What is Farm Fraud?

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Brad A. McIntyre, 35, of Bastrop, La., was sentenced on one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, five counts of mail fraud and four counts of money laundering related to engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity via farm fraud. He was also sentenced to three years of supervised release… Read more »

Seattle’s Creative Accounting

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According to The Week, a nine-person panel unanimously approved a new $275-per-employee tax on big companies (like Amazon) in Seattle, in order to raise about $48 million annually for homeless services. Questions: 1. In Seattle, how much has the number of people sleeping on the street grown by over the period from 2015to 2017? 2…. Read more »

Sweet Betsy from Pike

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In a break with Obama administration policy, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced in December that some students cheated by the now-defunct schools would only get a part of their federal student loan forgiven. In order to determine how much to forgive, the agency analyzes average earnings of graduates from similar programs. Questions: 1. What did… Read more »

Would you rather make a Type 1 or Type 2 Error Regarding the Emergency Room Visit?

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Jim Burton thought he was dying after lifting a box in his garage last and feeling a large jolt in his back. When his health insurer, Anthem, refused to pay for his E.R. visit of $1,722, citing that care was not needed right away, Jim learned that Anthem denied thousands of claims last year under… Read more »

The Amazon of Health Care?

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According to Slate.com, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, a sprawling health system that dominates much of western Pennsylvania’s health care market, announced that it would spend $2 billion to build a trio of new hospitals within its home city. Questions: 1. What was the purpose of each of the three hospitals? 2. What was… Read more »

For the “Can’t Believe it Happened” File

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Alleged postal thief mastermind Dushaun Henderson-Spruce orchestrated the theft of thousands of pieces of mail from a global corporation, including corporate American Express cards, business checks and invoices, and rerouted them halfway across the country. Questions: 1. How did he do it? 2. How long did the scheme last? 3. What internal control could have… Read more »

Growing your own mystery meat!

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According to Reuters, Tyson Foods (TSN.N), the largest U.S. meat processor, has invested in an Israeli biotech company developing a way to grow affordable meat in a laboratory that takes live animals out of the equation. Questions: 1. What does the technology focus on in order to provide the same texture as meat? 2. How… Read more »

The Gig’s Up….Maybe

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According to Ed Kilgore, California, has by virtue of a decision by its Supreme Court adopted perhaps the toughest standard in the country for employer treatment of its basic human capital as contractors. In particular, it affects the “gig economy” model, notably California-based enterprises like Uber and Lyft, which treat their drivers as independent contractors…. Read more »

Now you see it, now you don’t…Presto!

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According to Axios, there was a 17% drop in international students in the U.S. last year, mostly due to the 28% decline in Indian students and a 24% decline in Chinese students receiving visas. Questions: 1. Is the trend in international students attributable to President Trump’s immigration policy changes and rhetoric? Explain. 2. What are… Read more »

Shake, Shake, Shake that Ketchup Bottle!

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According to Bloomberg, the market value of Kraft Heinz is down $50 billion. Its major players, Warren Buffett and 3G Capital (who orchestrated the 2015 merger) for the packaged food giant, need to turbocharge sales or strike a big deal to satisfy Wall Street. Questions: 1. Where is the company trying to find sales growth?… Read more »