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  1. #16021

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    Twenty five blocks uptown from the mid 80's on Fifth Avenue and change his ethnicity/race and he'd be doing his talking from Rikers.
    I missed before that you wrote this at the end. I was looking at this picture thinking as ridiculous as this idiot looks, and though an unlikely representative, it's just the definition of white privilege. He is standing in broad daylight smoking a giant blunt and spouting pure nonsense and he knows not a single thing will happen to him. The highest level of DGAF is radiating off him in waves.

  2. #16022

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Quote Originally Posted by GlennHarman View Post
    Ti, We cannot state this concept too frequently in the near future as this mess unfolds. This is a case basically with nothing but filthy-rich white people involved. We'll see how punishment gets doled out, but I think we already know.

    I have such a hard time imagining these people ending up with almost any jail time, let alone anything significant. This is one thing that bugs me about white collar crimes and their always reduced and suspended sentences, community service, and fines paid. This was a multi state investigation (I believe they said 6), took more than 200 agents, and lasted 10 months I think. It is NOT too much to ask after spending that level of resources to conduct this investigation that the defendants not be given a slap on the wrist.

    But that's what I think will happen. Because at the end of the day, not only do these people have a ton of money to get the best representation that I believe will successfully tear into several of these charges, I think the FBI's chief purpose in this was to send a message and they've done that in spades. The cheating was clearly getting out of control in a way the general public was completely unaware of that was creating an even more inequitable field than what most already assumed. So what do they do? They round up multi-millionaires, get embarrassing mug shots, set high bails, and they are all doing a collective walk of shame at the moment with many parts of their lives falling down around them because of this public scandal. Will the super rich think twice before circumventing the system to this level to get their kids into college now? You bet they will, so mission accomplished for the FBI I'd imagine.

  3. #16023

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    At tense meeting with Boeing executives, pilots fumed about being left in dark on plane software

    By Aaron Gregg , Jonathan O'Connell , Andrew Ba Tran and Faiz Siddiqui March 13 at 9:38 PM

    Boeing executives sat down last November with pilots at the Allied Pilots Association’s low-slung brick headquarters in Fort Worth.

    Tensions were running high. One of Boeing’s new jets — hailed by the company as an even more reliable version of Boeing’s stalwart 737 — had crashed into the ocean off Indonesia shortly after takeoff, killing all 189 people on board the flight operated by Lion Air.

    After the crash, Boeing issued a bulletin disclosing that this line of planes, known as the 737 Max 8, was equipped with a new type of software as part of the plane’s automated functions. Some pilots were furious that they were not told about the new software when the plane was unveiled.

    Dennis Tajer, a 737 captain who attended the meeting with Boeing executives, recalled, “They said, ‘Look, we didn’t include it because we have a lot of people flying on this and we didn’t want to inundate you with information.’ ”

    “I’m certain I did say, ‘Well that’s not acceptable,’ ” said Tajer, a leader in the association representing American Airlines pilots.

    A Boeing spokesman said the company disputes that any of its executives made that statement.


    The announcement comes after years in which Boeing had trumpeted the new plane as offering a “seamless” transition from previous models, a changeover that would not require carriers to invest in extensive retraining.


    And it highlights concerns from pilots and other groups about whether Boeing moved fast enough to address potential problems after the Lion Air crash.

    Congress, regulators and the company’s shareholders are now scrutinizing the decisions.

    On Wednesday, Rep. Peter A. DeFazio (D-Ore.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, said he would hold hearings to study the Federal Aviation Administration’s process for approving the planes.

    DeFazio cited a concern that has particularly alarmed pilots, the introduction of software that was flagged in the bulletin sent out after the Lion Air crash.

    The software, known as the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), can in some rare but dangerous situations override pilot control inputs unless it is switched off. This can interfere with pilots’ longtime training that pulling back on the control yoke raises a plane’s nose, putting the plane into a climb. That means that as a pilot tries to maneuver an airplane, the automated system may be counteracting that pilot’s inputs.

    “I’m going to investigate how they came to the conclusion that retraining was not necessary, and then obviously we’re going want to look at how foreign countries certify their pilots and retrain them,” DeFazio said.

    'Nothing on the MCAS'

    After the Ethio*pian Airlines crash Sunday, Boeing said it would update flight-control software, provide more training, introduce “enhancements” to external sensors that measure the direction of an aircraft and make changes to how MCAS is activated.

    But two pilots who attended the meeting with Boeing in November after the Lion Air crash said pilots had suggested that the company take these actions at that time.

    “Whatever level of training they decided on [before the Lion Air crash], it resulted in an iPad course that I took for less than an hour,” Tajer, the American Airlines pilot, said. “A lot of pilots here at American did that course.”

