The Pentagon Can’t Account for $21 Trillion (That’s Not a Typo)



Then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates during a 2008 visit to Kosovo with U.S. Army troops on foot patrol in the town of Gnjilane. (The U.S. Army / CC BY 2.0)

The Pentagon Can’t Account for $21 Trillion (That’s Not a Typo)
By Editor May 23, 2018
The Pentagon Can’t Account for $21 Trillion (That’s Not a Typo)
Then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates during a 2008 visit to Kosovo with U.S. Army troops on foot patrol in the town of Gnjilane. (The U.S. Army / CC BY 2.0)
http://www.theeventchronicle.com/news/north-america/the-pentagon-cant-account-for-21-trillion-thats-not-a-typo-2/
By Lee Camp

Twenty-one trillion dollars.

The Pentagon’s own numbers show that it can’t account for $21 trillion. Yes, I mean trillion with a “T.” And this could change everything.

But I’ll get back to that in a moment.

There are certain things the human mind is not meant to do. Our complex brains cannot view the world in infrared, cannot spell words backward during orgasm and cannot really grasp numbers over a few thousand. A few thousand, we can feel and conceptualize. We’ve all been in stadiums with several thousand people. We have an idea of what that looks like (and how sticky the floor gets).

But when we get into the millions, we lose it. It becomes a fog of nonsense. Visualizing it feels like trying to hug a memory. We may know what $1 million can buy (and we may want that thing), but you probably don’t know how tall a stack of a million $1 bills is. You probably don’t know how long it takes a minimum-wage employee to make $1 million.

That’s why trying to understand—truly understand—that the Pentagon spent 21 trillion unaccounted-for dollars between 1998 and 2015 washes over us like your mother telling you that your third cousin you met twice is getting divorced. It seems vaguely upsetting, but you forget about it 15 seconds later because … what else is there to do?

Twenty-one trillion.

But let’s get back to the beginning. A couple of years ago, Mark Skidmore, an economics professor, heard Catherine Austin Fitts, former assistant secretary in the Department of Housing and Urban Development, say that the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General had found $6.5 trillion worth of unaccounted-for spending in 2015. Skidmore, being an economics professor, thought something like, “She means $6.5 billion. Not trillion. Because trillion would mean the Pentagon couldn’t account for more money than the gross domestic product of the whole United Kingdom. But still, $6.5 billion of unaccounted-for money is a crazy amount.”

So he went and looked at the inspector general’s report, and he found something interesting: It was trillion! It was fucking $6.5 trillion in 2015 of unaccounted-for spending! And I’m sorry for the cursing, but the word “trillion” is legally obligated to be prefaced with “fucking.” It is indeed way more than the U.K.’s GDP.

Skidmore did a little more digging. As Forbes reported in December 2017, “[He] and Catherine Austin Fitts … conducted a search of government websites and found similar reports dating back to 1998. While the documents are incomplete, original government sources indicate $21 trillion in unsupported adjustments have been reported for the Department of Defense and the Department of Housing and Urban Development for the years 1998-2015.”

Let’s stop and take a second to conceive how much $21 trillion is (which you can’t because our brains short-circuit, but we’ll try anyway).

1. The amount of money supposedly in the stock market is $30 trillion.

2. The GDP of the United States is $18.6 trillion.

3. Picture a stack of money. Now imagine that that stack of dollars is all $1,000 bills. Each bill says “$1,000” on it. How high do you imagine that stack of dollars would be if it were $1 trillion. It would be 63 miles high.

4. Imagine you make $40,000 a year. How long would it take you to make $1 trillion? Well, don’t sign up for this task, because it would take you 25 million years (which sounds like a long time, but I hear that the last 10 million really fly by because you already know your way around the office, where the coffee machine is, etc.).

The human brain is not meant to think about a trillion dollars.

And it’s definitely not meant to think about the $21 trillion our Department of Defense can’t account for. These numbers sound bananas. They sound like something Alex Jones found tattooed on his backside by extraterrestrials.

