RBS bankers joked about destroying the US housing market By Rob Davies


RBS bankers joked about destroying the US housing market
By Editor August 16, 2018
http://www.theeventchronicle.com/finanace/rbs-bankers-joked-about-destroying-the-us-housing-market/


A boarded up building in Cleveland, Ohio, in January 2008. In the build up to the crisis mortgage lenders were incentivised to make as many loans as possible. Photograph: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images
Transcripts of pre-financial crisis conversations show senior bankers’ disregard for customers

By Rob Davies

RBS bankers joked about destroying the US housing market after making millions by trading loans that staff described as “total fucking garbage”, according to transcripts released as part of a $4.9bn (£3.8bn) settlement with US prosecutors.

Details of internal conversations at the bank emerged just weeks before the 10-year anniversary of the financial crisis, which saw RBS rescued with a £45bn bailout from the UK government.

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) criticised RBS over its trade in residential mortgage backed securities (RMBS) – financial instruments underwritten by risky home loans that are cited as pivotal in the global banking crash.

It said the bank made “false and misleading representations” to investors in order to sell more of the RMBS, which are forecast to result in losses of $55bn to investors.

Transcripts published alongside the settlement reveal the attitude among senior bankers at RBS towards some of the products they sold.

The bank’s chief credit officer in the US referred to selling investors products backed by “total fucking garbage” loans with “fraud [that]was so rampant … [and]all random”.

He added that “the loans are all disguised to, you know, look okay kind of … in a data file.”

The DoJ said senior RBS executives “showed little regard for their misconduct and, internally, made light of it”.

In one exchange, as the extent of the contagion in the banking industry was becoming clear, RBS’ head trader received a call from a friend who said: “[I’m] sure your parents never imagine[d]they’d raise a son who [would]destroy the housing market in the richest nation on the planet.”

He responded: “I take exception to the word ‘destroy.’ I am more comfortable with ‘severely damage.’”

Another senior banker explained to a colleague that risky loans were the result of a broken mortgage industry that meant lenders were “raking in the money” and were incentivised to make as many loans as possible.

Employees who might raise the alarm about the riskiness of such lending “don’t give a shit because they’re not getting paid”, he said.

The bank made “hundreds of millions of dollars” from selling RMBS, the DoJ said, while disguising the risk they posed to investors, which included a group of nuns who lost 96% of their investment.

By October 2007, as signs of stress began to show in the banking system, RBS’ chief credit officer wrote to colleagues expressing his true feelings about the burgeoning volume of subprime loans in the housing market.

He said loans were being pushed by “every possible … style of scumbag”, adding that it was “like quasi-organised crime”.

“Nobody seems to care,” he added.
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The DoJ criticised RBS’ failure to do due diligence on the loans it was packaging, saying the bank feared it would lose out to rivals if it performed stricter tests.

One analyst at the lender referred to the bank’s due diligence procedures as “just a bunch of bullshit”, according to the transcripts.

When the bank became concerned about the poor quality of loans and started imposing tighter due diligence, one senior banker complained, saying: “Oh, God. Does anyone want to make money around here any more?”

RBS expected to make $20m from one deal that involved trading particularly risky loans, but faced resistance from the bank’s chief credit officer.

A senior executive responded to the concerns by telling the bank’s head trader: “Please don’t fuckin’ blow this one. We need every dollar we can get our hands on.”

Internal conversations between bankers also offer some insight into their growing realisation of the poor quality of the loans the bank owned and sold.

In September 2007, one trader referred to an appraisal of loans as giving “pretty shitty results”.

The transcripts were released by the DoJ as it confirmed the details of the settlement with the bank over its trading in RMBS.

RBS said: “Under the terms of the settlement, RBS disputes the allegations but will not set out a legal defence, while the settlement does not constitute a judicial finding.”

Certainty over the scale of the settlement will allow the bank to pay its first dividend in a decade this year.

