Extra Extra : Business

Nation's billionaires take advantage of South Dakota’s tax-friendly trust laws

According to The Washington Post, "in the past four years, the amount of money administered by South Dakota trust companies has tripled to $121 billion, almost all of it from out of state."

"States such as South Dakota are “creating laws that are conducive to a massive exploitation of a federal tax loophole,” said Edward McCaffery, a law professor at the University of Southern California. “We have a tax haven in our midst.”

Tobacco companies pushing back against antismoking laws

Tobacco companies are pushing back against a worldwide rise in antismoking laws, using a little-noticed legal strategy to delay or block regulation. The industry is warning countries that their tobacco laws violate an expanding web of trade and investment treaties, raising the prospect of costly, prolonged legal battles, health advocates and officials said.

Extra Extra Monday: Billions given--not received, town sells water at a discount to NSA, Puerto Rico in financial troubles

Donor-advised funds: Where charity goes to wait | The Boston Globe
$45 billion of American philanthropic money has been given—but not received.

Utah town gave NSA a deal on water | The Salt Lake Tribune
Bluffdale agreed to sell water to the National Security Agency at a rate below its own guidelines and the Utah average in order to secure the contract and spur economic development in the town, according to records and interviews.

KCMO Homeland Security official under fire for awarding quarter-million dollar contract to neighbor | KSHB-Kansas City
A high-ranking federal law enforcement official with the Department of Homeland Security ...

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Extra Extra Monday: Prosecutorial misconduct, Hollywood sting, nuclear waste lands, private prisons

Prosecutorial misconduct alleged in half of capital cases |  The Arizona Republic
In half of all capital cases in Arizona since 2002, prosecutorial misconduct was alleged by appellate attorneys. Those allegations ranged in seriousness from being over emotional to encouraging perjury. Nearly half those allegations were validated by the Arizona Supreme Court.

Hollywood Sting | Al Jazeera America
FBI investigation of a California political dynasty uncovers alleged bribery and corruption in the shadows of Tinseltown

Special report: Addicted nurses keep licenses | The Star Tribune
Some nurses continue to steal narcotics or practice while impaired under state monitoring that’s supposed to stop ...

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Extra Extra Monday: Drone strikes, wrongful arrests, black lung and surgical device profits

Secret memos reveal explicit nature of U.S., Pakistan agreement on drones | The Washington Post
"Despite repeatedly denouncing the CIA’s drone campaign, top officials in Pakistan’s government have for years secretly endorsed the program and routinely received classified briefings on strikes and casualty counts, according to top-secret CIA documents and Pakistani diplomatic memos obtained by The Washington Post."

St. Louis wrongful arrests mount as fingerprint mismatches are ignored | St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“The Post-Dispatch has identified 100 people arrested in error over the past seven years. Collectively, they spent more than 2,000 days in jail — an average of ...

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Boeing Co. charging for new parts while installing used

Bloomberg News has found that "four times in the past five years, the Pentagon’s inspector general has found that Boeing Co. (BA) collected excessive or unjustified payments on U.S. defense contracts."

"In the latest of four audits since 2008, the watchdog office said the Chicago-based company charged the U.S. Army for new helicopter parts while installing used ones, according to a report, labeled “For Official Use Only” and obtained by Bloomberg News."

Bloomberg Markets investigation finds investors lose 89 percent of gains from futures funds

Bloomberg Markets magazine investigates the managed futures industry, and finds that while 63 public partnerships earned $11.5 billion over the past decade, 89 percent was siphoned away in commmissions, fees and expenses.

In a nine-month investigation relying on compiled data from the Securities and Exchange Commission, Bloomberg Markets found that the partnerships wiped out all the trading profits -- all that was left for investors came from interest earnings on the limited partners' cash. The impact of these high fees has escaped both regulators and some industry executives, the magazine reports.

Hundreds of Stockbrokers Migrate Between Firms Expelled by Regulators

More than 5,000 brokers were still licensed to sell securities earlier this year after working for one or more firms that regulators expelled between 2005 and 2012, according to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal. Hundreds of these brokers worked at more than one firm expelled by regulators, the analysis found.

Forged documents surprise homeowners, cost thousands of dollars to fix

In February, 41 Action News found housing documents somehow signed by dead people and homeowners who had no idea the deeds to their properties had been forged. Continuing its investigation, 41 Action News reports "a growing trail of 'dirty deeds,' and evidence of a crime that’s so shockingly easy, there is very little to stop it from happening."

Carolinas HealthCare’s planes used for business, personal trips

A Charlotte Observer story published Sunday revealed that the CEO of one of the nation's largest nonprofit hospital systems enjoys a rare perk: the freedom to fly hospital planes for both business and pleasure. Flight logs provided by Carolinas HealthCare System show that chief executive Michael Tarwater took at least 29 personal flights on the system’s planes from 2008 through 2012. Tarwater, an accomplished pilot, often flew hospital planes on business trips as well. Some experts believe the practice is rare – and questionable. “It seems inappropriate for them to use (planes) for personal purposes, given that they are ...

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