But the 21 trillion number comes from the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General—the OIG. Although, as Forbes pointed out, “after Mark Skidmore began inquiring about OIG-reported unsubstantiated adjustments, the OIG’s webpage, which documented, albeit in a highly incomplete manner, these unsupported “accounting adjustments,” was mysteriously taken down.”

Luckily, people had already grabbed copies of the report, which—for now—you can view here.

Here’s something else important from that Forbes article—which is one of the only mainstream media articles you can find on the largest theft in American history:

Given that the entire Army budget in fiscal year 2015 was $120 billion, unsupported adjustments were 54 times the level of spending authorized by Congress.

That’s right. The expenses with no explanation were 54 times the actual budget allotted by Congress. Well, it’s good to see Congress is doing 1/54th of its job of overseeing military spending (that’s actually more than I thought Congress was doing). This would seem to mean that 98 percent of every dollar spent by the Army in 2015 was unconstitutional.

So, pray tell, what did the OIG say caused all this unaccounted-for spending that makes Jeff Bezos’ net worth look like that of a guy jingling a tin can on the street corner?

“[The July 2016 inspector general] report indicates that unsupported adjustments are the result of the Defense Department’s ‘failure to correct system deficiencies.’ ”

They blame trillions of dollars of mysterious spending on a “failure to correct system deficiencies”? That’s like me saying I had sex with 100,000 wild hairless aardvarks because I wasn’t looking where I was walking.

Twenty-one trillion.

Say it slowly to yourself.

At the end of the day, there are no justifiable explanations for this amount of unaccounted-for, unconstitutional spending. Right now, the Pentagon is being audited for the first time ever, and it’s taking 2,400 auditors to do it. I’m not holding my breath that they’ll actually be allowed to get to the bottom of this.

But if the American people truly understood this number, it would change both the country and the world. It means that the dollar is sprinting down a path toward worthless. If the Pentagon is hiding spending that dwarfs the amount of tax dollars coming in to the federal government, then it’s clear the government is printing however much it wants and thinking there are no consequences. Once these trillions are considered, our fiat currency has even less meaning than it already does, and it’s only a matter of time before inflation runs wild.

It also means that any time our government says it “doesn’t have money” for a project, it’s laughable. It can clearly “create” as much as it wants for bombing and death. This would explain how Donald Trump’s military can drop well over 100 bombs a day that cost well north of $1 million each.

So why can’t our government also “create” endless money for health care, education, the homeless, veterans benefits and the elderly, to make all parking free and to pay the Rolling Stones to play stoop-front shows in my neighborhood? (I’m sure the Rolling Stones are expensive, but surely a trillion dollars could cover a couple of songs.)

Obviously, our government could do those things, but it chooses not to. Earlier this month, Louisiana sent eviction notices to 30,000 elderly people on Medicaid to kick them out of their nursing homes. Yes, a country that can vomit trillions of dollars down a black hole marked “Military” can’t find the money to take care of our poor elderly. It’s a repulsive joke.

Twenty-one trillion.

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates spoke about how no one knows where the money is flying in the Pentagon. In a barely reported speech in 2011, he said, “My staff and I learned that it was nearly impossible to get accurate information and answers to questions such as, ‘How much money did you spend?’ and ‘How many people do you have?’ ”

They can’t even find out how many people work for a specific department?

Note for anyone looking for a job: Just show up at the Pentagon and tell them you work there. It doesn’t seem like they’d have much luck proving you don’t.

For more on this story, check out David DeGraw’s excellent reporting at ChangeMaker.media, because the mainstream corporate media are mouthpieces for the weapons industry. They are friends with benefits of the military-industrial complex. I have seen basically nothing from the mainstream corporate media concerning this mysterious $21 trillion. I missed the time when CNN’s Wolf Blitzer said that the money we dump into war and death—either the accounted-for money or the secretive trillions—could end world hunger and poverty many times over. There’s no reason anybody needs to be starving or hungry or unsheltered on this planet, but our government seems hellbent on proving that it stands for nothing but profiting off death and misery. And our media desperately want to show they stand for nothing but propping up our morally bankrupt empire.

