Investigating whether Arizona policemen discriminate against Latinos while enforcing immigration laws, the House Judiciary Committee will call Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio to testify. Arpaio has become a hero of the anti-immigration movement for leading for a three-year crackdown on illegals in Arizona, which has included controversial tactics like occasional crime sweeps in mostly Hispanic neighborhoods. Arpaio claims that the hearings, chaired by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) are politically motivated. “They want to keep putting the pressure on me, hoping that I go away,” he said. “And that is not going to happen.” (Arizona Republic)
Speaking before a House appropriations subcommittee Wednesday, SEC head Mary Schapiro warned that the SEC might be forced to make significant operations cuts if Congress didn’t increase its funding The SEC was embarrassed this year by multiple failures to prevent several major alleged frauds. “I do not believe it would be wise for the SEC to retrench during such perilous times in our markets,” she said. Schapiro asked the committee to make available $17 million from previous budgets that went unspent. (Washington Post)
Howard Richman, a former executive at the medical pharmaceutical company Biopure, pleaded guilty Wednesday to pretending to have cancer to dodge investigations into an alleged fraud. He even admitted to impersonating a doctor in a call to investigators to dodge the trial. Richman faked the illness to avoid an SEC investigation into whether Biopure executives lied to investors about the status of a blood substitute called Hemopure. After clinical trials, the FDA rejected the drug due to safety concerns, but Biopure told investors that the deal had been approved.(Associated Press)
The SEC will freeze the assets of a Northern California investment company for operating a $40 million Ponzi scheme, the agency announced Wednesday. Equity Investment Management and Trading is charged with defrauding approximately 150 investors over a four-and-a-half-year period. The company and its top executives, Anthony Vassallo and Kenneth Kenizer, are accused of raising money from new investors to pay outstanding debts. (Associated Press).
The former CEO of National Century, a health care financing company, will soon receive his sentence after being convicted of twelve counts of fraud and money laundering in October. Prosecutors compared Lance Poulson’s fraud to the Enron and Worldcom scandals. In addition to the 10 year sentence being served and $17,500 witness tampering fine, Poulson could serve up to 135 years in prison. (Business First of Columbus)