As the Harry Potter author, J.K. Rowling, rose to fame over her hit book and movie series, rumors surrounding her earlier life became a hot topic in multiple news sources. Some of these sources speculated on how Ms. Rowling began writing the series, questioning if she actually wrote the series on napkins in cafes. Other sources, however, speculated about her personal life as they reported on her previous relationships and life as single mother. One such source that publicly discussed her single-parenthood was the British newspaper, Daily Mail, who published an article on September 27, 2013 suggesting that Ms. Rowling “told a false ‘sob story’ about being stigmatised by churchgoers” (BBC, 2014). The Daily Mail’s report was in response to an article that Ms. Rowling posted on Gingerbread charity’s website (www.gingerbread.org.uk) about her realities of being a single parent. Read More
Rabbi Mordchai Fish, of Brooklyn, New York, has been sentenced to 46 months in prison for laundering nearly a million dollars. In early 2008, Fish accepted checks to charities in New York and New Jersey from admitted Ponzi schemer and FBI informant Solomon Dwek. The charities, including Boyoner Gemilas Chesed, Beth Pinchas, and Levovous, are called “gemachs”, groups intended to give money to people in need. Instead, the cash went straight back to Dwek, freshly laundered, with Fish keeping a nice 10% commission for himself in the process. Too bad Dwek was wired up and handing Fish bait money provided by the FBI. Over two years, Fish and Dwek, with the latter informing all the while, laundered more than $900,000, a crime punishable by a maximum 20 years in prison and fines up to $200,000. Fish swam by the recommended 57-month sentence from Judge Joel Pisano, receiving a lower sentence because of his work in the Orthodox community.
We often hear about bigtime class action settlements, the ones with millions of dollars set up in trusts and application processes to benefit from. Like the $325 million Apple antenna lawsuit, or the recent $3 million Nutella settlement. In these types of settlements, the number of people affected by them (the “class”) is unknown, so the settlement money is put into a fund and a time period is given in which class members can sign up to receive some of the money from that fund. The total settlement award that we read about in the papers, however, is actually an upper bound. That’s the limit — once it’s reached, it’s hard cheese for any more people who want to benefit. Very rarely is the full amount given out. More often, the upper bound is not reached and some money is left sitting in the trust. What happens to this money?