14 Dannys Family Carwash Managers Indicted for Rehiring Illegal Aliens & Identify Fraud

Arizona Republic:  “Top managers of Danny’s Family Car Wash knowingly rehired undocumented workers and helped some of them create new fictional identities, according to a federal indictment unsealed Monday in a major Valley work-site immigration-enforcement case.  A 78-count indictment, handed up after an Immigration and Customs Enforcement operation targeted 13 Danny’s car-wash locations over the weekend, alleges that location managers fired about 900 workers identified in a 2011 government audit as undocumented and then systematically rehired many of them under different names and shuffled them among sites to avoid detection.  A total of 14 managers and supervisors were named in the indictment on charges that included document fraud and identity theft.”

Read also “Danny’s Family Car Wash still open for business” and Arizona Republic editorial opinion “Danny’s Car Wash charges a clean case for reform.”

Goldwater Institute Sues Phoenix over Pensions

Phoenix Business Journal:  “Goldwater Institute attorneys have filed a lawsuit in Maricopa County Superior Court asking a judge to force Phoenix to stop the practice of pension spiking. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of three city taxpayers.  Some county executives as well as police officers and fire fighters have been able to inflate their pension payments by cashing in unused sick leave, vacation time and in some instances deferring overtime pay so they have an inflated final salary which is part of city pension formulas.

DOJ & Arizona Sue to Block Merger of US Airways & American Airlines

Courthouse News:  “The $11 billion planned merger of US Airways and American Airlines would likely mean higher ticket prices, fewer seats and more fees for passengers, the Justice Department and six states claim Tuesday in a federal antitrust action.  In the lawsuit filed in Washington, D.C., the Justice Department and the attorneys general of six states and the District of Columbia sued US Airways Group and American’s parent company, AMR Corp., to block the proposed merger.”

Scottsdale Sued Over Money Paid to Golf Course

Arizona Republic:  “Scottsdale is fighting a lawsuit filed by two residents who claim the city’s contribution toward improvements at the McDowell Mountain Golf Club constitutes an illegal subsidy. . . . John Washington, a former Scottsdale mayoral candidate, and Mark Stuart, a business owner, sued Scottsdale after the City Council signed off on a deal to contribute $1.5 million toward renovations at the north Scottsdale clubhouse.

Man Gets 5 Years in Prison for Arizona Mortgage Rescue Scam

Arizona Republic:  “Frank Becerra Campos, 66, of San Diego, and two other men ran advance-fee mortgage-rescue companies that collected at least $669,743 in up-front fees from more than 260 homeowners ‘in exchange for loan modification services they utterly failed to provide,’ according to court documents. . . . Under two business names, the men charged up-front fees ranging from $2,500 to $4,500 and promised homeowners their mortgage principal balance and monthly payments would be reduced by about 25 percent, a news release by federal prosecutors said. Court documents said, ‘Not a single homeowner received a reduction in the principal balance on their mortgage loan’.”

Radical Bunny Managers Lose 9th Circuit Appeal & Must Pay $3.7 Million Fraud Verdict

Azcentral.com:  “A federal appeals court has rebuffed a bid by the four managers of a bankrupt Arizona company to escape paying a $3.7 million verdict for securities fraud. . . . The judges also called it ‘undisputed’ that all four knew they were committing fraud by lying to investors about the nature of what they were getting. . . . The Arizona Corporation Commission earlier this year ordered Tom Hirsch, Harish Shah, and Howard and Berta ‘Bunny’ Walder, along with an affiliated entity, to pay $189.8 million in restitution and more than $4.6 million in administrative penalties for defrauding investors.”

The lawsuit arises from $190 million in investments made by an Arizona company called Radical Bunny, LLC, into a failed company called Mortgages, Ltd.

Bottom Line:  If you offer to sell or sell a security, you must comply with federal and state securities laws or a court will find you liable to repay the losses suffered by the investors.  See an experienced securities lawyer before you offer or sell a security such as stock or membership interests in a limited liability company when people are investing substantial amounts of money.

Tempe Man Sues LA Fitness Claiming Billing Fraud

Arizona Republic:  “A Tempe man is suing LA Fitness for fraud, contending that staff members used his electronic signature to charge him for more than $1,200 in services he did not want or need.  Benjamin Calleros, 22, said LA Fitness drained his bank account of money set aside for tuition when staff members fraudulently signed him up for personal-training services.  The lawsuit mirrors hundreds of concerns posted on consumer-protection websites alleging that LA Fitness bills for unrequested services, continues auto-deducting monthly fees after contracts are canceled and refuses to reimburse once fees are collected.”

Supreme Court May Uphold Key Provision of Arizona’s Illegal Immigrant Law

Legal Insurrection:  The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments today about Arizona’s controversial illegal immigratio law, SB 1070.  Based on the initial reports, it appears that the Court may uphold at least one key provision of the law, which allows state law enforcement to inquire about a person’s immigration status.  Even some of the Court’s liberal Justices seemed skeptical about prohibiting state law enforcement from checking the immigration status of a person within the state’s borders.  What remains unclear is how the Court will view the provisions of the law that make it a state crime to violate federal immigration law. 

Supreme Court To Hear Arizona Immigration Case

findlaw.com:  On Wednesday, April 25, the Supreme Court will hear from both sides of the argument as to whether states can adopt their own policies on handling illegal immigration.  Arizona’s lawmakers appear to be staunchly supportive of such sovereignty:

“If the federal government had been doing and would continue to do its job in securing the border here in southern Arizona, this would not be an issue. Unfortunately, they failed to do that so Arizona stepped up and said, ‘We want to be partners. Here’s a role we think we can play,'” said Sheriff Larry Dever of Cochise County, which shares an 83.5-mile border with Mexico in the state’s southeastern corner.

Five states have adopted policies similar to Arizona’s.  For the entire article on this hotly debated issue, click here.

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