O.C. Sheriff Carona indicted on U.S. corruption charges

first_imgSANTA ANA – Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona, once a rising star in California politics, was indicted on federal corruption charges for allegedly accepting tens of thousands of dollars in gifts and cash in exchange for political favors. A sweeping indictment unsealed Tuesday charges the 52-year-old lawman once dubbed “America’s Sheriff” with seven counts, including conspiracy, mail fraud and witness tampering. Also charged were Carona’s wife of 27 years, Deborah, and attorney Debra Victoria Hoffman, identified in court papers as his “longtime mistress.” If convicted of all counts, Carona, a graduate of Charter Oak High School in Covina, could face a maximum sentence of 95 years in prison, plus thousands of dollars in fines. He was expected to surrender to authorities today at the U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, said U.S. attorney spokesman Thom Mrozek. The sheriff’s criminal attorney, H. Dean Steward, said before the indictment was unsealed that he was not aware of any charges against his client. He did not immediately return an e-mail requesting comment after the charges were made public. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.The two former assistant sheriffs, Donald Haidl and George Jaramillo, previously pleaded guilty to related charges as part of a deal with prosecutors. Jaramillo, who is currently serving a 12-month term on state charges, cooperated with federal investigators to bring the case against Carona, his attorney said. According to prosecutors, all five conspired to get Carona elected in 1998 so he could then use his position to enrich himself and his cohorts. In all, Carona and other conspirators are accused of accepting of more than $350,000 in cash, gifts, loans and other compensation, authorities said. The scheme began when Haidl solicited donations to Carona’s election campaign and then reimbursed donors to hide the money trail, prosecutors said. After Carona was elected, Haidl, a wealthy businessman, paid for a Lake Tahoe vacation for Carona and Jaramillo and their spouses, officials said. He also gave Carona a boat and boat trailer valued at more than $5,000 in 2001 and the personal use of Haidl’s yacht and private plane, the indictment claims. Additionally, Haidl made monthly $1,000 payments to Carona for “full access to sheriff’s department resources” and a “get out of jail free card” for friends and family members, authorities said. Haidl also appointed Carona and Jaramillo to the board of directors of a company owned by Haidl’s uncle and gave a $110,000 loan to Carona’s girlfriend and Jaramillo to help rescue their floundering law firm. In return, the indictment alleges, Carona appointed Haidl to the position of assistant sheriff for reserves in 1999 and made Haidl’s family, friends and business associates reserve deputies. When Haidl’s teenage son, Gregory, was arrested in connection with a 2002 gang rape, Carona allegedly asked Jaramillo to lobby the county district attorney to charge the teen as a juvenile instead of as an adult. And when Gregory Haidl was arrested for a drug charge a year later, he received “preferential treatment” from the Sheriff’s Department with Carona’s consent, the indictment said. Carona also appointed his wife to the Orange County Fair Board of Directors and Hoffman, his mistress, to the State Advisory Group on Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention and the California Council on Criminal Justice, both of which he chaired. Beyond that, Carona allegedly accepted gifts from a number of unnamed Orange County businessmen, including ringside tickets to an Oscar De La Hoya and Felix Trinidad boxing match in Las Vegas; Mont Blanc pens; and luxury box seats to see the Angels in the World Series playoffs. His wife allegedly accepted designer suits and a Cartier watch valued at about $15,000. Carona, his wife and Hoffman all face counts of conspiracy in the 29-page indictment. Carona and Hoffman face four counts of mail fraud depriving the public of the right of honest services of a public official. Carona also is charged with two counts of witness tampering and Hoffman faces three counts of bankruptcy fraud. Haidl has since pleaded guilty to a federal tax offense. Jaramillo has pleaded guilty to federal charges of honest services mail fraud and tax fraud. The indictment is a serious blow to Carona, who first came to the nation’s attention during an investigation into the 2002 kidnapping and murder of 5-year-old Samantha Runnion. CNN’s Larry King called him “America’s Sheriff,” a nickname that appears on Carona’s official biography. He quickly became a rising star in state Republican politics, had been mentioned as a possible candidate for lieutenant governor and even met with then-White House political strategist Karl Rove to discuss his career. Yet Carona’s star fell almost as quickly. The Los Angeles Times reported in 2005 that he had issued badges and concealed-weapons permits to campaign contributors without proper training or background checks. In August, Carona agreed to a settlement with the state Fair Political Practices Commission and paid a $15,000 fine after he incorrectly billed his campaign committee for thousands of dollars in non-itemized expenses.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Read More..