The dividend is worth £240m and the Treasury will receive £149m as RBS is still 62%-owned by the government.

Ross McEwan, RBS chief executive, said: “This settlement dates back to the period between 2005 and 2007. There is no place for the sort of unacceptable behaviour alleged by the DoJ at the bank we are building today.”

He added that the bank could now “focus our energy on serving our customers better”.

But league tables published by the Competition and Markets Authority on Wednesday placed RBS joint bottom for customer service, with fewer than half of customers saying they would recommend the bank to a friend.

RBS will have to publish the results in branches, on its website and mobile app from today.

This article (RBS bankers joked about destroying the US housing market) was originally published on The Guardian and syndicated by The Event Chronicle.

The Event Chronicle: Salisbury Nerve Agent Attack Reveals $70 Million Pentagon Program At Porton Down



Salisbury Nerve Agent Attack Reveals $70 Million Pentagon Program At Porton Down
By Editor April 4, 2018
http://www.theeventchronicle.com/study/salisbury-nerve-agent-attack-reveals-70-million-pentagon-program-at-porton-down-2/

Salisbury Nerve Agent Attack Reveals $70 Million Pentagon Program At Porton Down
Signs prohibiting access near to the Porton Down Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, near Salisbury, Britain, March 19, 2018. © Peter Nicholls / Reuters

Dilyana Gaytandzhieva is a Bulgarian investigative journalist and Middle East Correspondent. Over the last two years she has published a series of revealing reports on weapons smuggling. Two months ago South Front published her investigation into the Pentagon bio laboratories in 25 countries across the world. Her current report provides an overview of the Pentagon-funded experiments at the secretive UK military laboratory Porton Down near Salisbury, where an ex-Russian spy and his daughter were allegedly poisoned with a nerve agent. Twitter/@dgaytandzhieva

By Dilyana Gaytandzhieva exclusively for SouthFront

The Pentagon has spent at least $70 million on military experiments involving tests with deadly viruses and chemical agents at Porton Down – the UK military laboratory near the city of Salisbury. The secretive biological and chemical research facility is located just 13 km from where on 4th March former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia were found slumped on a bench following an alleged Novichok nerve agent poisoning.



The Porton Down Lab is located just 13 km from the site where Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found and from where they were rushed to hospital.

Information obtained from the US federal contracts registry reveals that the Pentagon’s Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) has funded a number of military projects performed at the UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), or Porton Down, over the last decade. Among them: experimental respiratory infection of non-human primates (marmosets) with Anthrax, Ebola virus, Marburg virus, Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, Western equine encephalitis virus, and Eastern equine encephalitis virus. The US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) has also funded experiments on animals which were exposed to chemical agents such as Sulfur Mustard and Phosgene gas. Phosgene gas was used as a chemical weapon during World War I where it was responsible for about 85 % of the 100,000 deaths caused by chemical weapons.

DTRA has also been granted full access to DSTL scientific and technical capabilities, and test data under a 2011 contract for the collaboration and exchange of scientific and technical capabilities with the UK Ministry of Defence.
At least 122,000 animals used for military chemical and biological experiments at Porton Down

Animal experiments are classified as confidential in the UK. Under section 24 of the Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act 1986, it is a criminal offence to disclose certain information about animal experiments in the UK.

Data obtained via the Freedom of Information Act though gives an idea of the dimensions of military chemical and biological experiments carried out at Porton Down. A total of 122,050 animals have been exposed to deadly pathogens, chemicals and incurable diseases over the last decade (2005-2016).


Monkeys being used in warfare agent testing at Porton Down in the past

Animals used include mice, guinea pigs, rats, pigs, ferrets, sheep, and non-human primates. Some of the deadly experiments have been sponsored by the Pentagon under contracts between DSTL and DTRA. Scientists at Porton Down have infected, or poisoned, animals in order to measure time to death and lethal dose of exposure. In practice, the possible use of the researched virus/chemical gas as a weapon.