    But he said the course did not cover the new MCAS system. “There was nothing on the MCAS because even American didn’t know about that. It was just about the display scenes and how the engines are a little different,” he said.

    Boeing did not comment on the pilots’ concerns.

    The same week Boeing executives met with pilots in Fort Worth, they also asked pilots at Southwest Airlines — which also owns 737 Max planes — to meet with them. They hurriedly arranged a conference room at the Reno Airport the Sunday after Thanksgiving, said Jon Weaks, president of the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association.

    “At that meeting, they told us that a software update would probably be forthcoming in the near future,” Weaks said.

    But no update came in the following two months...

    Pilots reported concerns

    The concerns in meetings with Boeing executives were not the only signs that pilots had concerns about the airplane. A federal flight-safety reporting system contains about a dozen reports by pilots expressing exasperation about systems that limited their control of the 737 Max.

    Nearly two-thirds of the complaints were mainly flagging perceived faults with the aircraft or shortcomings and ambiguities in instruction, according to an analysis of the Aviation Safety Reporting System by The Washington Post. The Dallas Morning News first reported on the pilots’ complaints.

    “I think it is unconscionable that a manufacturer, the FAA, and the airlines would have pilots flying an airplane without adequately training, or even providing available resources and sufficient documentation to understand the highly complex systems that differentiate this aircraft from prior models,” one pilot wrote in November. “The fact that this airplane requires such jury rigging to fly is a red flag. Now we know the systems employed are error prone — even if the pilots aren’t sure what those systems are, what redundancies are in place, and failure modes.”

    Pilots expressed confusion about various features of the airplane.

    “I reviewed in my mind our automation setup and flight profile but can’t think of any reason the aircraft would pitch nose down so aggressively,” one pilot wrote.

    “How can a Captain not know what switch is meant during a preflight setup?” asked another. “Poor training and even poorer documentation; that is how.”

    The FAA pushed back against the idea that these pilot complaints could have assisted in identifying problems, saying they did not involve the MCAS system that has been at the heart of pilots’ concerns.


    In the Lion Air crash, according to a preliminary report, the 737 Max seemed to careen up and down repeatedly. Analysts said this suggested the MCAS system was redirecting the plane whenever it went into a nose-up position by pointing the nose down.

    In an appearance on CNBC in December, Muilenburg was asked whether the company was doing enough to ensure pilots were properly trained after the October crash.

    Muilenburg said that the company’s bulletin on the software helped in “directing pilots and airlines to these existing procedures” and that Boeing was “taking a look at that to make sure all the appropriate training is in place and that the communications with our customers are there.”

    “It’s very, very important to us, but I will say bottom line here, very important, is that the Max 737 is safe,” he said.

    Muilenburg’s comments came about a week after the meetings in Texas and Reno, when pilots said they heard similar promises.

    Sitting around pullout tables in leather-backed chairs, Tajer said, some of the company’s top engineers were apologetic.

    “We said ‘shame on you.’ They said, ‘I know.’ ”

    Ashley Halsey III and Luz Lazo contributed to this report.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb

  4. #16024
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    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    From a local news report last night, they said AA pilots were trained on the MAX system and how to manually override the automatic nose down position.

  5. #16025

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    France Accepts 737 Black Boxes as Macron Hunts Airbus Sales
    By Christopher Jasper , Helene Fouquet , and Francois De Beaupuy
    March 14, 2019, 6:29 AM EDT Updated on March 14, 2019, 11:52 AM EDT
    Technical work on downloading data from crash to start Friday
    Talks underway on Airbus deals with Boeing Max model grounded

    Ethiopia has sent black boxes from a crashed Boeing Co. 737 jet to France for decoding after refusing to hand them to U.S. authorities that had kept the Max model flying after most other regulators grounded it.

    The flight-data and cockpit-voice recorders have arrived at the Bureau d’Enquetes et d’Analyses, France’s air-accident investigator, with coordination meetings underway and technical work set to start Friday. The BEA said it will download data but hasn’t been asked to analyze it.

    Ethiopian Airlines, which operated the crashed jet, says the decision to send the black boxes to a European agency was a strategic one after the Federal Aviation Administration was left isolated in arguing that the Max should continue flying. The U.S. regulator finally grounded the model Wednesday amid mounting concern about similarities between the African tragedy and a crash in Indonesia, in which a computer system took control of a flight.

    Germany’s Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accident Investigation earlier declined to work on the boxes, saying it wasn’t technically possible. France has a direct link to the crash, which killed 157, since the Max’s engines are made by the CFM International venture of General Electric Co. and Paris-based Safran SA.