Early signs positive for Tabcorp as Tatts merger spurs FY18 growth

first_imgThe December 2017 merger between Australian gaming giants Tabcorp Holdings and Tatts Group saw Tabcorp’s revenue for the year ended 30 June 2018 climb 71.7% to AU$3.8 billion in what Managing Director and CEO David Attenborough describes as a “company-defining year.”The merger, bringing together two of Australia’s gaming industry giants, has “created a world-class, diversified gambling entertainment group with an attractive portfolio of market-leading brands across wagering, media, lotteries, Keno and gaming services,” Attenborough said in a fling to the Australian Securities Exchange on Wednesday. Tabcorp cleared as Australian Federal Police close investigation into Cambodia sports betting bribery claims Sale of the century RelatedPosts Load More Pacific Online says operators still in dark as government confirms 21,000 Philippines lottery outlets closed “The integration of the two businesses is on track, with initial business improvements and cost initiatives implemented.”Although the merger was directly behind the sharp revenue jump, Tabcorp reported solid growth across most its segments including a 0.6% increase in Wagering & Media revenues on a pro-forma basis to AU$2.5 billion. It included 2.5% revenue growth from the TAB, driven by a 16.3% increase in digital turnover to AU$5.1 billion, which offset a 3.3% decline in retail turnover to AU$6.0 billion.In the Lotteries & Keno segment, lotteries revenue climbed 4.9% to AU$2.1 billion on a pro-forma basis with digital sales up 27.8%. Keno revenues were AU$220.1 million, up 3.5%.Gaming Services revenues held steady pro-forma at AU$315 million.Looking ahead, Attenborough said Tabcorp would continue to focus on building the newly merged entity.“The delivery of EBITDA synergies and business improvements from the integration of Tabcorp and Tatts is on track,” he said. “Initial synergies and business improvements of AU$8 million of EBITDA were delivered in FY18 and all decisions have been taken to deliver AU$50 million in FY19. The target remains at least AY$130 million of EBITDA from synergies and business improvements in FY21.“We remain very focused on unlocking the benefits from the Tabcorp and Tatts combination for our many stakeholders. A key part of bringing the two businesses together involves building a strong and shared organizational culture. We’re making good progress on this priority.”Tabcorp has announced a fully franked final dividend of AU$10.0 cents per share, payable on 14 September 2018.last_img read more

Read More..

Borrower Benefits Men Vs Women

first_img If you’re a man, it seems your home loan application has a greater chance of getting a green light than a woman’s in your same age range, so reports Ellie Mae’s latest Millennial Tracker, an interactive online tool that provides access to up-to-date demographic data points about homebuyers born between the years 1980 and 1999.Millennial men who were listed as the primary borrower for a loan gained approval for an average amount of $197,820 in October, the study notes. On the other hand, Millennial women got a go-ahead for an average loan amount of $186,567, or $11,253 less than Millennial men.All that data aside, while women got the nod for lower loan amounts, they closed their loans quicker. On the average, it took women 42 days to close, regardless of whether the loan was for a purchase or a refinance. Alternatively, men spent an average of 43 days to seal the deal on a purchase loan and 45 days for a refi. Additionally, women also were approved with lower FICO scores than men. For purchase loans, women had an average score of 721 versus 726 for men. Women who refinanced had an average FICO score of 730, while their male counterparts posted an average FICO score of 735.And all you single ladies, take note: Although males make up the larger percentage of overall Millennial borrowers, most of them are married, Ellie Mae reveals.“An interesting trend we’ve been tracking all year is that single women are buying homes much more than single men,” said Joe Tyrrell, EVP of Corporate Strategy at Ellie Mae. “Sixty percent of women who were listed as the primary borrower in October were single, compared to 42 percent of men.”As for where Millennial male and female primary borrowers were more likely to invest in a nest: Both cohorts have their hearts set on the Midwest, where housing costs continue to be attractive. Marshall, Minnesota; Victoria, Texas; and Lawton, Oklahoma, charted as the top three Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) for Millennial homebuyers in October.  Share December 7, 2017 636 Views Borrower Benefits: Men Vs. Womencenter_img Ellie Mae HOUSING joe tyrrell Millennial Tracker mortgage 2017-12-07 Alison Rich in Daily Dose, Data, Featured, Newslast_img read more

Read More..

Whitenose syndrome has almost completely wiped out some North American bat colonies

first_imgIn just 7 years, a fungal disease known as white-nose syndrome has killed more than 5 million North American bats, nearly wiping out entire colonies, according to a new study. The disease, named for its initial discovery as a white fungus growing on bat noses, drains hibernating bats of their energy reserves. It was first discovered in North America in 2006 and spread rapidly, causing massive declines in bat populations across the northeast. To quantify the localized impact of the disease at known hibernation sites, scientists used 4 decades of population counts collected between 1976 and 2013 from more than 1000 winter colonies inclusive of six North American bat species and 10 European bat species for comparison. Prior to the emergence of white-nose syndrome, bat colonies in eastern North America were 10 times larger than those in Europe, the team reported online ahead of print in Global Ecology and Biogeography. Following the disease outbreak, however, populations fell to the low levels seen overseas, where the white-nose syndrome has been present for decades. Moreover, the researchers identified massive population declines, ranging from 60% to 98% for all six North American bats studied, and extensive local extinctions, the most severe being for the northern long-eared bat (pictured above), which has disappeared from 69% of its former hibernation sites. As important predators of nocturnal insects, bats are considered to be among the most overlooked, yet economically important, nondomesticated animals in North America. Resulting increases in mosquitoes and agricultural pests could have ecological and economic consequences for the continent, including financial losses from damaged crops and increased spread of human diseases.*Correction, 6 February, 3:36 p.m.: The last sentence of this item was initially attributed to the researchers behind the new study. The attribution has been removed.last_img read more

Read More..