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Dec 8, 2014

U.S. sues Deutsche Bank for alleged tax fraud, seeks $190 mln

NEW YORK, Dec 8 (Reuters) – The U.S. government on Monday
sued Deutsche Bank AG, seeking to recoup more than
$190 million from the German bank over alleged tax fraud more
than 14 years ago.

According to a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in
Manhattan, Deutsche Bank used “insolvent” shell companies to
conduct a series of fraudulent conveyances designed to hide
taxable gains from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

Dec 8, 2014

Madoff trustee loses appeal on clawbacks

NEW YORK, Dec 8 (Reuters) – Victims of Bernard Madoff’s
fraud may recover less money than they had hoped after a federal
appeals court limited the ability of the trustee liquidating the
swindler’s firm to recoup “fictitious profits” and other
transfers from other customers.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York on Monday
said federal bankruptcy law did not let the trustee Irving
Picard recoup a variety of securities-related payments that
Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC made to customers
before it collapsed on Dec. 11, 2008.

Dec 5, 2014

U.S. judge tosses whistleblower lawsuit in latest split over protection

Dec 5 (Reuters) – A federal judge has thrown out a
whistleblower lawsuit by a former official of a unit of
advertising company WPP Plc who claimed he was fired in
retaliation for reporting accounting irregularities to his
superiors.

U.S. District Judge Gregory Woods in Manhattan said Daniel
Berman, who was a finance director at WPP’s Neo@Ogilvy LLC unit,
did not qualify for whistleblower protections under the 2010
Dodd-Frank financial reforms because he did not report his
concerns to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission before
the retaliation.

Dec 5, 2014

Arms dealer Bout seeks new trial, hires Ashcroft law firm

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Convicted Russian arms trafficker
Viktor Bout believes he has evidence to justify a new U.S.
trial and has hired the law firm of former U.S. Attorney General
John Ashcroft to help him pursue his case.

Bout, 47, is serving a 25-year prison sentence following his
November 2, 2011 jury conviction for having conspired to kill
U.S. soldiers by way of his agreement to sell weapons to a
Colombian rebel group.

Dec 5, 2014

Judge will not void Beastie Boys verdict over Monster energy video

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A federal judge on Thursday refused to throw out Beastie Boys’ $1.7 million jury verdict against Monster Beverage Corp over the energy drink company’s use of the hip-hop group’s music in a promotional video without permission.

In a 69-page decision, U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer in Manhattan said there was “ample basis” to believe the video could confuse people into believing incorrectly that Beastie Boys, a 2012 inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, had endorsed Monster energy drinks.

Dec 4, 2014

Judge won’t void Beastie Boys verdict over Monster Energy video

NEW YORK, Dec 4 (Reuters) – A federal judge on Thursday
refused to throw out Beastie Boys’ $1.7 million jury verdict
against Monster Beverage Corp over the energy drink
company’s use of the hip-hop group’s music in a promotional
video without permission.

In a 69-page decision, U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer
in Manhattan said there was “ample basis” to believe the video
could confuse people into believing incorrectly that Beastie
Boys, a 2012 inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, had
endorsed Monster energy drinks.

Dec 4, 2014

Perelman’s fraud lawsuit vs NY gallery owner is thrown out

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The billionaire Ronald Perelman’s lawsuit accusing New York City art gallery owner Larry Gagosian of defrauding him into overpaying for a Cy Twombly painting has been thrown out by a unanimous state appeals court.

Despite being a “sophisticated” plaintiff, Perelman “conducted no due diligence” to determine what Twombly’s “Leaving Paphos Ringed With Waves” was worth before agreeing to buy it for $10.5 million, the Manhattan court said on Thursday.

Dec 3, 2014

Herbalife wins court approval for class-action settlement

By Jonathan Stempel

(Reuters) – Herbalife Ltd won preliminary court approval of its $15 million settlement of class-action litigation accusing the maker of weight loss and nutritional products of being a “pyramid scheme” that misleads distributors about how much money they can make.

In a decision dated Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Beverly Reid O’Connell in Los Angeles called the accord “fair, reasonable, and adequate,” a standard often used to assess class-action settlements.

Dec 3, 2014

Pilots sue Buffett’s NetJets over labor, privacy

Dec 3 (Reuters) – A group representing more than 2,700
pilots in contentious contract talks with NetJets Inc has sued
the luxury aviation unit of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway
Inc over alleged violations of federal labor and
privacy laws.

The NetJets Association of Shared Aircraft Pilots accused
NetJets of impersonating a pilot on Twitter, baiting pilots to
conduct work slowdowns, even as the company threatened to fire
pilots who did. It also accused NetJets of publishing photos of
pilots engaged in lawful picketing.

Dec 3, 2014

U.S. appeals court voids Florida welfare drug testing law

By Jonathan Stempel

(Reuters) – A federal appeals court on Wednesday said a Florida law requiring applicants for welfare benefits to undergo mandatory drug testing is unconstitutional, a decision that could affect efforts to enforce similar laws in other states.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Florida did not show a “substantial special need” to test all applicants to its Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program without any suspicion of drug use. The federally subsidized program was intended to help people pay for food, shelter and other necessities.

    • About Jonathan

      "I cover legal and regulatory matters, and am based in New York. I have covered banking, finance, Warren Buffett and corporate bonds."
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