Twenty years ago there was a resurgence in the abuse of LSD, a hallucinogen that first became popular in the late 1960’s. This odorless and colorless drug, also known as acid, has a high potential for abuse. While its primary effect is to give users a dramatic change in their visual perception, it also can result in extreme changes in mood, a distorted view of objects, sounds, touch and their own body image. Their ability to make sound judgments is also impaired, and the likelihood of experiencing extreme anxiety and depression is greatly increased. Hallucinogens, from LSD to PCP to Ecstasy, continue to be dangerous and illegal drugs of concern today.
Detroit Area Strip Club Owner Pleads Guilty to Using Computer Software Program to Delete Club’s Sales in Order to Cheat on Taxes
Nicholas J. Faranso of Farmington Hills, Mich., pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Court Judge John Corbett O’Meara in the Eastern District of Michigan to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, the Justice Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced. For his role in the conspiracy, Faranso faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison. The court set sentencing for July 14, 2011.
According to court documents, Faranso owned two strip clubs: BT’s in Dearborn, Mich., and Tycoon’s in Detroit. From 2001 through 2004, both establishments used a computerized point of sales system which produced guest checks and electronically tracked and recorded sales. Court documents reveal that, in 2001,Faranso purchased a computer software program called Journal Sales Remover from Theodore Kramer, a self-employed computer software salesman. This computer software program was specifically designed to remove a portion of the actual sales from the computerized point of sales systems. The program would make it appear that Faranso’s clubs received less income than they actually did.
Faranso directed Kramer to put the Journal Sales Remover program onto his businesses’ computer systems in order to help the club owner cheat on the businesses’ taxes. From about 2001 to about 2004, at Faranso’s request, Kramer made periodic visits to Faranso’s clubs to run the Journal Sales Remover program to remove a substantial amount of the actual sales from the computerized sales systems. Faranso then provided the reduced sales figures to his accountant. As a result, Faranso falsified the clubs’ tax returns by understating their gross receipts by more than $500,000. Kramer previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy on Nov. 17, 2010.
Barbara L. McQuade, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, and John A. DiCicco, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice, Tax Division, commended the IRS special agents who investigated this matter and Tax Division Trial Attorneys Kenneth C. Vert and Tiwana L. Wright, who prosecuted the case.
A large number of birds were found dead in Falkoping, Sweden, Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
Autopsies on five birds were completed by the Swedish National Veterinary Institute. Their findings were no illness, no external signs of damage or blows of any kind and no infection. However, the birds showed signs of internal bleeding, which ultimately killed them.
In similar cases, Arkansas had thousands of red-winged blackbirds and starlings fall from the sky on New Year’s Eve in the small town of Beebe.
Monday morning, at least 500 birds fell dead in Labarre, Louisiana, showing the same symptoms. The birds dying there were also starlings, red-winged blackbirds and sparrows.
Baltimore :: MD :: USA | about 1 hour ago
Authorities in Maryland are investigating the deaths of about 2 million fish in Chesapeake Bay. "Natural causes appear to be the reason," the Maryland Department of the Environment said in a news release. "Cold water stress exacerbated by a large population
Consider the logistics of keeping private the sheer volume of information flowing from social-media sites. In its December 2010 selection of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg Person of the Year, Time Magazine cites daunting statistics:
- Facebook membership reached 550 billion this year (one of 12 people globally)
- Daily 700,000 new members join Facebook
- In November one-quarter of all U.S. page views were to Facebook
- Almost half of all Americans have Facebook accounts
- Facebook posts 100 million new pictures every day
Time's observation about online privacy is relevant to the topic of this article: "the Internet was built to move information around, not keep it in one place, and it tends to do what it was built to do." How realistic is it to think anything you post online even to a limited audience won't end up as evidence in a later lawsuit?
According to legal opinion pieces on FindLaw.com, if you are involved in a personal injury lawsuit, your comment and picture posts to social-media websites such as Facebook and MySpace may be discoverable as potential evidence by the other side, although jurisdictions are split on the issue. This may not be something you relish, whether you are bringing the suit or defending it.
New York Example
In Romano v. Steelcase Inc., a New York state personal injury plaintiff was compelled to produce "private" postings on Facebook and MySpace for discovery after the Supreme Court (trial court) in Suffolk County decided in September 2010 that the postings were "material and necessary" to the legal and factual issues surrounding the extent of her injury and how much it affected her enjoyment of life.
The defendant asked the court for access to Romano's postings because it believed the posted comments and photos could refute her injury claim and allegation that she had lost the enjoyment of life. The court agreed, noting that "the primary purpose" of social-media websites "is to enable people to share information about how they lead their social lives," and ruling that users have "no reasonable expectation of privacy" on social-media websites even when they choose more restricted privacy settings.
The court focused on the essence of a personal injury lawsuit. By filing, Kathleen Romano herself put her "physical condition in controversy." Interestingly, the opinion analyzed similar Canadian cases in light of New York's "liberal disclosure policy." The court also commented on both sites' warnings that whatever users post is at their own risk despite privacy settings.
California Federal Court Weighs In
The U.S. District Court in the Central District of California had a different view, holding in the May 2010 copyright case Crispin v. Christian Audigier, Inc., that the defendant case could not subpoena plaintiff's private postings on social-media websites. The court equated the privacy of a "friends only" access setting to that expected in an e-mail message, banking record or employment file. Had Buckley Crispin allowed his profile and posts to be viewed by "everyone," the court would have deemed the content truly public.
Remember, both Facebook and MySpace caution their users that the sites cannot guarantee the privacy of posted content. Indeed, common sense dictates that parents of American teenagers should already routinely warn their kids to remember that once something hits the Internet, the cat is out of the bag and that information may return to haunt. And that warning is just as important for adults, especially those involved in lawsuits that raise legal questions about physical, mental and emotional well being like personal injury suits and child custody matters.
While jurisdictions are currently split on what information posted to social-media websites is discoverable in a lawsuit, it is wise to remember Facebook's warning, "[y]ou post User Content ... on the Site at your own risk."
Article provided by Injury Law Center - Law Offices of Jack Bloxham
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