New Jersey real estate investor charged with $2 million theft

Friday, March 20, 2009

The owner of a New Jersey real estate investment firm has been charged with using $2 million of his company’s money for construction at his home and other projects not related to work.

Gary Klein, owner of the Asbury Park-based REI Group Inc., surrendered himself to police after a Monmouth County grand jury indicted him on one count of theft by deception charges.

The charges were the result of a three-year investigation into his practices. Klein, 45, of Colts Neck Township, faces up to 10 years in state prison if convicted. Klein was released Friday after posting $75,000 bail.

Klein attracted clients by telling them he would invest their money in projects that would result in returns of 12 and 85 percent. Prosecutors said the actions mirrored those of a Ponzi scheme.

Robert Weir, Klein’s attorney, said the operation was not a Ponzi scheme, but legitimate business investments that went bad as the economy declined. Weir also said Klein hired a receiver to try and return the investors’ money once the investments started to go sour.

“It’s a shame that a business that experienced a turn in the real estate market is now being treated as a criminal problem. That was not Mr. Klein’s intent,” Weir said to The Star-Ledger.

Weir said the investments were used for building rehabilitation projects in Asbury Park and the construction of Florida condominium complexes, but authorities said Klein used the money to repay earlier investors who were cashing out, as well to help build his own home.

News briefs:May 04, 2010

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Material Handling Equipment: Increase Efficiency And Reduce Fatalities

By Christine Macguire

A majority of all industrial occupations involve overexertion that invariably leads to accidents and hazards. Handling and storing materials in different industries involve diverse operations such as hoisting tons of steel with a crane; driving a truck loaded with concrete blocks; carrying bags or materials manually; and stacking palletized bricks or other materials such as drums, barrels, kegs, and lumber. A survey reveals that an estimated 30 percent of the workforce is exposed to the hazard of lifting everyday. Materials handling equipment are an essential solution for reducing the risk of physical injuries for employees at work place.

Manual material handling implies unaided moving of objects, which often leads to twisted and awkward postures resulting in musculoskeletal disorders. Moreover, with the increase in the female population at workplaces and a generally older workforce, risk of injuries due to manual material handling has certainly increased. Having the right material handling equipment has become essential for a smooth and efficient workflow and high productivity.

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Material Handling Equipment can be custom built in any shape or form to suit any application. Material handling equipment is used to transport, stack, recover and feed bulk materials. The concept of material handling equipment is to provide bulk material handling solutions to industries worldwide. Rollers, belts and chains are among the items that can be incorporated into a custom-built piece of material handling equipment. A variety of hydraulic and electric drives are also available. Every piece of equipment is ruggedly constructed for many years of operation.

The perfect choice of material handling equipment and good design of the material handling system and facility layout can increase productivity and reduce investments and operations’ costs. When deciding what material handling equipment to use, it is important to take into account the general characteristics of the equipment types available in the market.

Among the major materials handling equipment are Conveyors, Stackers, Reclaimers and Hoppers. Conveyors often referred to as conveyer belts are made of two end pulleys with a continuous loop of rotating material feeding through them. Conveyors are used to transport materials such as coal, ores and grains. Stackers are another form of material handling equipment used to stack bulk material onto a stockpile. Reclaimers work closely with stackers. Reclaimers are used to recover bulk material that has been placed in a stockpile. Hoppers are also a type of material handling equipment. Hoppers help to feed bulk materials into other machines.

Material handling equipment is undoubtedly the best solution to improve productivity while reducing the potential of workplace injury. Versatility, reliability, state-of-the-art technology and superior execution are making modern material handling equipment an utmost necessity for a variety of industries. Reduce the total amount of required manual material handling and minimize the hazards associated with these activities by creating a unified material handling system making the right material handling equipment selection. Reduce costs and improve efficiency in industrial material handling by providing the perfect selection of material handling equipment.

About the Author: Christine is an expert Internet marketing professional with experience in a variety of industries like web design, finance, health and medicine, real estate automobile and greeting cards. URL:

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Source:

isnare.com

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isnare.com/?aid=103831&ca=Business+Management

U.S. superbug expected to emerge in Canada

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

An infectious superbug spreading in the United States is to “emerge in force” in Canada, doctors fear. The bacteria have been reported popping up in day care centers and locker rooms across the U.S. Usually elderly or very ill hospital patients get the disease.

More than 2 million U.S. residents are infected every year, the Centers for Disease Control estimates.

An article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) on Tuesday said that Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) are “spreading with alarming rapidity.” The bacteria can cause boils, pimples, or in extreme cases, flesh-eating disease, and more.

