The Curious Case of Aurelius Capital vs. Puerto Rico
- The plaintiffs were a group of hedge funds that had purchased Puerto Rican bonds around 2015 and were concerned that the bankruptcy would prevent them from recouping the bonds’ full value.
- According to the complaint, the Puerto Rican Constitution mandated the repayment of certain types of bond debt, but the island’s latest budget was instead pouring money into services that were “nonessential,” leaving the bondholders high and dry.
- If Aurelius wins, it will be one step closer to compelling Puerto Rico — a territory poorer than any state in the union — to pay the full $379.5 million that the firm most likely acquired at a steep discount.
- According to Matt Fabian, a partner at the bond-research house Municipal Market Analytics, a standard estimate would say that funds like Aurelius acquired G.O.s at an average cost of 50 cents on the dollar, or about $180.3 million in total.
Why Canada shouldn't agree to swap Meng Wanzhou for the two Canadian prisoners in China
- Former deputy prime minister John Manley reportedly favours a “prisoner exchange” between Canada and China in order to resolve the ongoing dispute over the detention of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who is currently free on bail in Vancouver while the B.C. Supreme Court reviews a U.S. demand for her extradition to the United States on bank fraud charges.
- According to Manley, Canada should “swap” Meng for the release of Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, two Canadians held in prison in China on national security charges.
- Such a proposed “prisoner swap” would set a precedent Canada would end up regretting, sending an unmistakable signal that Canadians are fair game for hostage-taking whenever a citizen or the interests of a foreign power like China face court proceedings here.
Westpac appeals ASIC ‘general advice’ verdict to High Court
- The decision handed the corporate regulator a rare major victory that it hoped would clarify the dividing line between personal and general financial advice, and close a loophole long exploited by banks selling in-house superannuation and insurance products.
- In October, a full bench of the Federal Court led by Chief Justice James Allsop upheld an appeal by ASIC of a 2018 decision which cleared Westpac of allegations that bank had breached the law during a telephone sales campaign which resulted in $640 million in customer superannuation balances being rolled over to Westpac-owned, BT-branded products.
- In the weeks before his departure from Westpac following the explosive allegations of 23 million anti-money laundering law breaches, former chief executive Brian Hartzer reportedly warned that the verdict in its general advice dispute with ASIC would hurt consumers by blocking them from a cost-effective alternative to personal advice.
Federal judge blocks use of billions of dollars in Pentagon funds to build border wall
- Washington (CNN) - A federal judge in Texas blocked the Trump administration from using billions of dollars in Pentagon funds for the construction of the border wall.
- Judge David Briones of the US District Court for the Western District of Texas said Tuesday that the administration cannot use military construction funds to build additional barriers on the southern border.
- In September, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper authorized diverting of $3.6 billion in military construction funds for 11 wall projects on the southern border with Mexico.
- The lawsuit, brought by El Paso County, Texas, and Border Network for Human Rights, argued that President Donald Trump overstepped his authority when he issued a national emergency declaration to gain access to additional funds for his border wall, despite receiving $1.375 billion from Congress.
Insurers plead with Supreme Court for $12 billion in government reimbursements for Obamacare
- In the early days of the Affordable Care Act, insurers agreed to offer lower premiums to encourage participation in health care exchanges because the law guaranteed partial reimbursement for their losses.
- Breyer and Chief Justice John Roberts, among others, pointed to a risk mitigation program, written into the law, for insurers who might incur losses from 2014-2016.
- The case does not concern the overall legality of the Affordable Care Act, but instead involves the initial three-year implementation period where insurers claim they suffered massive losses because of the lower premiums.
- Under the reimbursement program, which was designed to last only three years, insurers whose premiums exceeded claims paid into the fund, while their competitors who didn't charge enough high enough rates were supposed to be able to draw from it.
Failed plot to steal domain name at gunpoint brings 14-year prison term
- Rossi Lorathio Adams II, a former Iowa State University student who ran a social-media platform featuring "images and videos of young adults engaged in crude behavior, drunkenness, and nudity," repeatedly tried to buy the "doitforstate.com" domain name from a resident of Cedar Rapids.
- The DOJ described Adams as a "social media influencer." Adams told law enforcement that "he used to own the doitforstate.com domain name" before the victim did, according to the trial brief.
- In June 2017, Adams drove Hopkins to the domain-name owner's house "and provided Hopkins with a demand note, which contained instructions for transferring the domain to Adams' GoDaddy account," the DOJ said.
- Even as the victim was trying to finish the domain-name transfer on the GoDaddy website, Hopkins "cocked the firearm and stated, 'If this isn’t right I'm going to blow your fucking head off!'" the trial brief said.
Bill Cosby's appeal of his sexual assault conviction is denied
- The comedian's legal team filed an extensive appeal of Cosby's conviction in June.
- The appeal argued the trial court ruled incorrectly in eight decisions, including by allowing five "prior bad acts" witnesses to testify and by reading the jury excerpts from Cosby's civil deposition in which he says he got Quaaludes to give to women.
- On Tuesday, the Superior Court of Pennsylvania reviewed each of the eight decisions and rejected Cosby's appeal in each instance.
- At the time, Constand was an employee for the women's basketball team at Temple University, where Cosby was a powerful trustee and mentor.
- Although the assault charges dealt only with Constand, Montgomery County Judge Steven O'Neill allowed five other women to testify that Cosby had incapacitated and assaulted them in other incidents.
- Two weeks ago, Cosby gave his first incarcerated interview to the National Newspaper Publishers Association's BlackPressUSA.com in which he said he doesn't expect to have remorse.
Influencer Sentenced to 14 Years in Prison After Plotting to Hijack Domain
- A man who enlisted his cousin to break into a Cedar Rapids man’s home and order him at gunpoint to transfer an Internet domain was sentenced today to 14 years in federal prison.
- Initiated by the Attorney General in the fall of 2019, Project Guardian draws upon the Department’s past successful programs to reduce gun violence; enhances coordination of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities in investigating and prosecuting gun crimes; improves information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons; and ensures that federal resources are directed at the criminals posing the greatest threat to our communities.
ICE detained a high school sophomore. His teachers tried to send him homework so he wouldn't fall behind
- Students later learned that Mario Aguilar, an 18-year-old who enrolled in the school last year, was arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers at a nearby courthouse where he'd gone to face charges after a traffic accident.
- Now Mario's supporters at the school are getting ready for another rally as they await an immigration judge's ruling in his asylum case this week -- undeterred by the fact that so far, their efforts haven't swayed authorities.
- When the school's assistant principal asked teachers to gather homework to send him, Perez Estrada pulled out books from her personal collection that she hoped would help his mind escape, even if he was trapped inside a detention center's walls.
- As Mario spoke before the court, detailing how he'd fled persecution from gangs in Guatemala, Perez Estrada hoped the judge would see what she did in her student -- someone who deserves a chance.
A social media influencer will serve 14 years in prison after his plot to take over a website at gunpoint backfired
- Rossi Lorathio Adams II, 27, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, received the sentence Monday after he was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to interfere with commerce by force, threats and violence, according to a statement from the US Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Iowa.
- Followers of State Snaps used the slogan "Do It For State," and Adams wanted to purchase the internet domain doitforstate.com to expand his company, the statement said.
- Adams tried to convince a Cedar Rapids resident who had registered the domain with GoDaddy.com to sell it to him multiple times between 2015 and 2017, the statement said.
- During the struggle, the man was shot in the leg before he shot Hopkins multiple times in the chest and then called police, according to the statement.