    The choice of the BEA for the decoding of the recorders still represents a snub for U.S. regulators used to taking a leading role in probes of Boeing planes. The National Transportation Safety Board will still have a role given that the 737 is made in Seattle, and plans to send three investigators to France to help the BEA with the downloading and analysis, according to a statement.

    The NTSB also emphasized its own “expertise in recorders, flight crew operations and human factors,” and stressed that the Ethiopian Aircraft Accident Investigations Bureau remains in charge of the investigation. The Washington-based agency already has officials in Addis Ababa, assisted by advisers from the FAA, Boeing and GE/Safran.

    The BEA made headlines in 2011 when it took just weeks to recover the full contents of data and voice recorders from an Air France plane after the devices had spent two years in 12,800 feet of seawater. The breakthrough helped explain the worst accident in the carrier’s history.

    High-profile incidents handled by the BEA:

    Germanwings Flight 9525, flown into a mountain by its co-pilot in 2015, killing all 150 people on board.
    Air France Flight 447, lost in the Atlantic Ocean in 2009 with 228 passengers and crew in circumstances that also saw pilots struggling with automated safety systems.
    The Concorde crash in 2000, after the world’s only supersonic jet exploded into flames are hitting debris on the Paris runway.

    French President Emmanuel Macron has meanwhile held discussions with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed about a new contract for Toulouse-based Airbus SE as part of a renewal of the Ethiopian Airlines fleet, a French official said Thursday.

    Though the African carrier already operates the European planemaker’s A350 wide-body, all of its other jets are Boeings, including 787 Dreamliners for which it was one of the first global customers, and a variety of 737s.

    Macron will also discuss a major Airbus order during his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping’s state visit to France later this month, the official said. China has 20 percent of all delivered Max jets and was the first major authority to ground the model after Sunday’s tragedy.

    The Asian nation will itself be looking to benefit from the 737’s travails by attracting more sales for the Comac C919, which the company says has more than 800 orders worldwide.

    Boeing’s $600 billion-plus backlog for the 737 Max is also looking shaky after several big customers reconsider their purchases, among them VietJet Aviation JSC, which doubled its order to about $25 billion last month, and Lion Air, operator of the plane in the Indonesia crash, which plans to drop a $22 billion deal, according to a person with knowledge of the plan.

    Indonesia will send two officials to Addis Ababa as an observers of the investigation into the crash, and will share data and insights from its own probe into the loss of Lion Air flight 610 in October, according to Soerjanto Tjahjono, chairman of the country’s National Transportation Safety Committee.

    The Lion Air Max experienced more than two dozen sharp dips shortly after takeoff, with a preliminary report suggesting the jet was automatically commanded to dive because software thought it was in danger of losing lift following a sensor malfunction.

    A rift opened between Lion Air and Boeing when the U.S. company said the disaster could have been avoided if pilots had followed procedure, though it has since cooperated positively with Indonesia on the JT610 probe, according to Tjahjono, who said the NTSC hasn’t received any reports of further malfunctions concerning the Max.

    The U.K. Air Accidents Investigation Branch, which has sent three experts to the Ethiopia crash, as British citizens were among those killed, said that whichever body processes the boxes, the airline and other relevant parties would attend as observers to ensure that proper protocols are followed.

    — With assistance by Alan Levin, Harry Suhartono, Nizar Manek, and Tara Patel
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb

  6. #16026

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Jeffrey Epstein prosecutor was previously rebuked for handling of a child sex case
    MARCH 14, 2019 12:18 PM,

    Nine months before cutting a covert plea deal with sex trafficking suspect Jeffrey Epstein, Miami U.S. Attorney Alexander Acosta was notified that the lead prosecutor in Epstein’s case had concealed victim information in another underage sex crimes case, the Miami Herald has learned.

    The prosecutor, A. Marie Villafaņa, was harshly rebuked by a federal judge in January 2007 for what he called her “intentional and/or serious lapse in judgment’’ when she failed to explicitly inform him that the defendant, a Texas man who traveled to Florida to have sex with a 14-year-old girl, had a prior history of predatory behavior with minors, court records show.

    Acosta, her boss at the time, not only knew about Villafaņa’s breach, but records show that he subsequently defended it. Acosta assigned another prosecutor in his office to write a treatise for the judge in an unsuccessful attempt to persuade him to soften the stinging language in his order.

    Senior U.S. District Court Judge William J. Zloch copied Acosta on his order, noting, “The court is at a total loss as to why the Office of the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, as well as the Assistant United States Attorney assigned to the above-styled cause, found it appropriate to intentionally withhold ... information from the court.’’