Marmoset monkeys are experimentally infected at Porton Down with Ebola, Anthrax, Marburg Virus and other deadly pathogens. Scientists measure time to death and lethal dose of exposure to the bio agent. Photo credit: Vic Pigula
Ebola as bioweapon

12 Marmoset monkeys were experimentally infected with the Ebola virus, via aerosol, at Porton Down under a Pentagon-funded project – Experimental respiratory infection of marmosets with Ebola virus Kikwit (the Zaire strain of the Ebola virus which killed more than 245 people in Zaire, now Democratic Republic of Congo, in 1995). The project was part of a $6.3 million DTRA program running at Porton Down from 2012 to 2016 – Development of common marmoset models for category A/B pathogens and product evaluation in marmosets.

Salisbury Nerve Agent Attack Reveals $70 Million Pentagon Program At Porton Down

Source: Experimental Respiratory Infection of Marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) With Ebola Virus Kikwit, The Journal of Infectious Diseases, Volume 212, 1 October 2015

The experiment’s stated goal was to measure the lethal dose of exposure and time to death meaning that the Ebola virus Kikwit was researched for its potential as a bioweapon. All infected marmoset monkeys died from 6 to 10 days after exposure to the Ebola virus.

The Pentagon also funded studies on the deadly Marburg virus: a $2.6 million project – Experimental respiratory Marburg virus haemorrhagic fever infection in the common marmoset, and another $1.4 million project – Marburg virus model development, which were undertaken at Porton Down in 2017. This virus causes viral hemorrhagic fever and is listed as a Category A Bioterrorism Agent. All infected monkeys died from 8 to 10 days. The aim of the studies was to examine the dose and time to death for animals exposed to aerosolized Marburg virus.


Source: Experimental respiratory Marburg virus haemorrhagic fever infection in the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus), International Journal of Experimental Pathology

Under another $4.8 million project, funded by DTRA, Porton Down scientists along with the Pentagon contractor Mapp Biopharmaceutical tested Susceptibility and lethality of Western Equine Encephalitis Virus in mice when infected by the aerosol route. Mapp Biopharmaceutical is an American pharmaceutical company, which has developed an Ebola vaccine from the tobacco plant. According to the study, aerosol infection is the likely route of exposure to Western Equine Encephalitis Virus in a biowarfare scenario.

12 Marmoset monkeys were infected with anthrax at Porton Down during an experiment funded by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The study, Experimental respiratory anthrax infection in the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus), aimed at determining the lethal dose needed to kill 50% of the animals or the so called LD50 indicator. The value of LD50 for a substance is the dose required to kill half the members of the tested population after a specified test duration. Six of the monkeys died from anthrax from 40 to 140 h.


Source: Experimental respiratory anthrax infection in the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus), US National Library of medicine
Chemical agent tests

British military scientists were funded by DTRA to perform Chemical Agent system testing as part of a $39.7 million Pentagon program (2012-2017) at Porton Down. Documents prove that the US Department of Defense Agency – DTRA funded animal experiments with chemical agents at the secretive British military lab.

In 2016 Porton Down scientists along with their colleagues from the US Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense published the results of a joint study Acute Gene Expression Profile of Lung Tissue Following Sulfur Mustard Inhalation Exposure in Large Anesthetized Swine. According to the funding information, this work was supported by two contracts with the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (US Department of Defense). During the experiment at Porton Down 16 pigs were exposed to mustard gas for about 10 minutes, at 12 h post exposure the animals were killed (three of them died during the experiment due to complications) and a full post-mortem examination performed in order to determine the lung damage caused by the sulfur mustard inhalation.

Sulfur mustard is a chemical warfare agent that was first used on the battlefield in World War I. It has been classified as a Class 1 human carcinogen, meaning that it can also cause cancer. Mustard agents were regulated under the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention as substances with no use other than in chemical warfare.

