Prosecutors Recommend Two Years for Anthony Weiner

Anthony Weiner, 53 years old, entered a guilty plea with the Federal District Court in New York this past May. The charge was transferring obscene materials to a minor, a 15-year-old girl in this case. The charge usually carries a maximum 10 year sentence, but Weiner may not serve any time at all. Hoping to commit Anthony to prison, even briefly, prosecutors are now asking the court to consider a term of 21 to 27 months.
Anthony Weiner Found His Victim Online
As a former U.S. congressman and the spouse of Huma Abedin, Hillary Clinton’s former advisor, one might think Anthony was already under enough scrutiny, but that didn’t keep him from acting inappropriately online. Prosecutors reported in court that Weiner knowingly propositioned the minor girl online.
“Weiner, a grown man, a father, and a former lawmaker, willfully and knowingly asked a 15-year old girl to display her body and engage in sexually explicit conduct for him online.”
Weiner’s own lawyers say he is a “sick man,” but add that he’s aware of his actions and poor judgment. They say he has made extensive progress through therapy and believe probation is an adequate punishment in light of his recovery. Currently, Weiner is estranged from his wife, so it’s unknown if Huma will attend the sentencing phase of the trial.
Anthony Weiner Sent Lewd Messages
In establishing the case against Weiner, the government stated that the unnamed girl initiated contact with Anthony on Twitter. Moving forward, the two chatted on line about both innocent and intimate topics. Although Mr. Weiner knew the girl’s age, the conversation became more suggestive, as the two communicated over several social media platforms.
As they became better acquainted,the girl told Weiner several times that she was just 15 years old and that she had just gotten her learner’s permit. During these same chat sessions, Anthony asked the girl to get undressed for him. He also asked that she “touch herself” for him.
“I knew this was as morally wrong, as it was unlawful,” Weiner said at his guilty plea. “This fall, I came to grips for the first time with the depths of my sickness. I had hit bottom.”
Prosecutors insist that a considerable prison term is required to serve justice. They believe Anthony Weiner lacks impulse control and needs the rehabilitation supplied by a prison term and they also suggest sending Weiner to be incarcerated would prove to be a powerful deterrent.

Texas Woman Jumps to Death in Face of Solicitation of Murder Charges

One Texas woman will never get her day in court after she jumped to her death. Valerie McDaniel was on a $50,000 bond for solicitation of murder at the time of her death. She allegedly conspired with her boyfriend to hire a hit man in order to murder her ex husband.

McDaniel and her ex husband, Marion “Mack” McDaniel, divorced after 17 years of marriage. The two agreed to share joint custody of their 9-year-old daughter. However, Valerie McDaniel was reportedly unhappy because of what she claimed was Marion McDaniel’s threats to take full custody of the child. McDaniel was also in a financial bind, because her divorce judgment required her to pay more than a million dollars to buy her ex husband out of the veterinary clinic that they shared.

McDaniel jumped to her death from her seventh-story balcony. She lived with her boyfriend in a two-bedroom condo in the upscale Houston neighborhood of Oak Park. McDaniel also had a beach house where she enjoyed weekend getaways and visits with friends.

Shortly after her divorce, McDaniel met Leon Jacob. Jacob had a criminal history. McDaniel’s friends describe Jacob as arrogant. They said that they got a bad feeling about Jacob from the start.

The plot first began when state officials charged Jacob with stalking an ex girlfriend. While Jacob awaited trial on the stalking charges, he decided to hire someone to murder his ex girlfriend. He paid a man named Zach with $5,000, watches and a laptop in exchange for carrying out the crime. Instead of doing the deed, Zach took the payment and ran. He later worked with the police in order to gather evidence to charge Jacob with solicitation.

That’s where the plot took an interesting twist. Jacob and McDaniel told undercover officers that they wanted to kill McDaniel’s ex husband too. McDaniel agreed to pay an extra $10,000 for the hit on her ex husband. Authorities then went to McDaniel and told her that her ex husband was found dead. In reality, the ex husband was around the corner, waiting to take custody of their child as McDaniel was arrested.

Although McDaniel will never face trial for her actions, Jacob sits in the Harris County Jail awaiting trial. The court denied him bond. They also refused to allow him out of jail to attend McDaniel’s funeral. Jacob denies the charges against him. He says that law enforcement entrapped him.