    Later that year, Acosta and Villafaņa put together a plea bargain for Epstein, a multimillionaire money manager accused of sexually abusing dozens of teenage girls at his mansion in Palm Beach. The deal, a federal judge ruled last month, was intentionally kept from his victims in violation of the Crime Victims’ Rights Act.

    While the two cases are unrelated, it shows that both Acosta and Villafaņa had been warned about the importance of victim disclosure in sex crimes cases before the Epstein agreement. They nevertheless forged ahead with a pact with Epstein that violated the law.

    U.S. District Court Judge Kenneth A. Marra wrote: “When the Government gives information to victims, it cannot be misleading. While the Government spent untold hours negotiating the terms and implications of the [agreement] with Epstein’s attorneys, scant information was shared with victims.’’

    This comes as Acosta, who is now the U.S. secretary of labor, is facing mounting scrutiny for his oversight of the Epstein case. On Monday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders declined to say whether President Donald Trump has full confidence in Acosta, noting that Acosta’s involvement in the Epstein case is “currently under review.’’

    The Justice Department launched a probe in January into whether Acosta, Villafaņa and other prosecutors committed professional misconduct.

    Francey Hakes, who worked in the Justice Department’s Crimes Against Children unit, said Zloch’s comments were so brutal that it should have deterred Acosta and Villafaņa from keeping the Epstein deal secret.

    “It is highly unusual for a court to allege an assistant U.S. attorney has intentionally withheld information. That allegation is like dropping a bomb in the legal community,’’ she said.

    “It seems to show that they are not taking these cases very seriously, they are not advocating for strong punishment for sexual predators, and not advocating for victims in a meaningful way.‘’

    Villafaņa, a well-regarded 18-year veteran federal prosecutor, would not comment for this story. But her lawyer, Jonathan Biran, said she has worked tirelessly on behalf of crime victims. She received the 2011 National Crime Victims’ Rights Service Award as well as the Attorney General’s Project Safe Childhood Award.

    He also pointed out that the parents of the victim in the Texas man’s case wrote a letter thanking Villafaņa at the conclusion of the case.

    “AUSA Villafaņa has spent her 18-year career advocating tirelessly on behalf of victims of some of the most serious crimes in Florida, and has received numerous awards for her successful prosecution of major cases,’’ Biran said, adding that Villafaņa has “made South Florida a safer place for children and adults alike.’’

    In 2005, (Adam) McDaniel, then 19, traveled from Texas to Fort Lauderdale, where he hopped into a taxi and headed to Boca Raton to meet up with a 14-year-old girl he had been talking to online for about a year. He picked up the ninth-grader at a high school basketball game, and drove her to a Marriott hotel, where they spent the night, court records show.

    When she failed to come home that evening, her parents called Boca Raton police. Officers tracked the pair down at the hotel the next day, where they found them in bed, clad in little more than their underwear, according to court records.

    McDaniel was arrested on federal sex charges, and pleaded guilty on Oct. 6, 2006, to enticing a minor into sexual conduct by means of interstate commerce, which carried a sentence of from five years up to 30 years in federal prison.


    At sentencing, McDaniel’s public defender, Patrick Hunt, argued for a reduced sentence, blaming his client’s immaturity for the crime. McDaniel had been a good student at Texas Tech and had a family that supported him, Hunt told Zloch.

    Family and acquaintances, including a former Fort Worth police lieutenant, submitted letters to the court vouching for McDaniel’s character.

    There were other issues, however, presented to the judge. While McDaniel was being held in federal lockup awaiting sentencing, he had corresponded with his victim, despite being ordered not to contact her, the court record shows...

    Villafaņa disagreed, but conceded that McDaniel would benefit from psychological treatment. She advocated for a sentence of five to six years, which was at the low end of the guideline.

    It was then that the judge heard from the victim’s mother.

    In a statement, the mother decried the emotional and mental trauma her daughter suffered and the long road to recovery she had ahead of her. The mother mentioned she was further upset that McDaniel continued contact with her daughter after his arrest and she said she believed that McDaniel was still trying to manipulate her daughter by blaming her for his arrest.

    The mother pointed out that prior to their sexual encounter, McDaniel had directed her daughter to watch sexually explicit movies and had described for her sex activities he had had with another underage girl.

    At that point, the judge interrupted.

    “... There has been some reference to another incident with a minor girl. What do you know about that, if anything?’’ Zloch asked Villafaņa.

    Only then did Zloch learn that McDaniel had preyed on other girls over the internet, including a 16-year-old California girl whom he brought to Texas and impregnated. He was also having another relationship with a 15-year-old girl at the time of his arrest, Villafaņa admitted in court.

    The judge promptly sentenced McDaniel to 10 years — twice what Villafaņa recommended.

