Arizona Republic: “An Arizona real-estate developer was arrested last week on fraud and bankruptcy charges stemming from an alleged scheme to hide $17 million in assets. Alex Papakyriakou, also known as Alex Papas, 57, of Phoenix is accused of bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bankruptcy-related offenses, including concealing assets and falsifying records, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The indictment, filed in Arizona, alleges Papas used more than $150 million from investors and $250 million in bank loans to buy and build shopping centers, mostly in Arizona, between 1997 and 2008.”
Fox News: “Lyndon McLellan fought the law — and apparently, he won. The North Carolina business owner for months has been battling the federal government after IRS agents last fall seized $107,000 from him, under a controversial practice known as civil forfeiture. But his attorneys at the Institute for Justice announced Thursday that the IRS and Department of Justice have moved to dismiss the case and give him back his money. McLellan is just one of thousands of Americans the IRS has seized money from, supposedly for “structuring” funds to avoid a law requiring banks to alert the government of deposits over $10,000.”
The Guardian: “Antarctica’s increasing sea ice restricting access to research stations. Scientists are in Tasmania for workshops on how to accurately forecast sea ice levels in the polar region, aiming to ease access and reduce shipping costs. Sea ice around Antarctica is currently at record levels for May, part of a trend of increasing ice around the frozen continent making it harder to resupply and refuel research stations.”
Washington Post: “How the DEA took a young man’s life savings without ever charging him with a crime. Joseph Rivers was hoping to hit it big. According to the Albuquerque Journal, the aspiring businessman from just outside of Detroit had pulled together $16,000 in seed money to fulfill a lifetime dream of starting a music video company. . . . A DEA agent boarded the train at the Albuquerque Amtrak station. . . . The agent found Rivers’s cash, still in a bank envelope. . . . he agents found nothing in Rivers’s belongings that indicated that he was involved with the drug trade: no drugs, no guns. They didn’t arrest him or charge him with a crime. But they took his cash anyway, every last cent, under the authority of the Justice Department’s civil asset forfeiture program.”
The Daily Signal: “A small business owner from Central Florida alleges she was denied service by one of the largest banks in the United States strictly because she sells guns. . . . On May 7, Craig called TD Bank seeking a new line of credit to buy inventory and produce advertisements for her small, 23-year-old storefront, Michael’s Pawn and Gun. When a TD Bank representative pulled up the shop’s Facebook page and discovered that it sells guns, Craig says the representative told her, ‘We can’t lend to anyone who sells firearms‘.”
Washington Free Beacon: “The cost of federal regulation neared $2 trillion in 2014, according to a new report by the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). . . . ‘Federal regulation and intervention cost American consumers and businesses an estimated $1.88 trillion in 2014 in lost economic productivity and higher prices,’ amounting to roughly $15,000 per household . . . . ‘In 2014, agencies issued 16 new regulations for every law—that’s 3,554 new regulations compared to 224 new laws’,”
The Daily Signal:”14 years ago, McLellan decided to try his hand at the family business and purchased his own store in the heart of the Bible Belt, naming it L&M Convenience Mart. . . . What McLellan didn’t know, though, was that the federal government could come in and take away what he’d worked so hard for.
On a summer day last July, McLellan, who hadn’t yet arrived at the store, received a phone call from one of his employees summoning him to L&M. More than a dozen federal agents had flooded into his business—officers from North Carolina’s Alcohol and Law Enforcement, the local police department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation—and they were asking for him. . . .
The federal agents then showed McLellan paperwork that included deposits to the store’s account at Lumbee Guaranty Bank. The statements showed two deposits made within a 24-hour period totaling $11,400. The statements, they said, indicated he had a history of consistent cash deposits of less than $10,000, which is illegal. Then, the agents told the small business owner something that shook him to his core: The Internal Revenue Service had seized all of the money in L&M’s bank account: $107,702.66.”
Update: See “IRS Refunds $107,000 It Lifted from Business Man.”
The A Register: “Two highly qualified Google engineers who have spent years studying and trying to improve renewable energy technology have stated quite bluntly that renewables will never permit the human race to cut CO2 emissions to the levels demanded by climate activists. Whatever the future holds, it is not a renewables-powered civilization: such a thing is impossible. Both men are Stanford PhDs, Ross Koningstein having trained in aerospace engineering and David Fork in applied physics. . . . The duo were employed at Google on the RE<C project, which sought to enhance renewable technology to the point where it could produce energy more cheaply than coal”
The men wrote this conclusion:
“At the start of RE<C, we had shared the attitude of many stalwart environmentalists: We felt that with steady improvements to today’s renewable energy technologies, our society could stave off catastrophic climate change. We now know that to be a false hope . . . Renewable energy technologies simply won’t work; we need a fundamentally different approach.”
The Atlantic: “For-profit law schools are a capitalist dream of privatized profits and socialized losses. But for their debt-saddled, no-job-prospect graduates, they can be a nightmare. . . . lorida Coastal is one of three law schools owned by the InfiLaw System, a corporate entity created in 2004 by Sterling Partners, a Chicago-based private-equity firm. InfiLaw purchased Florida Coastal in 2004, and then established Arizona Summit Law School (originally known as Phoenix School of Law) in 2005 and Charlotte School of Law in 2006.”
See also “The Canary in the Law School Classroom.”
The Volokh Conspiracy: “Scarcely a week goes by without a story in the news about drones, whether it is a Senator finding a drone peering in her window, or a small town in Colorado discussing whether to offer drone-hunting licenses (in the end they voted not to). The fear that a drone may be watching you is far from unreasonable. Today’s news, for example, is that up to 20 percent of the Border Patrol predator-drone flight hours take place in the US; meanwhile, in Miami where we both live, the police department has a fleet of drones out on patrol. This week’s arrest of a man who took a shotgun to an airborne drone is only one of the most recent warnings that we need better legal rules — and better social norms — about drone overflights, and that we need them now both to prevent harm to people and to prevent wrongful shootdowns