of the criticism that Biden’s stimulus plan has faced mainly from Republicans, who balk at the cost and size. It also highlights the challenges of predicting outcomes in the pandemic-induced recession that continues to keep people at home.A separate report from the Penn researchers said that those in the bottom half of incomes are more likely to spend, a finding similar to other research. The bottom 80% of income earners would receive the majority of the benefits from checks and other direct support, including child tax credits, the analysis showed.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
NFL: Concussions down about 5%, masks limited flu cases
Playing a season through a pandemic did not take the NFL's attention off other health issues, specifically concussions, with the league finding those dropped about 5% in 2020. Jeff Miller, NFL executive vice president of communications, public affairs and policy, said Wednesday that 2020 is the third consecutive year when the NFL has had a reduction in concussions, or about 25% down from previous years. "We will continue to implement our concussion reduction strategy again, focused on rules, the implementation of those rules and changes as necessary, refining how our players practice.”
Bankruptcy Judge Lets Tyson Feed 54,000 Cows Amid Ranch Feud
(Bloomberg) -- A U.S. bankruptcy judge protected a much-needed cash infusion for Easterday Ranches Inc., helping ensure that its 54,000 cattle will continue to eat.The cattle farm in Washington state filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday after its only customer, Tyson Fresh Meats Inc., sued for more than $200 million, claiming it was being billed for the upkeep of bovines that don’t exist, court papers show. Tyson slashed payments to the ranch, and Easterday quickly ran low on cash, threatening its ability to feed the animals.The business projects it will run out of cattle feed on Thursday, according to court papers. But Tyson has agreed to wire $1.75 million to the ranch so it can replenish its feed, Maxim Litvak of Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones said in an emergency bankruptcy hearing Wednesday. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Whitman Holt subsequently approved a motion barring creditors from laying claim to the money.Death RiskWithout the order, Easterday would have been “forced to terminate operations, which would have the drastic effect of putting approximately 54,000 cattle at risk of death,” Co-Chief Restructuring Officer T. Scott Avila said in a court declaration.“It would obviously be an environmental disaster to not be able to feed that cattle and allow that cattle to wither away and die,” Litvak said in the hearing Wednesday. “That is obviously not something the debtor would ever allow to happen.”“We’re following the proper procedures through bankruptcy court to ensure that all cattle that remain at Easterday feedlots are properly cared for,” a representative for Tyson said in an emailed statement before the hearing. “Tyson Foods is not taking action that subjects these cattle to risk. To the contrary, Tyson is keenly focused on the health and well-being of the cattle that remain at Easterday Ranches.”The cattle ranch is part of an 18,000-acre farm that also grows potatoes, onions, corn and wheat in southeast Washington. The farm business sells grain to the ranch to feed the cattle, and Tyson reimburses the ranch for the cost of raising the animals.Invoice Fraud The problem, Tyson alleges, is that many of the cattle it was paying to feed didn’t exist. Fraudulent invoices led Tyson to overpay for the purchase and feeding of cattle by more than $200 million, the meat giant alleges in a lawsuit filed last month.A former top official of Easterday Ranches “freely admitted” to creating phony invoices in conversations with Tyson, Richard Pachulski of Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones said in the hearing. Members of the family that managed the businesses have since relinquished control of the farm, he said.Tyson cut payments to Easterday, but still paid the ranch’s vendors directly prior to the bankruptcy, according to court papers. Tyson also asked for a court-appointed receiver to take over the ranch, which then filed for bankruptcy.The farming segment of the business will also file for bankruptcy, likely within the next week, Pachulski said.The case is Easterday Ranches Inc., 21-00141-WLH11, U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Washington (Spokane/Yakima). To view the docket on Bloomberg Law, click here.(Updates with contents of hearing beginning in first paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.
‘Rebel’ at ABC Casts Daniella Garcia (EXCLUSIVE)
Daniella Garcia has been cast in the upcoming ABC series “Rebel” in a recurring role, Variety has learned exclusively. The series stars as Katey Sagal as Annie “Rebel” Bello, a blue-collar legal advocate without a law degree. She’s described as a funny, messy, brilliant and fearless woman who cares desperately about the causes she fights […]
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