Equifax Faces Legal Blowback Over Data Breach

2017 has proven to be a rough year for consumer credit reporting giant Equifax. In March and then again in May, the company’s customer data was compromised, making the social security numbers, addresses, drivers license numbers, and other identifying data of 143 million U.S. citizens, along with as many as 44 million U.K citizens and another 100,000 Canadians available to an as-yet unknown criminal or group.

Equifax underwent a 13 percent drop in share price immediately following news of the scandal and numerous lawsuits have sprung up in response to their negligence. A case set to come from California law firm Geragos & Geragos poses the greatest financial threat to the company, as the firm indicated they would seek upwards of $70 billion in damages, a figure unprecedented in the U.S.’s history of class-action lawsuits.

More important, however, is the anticipated reaction of government agencies to Equifax’s clear negligence. The security breach was accomplished through a well-known and subsequently patched vulnerability in Apache Struts, a common piece of web application software. The patch was released on March 7th, well before May’s attack and data theft. Victims and commentators alike are awaiting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to weigh in as Equifax’ precise business classification has raised questions over whether or not the government agency has the legal authority to penalize the company.

A CFPB investigation Equifax breach may be possible because they are not, strictly speaking, a financial company. Both the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission are already involved as Equifax is legally accountable to at least five laws that impact listed companies, including those that govern customer data use and fair treatment. The CFPB’s justification for action would hypothetically be 2010’s Dodd-Frank Act.

The Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was issued in response to 2008’s widespread financial crisis and sought to bring on widespread financial reforms to Wall Street, while also establishing new protections for consumers. Title X of the legislation established the CFPB and it would seem that Equifax’ missteps fall within the bureau’s purview. Specifically, Equifax’ actions may be classified as acts and practices deemed unfair, deceptive, or abusive (UDAAP) and thus qualify them for investigation according to the powers given to the CFPB by the Dodd-Frank Act.

This wouldn’t be the first time that the CFPB dealt with Equifax, as this January the bureau issued fines against the credit reporting company for allegedly misleading customers on both the cost and usefulness of credit score information. Given this history and the vague nature of the CFPB’s UDAAP powers, an investigation is possible, if not likely.

Special Counsel Seeks White House Documents

As reported 20 September under the headline Mueller Seeks White House Documents Related to Trump’s Actions as President in The New York Times
, Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III has requested documents from the White House related to some of the most “scrutinized” actions taken by President Trump.

The Times reporter, Michael S. Schmidt, writes that Mueller has requested documents surrounding

● An Oval Office meeting with Russian officials (including Russian foreign minister Sergey V. Lavrov and then-Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey I. Kislyak) in which Trump is reported to have said that firing James P. Comey as FBI Director “relieved ‘great pressure’ on him,”
● The circumstances surrounding the firing of Michael T. Flynn as Trump’s first national security advisor, and
● The White House’s initial responses to questions from The New York Times about a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower set up by the President’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr. which was eventually revealed was part of a search for derogatory information on Hillary Clinton.

Of the thirteen subjects in Mueller’s document request, four were related to Mr. Flynn and three were related to Comey’s firing.

Ty Cobb, the lawyer charged with providing materials related to the Russia investigation to the Special Counsel, said many of the requested documents will be handed over this week. He stated further that he couldn’t comment with any particularity to specific document requests or any conversations with Special Counsel Mueller, his staff, or his office.

Schmidt reported that no documents related to Trump’s personal finances or business dealings appear to have been part of the current document request. He left open the possibility, however, that those areas, which President Trump has said should be off limits, may be the subject of other document requests.

Mueller also requested all internal White House communications on several individuals involved in Trump’s presidential campaign, including Paul J. Manafort. Finally, the request sought communications about the President’s foreign policy team: Carter Paige, J.D. Gordon, Keith Kellogg, George Papadopoulos, Walid Phares, and Joseph E. Smith.

ACLU Sues for Same Sex Adoptions

In Michigan, a private adoption agency can turn away same-sex couples that want to adopt. Under Michigan law, adoption agencies can rest on their religious beliefs in order to deny assistance to same-sex couples looking to adopt. But the ACLU has brought a lawsuit to change that.

The controversial law has been on the books since June, 2015. Sitting governor Rick Snyder signed the bill. Under the bill, each agency that facilitates adoptions can decide their own policies based on their religious beliefs. If those beliefs prohibit helping a same-sex couple with an adoption, the agency can refuse to help. However, as the law is right now, if an agency chooses to discriminate against a couple, they must refer the couple to another agency. If an agency declines to work with a couple and refers a couple to another agency, the second agency doesn’t have to be within any reasonable distance of the couple’s residence.

