After serving 13 two-year terms in the U.S. House of Representatives, former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, a Florida Democrat, finally earned a five-year term. Unfortunately for the 71-year-old congresswoman, her final term won’t be served in Congress, but instead at a federal penitentiary. She was sentenced for setting up a charity to provide college scholarships for underprivileged youth. But, most of the $800,000 raised for her charity went into her pockets. Brown and two co-conspirators—congressional staffer Elias Simmons, 51, of Laurel, Md., and Carla Wiley, 55, of Leesburg, Va.—were ordered to pay $1.3 million in restitution. The Department of Justice said the looted funds were used for such things as a golf tournament and luxury box rentals at a Beyoncé concert and NFL football games.
FBI goes public with quizzical statement
America is breathing a collective sigh of relief now that the Federal Bureau of Investigation released a statement about a “matter,” but didn’t provide any information to explain it. The statement hinted only that it was somehow related to “an ongoing investigation by the Office of Inspector General.” According to the mysterious statement, the FBI “has clearly defined policies and procedures regarding appropriate employee conduct, including communications. When the FBI first learned of the allegations, the employees involved were immediately reassigned, consistent with practices involving employee matters.” That’s nice to know.
DOL proposes tip-sharing for “back of house” workers
A regulation proposed by the Department of Labor would allow restaurants to pool and divide tips between waiters and “back of house” workers such as cooks and dish washers. The proposed rule, DOL said, would help decrease wage disparities between tipped and non-tipped workers, and revise a restrictive tip-pooling regulation that has been challenged in several federal lawsuits.
SEC’s cybercrime unit files its first case
A federal judge ordered an emergency asset freeze to stop a fast-moving Initial Coin Offering fraud that collected $15 million from several thousand investors since August, the Securities and Exchange Commission said. It was the first case filed by the SEC’s newly formed cybercrime unit that was created in September. The complaint accuses Dominic Lacroix, a recidivist lawbreaker in Quebec, Canada, and his company, PlexCorps, of selling investments internet buyers by promising they would reap a 1,300% profit in less than a month.
Immigration lobby travel ban criticism misses the mark
The National Immigration Forum, a Washington-based pro-immigration lobby, seemed to be running on empty when it criticized the U.S. Supreme Court for allowing President Trump’s travel ban to take effect, a signal that judicial orders from Hawaii and Maryland probably won’t survive the high court’s review. Allowing the ban to take effect, NIF preposterously gasped, “hinders efforts to strengthen our economy, harming businesses that depend on foreign visitors.” Apparently, news of a spectacular economic recovery hasn’t reached NIF’s office. Nor did the lobby identify “businesses” whose survival depends on visitors from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad, and North Korea.
Students sue UC-Berkeley over association rights
Young Americans for Liberty, an organization at the University of California-Berkeley, filed a lawsuit that accuses school officials of refusing to recognize them as a campus group, something that would give it a share of student-paid fees. According to Americans Defending Freedom, the school officials claimed that YAL is “too similar to Cal Libertarians.” But their excuse highlighted a double standard, ADF said, noting there’s no shortage of Democrat-allied campus groups such as “Cal Berkeley Democrats,” “Students for Hillary at Berkeley,” “Progressive Student Association” and “Socialist Alternative at Berkeley.”
Rip ‘n Read is a daily compilation of press releases found on hundreds of websites that are maintained by the federal government, think tanks, watchdog groups and national advocacy organizations. Press releases selected for this feature are, in the opinion of the editor, exceptionally newsworthy, interesting or just plain curious.
The press releases and documents linked to this report were posted on their websites on Monday, December 4