When the media aren’t actively promoting war, they’re filling the airwaves with shit, so the entire country can’t even hear itself think. Our whole mindscape is filled to the brim with nonsense and vacant celebrity idiocy. Then, while no one is looking, the largest theft humankind has ever seen is going on behind our backs—covered up under the guise of “national security.”

Twenty-one trillion.

Don’t forget.

If you think this column is important, please share it. And check out Lee Camp’s weekly TV show, “Redacted Tonight.” Camp also is taping a new live stand-up special in Los Angeles on May 18 and 19. He’ll be doing over an hour of his new comedy, and special guest Jimmy Dore will be on the show. You can purchase tickets here.

Truthdig has launched a reader-funded project—its first ever—to document the Poor People’s Campaign. Please help us by making a donation.

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When I read this article, I kept hearing that song “Take It To The Limit One More Time”! They’ve changed the words “Sub-Prime” to “Non-Prime” and we re going to take it to the limit one more time…


Subprime mortgages make a comeback—with a new name and soaring demand
The subprime mortgage industry vanished after the Great Recession but is now being reinvented as the nonprime market.
Carrington Mortgage is now offering mortgages to borrowers with “less-than-perfect credit.”
Demand from both borrowers and investors is exceeding expectations.
Diana Olick | @DianaOlick
Published 10:45 AM ET Thu, 12 April 2018 Updated 1:54 PM ET Thu, 12 April 2018
CNBC.com
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/04/12/sub-prime-mortgages-morph-into-non-prime-loans-and-demand-soars.html
Subprime stages comeback as ‘non-prime’ loans Subprime stages comeback as ‘non-prime’ loans
1:41 PM ET Thu, 12 April 2018 | 01:28

They were blamed for the biggest financial disaster in a century. Subprime mortgages – home loans to borrowers with sketchy credit who put little to no skin in the game. Following the epic housing crash, they disappeared, due to strong, new regulation, and zero demand from investors who were badly burned. Barely a decade later, they’re coming back with a new name — nonprime — and, so far, some new standards.

California-based Carrington Mortgage Services, a midsized lender, just announced an expansion into the space, offering loans to borrowers, “with less-than-perfect credit.” Carrington will originate and service the loans, but it will also securitize them for sale to investors.

“We believe there is actually a market today in the secondary market for people who want to buy nonprime loans that have been properly underwritten,” said Rick Sharga, executive vice president of Carrington Mortgage Holdings. “We’re not going back to the bad old days of ninja lending, when people with no jobs, no income, and no assets were getting loans.”

A home improvement contractor works on a house in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Here’s how much homeowners could cash out in home equity
2:32 PM ET Mon, 2 April 2018 | 01:14
All loans will not be the same


Sharga said Carrington will manually underwrite each loan, assessing the individual risks. But it will allow its borrowers to have FICO credit scores as low as 500. The current average for agency-backed mortgages is in the mid-700s. Borrowers can take out loans of up to $1.5 million on single-family homes, townhomes and condominiums. They can also do cash-out refinances, where borrowers tap extra equity in their homes, up to $500,000. Recent credit events, like a foreclosure, bankruptcy or a history of late payments are acceptable.

All loans, however, will not be the same for all borrowers. If a borrower is higher risk, a higher down payment will be required, and the interest rate will likely be higher.

“What we’re talking about is underwriting that goes back to common sense sort of practices. If you have risk, you offset risk somewhere else,” added Sharga, while touting, “We probably are going to have the widest range of products for people with challenging credit in the marketplace.”

Carrington is not alone in the space. Angel Oak began offering and securitizing nonprime mortgages two years ago and has done six nonprime securitizations so far. It recently finalized its biggest securitization yet — $329 million, comprising 905 mortgages with an average amount of about $363,000. Just more than 80 percent of the loans are nonprime.