The last use of Sulfur mustard in battle was confirmed in Syria in 2016. According to the BBC, Islamic State (ISIS) jihadists used mustard gas against government forces in Deir-ez-Zor. The same chemical gas was confirmed to have been used by ISIS against Kurds in Northern Iraq. According to The Independent, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) confirmed that laboratory tests had come back positive for sulfur mustard, after around 35 Kurdish troops fell sick on the battlefield in August 2015.


Iraqi soldiers captured a cache of chemical weapons from ISIS in Qayarah, Iraq, the rockets tested positive for sulfur mustard, October 2016. (Source: Ed Alexander/BLACKOPS Cyber)

According to information obtained from the US Federal contracts registry, Porton Down scientists 5 months ago completed a $ 2 million military program involving chemical gas experiments on animals. This program was funded by the US Department of the Army on behalf of the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Chemical Defense (USAMRICD) and was launched in 2008 and further extended in 2012. The work on the program included Phosgene Gas tests. Amongst them – Continued Model Development to Establish Reproducible Phosgene Injury at 24 Hours. According to the program documents, the purpose was to monitor the development of acute lung injury following phosgene exposure. Phosgene gas was used extensively as a chemical weapon, most notably during World War I.
Coincidence: Guinea pigs at Porton Down and at the home of the poisoned ex-spy

Tests using nerve agents VX and VM on guinea pigs were carried out at Poton Down in 2015. The project was funded by the UK Ministry of Defence. Interestingly, ginea pigs were also found at Sergei Skripal’s home in Salisbury, just a few kilometers away from the secretive chemical and biological military lab. A photo of the Skripals’ pets – a cat and guinea pigs, was posted by his daughter Yulia on Facebook.


Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, photos: Facebook

Guinea pigs were found in the house of the poisoned ex-spy in Salisbury, just a few kilometers away from Porton Down, where such guinea pigs were used for nerve agent chemical tests.

In a 2015 report to the UK parliament the UK Ministry of Defence does confirm the use of animals for military chemical and biological experiments. The ministry states: “DSTL is proud to deliver cutting-edge science and technology for the benefit of national defence and security. Part of its work is to provide safe and effective countermeasures against the threat posed by chemical and biological weapons and to enhance the treatment of conventional casualties on the battlefield, which could not currently be achieved without the use of animals”.
Porton Down scientists test chemical gas on London Tube passengers

Chemical gas was released on thousands of unsuspecting commuters during a military experiment on the London Underground, documents reveal. These chemical tests were performed in 2013 by scientist from Porton Down.


Porton Down scientists released chemical gas on the London Underground in 2013.

The UK government never informed the British public of the military experiment on the London Underground. Thousands of people were exposed to chemical gas without their knowledge. Nor did the Ministry of Defence ask for their consent to participate in such military experiments. Information about the project can be obtained from a 2016 US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) document entitled Environmental Assessment of Proposed NYC Subway Tracer Particle and Gas Releases for the Underground Transport Restoration Project.


5 PFTs, SF6 and Urea were released on the London Underground in 2013 in the form of liquid aerosol droplets. Source: US Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

The document provides information about other programs running in the USA and UK from 2005 to 2016. Among them are the London Underground chemical trials. They were conducted by the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL), also known as Porton Down.

Information obtained from the UK government contracts registry confirms that Porton Down scientists conducted a study involving access to the London tube under a 3-year contract with the London Underground (2011-2014). The content of the project is not specified though.

According to the contract documents, the London Underground cannot communicate “on these matters with any media representative unless specifically granted permissions to do so. In the event that the Contract becomes classified the Contractor must safeguard information. Before publishing information to the general public, Porton Down may redact any information that would be exempt from disclosure if it was the subject of a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act”.


The London Underground is prohibited from public disclosure of information about the Porton Down project without permission, according to the contract documents. Source: data.gov.uk

The controversial military laboratory was investigated for chemical and biological experiments on humans in the past. Up to 20,000 people took part in various trials from 1949 to 1989. In 2008, the UK Ministry of Defence paid 360 veterans £3 million without admitting liability.


