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Ketamine dealer jailed as estate agency reels following colleague’s death

first_imgHome » News » Agencies & People » Ketamine dealer jailed as estate agency reels following colleague’s death previous nextAgencies & PeopleKetamine dealer jailed as estate agency reels following colleague’s deathCardiff man Lanoi Lidell has been given a three years and four months sentence for possession with intent to supply MDMA, ketamine and cocaine.Nigel Lewis1st March 202104,061 Views A drug dealer who was investigated over the deaths of two people including an estate agent who took ketamine has been jailed for three years and four months.Lanoi Lidell, 23, from Cardiff was given the jail term after admitting possession with intent to supply MDM, ketamine and cocaine.Large amounts of all the drugs were found at his flat after he was stopped by police in the Cathays student area of the city while driving his car.The vehicle was found to contain drugs and subsequently police raided his home, finding a cornucopia of different illegal drugs worth £8,740.Police then raided the property once more after Cardiff student Megan Pollitt died after taking a quantity of ketamine, although during the trial the judge said  there was insufficient evidence to prove that her death was linked to Lidell.On the same November 2020 weekend that Pollitt died estate agent Rhys Trezise, 25, fell ill after taking ketamine at a house party in the city, dying in hospital the day after.A statement from a spokesperson at four-branch estate agency Jeffrey Ross, where Trezise worked, said at the time that said he was “an extremely valued member of the team.“The best compliment I could pay Rhys is that he was the exact type of character we look to employ at JR, he had great sense of humour, he was caring and mature beyond his years and I’m sure he made every one of us laugh at some point in time.”Read more about Jeffrey Ross.Lanoi Lidell Rhys Trezise Megan Pollitt Jeffrey Ross March 1, 2021Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021last_img read more

Time saver

first_imgDespite the fact that if you put ’retarder provers’ into Google’s internet search engine, it seems to think you’ve made a spelling error, these machines are an integral feature of many bakeries. A retarder prover cools dough products, allowing them to be stored, before transforming from a cold storage unit to a warm incubator-like environment, for the bread to prove ready for baking. It allows bakers more control over when their products are baked and enables them to prepare the dough in advance, but what are its other plus points?David Charlesworth, sales executive at Norbake, says the biggest advantage of retarder provers is the time it saves bakers, especially early in the morning. The goods can be retarded and stored overnight, ready to be put straight into the oven the next day. This means businesses don’t need to staff the bakery so early in the morning – which is handy for those bakers who aren’t so keen on the night shift. “One of the biggest problems bakers face is getting staff to come in early, so making the product in the daytime and having it ready for baking first thing in the morning, gives the baker a good start to the day,” he says. “Retarder provers can be used for the majority of dough products,” says Charlesworth. “The retarder acts like a refrigerator, stopping the yeast from developing the dough.” Products can then be stored inside for up to three days without any deterioration of the dough. For bakers looking to store dough for a much longer period without the risk of deterioration, there are other options. “A piece of equipment that follows on from a retarder prover is a dough controller,” says Charlesworth. “With this equipment, frozen dough products can be kept for two to three weeks with no deterioration.”Danish company Lillnord manufactures a dough controller called SupraLine, supplied by Norbake, with a patented system that claims to do just that. Lillnord’s range also includes its Semi Line retarder prover and SemiMiniLine retarder prover for trays. Charlesworth says he knows of one particular baker in the north-east who fills up