Texas man charged with scamming senior citizens out of millions
AUSTIN, Texas — An Austin man previously accused of being “a top revenue producer” in a nationwide Ponzi scheme that fleeced investors out of more than $1 billion has been indicted on felony counts of fraud, theft and money laundering by a Travis County grand jury.Brett Pittsenbargar, 47, was arrested Wednesday morning and booked into the Travis County jail. He faces five to 99 years or life in prison if convicted on the charges.“His victims are almost exclusively senior citizens, and they suffered devastating losses,” said Joe Rotunda, director of enforcement at the Texas State Securities Boa...
3rd teen charged in Barnard College student Tessa Majors' murder
NEW YORK — Two teens were arraigned as adults Wednesday in the stabbing death of Tessa Majors, the Barnard College freshman who was murdered in December while jogging through Morningside Park.The alleged knifer, Rashaun Weaver, 14, was charged as an adult with robbery and murder Saturday; his DNA was discovered beneath the victim’s fingernails, authorities said. The second suspect, Luciano Lewis, 14, surrendered to police early Wednesday and was hit with the same charges.The teens were arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court, where, in low voices, they pleaded not guilty, as relatives, lawyers, ...
New York Daily News
Nation and world news briefs
Sex abuse cases push Harrisburg Catholic Diocese into bankruptcyThe Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg, facing sex abuse claims it says it may not be able to pay, filed for bankruptcy protection, citing changing laws and an increasing number of victims.The church “has struggled to remain financially viable while funding compensation for survivors and continued litigation by survivors,” the Pennsylvania diocese said in court papers filed Wednesday.Early last year, church officials launched a compensation program for victims, giving them 90 days to file claims. The program paid more than $12.5...
Tribune News Service
Ex-UAW leader who pocketed millions in scandal gets 28-month sentence
DETROIT — Michael Grimes asked God for forgiveness Wednesday and apologized to his former UAW brothers and sisters for pocketing more than $1.5 million in the corruption scandal.Grimes also had a few more things to say outside of federal court in Detroit after U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman sentenced him to 28 months in prison for his crimes.“I just want to say I’m sorry,” said Grimes, a former UAW administrative assistant and executive board member of the UAW-GM Center for Human Resources who pleaded guilty in September to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering.Finally, he...
Detroit Free Press
A Pa. 'pill mill' doctor traded cash for opioids. Now he's heading to federal prison
PHILADELPHIA — A Montgomery County psychiatrist who traded cash for medically unnecessary opioid prescriptions is heading to federal prison.Spiro Y. Kassis, 66, was sentenced Wednesday to four years in prison after pleading guilty to illegally distributing controlled substances, including the opiate painkiller oxycodone. Separately, Kassis agreed to pay $1.4 million to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit and agreed to never again obtain a license for prescribing opioid medication.U.S. Attorney William McSwain said in a statement that Kassis, who was first arrested by county investigators in ...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Commentary: No, the Harvey Weinstein verdict isn't a judgment on #MeToo itself
Closing arguments have now been made in the rape and sexual assault trial of Harvey Weinstein, the jury has been instructed and in the next week or so, we’ll have a verdict from the seven men and five women charged with deciding the case. The outcome, however, cannot be predicted with any certainty. Based on accounts of the evidence offered in the media, a conviction, an acquittal or a hung jury all seem like plausible outcomes.For some observers, that uncertainty is likely to produce anxiety. This trial, some commentators have said, is about the fate or more than just one man. It is about the...
New York Daily News
Man cleared of manslaughter in Philly stabbing gets probation for earlier bike theft
PHILADELPHIA — Michael White, acquitted last year of murder charges in the fatal stabbing of real estate developer Sean Schellenger near Rittenhouse Square in 2018, was sentenced Wednesday to an additional year of probation after he admitted stealing a bicycle from the University of Pennsylvania several months before the killing.White, 22, pleaded guilty to theft and related crimes for using bolt cutters to break the lock that had been securing the bike on Penn’s campus at 1:27 a.m. on Nov. 3, 2017. White was out with several other people at the time, according to details of the case that were...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Former University of Michigan team doctor investigated for multiple sex abuse complaints
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — The University of Michigan is investigating several “disturbing and very serious” allegations of sexual abuse against a now-deceased member of its physician team, officials confirmed to The Detroit News on Wednesday morning.The doctor implicated in the reports, Robert E. Anderson, was a former director of the University Health Service and spent several years as a top physician for football teams led by former coaches Bo Schembechler and Lloyd Carr.The university said it was first alerted to allegations against Anderson in July 2018, when a former student athlete wrote to...
The Detroit News
Sentencing for Kellen Winslow II in sex-crime case pushed to March
SAN DIEGO — Sentencing for former NFL player Kellen Winslow II, who faces up to 18 years in prison following his conviction for raping a homeless woman and other charges, has been pushed to March 20.On Wednesday, the day Winslow was slated to be sentenced in a Vista courtroom, Superior Court Judge Blaine Bowman granted a request from Winslow’s attorneys to postpone the hearing, who in court documents cited a couple of reasons, including efforts to talk with a potential witness who could provide information in favor of their client. The prosecution did not oppose the monthlong postponement.Once...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Pennsylvania Supreme Court suspends Jerry Sandusky prosecutor
PHILADELPHIA — The state Supreme Court on Wednesday suspended former state prosecutor Frank Fina from practicing law for a year and a day, ruling that he violated ethical rules in his investigation of Pennsylvania State University’s former president for covering up child abuse.The suspension was a harsh blow for Fina, 54, who had won a degree of fame for his aggressive and successful prosecution of a string of corrupt politicians but became entangled in controversy over the Penn State probe and an unrelated conflict with former state Attorney General Kathleen Kane.By a 6-0 vote, with one justi...
The Philadelphia Inquirer