Ronald George Maddison was a twenty-year-old Royal Air Force engineer who died while undergoing tests with sarin at Porton Down in 1953, according to declassified military documents.

Powder dissemination of chemical or biological agents

Presently Porton Down scientists produce and test dissemination of biological and/or chemical agents as they did in the past, documents from the UK government contracts registry reveal. Although the information is redacted, it still raises questions as to why the UK military needs to develop a new technique for dissemination of chemical or biological agents via the inhalational route. A private contractor – Red Scientific Ltd, was awarded a £50,000 contract in 2012 “to explore techniques that could be used to manipulate the flow ability of dry powders, principally to understand the delivery of solid particulate by inhalation, and to apply a variety of innovative powder manipulation techniques to a specific irritant powder (provided by DSTL)”. If the work in 2012/13 proves to be successful there is potential for a second phase to be pursued in 2013/14 examining other powder materials with the same techniques, the contract documents reveal. The project’s stated goal is marked improvement in the efficiency of aerosolisation over current techniques used at DSTL.



DSTL has awarded a private contractor to explore more advanced techniques for powder dissemination of chemical/biological agents. Source: data.gov.uk

DSTL has also tested dissemination techniques in wind tunnels. A private company – NIAB Trading Ltd, was awarded a £12,020 contract to provide facilities and expertise to assist with wind tunnel assessments.

Such experiments involving the release of bacteria were conducted in the UK in the past during the joint UK-US military operation DICE. A declassified US Army document reveals that a series of 24 field trials took place off the coast of Portland and in Lyme Bay in the UK in 1975. Each field trial involved the spraying of massive bacterial aerosols from a converted Land Rover. Although the US and UK joined the UN Conventions on the prohibition of chemical and biological weapons, documents prove that their military programs have never ended.


Porton Down scientists conducted field tests in 1956. The masks on their faces allowed the collection of warfare simulants which had been sprayed from aircraft. Photo credit: Imperial War Museums
US official lied in Brussels about the Pentagon biolaboratories

Robert Kadlec, Assistant Secretary at the US Department of Health, categorically denied the existence of an American bio-weapons program at a seminar on the threat of biological and chemical weapons. The event was organized by the European Parliament on 7th March in Brussels. Asked why the information about the US military bio-laboratories in 25 countries bordering on Russia, China and Iran (the Pentagon’s main rivals) is classified, Kadlec responded: “They are not classified, they are openly available to anyone who wants to look at them.”

(full video of Robert Kadlec’s comment here)


Documents about the Pentagon offshore bio-laboratories prove him wrong though.

According to the 2005 Agreement between the US DoD and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine the Ukrainian government is prohibited from public disclosure of sensitive information about the US program. The Pentagon has been operating 11 biolaboartories in Ukraine.

Porton Down is just one of the Pentagon-funded military laboratories in 25 countries across the world, where the US Army produces and tests man-made viruses, bacteria and toxins in direct violation of the UN convention. These US bio-laboratories are funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) under a $ 2.1 billion military program– Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP), and are located in former Soviet Union countries such as Georgia and Ukraine, the Middle East, South East Asia and Africa.

The Pentagon-funded military facilities are not under the direct control of the host state as the US military and civilian personnel is working under diplomatic cover. The local governments are prohibited from public disclosure of sensitive information about the foreign military program running on their own territory. Without being under the direct control of the host state, these Pentagon bio-laboratories put the health of the local population at risk and must be closed.

This article (Salisbury Nerve Agent Attack Reveals $70 Million Pentagon Program At Porton Down) was originally published on South Front and syndicated by The Event Chronicle.

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.

Georgia: Disbarred Lawyer Richard Merritt Jailed on Theft, Elder Abuse Charges



Georgia: Disbarred Lawyer Richard Merritt Jailed on Theft, Elder Abuse Charges
Attorney Richard Merritt was disbarred Monday for pocketing a client’s $75,000 settlement and jailed Wednesday on multiple felonies.