his eight-rack dough controller with products when he goes on his annual two-week summer holiday.As Stewart Morris, director of European Process Plant (EPP), says: “Proving isn’t complicated, but is fundamental to the quality of the finished baked product.” That’s not to say things cannot go awry. For example, if there is not enough humidity, the product will not rise properly, or if there is excess moisture condensing on the dough, it can result in a tough crust, says Morris. It’s all about the control of temperature, humidity, air-flow and time. So, easy then.EPP supplies retarding and proving systems from German manufacturer MIWE, with capacities ranging from a few racks, right up to 200 or more.For example, MIWE’s Garomat model has five programme sections: fast cooling, proofing interrupted, proofing retardation, proofing and the support phase, and has an operating temperature range of between -25?C and 45?C.Many sizes fit allRetarder provers are available in all sorts of shapes, sizes and specifications to suit bakeries’ needs. Some models even have a built-in sleep mode, so bakers can essentially press the pause button on the production process.Chris Huish, sales and technical manager at Mono, says one of the main benefits of retarder provers is that they take away the peaks and troughs in the level of production. Swansea-based Mono Equipment, part of the AFE Group, manufactures and supplies bakery equipment, and is the agent for its sister company Williams Refrigeration.The firm supplies two different retarder provers aimed at craft bakeries – the 17-tray Crystal RPC1T (upright model) and the 10-tray RPCC2-18U (bench model). It also supplies the Modular DRP, designed for use in retail bakeries.”You tend to get a better product, because you can set the retarders up for a very gentle proof,” explains Huish. “You can develop more flavour and will get a nicer product.”The latest addition to Mono’s range is the Doughmaster. The control panel is located in the door for ease of use and according to Huish all you have to do is set the time you want the dough ready for and the rest is done for you. “We do what we call a pod system, which is where the refrigeration unit is outside the cabinet rather than inside, so it’s easier to maintain and there are no compressors or condensers hanging down inside,” explains Huish. “There is also the option of a low-medium prove or low-medium retard if the customer wants it.”One thing to remember is if you’re thinking about investing in a retarder prover, make sure it is a compatible size with your oven. “There’s no point having 60 racks of proved bread if your oven only holds 30,” says Charlesworth.—-=== Case study: JG Fletcher & Son (Bakers) ===J G Fletcher and Son (Bakers), in Wigan, purchased three 15-rack Lillnord retarder provers from Norbake – one in 2004 and two more in 2006 – and director Glyn Fletcher says he is considering purchasing more in the future. Fletcher says it was improving the quality of product that prompted his initial decision to invest in the units.”We used to have older retarder provers, but we couldn’t get a consistent product all the way along the rack,” he explains. “With these new ones, the technology they have and the spread of the air flow around the product gives you a good quality product across the rack. They’re absolutely superb.”He says that as well as improving product quality, they have also helped with costs. “They have cut our staffing needs down, particularly at weekends, because you’re not starting from scratch; you’ve already got some stock that’s ready to go.”His staff already work nights, but it has enabled them to come in four hours later than before. It also means that, as soon as the oven man comes in, he’s got something to do. He bakes, and then the other staff come in and the production staff start later on.Despite the fact the three units set him back around £75,000, Fletcher says they are cheap to run and have definitely saved him money in the long run. “All the latest technology means they don’t use a lot of energy and are environmentally friendly,” he says. “We’ve not only saved money, but have also helped the quality of our product.”last_img read more