“The resistant bacteria is an old foe with new fangs: a pathogen combining virulence, resistance and an ability to disseminate at large,” wrote Dr. John Conly, medical professor and an infectious disease specialist at the University of Calgary.

British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario are the provinces which already have had MRSA in hospitals.

A 30-year-old Calgary, Alberta man died last year of lung abscesses associated with the infection, as well as a three-month old toddler in Toronto, Ontario.

Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Alex Rios, last summer, suffered from an infection caused by Staphylococcus aureus in his leg. Pitcher Ty Taubenheim had a similar infection on his foot.

Doctors are currently investigating some Calgary residents, who could be one of the first Canadian reports of MRSA outside of a hospital setting.

Eight men and several Spinka charities charged with tax fraud in Los Angeles

Monday, December 24, 2007

Eight men and five Brookyln-based Spinka charitable organizations have been charged with tax fraud and money laundering. Six have been arrested, and two are still at large.

The men charged are Naftali Tzi Weisz, 59, a Grand Rabbi from Brooklyn; Gabbai Moseh E. Zigelman, 60, also from Brooklyn and Weisz’ assistant; Yaacov Zeivald, 43, of Valley Village; Yosef Nachum Naiman, 55, of Los Angeles; Alan Jay Friedman, 43, of Los Angeles; Joseph Roth, 66, an international accounts manager at a bank in Israel from Tel Aviv; diamond merchant Moshe Arie Lazar, 60; and Jacob Ivan Kantor, 71, an attorney from Tel Aviv. The first six were arrested last Wednesday, and four of them have been released on bail. The FBI believes Lazar to be in Israel. Kantor is also believed to be in Israel according to other reports.

The charitiable organizations named as defendants in the charges are Yeshiva Imrei Yosef, Yeshivath Spinka, Central Rabbinical Seminary, Machne Sva Rotzohn, and Mesivta Imrei Yosef Spinka. The FBI alleges that these charities issued fraudulent receipts for bogus charitable contributions and were the beneficiaries of fees charged for transfers of funds as part of a money laundering conspiracy.

By a 37-count grand jury indictment that was unsealed on Wednesday morning, Weisz and Zigelman are charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the Internal Revenue Service and other crimes, 19 counts of mail fraud, one money laundering conspiracy count, 11 counts of international money laundering, and one count of operating an illegal money remitting business. Zigelman is in addition charged with two counts of aiding in the preparation of fraudulent income tax returns. Zeivald, Lazar, Naiman, and Friedman are charged in the main conspiracy count and with operating an illegal money remitting business. Zeivald is in addition charged with one count of mail fraud. Roth is charged in both conspiracy counts; several mail fraud counts; and several international money laundering counts. Kantor is charged in both of the conspiracy counts and several international money laundering counts.

The charges laid are that over a period of 10 years the conspirators solicited USD8.7 million in contributions to these charitable organizations, promising to secretly refund to the donors up to 95%, allowing the donors to claim the full amounts of the donations as tax deductions on their federal income tax returns. According to the FBI, this was done in two ways: Some donors received cash payments through an underground money transfer network involving Zeivald, Naiman, Friedman, and Lazar, some of whom operated businesses in and around the Los Angeles jewelry district. Other donors were reimbursed via loans made from the United States branch of an Israeli bank, organized by Roth and Kantor and secured on funds secretly held in that bank in Israel, to which the donations had been sent via wire transfer.

Several of the Brooklyn charitable organizations are schools. One such is Yeshiva Imrei Yosef, a private Orthodox Jewish school for boys in grades PK–12 with 312 students, which is one of 5000 such organizations approved for charitable donations by the Jewish Community Endowment Fund of the Jewish Community Federation of San Francisco. The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles draws a parallel between these charges and the creation of bogus schools in the case of New Square, quoting Jonathan Sarna, a professor of American Jewish history at Brandeis University, as saying “I think that in Eastern Europe, especially where corruption was rampant, it was very common for Jews to engage in, shall we say, ‘extra-legal activities’ when they believed they were doing so not for their personal gain but for the good of the community or for some higher purpose.”

His observation is that defrauding a corrupt government is part of the culture that has sometimes been carried in to the United States, and that people justify it when they believe that the money is going towards Jewish education. “I think the idea is that Jewish education is so important and so expensive and the folks say to themselves, ‘we’re forced to pay for public education which we don’t use’, and they manage to sometimes justify in their own minds these kinds of activities that are for the sake of a holy end.”