Georgia: Disbarred Lawyer Richard Merritt Jailed on Theft, Elder Abuse Charges
http://www.barcomplaint.com/attorney-theft/georgia-disbarred-lawyer-richard-merritt-jailed-on-theft-elder-abuse-charges/

The problems of Richard Merritt have come to a head with his arrest. This has been long coming has his behavior has been in question for several years.


Richard Vinson Merritt

Former Smyrna attorney Richard V. Merritt, who was disbarred Monday after admitting to settling a client’s suit for $75,000 and then pocketing the money, woke up in the Cobb County Jail Thursday after being arrested on separate felony elder abuse, theft, exploitation and check fraud charges.

The spokesperson for the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office said he had no further information on the charges, which were apparently filed by the Smyrna Police Department. The booking report includes a notation that Merritt is to be held for the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, where a press liaison said they received a bench warrant for “indirect criminal attempt.”

He provided no further information, and there was no immediate response from Smyrna police.

On Friday, Cobb County District Attorney Vic Reynolds said there was little he could offer concerning Merritt’s case so far.

“We have yet to receive the complete investigative file from the Cobb Sheriff’s Department,” said Reynolds via email. “When we do, our White Collar Unit will begin the process of determining what charges we will proceed to the grand jury with. In addition, our Investigators will begin reviewing the file upon receipt to see if there are any additional victims or charges which need to be pursued.”

Merritt remained in jail on Friday afternoon.

Merritt is the subject of multiple civil suits in Cobb County, including one filed by a woman who claims he forged her name on a $150,000 settlement agreement and check without her knowledge. She claims Merritt never turned over any funds.

He also faces several legal malpractice and fraud lawsuits in Cobb County from clients claiming he agreed to handle their cases and then never filed them and never pursued any actions.

Merritt has represented himself in each of the lawsuits.

The attorney for a plaintiff in one case, Sapp & Moriarty partner Daniel Moriarty—interviewed before word of Merritt’s arrest was known—said he was surprised at the mild tone in the state Supreme Court’s disbarment opinion, which only said Merritt “settled a client’s personal injury matter for $75,000 but failed to promptly disburse those funds to his client or her medical providers and failed to render a full accounting of the funds to his client.”

“That’s a euphemism for stealing money,” said Moriarty. “I talked to an investigator who has seen his bank records and determined that he had stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars. It just blows my mind what he’s gotten away with.”

According the bar complaint reviewed by the Daily Report, Merritt was retained to handle a personal injury matter in December 2016 and settled it last February, cashing the forged check Feb.7. On Feb. 10, he filed a lawsuit “and continued to lead me on until late May 2017 when I learned what he had done,” the confidential complaint said.

“I have never seen a dime of the $75,000,” said Merritt’s former client.

Another civil suit filed in Cobb County State Court last year said Merritt forged a husband and wife’s signature on a settlement and check in a medical malpractice case and never told them.

Another complaint said Merritt accepted a med-mal case and continually told his client that he was investigating it. Merritt sent emails saying “All is well and we are moving forward on your case,” and “No worries I’m on it!”

Then he stopped accepting the woman’s calls, and the filing deadline passed.

In that case, Judge Maria Golick struck Merritt’s answers and ordered a damages-only trial after finding he “willfully failed to respond” to hearing notices. Golick scheduled a show-cause criminal contempt hearing, and the decision is apparently still under advisement, according to court records.

In the case Moriarty is handling, Merritt also allegedly claimed to be conducting discovery and searching for experts, even scheduling bogus depositions for his clients, only to cancel them at the last minute.

Merritt was the principal for the Smyrna-based Merritt Firm, whose offices were the subject of several dispossessory actions between 2015 and 2017, according to court records.