    Three months later, in January 2007, after reviewing the entire case, Zloch issued an order excoriating Villafaņa for failing to tell him about McDaniel’s prior history.

    “The serial nature of defendant’s seduction of minor girls was revealed for the first time to the court upon the Government’s response to the Court’s inquiry,’’ Zloch wrote, explaining that the defendant’s past was evidence of predatory behavior that warranted a harsher sentence because he may pose a danger to the community.

    Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Lourie was assigned to try to correct the record and persuade the judge to strike a portion of his comments. They argued that since McDaniel had never before been charged with a crime, the history was not relevant at sentencing. The defendant’s prior relationship with a 16-year-old was not illegal in Texas or in California, they said, and the girl classified her relationship as a friendship.

    All the relevant information was provided to the probation department and at McDaniel’s detention hearing, they added, making the point that it was in the record and, therefore, not intentionally withheld by the government.

    While Zloch conceded that the information was part of the probation and bond hearing record, he said it was nevertheless the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s duty to present the defendant’s prior history with minors at sentencing. He refused to strike the most critical portions of his order.

    “Lack of candor to the court is a serious charge, and the judge has quite reasonably expressed dismay that the assistant U.S. attorney apparently intended that he never be given a full picture of the defendant’s conduct,’’ Hakes said.

    But nine months later, in September 2007, Villafaņa was in the throes of thorny negotiations with Epstein’s lawyers. While an FBI investigation was ongoing, Villafaņa discussed ways to quietly resolve the case, emails show.

    A Miami Herald investigation, “Perversion of Justice,’’ published in November, revealed how federal prosecutors, including Acosta and Villafaņa, tried to keep the full scope of Epstein’s crimes out of the public eye. At one point, they discussed charging Epstein in Miami, instead of Palm Beach County, where the crimes happened, noting there would be less media coverage.

    Emails also show that prosecutors repeatedly abided by Epstein’s lawyers’ demands that his victims not be told that an agreement had been reached until after he was sentenced. That meant that the girls could not appear at a hearing to derail finalizing of the deal. Prosecutors had drafted a 53-page federal indictment on sex trafficking charges, but Acosta instead allowed Epstein to plead guilty to two prostitution charges in state court. In exchange, Epstein and his co-conspirators were given federal immunity.

    Villafaņa wrote Epstein lawyer Jay Lefkowitz to discuss the wording of the sentencing agreement for the judge:

    “I will include all our standard language regarding resolving all criminal liability and I will mention co-conspirators, but I would prefer not to highlight for the judge all of the other crimes and all the other persons we could charge,’’ Villafaņa wrote.

    At Epstein’s sentencing, Palm Beach County prosecutor Lanna Belohlavek was questioned by the judge about whether all of Epstein’s victims were told about the deal, as required by law.

    “Are there more than one victim?’’ Circuit Court Judge Deborah Dale Pucillo asked Belohlavek at the June 30, 2008, sentencing.

    “There’s several,’’ Belohlavek replied.

    “Are all the victims in both these cases in agreement with the terms of the plea?’’ the judge asked.

    “Yes,’’ Belohlavek said.

    Coincidentally, the lawyer representing one of the victims was in the courtroom that day. He told the Herald that neither he, nor his client, was told about the agreement.

    Acosta has not responded to the Herald’s repeated requests for comment. A spokesman at the Labor Department told The Washington Post last month: “The office’s decisions were approved by departmental leadership and followed departmental procedures.”

    In the past, Acosta has said that he believed the deal was the best chance prosecutors had of ensuring that Epstein spent some time behind bars and was required to register as a sex offender. Epstein served 13 months in the Palm Beach County jail — but he was allowed to leave for up to 12 hours a day as part of a work release program not normally offered to convicted sex offenders.

    Epstein’s victims, now in their late 20s and 30s, are fighting to have his deal overturned and Epstein sent to prison.

    Bradley Edwards, who represents several of Epstein’s victims, defended Villafaņa, saying he believed that she was directed to settle the case and not inform Epstein’s victims about the deal.

    “In my conversations with her, I came to believe that she was in a difficult position. She never came out and said this, but I suspected that someone above her directed her to do what she did,’’ Edwards said.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb

  7. #16027

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Bill McGlashan Resigns From TPG Amid College Admissions Scandal
    2:41 PM PDT 3/14/2019 by Erik Hayden

    Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images
    Bill McGlashan

    Sources say Jim Coulter will be taking on additional responsibilities with respect to TPG’s Hollywood investments going forward.

    Bill McGlashan is exiting TPG after he was named as one of the dozens charged in a college admissions scandal, the firm said Thursday.

