A Brooklyn, New York mortgage broker, who would scribble secret stock tips on napkins and pass them to an accomplice in Grand Central station before eating them, pleaded guilty to insider trading on Friday, federal prosecutors said.
Frank Tamayo, 41, was the middleman in what prosecutors called a three-man scheme that generated $5.6 million in illegal profits over five years, based on tips about a dozen transactions being negotiated by a prestigious New York law firm.
Tamayo, who had been cooperating with authorities, pleaded guilty to securities fraud, tender offer fraud, and conspiracy charges in the federal court in Trenton, New Jersey, according to U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman in New Jersey.
The defendant also agreed to forfeit more than $1 million, the contents of two brokerage accounts, and a 2008 Audi Q7. He faces up to 20 years in prison on the fraud counts.
Matthew Beck, a lawyer for Tamayo, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed related civil charges.
Authorities had in March accused Steven Metro, a managing clerk at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, of passing tips about the law firm's clients through Tamayo to Morgan Stanley stockbroker Vladimir Eydelman, who would then trade for himself, his family, customers and Tamayo.
Prosecutors said the scheme lacked sophisticated computerized techniques or cover-ups now often associated with insider trading.
Rather, they said Tamayo would typically meet Metro, a friend and former law school classmate, at Manhattan bars or coffee shops, and write the ticker symbols of stocks to be bought on napkins or Post-It notes.
Tamayo would then meet Eydelman near the main clock in Grand Central, show him a symbol and, once satisfied Eydelman had memorized it, "chew the paper or napkin to destroy it," prosecutors said.
The scheme allegedly began in February 2009 when Metro told Tamayo that Liberty ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
Sep 22 2014
LOS ANGELES, Sept. 20 (UPI) -- A new startup in Los Angeles is delivering marijuana-infused pizzas to medical marijuana patients. Stoned Oven Gourmet Pizzas makes personal pizzas, about six inches in diameter, that contain 250 mg of THC, according to the Los Angeles Times.
You must have a valid medical marijuana card to get the pizza, but if you do, you can get the marijuana pizza delivered right to your door. Aside from delivery, they're also baking pizzas for over 20 marijuana dispensaries around Los Angeles. The company claims it is the "strongest medicated pizza" that you can find in the world. The company that makes the pizzas also makes an assortment of other marijuana-infused baked goods.
Sep 17 2014
Teachers in Brazil who fined a transgender student for wearing a skirt have been forced to back down after her classmates - both male and female - did the same.
Maria Muniz, 17, who was born Mario Muniz, said she had never felt happy as a boy and decided to come out by wearing a skirt to school.
But her difficult decision failed to find support among teachers at the Pedro II School, in Rio de Janeiro, who fined her and ordered her to wear trousers in future.
But the teachers were forced to backtrack when the pupil's classmates - including the boys - supported her decision by turning up for classes in dresses.
They then posted the images on social media where they quickly ended up being widely shared.
Maria said: "I always turned up in trousers but I felt repressed and for me wearing a skirt was about expressing my freedom over who I am inside and not how society sees me.
"I am really happy about the way my classmates supported me and I hope it serves as an example to others to feel encouraged to do the right thing. I was always taught at school to accept who you are, I am only trying to live that."
After the protest, the Brazilian school principal said they were considering relaxing the school rules.
"The sexual orientation is not important for us, all our students are equal. However, the uniform determines male and female clothing, but we will study a new manual of coexistence", he said.
A Swiss goalkeeper has threatened legal action after fans of a rival lower league team urinated in his water bottle and then taunted him when, unawares, he took a sip during a match at the weekend.
FC Muri goalkeeper Reto Felder said he had felt sick after tasting the warm contents of the bottle, which he had left near the goalpost during the 1. Liga (third tier) game at FC Baden near Zurich.
"The idea of drinking piss is simply intolerable," the Aargauer Zeitung website (www.aargauerzeitung.ch) quoted the 34-year-old player as saying, adding that he was waiting for an analysis of video evidence before further action.
"What if next time it is something that knocks you out?," added Felder.
Swiss tabloid Blick reported that the unidentified fans had persuaded a ball boy behind the goal to pass them the bottle during the second half of the match.
The paper said the fans shouted "Now you have AIDS" after Felder realized what had happened.
Muri coach Beat Hubeli was shocked
"That's bottom drawer," he said. "I've played football and experienced a lot but that beats everything."
Baden president Thomi Bram apologized to the goalkeeper on the club website (www.fcbaden.ch) and said they were conducting an internal investigation.
Condemning the fans for damaging the club's reputation with their 'reprehensible' behavior, he said he had apologized in person to the goalkeeper, coach and Muri president and informed the Swiss soccer authorities.
Sep 17 2014
SALLANCHES , France, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- A French woman who used 66 pounds of coins to pay her $268 tax bill said she was angry about having to sell her car to raise the sum.
The woman, who gave her name as Audrey D., 28, visited the tax authority's office in Sallanches to make her final payment on a bill that originally totaled $1,434 and she handed over $268 in coins.
"To pay my taxes on time, I had to sell my car," said Audrey, who is unemployed but owed the taxes on her income from 2013.
Audrey said office workers initially seemed annoyed by her stunt, but they were able to see the humorous side of things while counting the coins -- a task that took more than two hours.
"I'm not against paying taxes. But I don't think we should have to pay so much," the woman said, adding: "I am French and I love to complain!"
SEOUL, South Korea – South Korean border guards arrested an American man who they believe was attempting to swim across a river into rival North Korea, a South Korean defense official said Wednesday.
