The Top Frauds of 2017

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Monica Vaca, the Associate Director of the Division of Consumer Response and Operations at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) just released the results from last year regarding the top frauds of 2017. Topping the list of reported frauds are the imposter scams, with nearly 350,000 reported. Questions: 1. How many people fell for someone pretending… Read more »

Big Time Food Stamp Fraud

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Sheriff Mike Williams of Jacksonville, Florida, announced Tuesday the results of a multi-agency, undercover investigation into the exchange of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for cash and, in at least one case, cocaine. Questions: 1. From 2012 to 2017, how many food stamp transactions were fraudulent in Jacksonville and what was the dollar amount?… Read more »

Facebook Woes

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According to Bloomberg, Facebook Inc. is heading toward its worst month since May 2013 after an analyst report warned of a temporary pullback in advertising and the FTC confirmed it’s investigating the social network’s privacy practices. Questions: How much market value for Facebook stock has been erased in the last 10 days? What is the… Read more »

Massive Fraud Femme Fitale

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  According to Masunaga and Peterson, four years ago, the Silicon Valley firm Theranos Inc. was valued at $9 billion and its founder and Chief Executive Elizabeth Holmes was hailed as a potentially revolutionary force in the blood-testing industry. Today, she is deemed a fraudster. Questions: Theranos’ proprietary analyzer could only perform __________ of the… Read more »

Branson

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In a ballroom of a mountain lodge, diversity coach Miguel Joey Aviles, asked whether anyone knew how to merengue. Only two replied: Yes. These were Branson Missouri managers, who said they’re desperate for employees and are paying $50 each for the workshop. They came from hotels, hospitals, hardware stores and banks. The goal of “Hispanics… Read more »

Johnson & Johnson

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According to Douglas House, a new analysis has been released that shows patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) that are treated with Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) unit Janssen Pharmaceuticals’ INVOKANA (canagliflozin) experienced significantly less risk of cardiovascular (CV) death or hospitalization for heart failure (HHF). Questions: Based on the data, what is the reduction of… Read more »

It’s just for my stockholders

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Martin Shkreli, a former pharmaceutical executive notorious for increasing the price of Daraprim by 5,000 percent, along with mounting sneering defenses of his actions and even issuing a bounty for one of Hillary Clinton’s hairs, was sentenced to seven years in prison for fraud.   Questions: What had prosecutors sought for a sentence? What had… Read more »

Trickle Down Tax Cuts from 2017

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Berkshire recorded a hefty windfall from the tax bill that Congress passed at the end of last year. Questions: 1. According to the article, the 2017 tax cut was 2/3 of Berkshire Hathaway’s 2017 Earnings. How much were the earnings and how much (in dollars) was the tax cut? 2. In the past, how did… Read more »

Protect what?

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Under Mick Mulvaney, the CFPB, which once was the agency dedicated to preventing banks and credit-card companies from scamming ordinary Americans, now becomes an agency dedicated to protecting potential financial scammers from legal penalties. Questions: 1. Since Mulvaney took over, what has the Bureau done for payday lenders? 2. Since Mulvaney took over, what has… Read more »

We want REAL eggs!

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Panera petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to update its 40-year-old definition of the word “egg” to exclude most of the processed egg products that have become popular with fast-food chains and food-service. Questions: 1. How long has the egg product rule been on the books of the FDA? 2. Do you agree with Panera?… Read more »