The ACLU says that’s not fair. They say that if a private agency accepts taxpayer dollars, they should lose their ability to pick and choose to help some but not others. Their purpose for bringing the lawsuit is to ask a court for a ruling that says these agencies are breaking the law each time they discriminate.

The ACLU says that the law in its current state prevents children from finding their forever families. They say that children should have as many options as possible. In a world where there are more children needing parents than there are willing adoptive parents, agencies shouldn’t be allowed to turn parents away because of their same-sex status, the ACLU says.

Supporters of the bill in its current state say that the U.S. Supreme Court takes their side. They say that the Hobby Lobby and Trinity Lutheran cases are in favor of the organization’s right to choose their own criteria for adoptions. They say that without these exceptions, there’s going to be a critical shortage of adoption agencies, and the family shortage is going to get worse.

Opponents say that there are too many children in foster care. They say that same-sex couples are significantly more likely to pursue adoption than opposite-sex couples. Supporters say that requiring faith-based agencies to assist same-sex couples with adoption isn’t necessarily going to increase the numbers of prospective adoptive couples. Michigan is one of a handful of states with religious exemptions for agencies that assist with adoptions.

OJ Simpson to Walk From Prison in October

After nine years in prison, Nevada’s most infamous inmate is about to walk free. OJ Simpson is making plans for his October, 2017 release. He’s serving time for armed robbery in connection with storming a casino in order to collect sports memorabilia. Simpson claimed that he had a legal right to the items.

Authorities say that they plan to release Simpson on or near October 1. They say that they’ll transport Simpson to one of a number of facilities in order to complete the release process. From there, Simpson has to make arrangements for travel.

Simpson has to complete a plan for his parole. The plan includes declaring a place to live. Simpson says that he doesn’t plan to live with his children. Instead, he plans to stay with friends. He says that he’s on good terms with his children, but he doesn’t want to call attention to them because of his presence.

Simpson is now 70 years old. He’s been in prison since 2008. The taxpayers have paid the bill for Simpson’s upkeep in prison. Authorities say that the cost to house Simpson is $58.31 per day. That’s a total of approximately $200,000 for Simpson’s prison stay.

Earlier this year, Simpson’s parole hearing captivated audiences across America. The panel heard testimony and arguments about whether to parole Simpson after serving the minimum nine years of a 30-year sentence. The July, 2017 parole hearing needed extra security. Taxpayers footed the bill for the extra $22,000 in security for the hearing.

Parole officers say that their decision to parole Simpson came because he meets the criteria for release. They say that they’re basing their decision on Simpson’s conviction and sentence rather than on accusations that he murdered Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman. A jury acquitted Simpson of the murders, while a second jury held him civilly liable.

Corrections officers say that they do their best to treat Simpson like any other inmate. They say that they keep Simpson in his own cell and near their watch station for his own safety. Simpson says that he leads an athletic league within the prison. Authorities report that he doesn’t cause any problems.

Simpson says that he plans to play golf when he’s released. Simpson says that he plans to live off of his NFL pension. Reports say the pension is worth $25,000 a month. Simpson also has a retirement fund through the Screen Actors Guild.

Two High School Principals Suspended Over Spirit Rock

Two Northern Michigan high-school principals are fighting discipline for breaking the law over burying a spirit rock. Traverse City Area Public Schools Superintendent Paul Soma handed down a five-day suspension for Joe Esper and a two-day unpaid suspension for Charles Kolbusz. The suspensions are without pay.

Both men are principals at Traverse City West Senior High School. Traverse City West Senior High School Principal Joe Esper received a five-day suspension and Assistant Principal Charles Kolbusz got a two-day suspension. They plan to take legal action fight the decision.

The spirit rock is a large rock that sat on school property. Students decorated the rock and used it to write messages. Although many of the messages were innocuous, some of the artwork contained profanity and vulgarities. The trouble comes as Esper and Kolbusz created a plan to bury the Traverse City West Senior High School spirit rock. They say the action was necessary in order to put an end to misuse of the rock.

