October 9, 2014 |
A Philadelphia loan broker responsible for lining up funding for some of Center City's most high-profile recent developments was sentenced Tuesday to 16 years in prison for his role in a $26 million fraud that bilked nearly 2,000 hopeful entrepreneurs out of money they gave him to secure small-business financing. As part of an agreement with prosecutors, Matthew McManus, a former co-owner of Remington Financial Group, agreed to pay back $17.7 million to his victims. He said Tuesday that he was "truly and painstakingly sorry" for his crimes - an admission that left U.S. District Judge William H. Yohn Jr. puzzled.
September 30, 2014 |
In a modest Northeast Philadelphia house, Masha Lipkovsky, an immigrant from Ukraine, thinks big - in terms of tiers, pounds of butter and flour, and elaborate decorative finishes involving rhinestones, wings, and even a teapot made of sugar. To say that Lipkovsky bakes cakes would grossly understate an artistic prowess behind an award-winning six-tier stunner inspired by the wedding dress of Katniss Everdeen in Hunger Games: Catching Fire , and an Alice in Wonderland creation that weighed more than 80 pounds and took three people to carry.
September 29, 2014 |
He can afford to hire salespeople. But Jack Dorsey , who owns a billion dollars' worth of stock in the last company he started, Twitter Inc. , plus another billion in his current company, the smartphone-based payment system Square Inc. , was in Center City last week doing the job himself. The soft-spoken, self-taught programmer, 37, recalled two months he spent in Philadelphia, between dropping out of colleges elsewhere, as a contract coder for medical-device companies.
September 24, 2014
YOU'RE 62 or older, and life has derailed your plans. You didn't save nearly as much as you wanted to retire - but you had to stop working because of health issues. You'll receive a Social Security benefit and a monthly pension. But there's a financial gap because of unexpected expenses. You need a new roof and other necessary home repairs. Then you see a late-night television commercial about something called a reverse mortgage. "You know some people have told me reverse mortgages sound too good to be true," the actor and former Sen. Fred Thompson says.
September 10, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.) defended his accomplishments in Congress Monday and said he had not done anything illegal, though he declined to address the actions attributed to him in a top political aide's guilty-plea deal over misusing federal funds. Instead, Fattah said he would focus on the positive work he was doing - including helping millions of students prepare for college and providing billions of dollars in foreclosure relief - and argued that news media should do more of the same.
September 8, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Their missions were admirable: Boost education programs for Philadelphia schoolchildren and provide college scholarships. But according to federal prosecutors and an Aug. 27 plea deal with Gregory Naylor, a longtime political aide to Rep. Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.), the two nonprofits founded by the congressman were also conduits in a scheme using federal funds to secretly repay an illegal campaign loan. The plea lays out a sweeping conspiracy that prosecutors say involves former aides to the 10-term Philadelphia congressman and two charities he has long promoted and supported with taxpayer dollars.
September 1, 2014 |
One was a kid from the hardscrabble Abbottsford Homes in East Falls who rose to become a millionaire member of America's financial elite. Another is a foul-mouthed, sneaker-wearing, high school dropout who built a political consulting business with clients who included a long-shot Illinois U.S. Senate candidate named Barack Obama. A third is a hard-driving genius at Philadelphia ward politics steeped in the arcane arts of street money, ballot-cutting, and get-out-the-vote drives.
August 29, 2014 |
WHO IS "Person D?" That has been the hot question in political and legal circles since a longtime aide to U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah admitted in federal court Wednesday that he lied to investigators to conceal an illegal $1 million loan to Fattah's 2007 campaign for mayor of Philadelphia. A source familiar with the investigation said yesterday the man who made that loan - identified as "Person D" in federal documents - is believed to be Albert "Al" Lord, the former CEO of Sallie Mae, the giant student loan financing corporation.
August 22, 2014 |
The Delaware River Port Authority postponed action Wednesday on a measure that would have allowed commissioners and staffers subpoenaed by a federal grand jury to choose their own lawyers. Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley, who chaired the meeting, did not explain to fellow commissioners why the item was withdrawn from the agenda. It appeared, however, that the board would have lacked a quorum for a vote because the subpoenaed commissioners would have had to recuse themselves. While the authority would pay for the legal representation, DRPA deputy chief executive Michael Conallen said it was unclear if those under subpoena must use only authority-approved law firms that have agreed to a ceiling on their fees.
July 25, 2014
I VOLUNTEER at a correctional institution for women. During one financial-literacy class, I was struck by something that was disturbing two inmates who were scheduled to be released within the next two years. They were worried about defaulted student loans. Once out of prison, they feared that if they found a job, debt collectors would come after their paychecks. They were concerned that late fees, additional interest and other collection costs would make it impossible for them to get out of default.