A ‘who’s who of Wall Street’
Investors in Angel Oak’s nonprime securitizations are, “a who’s who of Wall Street,” according to company representatives, citing hedge funds and insurance companies. Angel Oak’s securitizations now total $1.3 billion in mortgage debt.

Angel Oak, along with Caliber Home Loans, have been the main players in the space, securitizing relatively few loans. That is clearly about to change in a big way, as demand is rising.

“We believe that more competition is positive for the marketplace because there is strong enough demand for the product to support multiple originators,” said Lauren Hedvat, managing director, capital markets at Angel Oak. “Additionally, the more competitors there are, the wider the footprint becomes, which should open the door for more potential borrowers.”

Big banks are also getting in the game, both investing in the securities and funding the lenders, according to Sharga.

“It’s large financial institutions. A lot of people with private capital sitting on the sidelines, who are very interested in this market and believe that as long as the risks are managed well, and companies like ours are particularly good at managing credit risk, that it’s a good investment opportunity,” he said.

As the economy improves, and rents continue to rise, more Americans are trying to become homeowners, but the scars of the Great Recession still stand in the way. One-fifth of consumers today still have very low credit scores, often disqualifying them from obtaining a mortgage in today’s tight lending market.

Relaxed lending standards
Last summer, Fannie Mae announced it would relax its lending standards for prime loans, allowing borrowers with higher debt and lower credit scores to obtain loans without additional risk overlays, such as large down payments and a year’s worth of cash reserves.

Fannie Mae raised its debt-to-income (DTI) limit from 45 percent to 50 percent. DTI is the amount of total debt a borrower can have compared to his or her income. As a result, demand from buyers with higher debt exceeded all expectations. The share of high DTI loans jumped from 6 percent in January 2017 to nearly 20 percent by the end of February 2018, according to a study by the Urban Institute.

“From January to July 2017, Fannie purchased 80,467 loans with DTI ratios between 45 and 50 percent. But from August 2017 to February 2018, Fannie purchased 181,911 loans in the same DTI bucket. This increase of more than 100,000 loans in just seven months exceeded our estimate (85,000 additional Fannie loans annually) and Fannie’s expectations.” – Urban Institute

The mortgage industry expectation was that Fannie Mae would mitigate the additional risk with other factors, like a higher necessary credit score, but that was not added. The mortgage insurers balked, since they would be on the hook for the risk, so last month Fannie Mae “recalibrated” its risk assessment criteria again.

“We got a bigger response than we thought we were going to, so we dialed back to make sure we were in the right spot where our governance kicks in to make sure we’re not taking excessive risk,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae’s chief economist.

Millennials carry more debt
The outsized demand from borrowers with more debt as well as demand for nonprime mortgages in the private sector show just how many borrowers today would like to become homeowners but are frozen out of the mortgage market.

Millennials, the largest homebuying cohort today, have much higher levels of student debt than previous generations. Members of older generations who went through foreclosures during the housing crisis or other hits to their credit are still struggling with lower FICO scores.

In addition, credit tightened up dramatically. In fact, between 2009 and 2015, tighter credit accounted for just more than 6 million “missing” loans, according to research by Laurie Goodman at the Urban Institute. These are mortgages that would have been granted under more normal historical underwriting standards.

The rebirth of the nonprime market is focused on these missing mortgages. The hope is that the industry will also focus on better standards of underwriting and not take risk to the levels it once did, levels that resulted in disaster.

Project Veritas: UNDERCOVER VIDEO: HUNDREDS of Twitter Employees Paid to View “Everything You Post,” & Private “Sex Messages”


UNDERCOVER VIDEO: HUNDREDS of Twitter Employees Paid to View “Everything You Post,” & Private “Sex Messages”
https://www.projectveritas.com/video/undercover-video-hundreds-of-twitter-employees-paid-to-view-everything-you-post-private-sex-messages/

by Staff Report January 15, 2018

Project Veritas has released undercover footage of Twitter Engineers and employees admitting that Twitter employees view”everything you post” on their servers, including private “sex messages,” and “d*ck pics.” The engineers also admit that Twitter analyzes this information to create a “virtual profile” of you which they sell to advertisers.