Esper and Kolbusz used a backhoe to bury the rock. They didn’t get permission from Superintendent Soma. They also didn’t call Miss Dig to verify locations of underground utilities which may be a violation of Michigan law. Soma says that this is only part of the problem. Soma says that when confronted, the two men lied about their actions.

Although Soma claims that the pair violated Michigan law without verifying the locations of utilities with Miss Dig before their misadventure, there are exceptions in the law for government entities. There are potential civil penalties but no criminal penalties, so the men can’t face criminal charges. Even so, Soma justifies his suspension of the pair by citing the dangers that the men created by undertaking the dig. He also feels the two deserve discipline for evading the truth when others started asking what happened to the rock.

The principals say it’s their school and their problem to solve. They also say that they were careful to avoid dangers while they were digging. They claim that the benefits of getting rid of the rock outweigh the dangers that might have resulted from their methods. If they had waited to get permission to move the rock, they say, there would have been months of committees, public hearings and questions. Taking action themselves allowed them to dispose of the rock before it had a chance to become a problem in the new school year. Instead, it’s the legal proceedings surrounding the pair’s discipline that may drag on.

Gymnastics Coach Associated With Larry Nassar Still Coaching in Michigan Gym

Michigan State University parted ways with their longtime women’s gymnastics coach Kathie Klages after the inquiry into her response to sexual abuse by gymnastics trainer Larry Nassar. However, despite the dismissal, one Lansing gym owner seems to think Klages still belongs in the gym. Klages has been filling in at Twistars Gymnastics Club. John Geddert owns the gym. Though some say Klages is only with Twistars temporarily, the move to bring Klages in contact with gymnasts is raising eyebrows as some say she didn’t do enough to respond to warning signs and complaints about Nassar’s abuse of gymnasts.

Geddert admitted that Klages worked at the gym. He claims it was only “filling in” for a “a couple days.” Klages says that she’s not an employee of the gym. Gym owners said that they asked Klages to fill in because of a staffing shortage.

Klages resigned her position as the head gymnastics coach at Michigan State University in February, 2017. Accusers say that Klages downplayed accusations of misconduct against Nassar. Accusers say that Klages told victims that Nassar’s abuse was medical treatment. They say that Klages also told a victim not to file a formal complaint. The victim was a teenager.

Under Klages’ supervision, Nassar worked for the Michigan State University gymnastics team as the team doctor. Nassar also worked as the team doctor for the U.S. national gymnastics team. 2012 Olympian Jordyn Wieber trained at Twistars under Geddert’s coaching.

Legal fees for Michigan State University because of Nassar’s actions have now topped $2 million. MSU President Lou Anna Simon believes that the charges are necessary. Both criminal charges and civil litigation remain pending in the courts. Simon says that the university isn’t tapping their endowment to fund the defense. Individual attorneys on the case charge as much as $990 per hour.

Nassar’s accusers at Michigan State University were collegiate athletes from a variety of sports. The victims claim that when they voiced their concerns to trainers and other school representatives, they told the victims that Nassar’s actions were legitimate medical treatment. One victim even said that MSU employees told her that she should be grateful to work with Nassar.

In total, victims name MSU in nine different lawsuits in federal courts. More than 140 victims total have come forward against Nassar. They claim that abuse occurred at MSU, at the U.S. national gymnastics training center near Houston, Texas and at other locations. Because of the allegations, former president of USA Gymnastics Steve Penny resigned his position.



What is the Future of U.S. Immigrants?

The future of 800,000 young immigrants turned out to be uncertain on Thursday as senior law makers, officials from White House, and President Donald Trump seemed not to agree on whether there was a deal made to protect them.
Speaker Paul Ryan backed with other senior house members reiterated that no deal had been reached to protect immigrants who came to America as little children and were currently living there illegally. However, the No. 2 member of the senate Republican said that there had been a deal to strike a deal.

Trump’s Take On the Issue

Trump said he was in the process of finalizing an agreement that would protect the “Dreamers” and reinforce border security provided his promise of a wall with Mexico was implemented. Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi who were reported to have dined with Trump on Wednesday night stated that there had been a discussion and an agreement on laws that would provide citizenship to these young immigrants.
The DREAM Act, according to Schumer, would allow immigrant who went to the U.S. as immigrants and who were in the U.S. unlawfully to become citizens in a period of five years if they satisfied certain requirements.

However, a source who knew about the meeting denounced claims that the president had consented to the DREAM Act. Instead, they said that the president had agreed to a narrow piece of legislation that was an improvement of Barack Obama’s “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” program.