Following the weather

first_imgFrom the violence of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot to Earth’s own extreme weather, Pedram Hassanzadeh is investigating atmospheric vortices, those swirling air masses that make the weather go — and sometimes make it stop.In September, Hassanzadeh began two years as a Ziff Environmental Fellow at the Harvard University Center for the Environment. His project is an examination of how extreme weather events work and how they will be affected by global climate change.Specifically, Hassanzadeh is thinking about the role of dynamics and studying atmospheric blocks: clockwise-rotating, high-pressure systems that stall and back up weather behind them. The blocks can last several days or even weeks, leading to flooding or seemingly endless heat waves, such as those that proved deadly in Europe in 2003 and in Russia in 2010.Hassanzadeh, working with Brian F. Farrell, the Robert P. Burden Professor of Meteorology, and Zhiming Kuang, the Gordon McKay Professor of Atmospheric and Environmental Science, is developing computer models of the blocks’ complex dynamics — studying the conditions behind them and tracking where the energy comes from that helps them form and sustain, and where that energy goes when they die. He plans to eventually use the models to project the systems’ behavior and frequency.For now, however, with the project still in its early days, Hassanzadeh is using idealized atmospheric models to understand the blocks’ basic elements. Once he has developed models that can accurately reproduce current conditions, he can begin to look to the future.The Harvard project brings Hassanzadeh back to Earth. For his doctoral work at the University of California, Berkeley, he joined Professor Philip Marcus in an effort to figure out why the solar system’s largest storm — Jupiter’s Great Red Spot — has lasted so long. The storm has been continuously observed since the 1850s and may have been seen as early as 1666.Hassanzadeh and Marcus’ research, which grabbed headlines in November, showed that a vertical motion that scientists had previously thought insignificant is responsible for the storm’s longevity.The vertical motion had been dismissed because the storm is relatively shallow — 40 kilometers high versus a diameter large enough to hold three Earths. But Hassanzadeh said the motion, forming a three-dimensional circulation flowing in and out of the Red Spot, allows the storm to tap into energy in the atmosphere around it. Without that factor, the storm may have wound down in a few years. With it, Hassanzadeh said, it could last between 200 and 800 years. That lifespan is extended further, he said, by the storm’s habit of absorbing smaller storms.“There’s a lot of energy outside the Red Spot in the atmosphere of Jupiter,” he said. “[Without the vertical circulation] the Red Spot can’t use that energy.”What the Great Red Spot and Earth’s atmospheric blocks have in common is that both are vortices. Though he’s exploring vortices in the atmosphere, Hassanzadeh is a fluid dynamicist and began his work on fluid vortices with lab experiments and by studying giant oceanic eddies.The mathematics of all vortices — oceanic, atmospheric, Jovian, even the star-forming “zombie vortices” identified by Hassanzadeh, Marcus, and colleagues in August — are similar, Hassanzadeh said.Since childhood Hassanzadeh has loved science. While growing up in Tehran, Iran, his mother read him books about the atom and Newton’s Third Law: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.After earning a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Tehran 2005, Hassanzadeh went to Canada to continue his studies at the University of Waterloo, where he received a master’s degree in mechanical engineering in 2007. Earlier this year he left Berkeley with a master’s in mathematics and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering.Hassanzadeh said the potential for extreme weather on a warming Earth is important to understand, but he’s also motivated by the demand to forecast extreme events and the chance to further grasp the broader atmospheric system, so complex that many questions remain despite 50 to 60 years of study.“It’s an interesting field and I enjoy the complexity. The next step is to use more extreme numbers to model future climate conditions, that’s where the interesting stuff would be.”last_img read more