James O’Keefe has just completed a book about this series entitled “AMERICAN PRAVDA: My fight for Truth in the Era of Fake News.” The book will be released by St. Martin’s Press on January 16, 2018. Pre-order the book: http://www.americanpravdabook.com

This is part three in Project Veritas’ Twitter investigation.

See part one: Part One
See part two: Part Two

Pre-order James O’Keefe’s new book – a treatise on modern media, a true crime spy thriller, and a rollicking adventure story. Follow James and his undercover journalists as they expose mainstream media outlets like CNN and the New York Times and reveal dirty political tricks during the 2016 national elections.

Lying Little Shit Hogg: SHOCK: David Hogg Changes Story, Wasn’t At School When Cruz Opened Fire By Peter D’Abrosca – Mar 26, 2018


SHOCK: David Hogg Changes Story, Wasn’t At School When Cruz Opened Fire
By Peter D’Abrosca – Mar 26, 2018

https://bigleaguepolitics.com/breaking-david-hogg-changes-story-wasnt-school-cruz-opened-fire/

In a not-yet-released CBS Documentary, David Hogg, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student who has become the face of the gun control movement, changes his entire story and admits that he was not at the school during the event.

In a Time interview done within hours of the shooting Hogg recounted, “Our first response was ‘that sounded a lot like a gun shot’ and we closed the door.” Hogg claimed that he was in his AP enviromental science class during the shooting. He also made videos of himself and other students, regarding gun control, purportedly while the shooting was going on.

But CBS News has released some transcripts from its “39 Days” documentary, in which student David Hogg is quoted.

“On the day of the shooting, I got my camera and got on my bike and rode as fast as I could three miles from my house to the school to get as much video and to get as many interviews as I could because I knew that this could not be another mass shooting,” Hogg said in his CBS News interview.

The shooting occurred in the afternoon, after alleged shooter Nikolas Cruz was dropped off after 2 PM.

“While I was in there, I thought, ‘What impact have I had? What will my story be if I die here? And the only thing I could think of was, pull out my camera and try telling others. As a student journalist, as an aspiring journalist, that’s all I could think: Get other people’s stories on tape. If we all die, the camera survives, and that’s how we get the message out there, about how we want change to be brought about,” Hogg recalled.


Watch David Hogg tell two different stories below:

Interesting. However, Hogg made some videos purportedly DURING the shooting from inside the school.

Here is Hogg’s interview with TIME magazine following the shooting in which he claimed that he was in his AP environmental science class at the time the shooting occured:

When Hogg heard a “pop” while sitting in an AP environmental science class around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, he told his teacher it sounded strangely like a gunshot. But there had been a fire drill that very morning and talk of a “Code Red” exercise to prepare for an active shooter. This must just be a surprise drill, he reasoned.

And then the fire alarm sounded. Dutifully acting on it, Hogg and other students tried to exit the building. A janitor—Hogg doesn’t know his name but calls him an angel—knew where the shots were coming from and sent the students back. Then a culinary arts teacher, Ashley Kurth, pulled Hogg and others inside, locked the door, and made them hide in a closet. Checking Twitter and Instagram, Hogg—who’s an editor at the school’s TV station—found the news that the shooting was real and ongoing.

The shots continued for what felt like an eternity. Hogg considered the possibility that he would not live to see the end of the day.

“While I was in there, I thought, ‘What impact have I had? What will my story be if I die here?’” Hogg told TIME in the hours following the ordeal. “And the only thing I could think of was, pull out my camera and try telling others. As a student journalist, as an aspiring journalist, that’s all I could think: Get other people’s stories on tape. If we all die, the camera survives, and that’s how we get the message out there, about how we want change to be brought about.”

Pretty big contradiction there.

