Financial
Two Bitcoin operators charged in N.Y. 'Silk Road' bust PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by LARRY NEUMEISTER, Associated Press   
Monday, 27 January 2014 15:02

NEW YORK (AP) — The top executive of a Manhattan-based Bitcoin company and a Florida Bitcoin exchanger have been charged with conspiring to commit money laundering by selling more than $1 million in Bitcoins to users of the black market website Silk Road, which let users buy illegal drugs anonymously, authorities said Monday.

Charlie Shrem, 24, the chief executive officer of BitInstant and vice chairman of a foundation that promotes the Bitcoin currency system, was arrested Sunday at New York's Kennedy Airport while Robert Faiella was arrested Monday at his Cape Coral, Fla., residence, prosecutors said in a news release. Federal prosecutors in Manhattan said Shrem personally bought drugs on Silk Road and was fully aware that it was a drug-trafficking website.

Shrem's defense attorney did not immediately return a message seeking comment ahead of a court appearance scheduled for Monday. It wasn't immediately clear who would represent Faiella in court.

Authorities have said Silk Road's San Francisco operator generated more than $1 billion in illicit business from January 2011 through September on the website, which used the tough-to-track digital currency called Bitcoin before it was shut down.

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U.S. sales of new homes drop in December but up for year PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MARTIN CRUTSINGER, AP Economics Writer   
Monday, 27 January 2014 11:12

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. sales of new homes slipped in December for a second consecutive month but even with the pause at the end of the year, sales for all of 2013 climbed to the highest level in five years.

The Commerce Department says sales of new homes dropped 7 percent in December to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 414,000. In November, sales had fallen 3.9 percent.

For the whole year, sales were up 16.4 percent to 428,000, the highest level since 2008.

It marked the second year that sales have risen after six consecutive annual declines as the housing industry was rocked by the collapse of a housing bubble. Sales of new homes peaked at 1.28 million in 2005. Analysts expect further sales gains in 2014.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
Meijer to build dairy production plant in Ohio PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 27 January 2014 14:45

TIPP CITY, Ohio (AP) — Midwest regional grocery chain Meijer plans to add a dairy production plant to its Ohio presence.

The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company says it will put its first Ohio dairy production facility in Tipp City, north of Dayton. Meijer already has a distribution center there.

State, regional and local officials are celebrating the plans for a plant expected to employ 103 people and mark a $100 million investment in the western Ohio community.

Meijer says it has 42 stores in Ohio.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
Gold prospectors take advantage of California drought PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Associated Press   
Monday, 27 January 2014 10:24

AUBURN, Calif. (AP) — As California's drought persists and water levels dip to historically low levels, gold prospectors are taking to Northern California rivers hoping to spot something shiny.

The Sacramento Bee reports (http://bit.ly/1d4HnOt ) that calling it a gold rush might be a stretch, but unusually low rivers are opening up areas of Placer County that haven't been touched by man in decades, if not over a century.

James Hutchings, Sacramento chapter president of the Gold Prospectors Association of America, tells the newspaper that flakes — possibly even nuggets — that normally would be submerged might be available.

Over the weekend, truck driver Michael Albin came away with a gold chip in his pan about one-fourth the size of a pea.

He says that's enough to keep him coming back for more.

___

Information from: The Sacramento Bee, http://www.sacbee.com


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
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