Lecture examines sexual abuse, forms of protest

first_imgThe Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism hosted a lecture to discuss the sexual abuse scandal within the Catholic Church on Monday evening. The event featured Dr. Brian Clites of Case Western Reserve University, who spoke about his work with survivors of sexual abuse in a lecture entitled “Sacred Protests: Politics and Faith after Clergy Sexual Abuse.” Clites launched into his lecture by objecting to the term “crisis” to explain the current state of the scandal.“Crisis suggests that this is temporally bound in a very narrow and finite way,” Clites said. “I try to resist that language and I slip into it like everyone else, because this has been unfolding for a long, long time.”Clites’s research begins in the 1950s, when the “paper trail” of sexual abuse in the Church began as priests were admitted to treatment programs under the guise of alcoholism and other addictions. Clites traced the progress of the issue through the decades to the 1980s and 1990s, when the first victims began to come forward. Clites emphasized the exhaustion of survivors as the inconsistencies of public interest come and go.“When survivors are in the spotlight, when the rest of us are thinking about this problem, they enjoy a little bit of press, they’re able to share their story, they’re able to share their gospel,” Clites said. “However, they also suffer a lot. Many of them have spoken to me about the depression they go through when we inevitably switch to the next media cycle.”Clites’s research focuses on the ways in which survivors protest and how they strive to make their stories known. Clites discussed the photographs survivors often carry when marching in demonstrations. The often-staged portraits of the victim, Clites said, do not seem to reflect the emotional intensity of the abuse.“Each portrait is a snapshot frozen in time of the precise age and body of the child when they were abused,” Clites said. “Given that each survivor had endured such intimate and horrific suffering, why did they choose these very bland, common photos as the center of their public rituals? What message are they trying to convey by these portraits of their childhood selves? I only learned to appreciate these survivor portraits after I’d attended a few protests.”At these protests, Clites asserted, he learned about the concept of “soul murder,” a term that stems from psychoanalytic theory. Soul murder refers to “the loss of a victim’s sense of selfhood and the annihilation of a child’s core relationships, including with parents, friends and other key social figures,” he said. This concept is especially relevant among victims of clergy sexual abuse.“When survivors picket cathedrals while carrying portraits and artwork of themselves and their loved ones, they’re trying to communicate a spiritual death,” Clites said. “For survivors of Catholic clergy sexual abuse, soul murder carries the additional weight of abuse which comes ontologically from the hands of God. … When the priests consecrate the host in Mass and is acting ‘in persona Christi,’ he says, ‘Take of this, my body.’ I’ve heard from many survivors just how seriously they took the really real elements of that theology.”Clites recounted the story of Bernadette, one of the survivors he spoke with whose abuse at the hands of a priest and nun starting at the age of eight resulted in dissociative identity disorder, formerly known as multiple personality disorder. Of her 70 reported identities, Clites said, Bernadette’s most powerful is that of Emily, a seven-year-old girl. For Bernadette, one of the symbols of her abuse are the toys with which she, as Emily, plays. Toys, Clites noted, are common items survivors carry in protests and symbolize the loss of childhood.Clites rehashed an experience he had at a march in Chicago that illustrated survivors’ goals in their demonstrations and how these protests serve as ways for survivors to process their suffering. Clites emphasized the importance to survivors of being seen and heard.“By displaying pictures of themselves as children and carrying relics from the time period during which they or their loved ones who were abused, Chicago survivors are not only mourning the event of sexual abuse, they’re also mourning the loss of a Catholicism that they once knew,” Clites said. “They’re mourning the loss of certainty, absolute faith … the Catholic rituals, devotions and emotional displays that characterize their pre-conciliar, pre-rape childhoods.”Despite the unimaginable suffering the survivors have gone through, Clites pointed out that many survivors continue to identify as Catholic. The images and objects they carry, Clites said, illustrate survivors’ faith and the simultaneous spiritual pain they feel toward Church.“By carrying portraits and relics from their soul murder, survivors are not only mourning the event of their abuse, but also the broader cultural possibility of ever fully resurrecting the Catholic world that they once loved,” Clites said.Clites ended his lecture with a brief discussion of what survivors might want from the Catholic community in the wake of their experiences. These responses included acknowledgement of the abuse survivors experienced, recognition of their suffering, concrete penance by the Church hierarchy, support within parish communities and reforms in the Church. Ultimately, Clites said, survivors’ aesthetic choices in their protests are intimately linked with their sense of loss and longing for a return to faith.“By showcasing both their suffering and their faith, survivors wager their need to grab public attention versus their desire to talk to fellow Catholics about the ongoing trauma of their childhood abuse,” Clites said. “Shrines and photographs materialize survivors’ suffering while also demonstrating outwardly their continued belonging within the Catholic Church.”Tags: Brian Clites, sexual abuse, The Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicismlast_img read more