Sarna states that violating the law is not condoned by Jewish communities in the U.S., a sentiment that has been echoed in reactions from the Los Angeles Jewish community, such as that by Rabbi Meyer H. May, president of the Rabbinical Council of California: “One thing is clear: The Orthodox community deplores any attempt to defraud the government of the United States, and there is no excuse for it, and there’s no rationalizations that are acceptable. […] It’s against the Torah and it’s against our moral foundation. At the same time, regarding these specific individuals, they should be allowed to have a fair trial, as everyone is innocent until proven guilty.”

The FBI’s press release contains a similar reminder of the presumption of innocence.

Calls by the New York Times were unable to obtain any comments on the case from the defendants.

Albanian group claims responsibility for Macedonia clashes

Thursday, November 8, 2007

A group, calling itself the Political-Military Council of the Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) says it was behind yesterday’s armed clash with Macedonian police forces which left at least six dead.

In a statement, the organization claims that its members, formerly of the “Albanian Territorial Liberation Army“, had been “forced to assemble a regular military unit in order to protect the endangered Albanian people, and every inch of Albanian territory.“

This Thursday, the situation in the Tetovo region village, the scene of yesterday’s battle, is calm.

Bratz picture filmed at high school in rough area of Los Angeles, while in session

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Described in press materials as a “low budget” production, the crew of Bratz: The Movie turned to a busy LA high school to film the picture’s main scenes.

Shot in 30 days, during February and March 2007, the film had to work around the roughly 3,500 students at Santee Educational Complex in South Los Angeles, California. Most productions, like High School Musical and Degrassi: The Next Generation, do principal photography shoots during the summer. Since the Bratz film had a summer release, and the Santee school goes year-round, such a pattern was impossible.

Director Sean McNamara “was adamant about using this school”, named in the film as “Carry Nation High”, said production designer Rusty Smith. “We knew it was going to be complicated, and it was, but we pulled it off. I’m sure it was a big distraction for us to be there and it’s really a compliment to the principal and the students’ cooperation because we couldn’t have done it without them.”

One of the stars, Chelsea Staub, agreed. “I was amazed at how orderly and respectful the students at Santee High were during our invasion.” She admits that she “would have had issues walking by our heavenly omelet station every morning,” if she were a Santee student.

Such good behavior could be deemed extra surprising considering the school, which opened in 2005, is located in an area known for its amount of gangs. Some students walk through 50 different gang “territories” on the way to school, 18 of which have documented members enrolled as students. Students have brought AK-47s to class, and jumped police officers for their guns. A two day melee at the school, whose principal is a former cop, resulted in 34 arrests and 10 hospitalizations, mostly for pepper-spray-related injuries. Half of the instructors, as of March 2006, were in their first year of teaching.

The school board superintendent and Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa rode the bus to the first day the bus was routed through the neighbourhood; a photographer for the Los Angeles Times caught a 10th grader tagging a window. The first gun shots rang out the second day the school was open.

Bratz: The Movie is a story based on an internationally successful line of dolls. Three “best friends forever” are forced by the queen bee of the high school to separate into various existing cliques. Growing lonely, they rebel by choosing to be true to themselves.

“Filming at a real high school was interesting because you could see real cliques and compare them to the simulated cliques in the movie,” commented Logan Browning, one of the movie’s stars, herself a senior in high school.

Staub, who plays the antagonist Meredith, also felt the real-life location was beneficial to the movie. “All the sounds and background images helped make it real for me. The shifting echoes of students on the bleachers and school bells that released the chaos of kids changing classes made me feel like I was truly a part of the high school experience as opposed to doing a scene on a soundstage.”

“The presence of that school and the way it’s laid out, almost like a prison, became a major character in the film,” said production designer Rusty Smith. (Interestingly, Meredith’s mantra in the movie is “take no prisoners”.) The school, devoid of color, easily contrasted against the vibrant and unique bedrooms of the Bratz girls. “We knew it was going to be complicated and it was but we pulled it off. I’m sure it was a big distraction for us to be there and it’s really a compliment to the principal and the students’ cooperation because we couldn’t have done it without them.”

A 16-foot high sculpture was added to the school courtyard, to help transform it into Carry Nation. The sculpture was of Nation, the most infamous and formidable member of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union in pre-prohibition America, wielding her hatchet in one hand and Bible in the other.

The production also filmed in the residential neighborhood of Studio City, and The Grove, a popular shopping centre at the heart of West Hollywood, both areas of Los Angeles.

The film opens in theaters across the United States and Canada on August 3, in the United Kingdom on August 17, in Spain on August 24, and Australia and New Zealand September 20.

Eight dead and two missing after cargo ship fire in Kaliningrad, Russia

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Eight people are dead and two more are missing and presumed dead after an explosion and fire on a cargo ship undergoing repairs at a naval dockyard in Kaliningrad, Russia.