Last August, Merritt sued two attorneys on behalf of spine surgeon and frequent medical expert James Chappuis. At the time, Merritt said he vice president and general counsel of Chappuis’ Orthopaedic & Spine Surgery of Atlanta.

That case settled confidentially shortly after it was filed.

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!

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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.

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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.

From Zero Hedge: Fukushima has contaminated the entire Pacific Ocean in just five years


Fukushima Radiation Has Contaminated The Entire Pacific Ocean (And It’s Going To Get Worse)

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Whitney Webb via TrueActivist.com,

The nuclear disaster has contaminated the world’s largest ocean in only five years and it’s still leaking 300 tons of radioactive waste every day.

An energy map provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows the intensity of the tsunami in the Pacific Ocean caused by the magnitude 8.9 earthquake which struck Japan on March 11, 2011. Thousands of people fled their homes along the Pacific coast of North and South America on Friday as a tsunami triggered by Japan's massive earthquake reached the region but appeared to spare it from major damage. REUTERS/NOAA/Center for Tsunami Research/Handout (UNITED STATES - Tags: DISASTER ENVIRONMENT) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

What was the most dangerous nuclear disaster in world history? Most people would say the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine, but they’d be wrong. In 2011, an earthquake, believed to be an aftershock of the 2010 earthquake in Chile, created a tsunami that caused a meltdown at the TEPCO nuclear power plant in Fukushima, Japan. Three nuclear reactors melted down and what happened next was the largest release of radiation into the water in the history of the world. Over the next three months, radioactive chemicals, some in even greater quantities than Chernobyl, leaked into the Pacific Ocean. However, the numbers may actually be much higher as Japanese official estimates have been proven by several scientists to be flawed in recent years.

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If that weren’t bad enough, Fukushima continues to leak an astounding 300 tons of radioactive waste into the Pacific Ocean every day. It will continue do so indefinitely as the source of the leak cannot be sealed as it is inaccessible to both humans and robots due to extremely high temperatures.

It should come as no surprise, then, that Fukushima has contaminated the entire Pacific Ocean in just five years. This could easily be the worst environmental disaster in human history and it is almost never talked about by politicians, establishment scientists, or the news. It is interesting to note that TEPCO is a partner with General Electric (also known as GE), one of the largest companies in the world, which has considerable control over numerous news corporations and politicians alike. Could this possibly explain the lack of news coverage Fukushima has received in the last five years? There is also evidence that GE knew about the poor condition of the Fukushima reactors for decades and did nothing. This led 1,400 Japanese citizens to sue GE for their role in the Fukushima nuclear disaster.

Even if we can’t see the radiation itself, some parts of North America’s western coast have been feeling the effects for years. Not long after Fukushima, fish in Canada began bleeding from their gills, mouths, and eyeballs. This “disease” has been ignored by the government and has decimated native fish populations, including the North Pacific herring. Elsewhere in Western Canada, independent scientists have measured a 300% increase in the level of radiation. According to them, the amount of radiation in the Pacific Ocean is increasing every year. Why is this being ignored by the mainstream media? It might have something to do with the fact that the US and Canadian governments have banned their citizens from talking about Fukushima so “people don’t panic.”

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Further south in Oregon, USA, starfish began losing legs and then disintegrating entirely when Fukushima radiation arrived there in 2013. Now, they are dying in record amounts, putting the entire oceanic ecosystem in that area at risk. However, government officials say Fukushima is not to blame even though radiation in Oregon tuna tripled after Fukushima. In 2014, radiation on California beaches increased by 500 percent. In response, government officials said that the radiation was coming from a mysterious “unknown” source and was nothing to worry about.

However, Fukushima is having a bigger impact than just the West coast of North America. Scientists are now saying that the Pacific Ocean is already radioactive and is currently at least 5-10 times more radioactive than when the US government dropped numerous nuclear bombs in the Pacific during and after World War II. If we don’t start talking about Fukushima soon, we could all be in for a very unpleasant surprise.