Florida man gets six years in N.Y. Facebook share case PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by LARRY NEUMEISTER, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 17 December 2013 07:29

NEW YORK (AP) — A 71-year-old Florida investment adviser and onetime Oregon gubernatorial candidate cried as he apologized Monday before being sentenced to six years in prison in a $13 million securities fraud scheme that prosecutors say capitalized on enthusiasm for shares of Facebook and other Internet companies about to go public.

Craig L. Berkman of Odessa, Fla., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin, who called his crime "surely despicable" and "particularly egregious" because it was a sophisticated financial fraud he created to try to pay off the losses of an earlier first fraud.

Still, the Republican party chairman for Oregon from 1989 to 1993 pledged through tears to dedicate the rest of his life after prison to teaming with former contacts in the business world to make enough money to make whole 120 investors who lost money in the scheme between October 2010 and March of this year.

Berkman had made millions of dollars by creating and selling high-tech companies before the dot-com bust and the 2008 financial collapse sent him on a desperate course to regain wealth.

"I panicked, compromising my integrity and principles," he said.

UK inflation rate falls slightly to 4-year low PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Tuesday, 17 December 2013 07:26

LONDON (AP) — Official figures show that inflation in Britain fell to a 4-year low in November, thanks in part to decreases in the prices of food, gas and electricity.

The Office of National Statistics reported Tuesday that inflation dropped to 2.1 percent in the year to November from 2.2 percent in October.

Samuel Tombs, U.K. economist at Capital Economics, cautioned that inflation may edge up next month as recent domestic energy price rises are included. Further out, Tombs said inflation may fall below the Bank of England's 2 percent target given that price pressures across much of the economy appear to be weakening.

Even though the rate is still above the Bank of England's target, policymakers will likely be reassured to keep interest rates low for a while yet.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

San Diego mortgage company chief gets prison time PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Tuesday, 17 December 2013 07:28

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The leader of a San Diego mortgage company has been sentenced to 41 months in prison and ordered to pay more than half-a-million dollars in restitution.

U.S. Attorney Laura E. Duffy announced in a statement Monday the sentencing of Brian Nels Peterson for creating millions of dollars in fraudulent mortgage applications between 2005 and 2007.

Peterson headed Terra Finance mortgage company, which generated between $80 and $100 million in residential mortgage loans at its height. Peterson earned over $1 million from his fraudulent business through broker's fees, kickbacks, and other sources in just 2006. He also failed to report that money to the Internal Revenue Service.

When his business crumbled, millions were lost, dozens of homes foreclosed, neighborhoods depressed, and 26 people who worked with the company indicted.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

GM to invest $1.3B in 5 factories, including Toledo PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by JEFF KAROUB, Associated Press TOM KRISHER, Associated Press   
Tuesday, 17 December 2013 07:16

DETROIT (AP) — Five General Motors factories in three states will soon share in a $1.3 billion investment so they can make higher-quality pickup trucks and new fuel-efficient engines and transmissions.

GM says the money will go to the Flint, Mich., assembly plant; an engine plant in Romulus, Mich., near Detroit; a transmission factory in Toledo, Ohio; and a casting plant in Bedford, Ind. Most of the work will be done during the next two years.

It's unclear how many jobs the investment will create. GM would say only that it will create or keep 1,000 positions.

Nearly half the money, $600 million, will go to the Flint factory for a new paint shop and other upgrades. The plant makes the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks.

GM also will spend $493 million at its Romulus engine plant so it can build a new V-6 engine and 10-speed automatic tranmissions that will make vehicles more efficient.

Around $121 million will go to set up a manufacturing logistics center at the Detroit-Hamtramck factory, and $31 million will go to the Toledo transmission plant so it can crank out more six-speed automatic transmissions.

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