    "Bill McGlashan has been terminated for cause from his positions with TPG and Rise effective immediately," reads a statement from TPG. "After reviewing the allegations of personal misconduct in the criminal complaint, we believe the behavior described to be inexcusable and antithetical to the values of our entire organization."

    The private equity investment firm added, "As we stated in the previous announcement of Mr. McGlashan’s administrative leave, Jim Coulter will take over managing partner responsibilities for TPG Growth and Rise."

    Sources say Coulter will be taking on additional responsibilities with respect to TPG’s Hollywood investments going forward.

    McGlashan, a co-founder of STX Entertainment, also stepped down from the board of the production company on Wednesday.

    On Tuesday, the Department of Justice indicted McGlashan for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in connection with an alleged attempt to get his son granted admission to USC as a crew recruit. Desperate Housewives actress Felicity Huffman and Full House star Lori Loughlin were also among the dozens of parents who were charged.

    Prosecutors allege that McGlashan took part in a cheating scheme "by conspiring to bribe Donna Heinel, the senior associate athletic director at the University of Southern California ('USC'), to facilitate his son’s admission to USC as a recruited athlete."

    In an exit note to the TPG board, McGlashan said, "I will also be focused on addressing the allegations that have been presented, and there are aspects of the story that have yet to emerge that I wish I could share."

    McGlashan's full note is below.

    My Dear Board Members

    Though it breaks my heart to write this, I feel it is now the right thing to resign from The Rise Fund and TPG Growth. The progress we have made is too important for you to be distracted by the issues I am facing personally. The work The Rise Fund is doing is critically important to the world. By stepping down, I hope that The Rise Fund and TPG Growth will be best set to continue their mission. The Rise Fund and TPG Growth are obviously much bigger than any single individual, and it is important you continue building incredible companies that deliver great returns and impact. I am deeply sorry this very difficult situation may interfere with the work to which I have devoted my life.

    As you can imagine, my primary concern at this point is for my family. I will also be focused on addressing the allegations that have been presented, and there are aspects of the story that have yet to emerge that I wish I could share. It is essential however that this process happens apart from The Rise Fund and TPG Growth.

    It has been an absolute honor to work with all of you, and I am deeply grateful for the unique privilege I have had to start this work with you. I hope with all my heart for your great continued impact. I am going to focus on my family and comprehensively addressing the allegations, but I wish you all great success.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb

  8. #16028

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Lori Loughlin's daughter Olivia Jade Giannulli dropped from Sephora gig as she and sister reportedly withdraw from USC
    MAR 14, 2019 | 4:05 PM

    In this Feb. 28, 2019 file photo, actress Lori Loughlin, center, poses with daughters Olivia Jade Giannulli, left, and Isabella Rose Giannulli at the 2019 "An Unforgettable Evening" in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Chris Pizzello / Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)

    Sephora is saving face and ending its partnership with Olivia Jade Giannulli.

    The cosmetics company announced the move Thursday after Giannulli’s famous parents — actress Lori Loughlin and fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli — were arrested this week in the largest college admissions bribery scandal in U.S. history.

    “After careful review of recent developments, we have made the decision to end the Sephora Collection partnership with Olivia Jade, effective immediately,” Sephora said in a statement.

    The 19-year-old social media influencer known simply as Olivia Jade is a beauty vlogger with 1.9 million YouTube subscribers and 1.4 million Instagram followers.

    She released a signature palette of Sephora bronzers and highlighters in December that sold for $28 but was no longer available on the Sephora website Thursday.

    n a separate report Thursday, TMZ said Olivia Jade,19, and her older sister Isabella, 20, decided to withdraw from USC.

    The sisters never really wanted to attend the prestigious university in the first place and feared they would be bullied if they returned, sources told TMZ.

    Olivia in particular “is a mess, despondent and feeling like it’s the end of the world,” one source reportedly said.

    According to prosecutors, Olivia Jade and her older sister were admitted to USC after their parents paid a total of $500,000 in bribes to have them designated as special recruits for the school’s crew team, even though the girls had no competitive rowing credentials.

    Their applications purportedly included staged photos of each daughter posing on a rowing machine.

    Loughlin, 54, is best known for her role as Aunt Becky on the sitcoms “Full House” and “Fuller House.”

    The actress also was a prominent face of the Hallmark Channel until the feel-good family network cut ties on Thursday.

    Loughlin was arrested and released Wednesday in Los Angeles after flying back from Vancouver a day after federal prosecutors in Boston unsealed dozens of indictments in the SAT score-fixing and athletic credentials rigging case.

    Mossimo Giannulli, 55, was arrested and released Tuesday. Both parents agreed to $1 million bonds secured by the family’s multimillion-dollar Bel Air mansion.

