Autoworkers’ Union Goes on Strike Against G.M.

Nearly 50,000 members of the United Automobile Workers union (U.A.W.) went on strike at General Motors’ factories across the Midwest and South. U.A.W. regional leaders in Detroit voted unanimously to authorize the strike, the union’s first walkout since 2007. The U.A.W. is pushing General Motors to improve wages, re-open idled plants, add jobs at others, and close or narrow the difference in pay rates for new hires and veteran workers. General Motors wants its employees to pay a greater portion of health care costs and to increase work-force productivity and flexibility in factories.

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OxyContin Maker Purdue Pharma Files for Bankruptcy Protection

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma, LP filed for bankruptcy protection after more than 2,600 lawsuits alleged the company helped feud the U.S. opioid epidemic. Purdue reached a tentative deal to resolve lawsuits with 24 states and five U.S. territories, but two dozen states remain opposed or uncommitted to the proposed settlement. The states that oppose the proposed settlement set the stage for contentious legal battles over who is responsible for the public health crisis that has claimed the lives of approximately 400,000 people between 1999 and 2007. Opposing states also want the Sacklers, who would gain control of Purdue in the proposed settlement, to guarantee more of their own money will go toward a settlement. The Sacklers have offered $3 billion in cash and an additional $1.5 billion or more through the eventual sale of another company they own. The Sacklers have declined to revise the offer.

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Ariana Grande Sues Forever 21 for $10 Million over Look-Alike Ad Campaign

Ariana Grande, the pop music singer, has sued retailer Forever 21 for $10 Million, accusing the founders’ daughters of piggybacking off of her fame and influence to sell their merchandise. In the complaint filed on September 2, 2019, Grande accused Forever 21 and Riley Rose of misappropriating her name, image, likeness, and music. She claims Forever 21 and Rose employed a “strikingly similar” looking model in a website and social media campaign earlier this year.

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Models, Musicians Face Lawsuits Over Fyre Festival Payments

Bankruptcy trustee Gregory Messer is suing Models Kendall Jenner and Emily Ratajkowski and performers Migos, Pusha T, and Lil Yachty in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for New York. Messer has been investigating who was paid in the lead-up to the 2017 event, Fyre Festival, that was supposed to take place over two weekends in the Bahamas. The lawsuits seek to recover money paid to talent agencies, performers they represent, and some vendors that were paid to charter musicians to the festival on private jets and yachts. William “Billy” McFarland and his company, Fyre Media Inc., were also sued for over $14 million allegedly transferred to him or to Fyre Media from its bankrupt subsidiary formed to promote the festival. McFarland is currently serving a six-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to fraud charges.

If you have been a victim of a scam and would like to speak to an attorney, call our law office at 816-524-4949 or visit our website at Hoorfarlaw.com.

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78-Year-Old Woman Convicted of Attempting to Kill Her Bankruptcy Attorney

Patricia Currie, a 78-year-old woman from Mandeville, Louisiana, was found guilty on August 14, 2019 of attempted second-degree murder for attempting to kill her former bankruptcy attorney. On October 27, 2016, Attorney Keith Couture was alone at his law firm when he heard the door open. At the front of his office, Currie was sitting in a chair with latex gloves on, plastic grocery bags on her feet, and a white towel in her lap covering a gun. After Currie raised the gun at Couture, he was able to wrestle it away from her. Couture testified that when asked why she was there, Curie said she was there to kill him. Testifying in her own defense, Currie said she intended to only scare her former attorney. Currie appears for sentencing on September 30, 2019 where she faces 10 to 50 years in prison.

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Kansas Town’s Treasurer Goes to Prison After Stealing Money from Taxpayers

Deborah Sell, the former treasurer of Fontana, Kansas, was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison. Sell pled guilty to lying on her income tax returns and stealing money from taxpayers. In February 2017, Sell used a city debit card to withdraw $400 from an ATM at a casino in Riverside, Missouri, which stemmed the wire fraud charge. Sell admitted to embezzling more than $174,000 from the City of Fontana while she was the city treasurer.

If you have been a victim of fraud and would like to speak to an attorney, call our law office at 816-524-4949 or visit our website at Hoorfarlaw.com.

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Federal Court Shuts Down Palm Beach County, Florida Tax Return Preparers

An order was issued permanently barring Jeffrey Cadet, Kersh Tax Service, LLC, and Kersha Lewis from preparing federal tax returns for others or owning or operating a tax preparation business. The compliant filed by the government alleged that the defendants prepared tax returns that contained fictitious itemized deductions and/or business expenses. The complaint also alleged that the returns contained fictitious and/or inflated education expenses to improperly claim the American Opportunity Tax Credit and Lifetime Learning Credit.

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Maine Tax Preparer Pleads Guilty to Preparing False Tax Return

Ashraf Eldeknaway, a tax preparer in Portland, Maine, pled guilty to one count of aiding and assisting in the preparation of a false tax return. To claim the Earned Income Tax Credit and a fraudulently increased refund, Eldeknawey admitted to willfully preparing a false 2015 tax return for two clients that intentionally included overstated self-employment. The preparation of the false returns caused a loss between $40,000 and $100,000 to the government.

If you need tax preparation assistance and would like to speak to an attorney, contact our law office at 816-524-4949 or visit our website at Hoorfarlaw.com.

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IRS Automatically Waives Estimated Tax Penalty for Eligible 2018 Filers

For more than 400,000 eligible taxpayers who already filed their 2018 tax returns, the Internal Revenue Service will automatically be waiving the estimated tax penalty. For taxpayers who have already paid the penalty will receive a refund check. For taxpayers who have yet to file, the IRS urges eligible taxpayers to claim the waiver on their return.

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Property Owner Not Entitled to Damages for Both Repair Costs and Diminution in Value

Plaintiffs Jungers sued Defendant Webster for damages allegedly caused by the negligent installation of a transformer in the Jungers’ home. Webster paid for the damage to be repaired. At the time of the alleged damage, the Jungers were in the process of selling their home under contract for deed, but the buyers backed out. The Jungers sought damages from Webster because of the lost sale. The court decided that the Jungers were barred from recovering the additional damages they sought. The Jungers were not entitled to seek additional damages either in the form of diminution of fair market value or for the loss of the benefit of bargain from the contract for deed.

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