Brazilian who led U.S. to $17 million under mattress pleads guilty

BOSTON (Reuters) – A Brazilian whose arrest led U.S. authorities to discover $17 million hidden under a mattress pleaded guilty on Thursday to charges that he tried to launder funds tied to one of the largest pyramid schemes ever.

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Security Flaws in Children’s Smart Watches

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New York police round up wandering cow in Brooklyn park

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York City police wrangled a cow on the loose in a Brooklyn park on Tuesday after the animal became a spectacle for tourists and New Yorkers alike when it was spotted roaming the streets and enjoying the park facilities.

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October 16, 2017: Omak, Washington Nurse Sentenced to Federal Prison for Adulterating and Misbranding Pain Medications

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Food and Drug Administration 
Office of Criminal Investigations

 

Spokane – Joseph H. Harrington, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington, announced that Cory J. Riehart, age 32, of Omak, Washington, was sentenced in the United States District Court after pleading guilty in July 2017 to Adulterating a Drug and to Misbranding a Drug with the Intent to Defraud or Mislead. United States District Judge Stanley A. Bastion sentenced Riehart to a 27-month term of imprisonment and a one-year term of court supervision following release from Federal prison. The Judge also ordered Riehart to pay $1,230 in restitution. Riehart has been in custody since July 21, 2017.  

According to information disclosed during court proceedings, while working as a registered nurse at a local hospital, Riehart adulterated and misbranded three vials and seventy-nine carpujects of pain medication that were intended for patients. A carpuject is a syringe device for the administration of injectable fluid medications. Riehart removed morphine and hydromorphone directly from the carpujects and vials, refilled the carpujects and vials with saline solution, and then returned the refilled, misbranded and adulterated medications to the hospital’s locked narcotics drawers outside the nurse’s station and emergency room. Hospital staff discovered the adulterated and misbranded medications during routine narcotics counts, removed the drugs to the Pharmacy and notified the Republic, Washington Police Department. Subsequent chemical analysis by the DEA confirmed that the pain medications had been adulterated and misbranded because they contained less than one-tenth of one percent of the volume of controlled substance specified on the drug manufacturer label for each medication.

 

Acting United States Attorney Harrington said, “Adulterating pain medications intended for patients seeking treatment in a hospital is not only a breach of the public’s trust in the medical profession, but is a callous disregard of basic human compassion for people suffering pain. The United States Attorney’s Office in this District has and will prosecute aggressively any such criminal conduct.”

 

“Putting patients and their treatment at risk is never acceptable,” said Lisa Malinowski, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Criminal Investigations, Los Angeles Field Office. “The FDA will continue to pursue all individuals, including health care workers, who adulterate and misbrand drugs.”

 

This investigation was conducted by the U.S. Food and drug Administration, Office of Criminal Investigations; DEA and the Republic, Washington Police Department. The case was prosecuted by George J.C. Jacobs, III, an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.

 

CR-16-00169-SAB

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Investor Alert: Be Vigilant for Possible Investment Scams Related to the California Wildfires

The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy is issuing this Investor Alert to alert investors, including individuals who may receive lump sum payouts from insurance companies and others as a result of damage from the California wildfires, to investment scams that may take advantage of the disaster.

Natural disasters such as wildfires, floods and hurricanes often give rise to investment scams. These scams can take many forms, including promoters touting companies purportedly involved in cleanup and recovery efforts that falsely guarantee high returns, and Ponzi schemes where new investors’ money is used to pay money promised to earlier investors.

Some scams are circulated through email and social media, promising high returns for small, thinly-traded companies that supposedly will reap huge profits from cleanup and recovery efforts. For example, the SEC brought several enforcement actions against individuals and companies who made false and misleading statements about alleged business opportunities in light of the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Some of those cases involved pump-and-dump scams where fraudsters used fake “news” to pump up the stock price of small companies so they could sell shares they owned at artificially high prices. We also heard about fraudsters targeting individuals receiving compensation from insurance companies. 

Individuals, including those receiving lump sum insurance payouts, should be extremely wary of potential investment scams related to the California wildfires.

Be Skeptical and Ask Questions

Be skeptical if you are approached by someone touting an investment opportunity. The first thing to do is to ask the person whether he or she is licensed with the SEC or with a state. Make sure the person is licensed and registered by doing a check through Investor.gov (just click the “Search the Database” button and then type in the person’s name). 

Ask questions about the investment – and check out the answers with an unbiased source, such as your state securities regulatoror the SEC. Please read our short publication called Ask Questions before making any investment decisions.

Finally, know that promises of fast and high profits, with little or no risk, are classic signs of fraud. 

Protect Yourself

Take a close look at your entire financial situation before making any investment decision, especially if you are a recipient of a lump sum payment. Remember, your payment may have to help finance your recovery as well as last you and your family for a long time.

Below is a list of some resources that may help. If you are thinking about investing and have any questions, do not hesitate to call the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy at 800-732-0330, ask a question using this online form, or email us at Help@SEC.gov.

The Office of Investor Education and Advocacy has provided this information as a service to investors. It is neither a legal interpretation nor a statement of SEC policy. If you have questions concerning the meaning or application of a particular law or rule, please consult with an attorney who specializes in securities law.

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