    Olivia Jade reportedly was spending spring break in the Bahamas on a yacht belonging to businessman Rick Caruso, chairman of USC’s board of trustees, when news of the conspiracy scheme first broke.

    She is friends with Caruso’s daughter Gianna Caruso and reportedly left the yacht voluntarily.

    “My daughter and a group of students left for spring break prior to the government’s announcement yesterday. Once we became aware of the investigation, (Olivia Jade) decided it would be in her best interests to return home,” Caruso said, according to TMZ.

    Speaking on Tuesday, Caruso said the charges filed against people tied to USC’s athletics department “disturbing.”

    “I am saddened that these people would abuse their positions of trust and, as the government has alleged, victimize USC in the process. There is no option other than zero tolerance for this type of behavior. As a result, USC has fired the alleged wrongdoers,” he said.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb

  9. #16029

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    Sephora is saving face and ending its partnership with Olivia Jade Giannulli.

    The cosmetics company announced the move Thursday after Giannulli’s famous parents — actress Lori Loughlin and fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli — were arrested this week in the largest college admissions bribery scandal in U.S. history.

    “After careful review of recent developments, we have made the decision to end the Sephora Collection partnership with Olivia Jade, effective immediately,” Sephora said in a statement.
    Careful review is code for, we were getting hammered on social media for our inaction and in our delay, we noticed that the comments on the Olivia Jade product pages were getting torched so we realized we couldn't ride this out any longer.

  10. #16030

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Rescinded admissions, a class-action suit: Fallout from college scandal spreads

    By Moriah Balingit , Nick Anderson , Susan Svrluga and Devlin Barrett March 14 at 9:04 PM

    The University of Southern California rescinded the admissions of a half-dozen students, and several other colleges and universities pledged to take a closer look at their admissions processes as fallout continued from an admissions scandal that implicated coaches, athletic department administrators and 33 wealthy, well-connected parents who allegedly schemed to get their children admitted to prestigious colleges.

    A class-action lawsuit was filed Wednesday on behalf of applicants who were denied admission to several universities affected by the scandal. It alleged that those schools failed to take adequate steps to safeguard against fraud, depriving the applicants of a fair shot. And it emerged that the gen*esis of the FBI investigation came when an investor tipped off agents to the admissions scheme after he was caught committing securities fraud.

    On Tuesday, 50 people were charged or indicted in connection with the scheme, including actors Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin and Loughlin’s husband, clothing designer Mossimo Giannulli. Other parents charged include the owner of a Napa Valley winery, the wife of an NFL legend, high-ranking lawyers, private equity investors, real estate moguls and a media company owner. Some of those charged have already faced consequences: The Hallmark Channel announced it had dropped Loughlin from all future projects, and William McGlashan, who allegedly bribed a USC official to get his son admitted as a recruited athlete, stepped down from TPG Growth, a private equity fund.

    Questions remain about what will happen to the college students who were admitted under circumstances being scrutinized by the FBI. According to the criminal complaint in the case, their parents paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to submit fraudulent test scores and fake athletic credentials on their behalf. Prosecutors say that with the help of a corrupt college consultant, the parents paid off coaches so their children could pose as athletic recruits, allowing them to attend selective schools despite lackluster academic records.

    Prosecutors indicated that some parents went to great lengths to conceal the scheme from their children, even tricking them into believing they had achieved high scores on tests that were actually taken by a college test preparation director. One mother allegedly asked “whether it would be possible for her to obtain a copy of the exam that she could have her son take at home — so that he would believe he had taken the test,” the court filing said.

    Court documents allege the man at the epicenter of the scandal, William “Rick” Singer, has been helping parents get their children into selective schools this way since at least 2011. While the criminal complaint identifies about three dozen children who allegedly were fraudulently admitted, Singer reportedly bragged to one parent that he had facilitated 761 admissions through “side doors” — his term for the scheme.

    Georgetown University disclosed Thursday that it plans to hire an independent analyst to audit its athletic recruiting and recommend actions it should take “to strengthen the integrity of our process.”

    Prosecutors have alleged Singer paid former Georgetown tennis coach Gordon Ernst more than $2.7 million in bribes from 2012 to 2018. In exchange, prosecutors said, Ernst designated at least 12 applicants as tennis recruits, including some who did not play tennis competitively.

    The university said it was reviewing court documents and its own records to confirm how many applicants connected to the Singer operation were admitted to Georgetown, and how many are still enrolled.

    What the university will do about those students is unknown. Citing federal privacy law, Georgetown said it would not comment on individual students.

    At Wake Forest University, federal investigators charged that volleyball coach Bill Ferguson was complicit in the scheme. Court documents say that Singer steered three checks totaling $100,000 to Ferguson in 2017. Half of that money went to a private volleyball camp Ferguson controlled, the documents said, and the rest went to the Wake Forest women’s volleyball program and the Wake Forest Deacon Club.