Virus Unleashes Wave Of Fraud In US Amid Fear And Scarcity

first_imgPhoto: PixabayWASHINGTON — A 39-year-old former investment manager in Georgia was already facing federal charges that he robbed hundreds of retirees of their savings through a Ponzi scheme when the rapid spread of COVID-19 presented an opportunity.Christopher A. Parris started pitching himself as a broker of surgical masks amid the nationwide scramble for protective equipment in those first desperate weeks of the outbreak, federal authorities said. Within weeks, Parris was making millions of dollars on sales orders.Except there were no masks.Law enforcement officials say Parris is part of what they are calling a wave of fraud tied to the outbreak. Homeland Security Investigations, an arm of the Department of Homeland Security, is leading a nationwide crackdown. It has opened over 370 cases and so far arrested 11 people, as part of “Operation Stolen Promise,” according to Matthew Albence, acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.“It’s incredibly rampant and it’s growing by the day,” Albence said. “We’re just scratching the surface of this criminal activity. ”Parris was on pretrial release for the alleged Ponzi scheme when he was arrested last month in what federal authorities say was an attempt to secure an order for more than $750 million from the Department of Veterans Affairs for 125 million face masks and other equipment.“He was trying to sell something he didn’t even have,” said Jere T. Miles, the special agent in charge of the New Orleans office of Homeland Security Investigations, which worked the case with the VA Office of Inspector General. “That’s just outright, blatant fraud.”Parris has not yet entered a plea to fraud charges and his lawyers did not respond to requests for comment from The Associated Press.Nationwide, investigators have turned up more than false purveyors of PPE. They have uncovered an array of counterfeit or adulterated products, from COVID-19 tests kits and treatments to masks and cleaning products.Steve Francis, director of the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, which is overseen by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, says authorities have tracked counterfeits flowing into the U.S. from 20 countries and for sale through thousands of websites.“There are people popping up who have never been in the business of securing equipment on a large scale,” Francis said.Enter Parris.From his home outside Atlanta, he claimed to represent a company, the Encore Health Group, that had 3M respiratory masks and other protective equipment. At the time, there was a mad scramble for supplies that pitted state and local governments against each other.As outlined in court documents and interviews, his pitch reached a company in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, that had previously done business with the state and was trying to help government agencies buy PPE. In late March, it contacted the VA, which was then dealing with a critical shortage of protective equipment.The VA was suspicious of the price, about 15 times what it was paying amid the shortage, and alerted its inspector general, which brought in Homeland Security. That resulted in a sting that led to Parris.“He had no means of producing any PPE,” Albence said. “It was just a scam.”But it had some takers. Federal authorities say a Parris-controlled bank account received more than $7.4 million, with most appearing to come from unidentified entities trying to buy safety gear in March and April, according to court documents. He wired some of the money to accounts overseas, including more than $1.1 million to a Swiss company’s bank that authorities say may be a shell corporation.The U.S. government seized more than $3.2 million from his accounts.The Ponzi scheme was unrelated to the alleged attempt to defraud the VA but “is sufficiently similar to the conduct in this case that it is relevant to his plan, intent, and modus operandi,” according to a search warrant affidavit.Miles said a person running a Ponzi scheme “is a special kind of criminal to begin with,” but a person “that will run a completely fraudulent scheme in the middle of a pandemic … that rises to a whole other level of special criminal.”In the earlier case, Parris and his business partners are accused of defrauding about 1,000 people out of at least $115 million from January 2012 to June 2018 by persuading them to turn over their savings for what turned out to be nonexistent investments, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission.Another member of the partnership, Perry Santillo, pleaded guilty to fraud in November.As part of the alleged scheme, Parris and the others bought the businesses of investment advisers who were retiring and leveraged the trust those advisers had built up over the years to pitch bogus investments, with relatively modest returns, to their newly acquired clientsFlorida attorney Scott Silver, who represented some investors who sought to get their money back after the SEC shut down the operation, said Parris and the others spent most of it and there was little left to recover.He wasn’t surprised that Parris had been arrested in the COVID fraud case. “He’s already facing 20 years in prison,” he said. “What’s he worried about?”Parris, who was charged in the case in January, grew up in Rochester, New York, and worked as an insurance agent, owned a dry cleaner and got involved in local politics. He ran unsuccessfully for city council and said he was vice president of a local African American Republican committee.“So many people that know me, you know, trust me,” Parris said in a 2015 hearing with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, which later suspended his broker license.One of Parris’ alleged victims in the Ponzi scheme, Jane Naylon, said she took guitar lessons from Parris’ father, a reverend at a local church and lost $150,000 in the fraud.Naylon said she attended a hearing in federal court hearing in New York this year and was dismayed when Parris was released on his own recognizance. When her daughter texted her the news weeks later that Parris had been charged for PPE fraud, she said she was in complete shock, but also pleased.“I’m ecstatic,” she said. “I hope he goes to jail for life.”Parris is now jailed in Atlanta and is expected to be transferred to Washington to face charges in the VA case. 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Rebel Wilson Has a Killer Night with Assassins Star Aaron Tveit

first_imgHow did Rebel Wilson spend her evening on December 15? Hanging out in London with a cold-blooded killer! Well, not really—Aaron Tveit is as sweet as they come—but in the new Menier Chocolate Factory production of Assassins, he’s unleashing his dangerous side, playing real-life assassin John Wilkes Booth. After the show, Wilson and Tveit (and his awesome new ‘stache) snapped this sweet photo by Broadway.com photographer Bruce Glikas. See the stars collide, then catch Assassins through March 7 at London’s Menier Chocolate Factory! View Commentslast_img read more

Rocky Point Woman Killed in Crash

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A 51-year-old Rocky Point woman died in a head-on crash in Middle Island on Thursday evening.Suffolk County police said Traci Gillow, 49, of Sound Beach, was driving a Mercedes-Benz southbound on Middle Island-Yaphank Road when she veered into the northbound lane south of Whiskey Road and struck a Hyundai shortly before 5 p.m.The driver of the Hyundai, Patricia Moon, was taken to Stony Brook University Hospital where she was pronounced dead.Gillow was taken to the same hospital where she was treated for non-life-threatening injuries after Middle Island Fire Department firefighters extinguished the flames in her Mercedes-Benz.Seventh Squad detectives impounded both vehicles, are continuing the investigation and ask anyone with information regarding this crash to contact them at 631-852-8752.last_img read more