Here is some of “student reporter” David Hogg’s interviews with his classmates, purportedly during the shooting. By the way, there is no way Hogg could have gotten into the school during the shooting, because the Broward County Sheriff’s Office set up a perimeter around the school during the shooting, all the while refusing to enter the school to stop the bloodshed.

Here is Hogg claiming to be inside the school during the shooting.

Here are Hogg’s interviews with his classmates, purportedly during the shooting:

Sheriff Scott Israel’s Broward County Sheriff’s Office made a concerted effort to not enter the Parkland high school during February’s mass shooting, instead allowing the shooting to happen.

The mainstream media is finally reporting on police and emergency scanner audio tapes that show the full extent of the Sheriff’s Office’s complicity in the horror at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

“Do not approach the 12 or 1300 building, stay at least 500 feet away,” Sheriff’s Office deputy Scot Peterson said over radio dispatch, disproving his claim that he didn’t go inside the school because he was ordered not to do so if he didn’t have body cameras on. School surveillance footage has still not been released, and is unlikely to ever be released.

Big League Politics first reported on audiotapes showing that the Sheriff’s Office set up a perimeter around the high school during the shooting, after learning that multiple people were shot dead inside the high school. The police dispatcher ordered police to “hold all perimeters” while the shooter was still at large. Thirty minutes after learning of the active shooter situation, the Sheriff’s Office was still holding its perimeter and dispatchers were reporting “The shooter is not down. The shooter is not down.”

Our reporting proved that Israel’s office lied by claiming that they only set up a perimeter around the school AFTER the shooting, not during the shooting. In fact, they set up a perimeter four minutes after learning that people were shot dead inside.

How does the purported shooter exit his Uber ride, put on full body dress, helmet, assemble his rifle, load it and start firing at targets within two minutes? By Shepard Ambellas


Teacher grazed by Parkland shooter’s bullet: ‘Shooter was in full metal garb, helmet, face mask, bulletproof armor, shooting a rifle I never seen before’
By Editor February 26, 2018

http://www.theeventchronicle.com/florida-hs-shooting/teacher-grazed-parkland-shooters-bullet-shooter-full-metal-garb-helmet-face-mask-bulletproof-armor-shooting-rifle-never-seen/

How does the purported shooter exit his Uber ride, put on full body dress, helmet, assemble his rifle, load it and start firing at targets within two minutes?
By Shepard Ambellas

PARKLAND, Fla. (INTELLIHUB) — Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School teacher Stacy Lippel was grazed by a hot bullet which left the chamber of the shooter’s gun as she closed the door to her classroom after letting a number of students file into what would presumably be safety. However, nothing could have prepared the teacher for what she was to witness next.

“I suddenly saw the shooter about twenty feet in front of me standing at the end of the hallway actively shooting down the hallway, just a barrage of bullets, and I’m staring at him thinking why are the police here,this is strange because he’s in full metal garb, helmet, face mask, bulletproof armor, shooting this rifle that I’ve never seen before,” Lippel told Good Morning America last Wednesday.

The brave teacher said she told fellow Stoneman Douglas H.S. teacher Scott Beigel, 35, to get back in his room just before the shooter fired a number of rounds into his room killing him and other students.

Lippel said the shooter fired four to five rounds into her classroom which shattered the classroom door window before the heavily-claded assassin continued his diabolic shooting spree down the hallway.

“I never really knew when he left because we all thought he was still here,” she said.

Two of Lippel’s students were fatally wounded in the attack.

Police maintain the suspect Nikolas Cruz arrived via an Uber ride at 2:19 p.m. and initiated his attack within 1 minute. If true, that would mean that Cruz would have had to suit up into full metal body armor, put on a full helmet and the whole nine yards, all the while assembling an AR-15 rifle which was purportedly packed into a duffle bag with a number of fully-loaded magazines.

An affidavit filed by the Broward County Sheriff states: “Cruz stated that he was the gunman who entered the school campus armed with an AR-15 and began shooting students that he saw in the hallways and on the school grounds. Cruz stated that he brought additional loaded magazines to the school campus and kept them hidden in a backpack until he got on campus to begin his assault.”

