February 25, 2011 |
A fraternity loyalty ritual goes blazingly wrong in the jacked-up indie thriller "Brotherhood. " The film invests a lot of emotional energy in raising moral stakes for the kind of boorish male pranksters it's hard to feel sympathy for when one reads about them in newspaper accounts of fatal hazings and sexual assaults. In first-time feature director Will Canon's all-nighter scenario, co-written with Doug Simon, a frat house's carefully rigged scheme to make a pledge think he's robbing a convenience store leads to bullets flying, a wounded freshman, a kidnapped clerk and circumstances that get progressively worse, complete with the kind of shaky handheld camerawork and endless shouting matches that are the usual indie-movie distress signifiers.
March 9, 2012 |
A former Countrywide Financial Corp. loan officer has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to charges related to a nearly $40 million mortgage fraud scheme. Federal prosecutors alleged that Paige Kinney of Phoenix operated the scheme from 2005 to 2007, using “straw buyers” to apply for home loans they never intended to repay. She submitted altered documents, such as bank statements and pay stubs, to make the buyers appear more credit-worthy than they were, prosecutors said.
January 13, 2012 |
"Contraband," starring the rock-steady Mark Wahlberg, is about a high-risk, high-seas heist involving a supertanker that is so super complicated (implausible?) that in the wrong hands it would be laughable. Instead, this very gritty bit of greased action does a decent job of shaking the sluggish out of January. Based on the 2008 Icelandic thriller, "Reykjavik-Rotterdam," the filmmakers have turned up the heat — both literally and figuratively — shifting it from icy Nordic seas and alcohol trafficking, to set things in New Orleans with a Panama port of call and a few million counterfeit dollars on the horizon.
October 31, 2013 |
The scheme at the center of "Nosotros los Nobles" is a flimsy one at best: When Mexican construction mogul Germán Noble (Gonzalo Vega) tires of his grown children's spoiled antics, he fakes an embezzlement scheme and "freezes" their assets. Party boy Javier (Luis Gerardo Méndez), princess Bárbara (the Amanda Peet-esque Karla Souza) and hipster Charlie (Juan Pablo Gil) all go into "hiding" in a rundown fixer-upper and must get real jobs for the first time in their lives - presumably where they could easily follow their family company's perfectly legal and solvent activities in the papers or through friends.
July 25, 2013 |
Five Russians and a Ukrainian face federal criminal charges of hacking into the computers of major payment processors, retailers and financial institutions, stealing more than 160 million credit card numbers and causing hundreds of millions of dollars in losses. It is the largest such scheme ever prosecuted in the United States, federal authorities said in unsealing indictments Thursday in Newark, N.J., and Manhattan. Victimized firms ranged from 7-Eleven, Wet Seal and JetBlue to Visa Jordan, Diners Singapore and the Nasdaq stock market, authorities said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 6, 2013 |
A dozen employees in four of the region's most financially strapped school districts have been charged with helping steal thousands of textbooks for a book buyer, and in some cases the titles would be sold back to the same schools. A 37-page indictment unsealed Thursday details a book-selling scheme in which Long Beach businessman Corey Frederick recruited employees - including two librarians, a campus supervisor and a former warehouse manager - to take thousands of books from schools in Los Angeles, Inglewood, Lynwood and Bellflower.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 12, 1987 |
Four men pleaded guilty Friday in Van Nuys Municipal Court to swindling people in a scheme police call the "Jamaican Switch." Authorities said one of the victims in the scheme was Los Angeles attorney James M. Epstein, who said he sniffed out the confidence game and was trying to set up an arrest when he lost $5,000. In the elaborate scheme that netted more than $33,000, at least three more victims each lost thousands of dollars in cash, police Sgt. Dennis E. Adams said.
August 28, 2009 |
An elaborate identity theft scheme has reached the highest levels of the U.S. financial system, striking the personal bank account of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and his wife. According to a Washington, D.C., police report, Anna Bernanke's purse was stolen last August from a Capitol Hill Starbucks. From there, the Bernankes' checking account was swept up into a larger scheme, first reported Tuesday by Newsweek magazine.