Bus Driver Gets 1 Year for Syosset DWI Crash

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York A school bus driver was sentenced Monday to a year in jail for crashing a minibus with five children aboard into a Syosset home while he was drunk last fall.Frederick Flowers had pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated and other charges at Nassau County court.Prosecutors said the 66-year-old Massapequa Park man was under the influence of alcohol when he crashed the bus into a house on Teibrook Avenue in October.Flowers told the court he was “beyond sorry” and his lawyer said he repeatedly asked how the children are doing, according to NBC New York.The five kids—ages 5, 6, 8 and two age 9—were not hurt and nobody was in the home at the time.last_img read more

What in the world is a #Hashtag

first_img 10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Joe Winn What do you get when you mix auto loan programs with a desire to help others? Well, approaches that make a difference, of course. So what do you get when … Web: credituniongeek.com Details My parents still don’t understand the concept of a hashtag. If you’re reading this article, it’s possible you don’t, either. That’s ok, since I believe a lot of people are in the dark, yet feel if they asked, people would think them Luddites.Hashtags, written like #this, have only loose historical comparison (if you think of one, please comment below!). On one side, they are catchphrases akin to what you’d see on protest signage or hear repeated at a rally. “Black Lives Matter” or “Yes We Can” are contemporary examples. Upon hearing or reading those phrases, you know exactly the issues being discussed. Those using them become virtual participants in a local, regional, or global exchange.The other side of hashtags is what technology brings. On numerous social media services, from Instagram or Twitter to Snapchat or Facebook, you can add a “tag” to any post. In essence, that means you’re writing a phrase or word with the hash character attached (Ex. #myhashtagexample). It has no spaces, even if there are separate words. Here’s the cool part. When used on compatible services, they become links automatically. If you or anyone else clicks that link, they are brought to a page showing everyone else’s posts using that same hashtag phrase. Nowadays, these pages refresh real-time, meaning, new entries appear as they are written.This special page with everyone’s “tagged” posts (or pictures, videos, links, etc.) can be bookmarked (it’s called a Saved Search) for later access or followed by others with a shared interest. Ever notice the little hashtag at the bottom corner of TV shows or news segments? I remember for the show 24, the tag was #JackIsBack. Breaking news stories may have #electionday14 or similar. If enough people use the tag in a region or within a timeframe, it can be considered a “Trending Topic”. This means the social media sites will further spread it to others to show the “heartbeat” of society at that very moment.Credit Unions use them as well! I’ve been seeing one institution (Affinity FCU, no affiliation) promote a campaign comparing big banks to “Fat Cats”. They make sure to write #FatCatFree on every tweet, image, or video shared to unify them together into a single promotion.For this blog, every post relating to a new entry or just something I feel would be of interest to readers is tagged with #cugeek. Search #cugeek on Twitter and you’ll easily pull up each related post, past, present, and future, as they arrive.Technology can sometimes be overwhelming. Hashtags came into mainstream use so quickly I worry many people didn’t have a chance to understand what they were seeing. I hope this entry helps make sense of this new phenomenon. #hashtagthisyoungpeoplelast_img read more

On Compliance: Avoiding a UDAAP lawsuit

first_img continue reading » 9SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr The Dodd-Frank Act’s creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the addition of the “abusive” test in the “unfair, deceptive or abusive acts or practices” clause has resulted in an ongoing increase of compliance costs for credit unions. However, the focus on UDAAP is not limited to regulatory compliance risks. Financial institutions, including credit unions, have been targeted in class action lawsuits alleging inadequate disclosures of overdraft protection programs. As with UDAAP claims, the best approach for credit unions to avoid such allegations is to closely analyze their overdraft programs and disclosures and, as necessary, enhance the information provided to members.Available BalanceMany credit unions use the “available balance” (which considers transactions authorized but not yet cleared) to determine whether to pay a particular transaction and also whether to charge a non-sufficient funds fee (when returning an item) or an overdraft fee (when paying an item). Lawsuits allege that the usage of the available balance was not clear and, thus, the overdraft fees were improper because the member’s actual balance was positive.Importantly, using the available balance is allowed. And, there are no regulatory requirements outlining how and when a credit union is required to disclose its usage of the available balance. Rather, the overarching UDAAP standard results in the need to ensure the CU’s overall overdraft program—including usage of available balance—is upfront, clear and transparent to members.last_img read more