An NBC News report gives the official timeline of events:

Within barely two minutes of being dropped off, Cruz started firing into four classrooms in Building 12, returning to two of them to shoot again, Israel said.

Cruz then went upstairs to the second floor, where he shot one of his victims, before proceeding to the third floor, where he ditched his rifle and backpack, Israel said.

He then ran down the stairs and outside, where he blended in with hundreds of terrified students — many of them his former classmates — and eluded officers as he left campus, Israel said.

Amid the chaos he’d left behind at the school, Cruz made his way to a Walmart store, bought a drink at its Subway restaurant and walked away again, Israel said.

Such a scenario seems not only entirely unlikely but almost impossible. Not to mention the fact that prosecutors have already offered Cruz a deal to spare his life in exchange for his plead of guilt. However, if school cameras, video footage, and other hard evidence reveals that Cruz was, in fact, the shooter, why would there be a need for Cruz to plead guilty? Wouldn’t the case be cut and dry?

What exactly is going on here?

Please comment and share!

©2018. INTELLIHUB.COM. All Rights Reserved.

Shepard Ambellas is an opinion journalist, analyst, and the founder and editor-in-chief of Intellihub News & Politics (Intellihub.com). Shepard is also known for producing Shade: The Motion Picture (2013) and appearing on Travel Channel’s America Declassified (2013). Shepard is a regular contributor to Infowars. Shepard is the leading journalist covering the Las Vegas Massacre, logging over 800+ hours, 130+ reports, during his ongoing investigation. Read more from Shep’s World. Follow Shep on Facebook. Subscribe to Shep’s YouTube channel.

Follow @ShepardAmbellas

This article (Teacher grazed by Parkland shooter’s bullet: ‘Shooter was in full metal garb, helmet, face mask, bulletproof armor, shooting a rifle I never seen before’) was originally published on Intellihub and syndicated by The Event Chronicle.

California Attorney Pleads Guilty in National Securities Fraud



California Attorney Pleads Guilty in National Securities Fraud
A California attorney pleads guilty to a securities conspiracy charge in a pump-and-dump stock scam.
https://www.law.com/dailybusinessreview/sites/dailybusinessreview/2018/01/26/california-attorney-pleads-guilty-in-national-securities-fraud/
By Samantha Joseph | January 26, 2018 at 05:59 PM

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission building.

Diego M. Radzinschi

California attorney Andrew H. Wilson pleaded guilty of conspiracy to unlawfully sell unregistered securities.

The Nevada City man was one of 10 people convicted in a conspiracy to sell shares of shell companies they secretly controlled, then inflating values in a pump-and-dump scam that involved participants from New York and Colorado.

Wilson pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in Miami. He faces a maximum statutory sentence of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 or double the proceeds of the offense, according to prosecutors. He is at least the second attorney charged in the scam.

Prosecutors say the scheme ran for about seven years and involved fraudulent U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filings listing nominee chief executive officers for shell companies.

Participants presented the CEO as the owner and listed shareholders while maintaining full control over blocks of shares. When the shares become unrestricted, or free trading, participants secretly sold them to shell buyers or got SEC approval to sell them publicly.

Wilson created fraudulent paperwork to support the scam, according to court documents.

In October, attorney James M. Schneider of Hillsboro Beach faced a parallel civil enforcement action by the SEC, accusing him and Wilson of participating in a fraud involving 22 blank-check companies “secretly bound for reverse mergers.” Blank-check companies “have no operations, making them attractive targets for those seeking reverse mergers for use in pump-and-dump schemes,” according to prosecutors.

New York stock promoter Yelena Furman and Colorado registered stock transfer agent John Ahearn are among those convicted, according to a news release from the Department of Justice.

Sentencing for Ahearn and Wilson is set for June 8 before U.S. District Judge Kathleen M. Williams in Miami. Furman’s sentencing is set for April 25 before U.S. District Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga.