Google Inc. decided to settle a criminal probe this week over advertisements it sold to unlicensed online Canadian pharmacies through its AdWords program. Now according to Justice Department officials, Google co-founder Larry Page knew of and allowed the ads to be posted for years.
The online pharmacies that purchased the internet ads targeted U.S. consumers. It’s illegal for foreign pharmacies to ship prescription drugs to customers in the U.S. Continue reading Report Claims Google CEO Knew of Illegal Pharmacie Ads
Google and its directors are being sued by a shareholder who says the company facilitated illegal imports of prescription drugs, thereby breaching their fiduciary duty and reaching a $500 million settlement with the U.S. government.
The complaint was filed yesterday in federal court in San Jose, California, by a Pennsylvania resident who owns Google shares. According to the complaint, CEO Larry Page and the company’s board should have been aware that it is illegal for pharmacies outside the U.S. to ship prescription drugs into the country. Continue reading Google Shareholder Lawsuit Follows Adwords Settlement
Regulators have shut-down a “debt relief” company they believe was duping customers out of thousands of dollars, sometimes leaving them with a larger debt.
According to a Dow Jones report, the Federal Trade Commission has proposed Debt Relief USA Inc. and its two principals from conducting business in the future as part of a settlement of fraud charges against the company.
The FTC charged that Debt Relief USA Inc. took thousands of dollars up-front from customers in exchange for helping them relieve their debt problems. In many cases, customers complained they broke off their relations with the company facing more debt. Continue reading FTC settles fraud charges with Debt Relief USA
The Federal Trade Commission has announced some recent fines against developers of iPhone and iPad Apps, accusing them of collecting and distributing personal data collected from children.
According to a report at mashable.com, the FTC recently fined W3 Innovations $50,000 related to information it collected and distributed through its Emily’s Girl World and Emily’s Dress Up Apps. In its suit against the App developer, the FTC said it collected and stored emails and email addresses used by children who registered on the sites to leave comments. Continue reading FTC fines iPhone, iPad App developer for collecting information from children
Merck & Co. – the nation’s second-largest drug manufacturer – withdrew their popular painkiller Vioxx after studies showed the drug doubled the risk of cardiovascular side effects.
Now the drugmaker will have to defend itself against a lawsuit claiming it violated securities laws by downplaying the cardiovascular risks of its drug before the company finally pulled it from the market in 2004. Continue reading Merck Investor Lawsuit to Go Forward
New York City’s director of the Dept. of Consumer Affairs recently called the entire industry of up-front fee-based debt settlement companies “illegitimate.”
According to a report at WCBS-AM (880), the Dept. of Consumer Affairs has subpoenaed 15 companies which charge potential customers a fee up-front before agreeing to negotiate a client’s debt.
Director Jonathan Mintz told reporters in New York City his department is investigating the complaints he’s received from consumers and turn over the results to law enforcement for further charges where necessary. Continue reading Fee-based debt settlment industry called a scam by NYC Consumer Affairs director
The Securities and Exchange Commission has filed securities fraud charges against a California-based pharmaceutical company, three shareholder companies, and four senior executives who they say misled investors about the regulatory status of the firm’s sole product.
The complaint, filed in Chicago on August 1, accuses Immunosyn Corporation of misleading investors by stating that its controlling shareholder, Argyll Biotechnologies LLC, either planned to start or had started the U.S. regulatory approval process for human clinical trials for SF-1019. SF-1019 is a drug derived from goat blood that was intended to treat a variety of conditions. The SEC said that the public filings by Immunosyn failed to disclose that the FDA had already issued clinical holds on drug applications for SF-1019 twice. Continue reading SEC Files Charges Against Immunosyn, Execs
A Netherlands man has pleaded guilty to charges related to a mortgage fraud scam he operated in Arizona.
According to an AP report, Talal Ashek entered a guilty plea in a federal court in Phoenix last week. He faced charges to an investment scheme he organized between 2006 and 2007.
Ashek operated Phillips Luxury Homes, a construction company which aimed to build luxury homes worth millions of dollars. However, Ashek’s million-dollar dreams depended on finding investors.
Any potential investors Ashek found were completely unqualified to pay for the loans they were trying to obtain. To compensate, Ashek would alter loan applications to show his “investors” could pay for the home loan.
Once the loan was approved, those investors would pay Ashek to build them one of his premium homes.
Ashek faces sentencing on Oct. 17, according to the report
The state of New Jersey is bringing down the axe on seven unlicensed mortgage loan modification businesses. The Division of Consumer Affairs announced Tuesday the companies face cease and desist orders from the state’s Attorney General as part of a crackdown on financial fraud schemes.
New Jersey is seeking $35,000 in civil penalties and $49,500 in consumer restitution, as well, for approximately 10 individuals who paid the fees for the services. Continue reading New Jersey Goes After Shady Loan Modification Firms
A lawsuit filed this week in a Los Angeles court says Countrywide Financial Corp. is guilty of securities fraud because it misled investors “about its finances and lending practices,” according to a Bloomberg News report.
The lawsuit was actually filed against Bank of America Corp., which acquired Countrywide about three years ago. The lawsuit was filed by investors of Countrywide who rejected the terms of a previously-agreed settlement.
Bloomberg indicates the plaintiffs which opted for this lawsuit instead of the deal offered in the settlement include California Public Employees’ Retirement System, BlackRock Inc., T. Rowe Price Group Inc. and TIAA-CREF. Continue reading Countrywide Financial bond holders reject settlement deal, seek larger awards in jury trials