    In exchange, prosecutors said, Ferguson designated one of Singer’s clients as a recruit — a step that boosted the applicant’s chances of admission. School officials acknowledged that an applicant mentioned in the complaint had been wait-listed before being offered admission.

    “We have no reason to believe the student was aware of the alleged financial transaction,” university President Nathan O. Hatch said in a statement Wednesday.

    Hatch said Ferguson has been placed on administrative leave. “The review completed to date by outside legal counsel underscores that Bill Ferguson acted independently and was the only person at Wake Forest with knowledge of, and involvement with, the alleged misconduct,” Hatch said.

    Other schools declined to say what would happen to students who prosecutors allege were admitted through fraudulent schemes. No students have been charged with a crime.

    Experts said the scandal crystallizes long-simmering resentment over the disadvantages middle- and working-class families face compared with affluent ones, providing more evidence to the notion that the system is rigged in favor of the wealthy. The anger and outrage may force universities to pull the curtain back on the admissions process, which has long been shrouded in secrecy.

    The class-action lawsuit, filed in federal court in Northern California, injected another element into the fallout of the scandal. One of the plaintiffs named in the suit, Stanford student Kalea Woods, also applied in 2017 to the University of Southern California. The suit said Woods and others like her were unaware when they applied that admission was “an unfair, rigged process” in which parents could “buy” slots for their children.

    Asked about the lawsuit, universities defended their admissions systems. “Like many students and families across the country, we are also outraged that parents, outside actors and university employees may have committed fraud surrounding admissions at universities,” J.B. Bird, spokesman for the University of Texas at Austin, said. “The University of Texas has a thorough, holistic admissions process. The actions alleged by federal prosecutors against one UT employee were not in line with that policy and may have been criminal. They do not reflect our admissions process.”

    FBI agents were tipped off to the scheme by a man they were investigating for securities fraud. Once he was caught, the man offered agents a tantalizing lead — the women’s soccer coach at Yale, Rudolph Meredith, had suggested a bribe could get his child into the school, according to people familiar with the matter.

    With that, the FBI arranged a surreptitiously recorded meeting in a Boston hotel room in which the two men discussed the terms, including a $450,000 bribe if the coach designated the man’s daughter as a recruit for the soccer team, which would greatly enhance her chances of admission to Yale, according to court papers and people familiar with the matter. The tipster’s identity was earlier disclosed by the Boston Globe.

    The undercover dad allegedly gave the coach a $2,000 cash down payment, according to charging papers.

    After that meeting in April 2018, FBI agents approached Meredith, and he agreed to cooperate in providing evidence against others involved in the scheme. That led agents to Singer.
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb

  11. #16031

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Now there's a class action begging to be dismissed. And regardless of the validity, absolutely terrible named plaintiffs. Two Stanford students? Oh how the poor dears have suffered from this scandal. Better find someone who is going to Barstow Community College instead of USC.

  12. #16032

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Disagree. Imagine the irony: I was not admitted to USC. I sued them. I got one million, and now I can go to any school and start my career with $750 grand in the bank.
    Revenge of the Nerds to the Nth degree
    Starry starry night

  13. #16033

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    Disagree. Imagine the irony: I was not admitted to USC. I sued them. I got one million, and now I can go to any school and start my career with $750 grand in the bank.
    Revenge of the Nerds to the Nth degree
    Well when you put it like that...
    "Even if you dance for your enemy on the rock, he will accuse you of splashing water on him." ~ African Proverb

  14. #16034

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    Disagree. Imagine the irony: I was not admitted to USC. I sued them. I got one million, and now I can go to any school and start my career with $750 grand in the bank.
    Revenge of the Nerds to the Nth degree
    If that's how class actions worked, yeah, but it's not. That won't be the walk away amount. Not even remotely in the ballpark of anything approaching a million not even for the named plaintiffs. And you're supposed to be showing actual harm. Stanford is the opposite of showing you suffered. The firm that is bringing this is seeking a national platform I'm sure, because not only does it appear to be quite a weak case that is unlikely to get certified, those would never be the named plaintiffs you would want to use. Ever.

  15. #16035

    Re: National, Regional and Local News

    I agree that the ideal plaintiffs would be students who applied to USC and were rejected, AND who ended up at a community college. Given the circumstances, I don't think it would matter whether the identified students would have gotten into USC if another 100 spots had been open. If they can show that they gave the application process to USC their full attention (all paper-work, paid application fees, wrote whatever essays, made themselves available for interviews), then they should have a good lawsuit.


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