The container ship MV Yenisey was the scene of an explosion while in drydock at about 3:00 p.m. Moscow time (11:00 GMT). Ten people were missing after the explosion. It was confirmed today that the eighth body has been recovered, and the remaining two are thought to be dead as well. Three more were injured.

Captain 1st Rank Igor Dygalo, acting as a navy spokesperson, said “Each family of the victims of the fire on the Yenisey civilian vessel will be paid more than a million rubles.” This makes their compensation roughly equivalent to US$43,000.

Dygolo said that the dockyard, in the closed military town of Baltiysk, near Kaliningrad, had been leased to the Yenisey’s St Petersburg owner, a private company, who were conducting the work themselves. He said an investigation has been launched by the navy led by top admiral Vladimir Vysotsky.

Vysotski himself has indicated that serious safety legislation breaches concerning welding regulations by both the vessel’s owner and the naval dockyard’s bosses. He did not go into details, but RIA Novosti claimed that a source at the dockyard said a gas burner applied to the roof of a fuel tank to heat and therefore loosen its bolts had triggered the disaster.

Today is an official day of mourning for Kaliningrad Region to mark the deaths.

Immediate life insurance website launched, first in world

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The first website in the world allowing consumers to buy life insurance online instantly has been launched today, targeting specifically New Zealanders.

The website, run by life insurance company Pinnacle Life, allows New Zealanders in many countries in the world to buy life insurance online without the need for a medical examination. Once the application has been approved, which is done immediately, the consumer can receive a $500,000 life insurance policy via an automatic e-mail. However, if certain conditions have been highlighted, then person to person contact is required to finalise the process.

Ed Saul, senior partner and architect of the new website, says, “We’re giving consumers a quicker and easier way to buy life insurance. Instead of submitting an application form and waiting days for a policy to be approved and issued, we do it online and we do it immediately.”

“The revolutionary website gives consumers complete control over the buying process whilst eliminating the previously obligatory involvement of people and paper. This is a global test case eagerly watched by the insurance industry around the world,” Mr Saul said.

When applying online, a few typical questions are asked on personal information and if the applicant has had any previous illnesses or diseases.

The countries where New Zealand citizens are allowed to apply are UK, Ireland, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and the USA.

Norwegian government considers prosecuting Scientology

Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care Services is considering prosecuting and banning some Scientology practices, in particular the use of the Scientology personality test to sell courses. State Secretary Rigmor Aasrud said that the activities in question might be prosecuted as fraud or as violations of existing healthcare regulations. A Norwegian Member of Parliament (MP) whose daughter killed herself after taking such a test, supports the idea of prosecuting illegal practices rather than trying to ban the movement as a whole.

Also stupid or clearly false expressions must be allowed as free expressions in a democracy, as long as individuals are not harmed by the expressions. The questionable thing about the Scientology cult is, however, that their operation is harmful for individuals.

The statement was made after three journalists from the online edition of the newspaper Verdens Gang (VG) took the test. The journalists wore hidden recording devices, and did not disclose that they were journalists; VG put the recordings on its website. Scientology staff members told all three that they should buy a course to handle psychological issues. Two of the journalists filled out the 200 questions with honest answers, while the third gave answers consistent with being depressed. The “depressed” journalist was told that he should avoid traditional medicine, while one of the “normal” journalists was told that the course was her only hope for improvement unless she wanted to start taking “chemicals”.

Matthias Fosse, spokesperson for the Church of Scientology in Norway, said that the staff members in question were acting individually. He said that the Church of Scientology does not give medical advice, but that it encourages people to focus on the side effects of medications, and is critical of the “over-medication” of psychiatric patients.

Olav Gunnar Ballo, a Norwegian MP and medical doctor whose daughter Kaja suddenly killed herself after a negative experience with the Scientology test in France in March 2008, released a book about Kaja Ballo‘s life in April 2009. The book debuted on 2nd place in the Norwegian best seller list. Ballo listened to the recorded test result sessions from VG and said that he found the practice “horrible and harmful”. He told the newspaper Dagbladet that Norway could have something to learn from the current French prosecution of Scientology corporations and individuals, by prosecuting specific harmful practices rather than banning Scientology as a whole.

Matthias Fosse said that France is a far more secular society than Norway, and that France were going too far in their prosecution. He said that France has a list of 165 organizations considered to be “sects”, which not just included Scientology but also covered Baptists such as former U.S. president Bill Clinton. The list which Fosse referred to is a list from the 1995 Parliamentary Commission on Cults in France. Fosse said that the OSCE, the U.S. State Department and the UN had criticised French “violations of human rights”.