Is the Dream Act a Path To Citizenship

The bottom line is that the outcome for the young immigrants is still subject to further negotiation and debate. While the DREAM Act seems like a path towards citizenship, Trump has stated that the legislation was more about amnesty. According to Trump, their main concern is to put up a wall.

Despite Trump’s interpretation of the Act, two people who participated in the Wednesday meeting stated that citizenship was brought up when the issue of the Dream Act was mentioned. On the other hand, Mick Mulvaney, Budget Director, confirmed Trump’s statements that the deal did not involve a means to citizenship.

Trump made a promise to end DACA when he came into office but has since then struggled with the dilemma of the thousands of sympathetic young immigrants. Many immigrants have been alarmed by Trump’s announcement last week that DACA would be withdrawn. The program has granted temporary deportation relief and work permits to many immigrants who went to the U.S. as minors. Trump gave Congress 6 months to come up with a solution before the protections offered by DACA expire.

Anthony Weiner Makes His Case to Avoid Prison

As Anthony Weiner awaits sentencing for the sexting scandal that derailed his political campaign, new court filings appear to indicate that he blames his 15-year-old victim for much of what went on in the sexting scandal. But Weiner’s lawyers say that he’s not the instigator. They say that the victim initiated the contact in an attempt to influence the U.S. Presidential election.

Despite his attempts to blame the victim, Weiner’s attorneys admit that the former mayoral candidate self destructed. They say his actions came from “deep sickness.” Weiner’s attorneys also say that Weiner’s case is not as serious as other cases that prosecutors chose to pursue suggesting that Weiner feels prosecutors are targeting him for reasons other than his guilt. In fact, lawyers for the former politician say that the investigation into Weiner is politically motivated and that it may have affected the results of the election. They say the fact that he didn’t seek out victims on the internet mitigates his guilt compared to other sex offenders. He says the victim wanted to exchange sexual messages and not the other way around.

Weiner and wife Huma Abedin appeared cordial during divorce proceedings in court in early September. Abedin aided Hillary Clinton in her failed bid to become the first female President of the United States. Weiner’s sentencing filings included a letter from Abedin. In her letter to the court, Abedin writes that Weiner’s actions “devastated” her. She writes that she never could have imagined the circumstances that resulted from Weiner’s behavior. She says that she understands the court must impose consequences.

Weiner says that the teenage victim initiated contact in order to pursue a book deal. They accuse her of “shopping to publishers” with the material that she worked to “generate” through her contacts with Weiner. Weiner’s attorneys say that the girl saved copies of her interactions with Weiner, and that she made $30,000 for selling her story to a British media outlet. Weiner’s attorneys say that these actions amount to proof of the victim’s ulterior motives.

Despite pointing blame at the victim, Weiner says that he regrets committing the crime. He admits that his behavior was against the welfare of a minor. He says that his actions destroyed his marriage and hurt his wife’s professional ambitions. Clinton blames her loss in the Presidential election in part on the investigation into her email server as it related to Weiner’s actions.

Weiner awaits his sentence to find out whether he’ll serve time in prison. As part of his plea offer, he can’t appeal a prison sentence if it’s less than 27 months. Weiner says he’s in treatment and that he has mentors to help him with behavior modification. He describes his current life as “quiet.”


The 9th Circuit Clears California’s Foie Gras Ban

In January of 2015 a federal district court invalidated a California state law that sought to ban the sale of foie gras. Specifically, California’s law prohibited the sale of the delicacy if it was produced from forced-fed birds. Birds were being excessively fed in order to fatten their livers; this produced a much more savory dish for luxury diners.

California’s ban was originally issued in 2004. However, it did not go into effect until 2012. In 2015, several duck and geese producers (as well as Hot’s Restaurant Group) got their day in court to challenge what they viewed as an unconstitutional statute. A federal judge, the Hon. Stephen Wilson, of the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles agreed with them. He ruled that the state law was preempted by the federal Poultry Products Inspection Act. Recently, the 9th Circuit disagreed.

The Pasadena branch of the 9th Circuit issued a 3-0 decision last Friday which supports the legality of California’s law. The court held that the Poultry Products Inspection Act did not seek to prevent a state’s ability to ban certain poultry products. The court added that California had the right to prohibit a practice that it deemed uncompassionate and cruel. In the end, the court did not find a conflict between the state statute and existing federal law.