The man was apprehended Tuesday night while lying on a bank of the Han River, which is in a restricted military area near the border, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity due to office policy. The man was in his late 20s or early 30s, Yonhap news agency said, and had told investigators that he tried to go to North Korea to meet leader Kim Jong Un.
Americans are occasionally arrested after entering North Korea illegally from China but a U.S. citizen trying to get in from South Korea is unusual.
In the 1960s, several U.S. soldiers walked into the North while on a patrol near the mine-strewn Demilitarized Zone, or DMZ. Those army deserters later appeared in North Korean propaganda films and taught English.
In 1996, American Evan C. Hunziker entered the North by swimming across the Yalu River that marks the Chinese border. Hunziker, who apparently made the swim on a drunken dare, was accused of spying and detained for three months.
Hunziker, 26 at the time, was eventually freed after negotiations involving a special U.S. envoy. The North Koreans wanted to slap Hunziker with a $100,000 criminal fine but eventually agreed on a $5,000 payment to settle a bill for a hotel where he was detained. He killed himself about one month after his release.
About 27,000 North Koreans have defected to South Korea to avoid poverty and political suppression since the end of the Korean War, but some South Koreans also have attempted defect to the impoverished, authoritarian neighbor to the north. Such cases are rare.
Last year, South Korean soldiers shot and killed a man with a ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
Sep 16 2014
A four-year-old girl terrified her family in Norway by sleepwalking three miles to a nearby town wearing just her underwear and a pair of boots.
Police found the girl unharmed in the town of Honningsvag on the northern island of Mageroeya after locals spotted her at 6.30am.
Her aunt - who was looking after the girl and her three young siblings while their mother went on holiday - thought her niece was asleep in bed when the police rang.
"I ran into the bedroom and was devastated when I saw that she wasn't lying in bed," she tells the Verdens Gang newspaper.
The girl apparently remembers dreaming that the house was on fire, putting on her boots and unlocking the front door, her aunt says.
"She must've been out for several hours," she said. "And in this weather, it's been really cold and miserable. The house was rumbling in the night, there's been such a strong wind."
Sep 16 2014
- A breast cancer physician charged with spiking her lover's coffee with a compound used in antifreeze was obsessed with the man and even had a private investigator follow him, prosecutors said in opening statements at her trial on Monday.
Dr. Ana Maria Gonzalez-Angulo, 43, is charged with aggravated assault of a family member, which also covers domestic violence in dating relationships, for allegedly spiking Dr. George Blumenschein's coffee in January 2013.
"This case is about a woman who had an attraction, which wound up with a rejection and it led to an absolute obsession with George Blumenschein," Assistant Harris County District Attorney Justin Keiter said.
Gonzalez-Angulo and Blumenschein, both oncologists with the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, had been in an affair for two years when she asked him to try a coffee blend during a rendezvous at her home, a criminal complaint said.
She is accused of spiking the coffee with ethylene glycol, which is commonly found in antifreeze and in science labs.
Blumenschein told investigators that four hours after he drank two sweet-tasting cups of coffee he began to experience slurred speech, and a loss of balance and some motor skills.
Blumenschein was admitted to the emergency room that night and found to have central nervous system damage, cardiopulmonary complications and renal failure. He survived after undergoing dialysis treatments.
A doctor called police after seeing a hazy quality in Blumenschein's urine bag and upon examination, finding crystals consistent with ethylene glycol poisoning, prosecutors said.
An attorney for Gonzalez-Angulo told jurors his client was innocent of the charges and it has not been proven that Blumenschein was poisoned by ethylene glycol.
The doctors and experts prosecutors plan to present "are doing little more than guesswork," said Andy Drumheller, who represents Gonzalez-Angulo.
"We don't guess people into felony convictions," he said.
Drumheller said his client tried but was ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)
Sep 16 2014
PISA, Italy, Sept. 15 (UPI) -- Police in Italy said a husband who reported a burglar in his home had actually discovered his wife's secret lover.
Investigators said the Pisa man called police when he discovered a man in his bedroom while he was in bed with his wife and officers arrived in time to chase the man down.
However, once the "burglar" was apprehended, police discovered the man was not an attempted thief, but rather the secret lover of the homeowner's wife. The man had intended to surprise the woman with a late-night visit and fled when he discovered the woman's husband was home.
Police said the revelation led to a physical altercation between the two men and officers had to pull them apart.
It was unclear whether any charges resulted from the incident.
President Obama is expected to announce Tuesday that he's sending up to 3,000 military personnel to combat the Ebola virus in West Africa.
Obama will announce the stepped-up offensive against the outbreak, which has killed more than 2,200 people in five West African countries, in an appearance at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
Administration officials said that the U.S. would help to provide medical and logistical support to overwhelmed local health care systems and to boost the number of beds needed to isolate and treat victims of the epidemic. The Defense Department has asked Congress for nearly $500 million in existing funds to be put toward the effort. The money would otherwise be used to support overseas contingency operations, such as the drawdown of troops in Afghanistan.
The new initiatives include training as many as 500 health care workers a week; erecting 17 heath care facilities with approximately 100 beds each; setting up a joint command headquartered in Monrovia, Liberia, to coordinate between U.S. and international relief efforts; providing home health care kits to hundreds of thousands of households, including 50,000 that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will deliver to Liberia this week; and carrying out a home- and community-based campaign to train local populations on how to handle exposed patients.
The fight against Ebola is considered, in part, a national security issue because the disease threatens fragile governments in Africa and could lead to more safe havens for terrorists. The request falls under the jurisdiction of the Pentagon because the military has the capacity to set up quarantine camps.
Sources told Fox News on Monday that the request is expected to be discussed Tuesday at the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey. But the sources ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)