November 28, 2013 |
A potential stumbling block to the rapid takeoff of online gambling in New Jersey - where casino sites opened to the public Tuesday - is the refusal of many banks to allow gamblers to deposit money into online casino accounts with Visa cards. A 2006 federal law cracked down on such transactions, forcing banks to put rigorous systems in place to weed them out. Though they are legal now in New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada, many big banks continue to snub Internet gambling. "For seven years, banks have been conditioned on the ramifications and the penalties associated with accepting illegal Internet gaming transactions," said Joseph Pappano Sr., vice president and managing director at Vantiv Inc., which is processing Visa and MasterCard transactions for online gambling in all three states.
November 28, 2013 |
PHILADELPHIA Jurors in Dorothy June Brown's federal fraud trial heard Tuesday about multiple salaries paid to Brown and money she received from management firms she controlled. Brown is accused of defrauding the four charter schools she founded of $6.7 million and then conspiring with two former administrators to obstruct justice by orchestrating a cover-up. Francis L. Gizaza, an accountant who began preparing tax returns for Brown's schools in 1998, reviewed several years of nonprofit tax forms for the schools.
November 27, 2013
The Justice Department's largest-ever civil settlement with a single company may suggest the federal government is finally getting tough with the financial institutions whose reckless practices led to the recession. But in reality the punishment may not prevent a similar catastrophe because it doesn't go far enough to sanction the responsible firms. The government settled for $13 billion from JPMorgan Chase, which was accused of knowingly selling bad mortgages to investors, including pension funds.
November 18, 2013 |
Right about now, foes of 2010's health-care reform are gleefully pointing to the law's rocky rollout as evidence for Ronald Reagan's famous declaration that "government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. " Even some Obamacare supporters worry it's a sign that government can't get things right. But before you fall for a notion that helps too many Americans gloss over the government's achievements - say, Social Security, Medicare, and the moon landings - you might want to consider the epiphany reported recently by University of Chicago economist Neale Mahoney.
October 29, 2013 |
ROSCOE CAMPBELL retired from the Philadelphia Police Department 28 years ago, but he must have felt the force was still with him over the weekend when he allegedly tried to shake down a motorist for parking in a handicapped spot at an Upper Darby Wawa. Now Campbell, 79, finds himself on the dark side of the law, charged with impersonating a police officer, robbery and related offenses for the incident at the convenience store on State Road near Highland Avenue about 3 a.m. Saturday.
October 19, 2013 |
A Crescentville murder suspect who police believe had been on the run with help from a homicide detective has surrendered, police said. Erica Sanchez, 33, turned herself in Wednesday night at the Internal Affairs Bureau, accompanied by her lawyer, and was charged with murder in the stabbing death of Cesar Vera, an ex-boyfriend. Vera was stabbed in the chest Sept. 8 during an argument at a North Philadelphia block party. Internal Affairs is investigating whether Detective Ron Dove, who told police he has been involved with Sanchez for five years, attempted to cover up evidence in the murder and helped her flee by driving her to a hotel in Upstate New York.
October 9, 2013 |
Due to a huge response to Friday's column on avoiding identity theft, we're revisiting the subject, with additional ways to opt out of preapproved credit-card offers. Credit-card companies buy and sell your personal information, so opting out of their prescreened credit-card offers is no easy task. In fact, they make it downright difficult. Still, there are several ways to opt out of receiving credit-card offers that otherwise can jam your mailbox. One is by telephone - the number we included in last week's column - and that automated telephone service immediately asks for your Social Security number.
September 8, 2013 |
Abington police have arrested two U.S. Postal Service employees who they say stole customers' credit card numbers and used them to purchase gift cards, aquarium tickets, and other items. Rashaad Schell, 23, and Daryl Matthews, 24, both of Philadelphia, are charged with identity theft, conspiracy, forgery, and related offenses. They were arraigned Thursday, and bail was set at $75,000 each. Police say the men used their cellphones to capture photos or videos of customers' credit cards.
July 29, 2013 |
Irma Shapiro clearly has bigger things to complain about than a credit-card bill, including an annus horribilis that could make a queen of England shudder. An artist, she lost many of her paintings and a lifetime's worth of belongings last year when an electrical fire destroyed her Bala Cynwyd home. Then she lost her sister, her only sibling. Two months later, her nephew died. But sometimes, it's the small stuff that rankles - especially when you suspect a larger pattern.
July 27, 2013 |
NEWARK, N.J. - Four Russians and a Ukrainian have been charged with running a sophisticated hacking organization that penetrated the computer networks of more than a dozen major U.S. and international corporations over seven years, stealing and selling millions of credit and debit card numbers, resulting in losses of hundreds of millions of dollars. Indictments were announced Thursday in Newark, where U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman called the case the largest hacking and data breach scheme ever prosecuted in the United States.