Although the 9th Circuit’s decision is being hailed as a victory for state legislators and animal rights activists many in the culinary world are dismayed. Many chefs view the regulation as an excessive restraint on their ability to practice their trade. The expensive delicacy is a favorite of high-end patrons and chefs across the state enjoy preparing the dish.

California’s foie gras supporters are now contemplating taking further legal action. The plaintiffs/appellees may request that the case be heard by a full panel of the 9th Circuit. If the decision is affirmed, the appellees may need to look towards the Supreme Court.

Grand Rapids Releases Audio Recording of Prosecutor Crash Investigation

After months of legal wrangling to try and keep the information out of public hands, Grand Rapids has finally released phone calls of its law enforcement officers investigating a then prosecutor for drunk driving. Although the officers thought the conversation was on an unrecorded police line, settings in place in the Grand Rapids Police Department triggered a recording of the call. In the recording, officers are heard scheming to allow the prosecutor to get away with drunk driving.

The call came in the early hours of November, 2016 after police responded to reports of a crash downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan. A driver hit another vehicle and a pedestrian as the pedestrian existed the vehicle. The driver turned out to be former assistant prosecutor Josh Kuiper.

When officers arrive at the scene of the crash, they realize that the responsible driver is a prosecutor. That’s when phone calls start between police officers as they discuss how to give Kuiper a “pass” for his unlawful behavior, despite Kuiper being “visibly intox” according to the officer. Prosecutors eventually charged Kuiper with reckless driving causing serious injury. Officers on the scene gave Kuiper field sobriety tests but admitted that they didn’t honestly report his poor performance on the tests.

Kuiper has since left his position with the Kent County Prosecutor’s Office. The crash occurred after Kuiper was downtown with coworkers celebrating the retirement of another prosecutor. The victim in the lawsuit filed a civil case against Kuiper. That case is on hold as the criminal case slowly makes its way through the courts. At the time, Kuiper had 13 years of experience in the prosecutor’s office. He earned $94,857 a year.

In the newly released audio recording, officers discuss Kuiper’s state of intoxication. They say that he’s “hammered” and probably won’t do well on field sobriety tests. The officers talk about how many witnesses are present downtown to testify about what really happened. They aren’t sure of the extent of the victim’s injuries when they make the decision not to conduct a drunk driving investigation.

The City of Grand Rapids went to great lengths to try and keep the audio recording from becoming public. They went through several rounds of appeals claiming that they shouldn’t have to release the video because they recorded it accidentally. Media outlet MLive headed the legal campaign for release of the documents. The case even went to the Michigan Court of Appeals. Kuiper’s attorney says that the victim’s injuries aren’t severe enough to warrant his client facing a felony charge.

Attorney Faces New Discipline Charges in Second State

In 2005, attorney Sean M. Liles gave up his Nevada bar license. In exchange, Liles avoid discipline proceedings from the State Bar of Nevada. Officials alleged that Liles took part in a scheme to commit insurance fraud by submitting false claims relating to construction lawsuits.

Now, Liles is facing fresh ethics charges. These charges come from the State Bar of Michigan. Officials allege that Liles misused his client trust fund account. They say that he used his client trust fund account to pay his personal home mortgage. Allegedly, Liles transferred funds from his personal account to his IOLTA client trust fund account and then used the funds to pay the mortgage on his home. In Michigan, attorneys must hold client funds in a separate IOLTA account that’s completely separate from their personal accounts. The attorney may remove the money only when it’s earned in attorney fees, spent on court costs or returned to the client.

When Liles submitted his resignation to the State Bar of Nevada, he was already in West Bloomfield, Michigan. From there, he set up a practice in Traverse City, Michigan where he focuses on family law, criminal and bankruptcy matters. The Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission filed the formal complaint against Liles on July 11, 2017. Officials say they first learned of the discrepancies when the bank tipped them off to the unusual transfers.

In his reply to the State Bar of Michigan’s inquiry, Liles claimed that the mortgage payments from the IOLTA account were a mistake. He said, “I did not realize I had accidentally input the Chase IOLTA Account instead of my personal account,” and “I have since corrected the problem.” Liles also tried to excuse the error by saying that “I was/am an idiot with mobile ap[p]s.)” Liles didn’t offer a motive for his behavior.

The Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission isn’t buying it. They say it’s implausible that Liles transferred funds accidentally for several months. Officials say that his conduct involves dishonesty and deceit, and that lawyers have to keep client funds completely separate from personal money. They also say that Liles misrepresented the facts when they asked him to explain his behavior.

There’s no word on what discipline the State Bar of Michigan hopes to pursue in Liles’ case. While the grievance asks for discipline that’s “warranted,” this could range from an informal reprimand to a complete disbarment. Officials may reach a consent agreement with Liles, or they may take the case to a hearing where a commission determines a penalty.


Psychic Arrested As She Tries to Flee the Country

One psychic sees a jail cell in her future after the police arrested her on her way out of the country. Police arrested the woman at Miami International Airport. She has open grand theft charges in the State of Maryland.

A private investigator tracked psychic Gina Marie Marks to the Miami International Airport. She was only moments away from boarding a plane to Barcelona. The psychic is 44 years old. Police say that she also goes by Regina Melbourne and Natalie Miller. The private investigator works on behalf of the victim.

Law enforcement officials plan to extradite Marks to Maryland. She says that she doesn’t agree to head back to Maryland to face the charges. That means Florida officials have to win the extradition proceedings before they can try to prove the charges against her. At her bond hearing, Marks told judge Mindy Glazer that she wants to fight the return to Florida, even if that means waiting in a jail cell. State attorneys say that she’s a flight risk.

Because she’s fighting the extradition, the State of Florida can hold marks for up to 90 days. They must follow a procedure to get a governor’s warrant. That order allows them to move her back to Maryland. Judge Glazer says she’s fine with letting Marks sit in a jail cell.

State officials say that it’s not the first time that the law has caught up with the scheming psychic. They say that she has run her scams across the country, and that only she can predict where she’s going to find her next victim. In 2009, Marks landed herself a felony rap after pleading guilty to grand theft. In that case, she cheated five victims out of approximately $65,000.

That conviction wasn’t enough to deter Marks’ efforts. In 2012, she received a conviction for scheming three more victims. She took them for more than half a million dollars. She spent more than a year in prison, and the court ordered her to pay restitution.

In the most recent case, Marks has three victims. She stole more than $82,000 from them by running a scheme that related to fortune telling. She faces charges of grand theft in the State of Maryland. Officials say these are felony charges that could bring a long stint in prison if a jury convicts her of the charges against her.

A private investigator followed Marks’ trail all across the United States. At the airport, he alerted officials to her outstanding warrant. They pulled her aside and prevented her from skipping town. For now, a Florida jail cell is in Marks’ future.



New York City Cracks Down on Airbnb

One New York landlord has some fines to pay after getting slapped with $11,000 in fines for running an illegal Airbnb in New York City. Not only did the landlord rent the nine-bedroom apartment on the home sharing website, but they stuffed as many as 34 guests into the property at any one time. The Bushwick apartment owner charged guests as much as $115 a night for a bunk bed in a room with other guests.

The health department put a vacate order on the door of the property. New York City’s mayor has an Office of Special Enforcement that’s cracking down on the home-sharing website. New York City’s laws prohibit most rentals of less than thirty days. In addition to banning the short term rentals, New York City’s laws prohibit advertising an illegal rental.

Airbnb is worth billions of dollars. However, they resist law enforcement’s efforts to collect information about property owners who rent their properties in violation of local ordinances. They say that they’re just a marketing service. The company generally avoids liability by saying that they don’t give legal advice, and that each owner has to affirm that they’re renting in compliance with local laws and regulations.

Even so, more and more local communities are debating the future of home sharing services such as Airbnb. Supporters say that the service is a great way for renters and homeowners alike to make ends meet and make a few extra bucks. They say that homeowners should be allowed to make their own decisions about how to use their property. They say travelers can find lower pries and more options for an authentic travel experience by using home sharing instead of traditional hotels.

Opponents of the service say that it’s not so simple. They say that the service doesn’t come with the same regulations and protections that hotels have to follow. From fire safety to security, critics say that there are real risks associated with the service that hosts and travelers alike may not realize. Neighbors complain about their homes lying in the wake of noisy travelers who come ready for a good time.

State and local officials around the United States are currently struggling with how to balance these different points of view. San Francisco has increased regulation of home sharing units. The State of Michigan is considering banning regulation of the rentals on the local level. In the meantime, one landlord in New York City has $11,000 in fines to pay while this debate continues to rage around the United States.