Monday, March 22, 2010

Jianping “Tony” Qu - Silicon Valley CEO and law firm in fraud allegation

In the latest news in a six-year-old legal battle that's got Silicon Valley talking, Former Tech CEO Jianping “Tony” Qu, once the head of PrediWave Corporation, and a law firm Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett, are the focus a of $100 million fraud allegation lawsuit.

A filing made today, Monday, in Santa Clara County Superior Court (Case No. 1-08-CV-110304) charges that Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett learned of Jianping “Tony” Qu's alleged attempt to hide $40 million of PrediWave Corporation from the firm's executives and in a bank account in Japan. The problem is Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett did not, for some reason, tell the company's board of directors, and the firm asserts that Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett officers tried to block investigation into Tony Qu's actions.

This is heavy stuff. The press release which posted information on the complaint filing has the following charges:

1) Attorneys for Simpson Thacher became aware by December 1, 2004 that Mr. Qu was directing the sale of tens of millions of dollars of memory chips to PrediWave through a shell corporation whose profits were pocketed by Mr. Qu.
2) Simpson Thacher uncovered evidence showing that delivery records and price quotes from a non-existent Chinese company were falsified, while the memory chips themselves were purchased from a tech firm operating only a few miles from PrediWave’s Fremont headquarters.
3) Mr. Qu was paid a $25 million bonus in January 2005 while Simpson Thacher sat on the evidence it had gathered regarding his activities.
4) Attorneys for Simpson Thacher filed a lawsuit in May 2004 preventing two PrediWave directors from reviewing company documents and conducting an investigation that would reveal Mr. Qu’s misconduct.
5) In 2005, Simpson Thacher chose to hire a private investigations firm, not for the purpose of exposing Mr. Qu’s actions, but to determine the probability of the fraud going public. Simpson Thacher never disclosed the results of that investigation to PrediWave’s board of directors.
6) While serving as PrediWave’s counsel for only little over a year, Simpson Thacher billed over $16 million in legal fees. At the same time, Mr. Qu was receiving approximately $25 million in annual bonuses from a company that had recorded no sales and no profits.

Fremont-based PrediWave lost a $2.8 billion judgement for charges that it defrauded a Chinese company and misappropriated funds in 2006. According to VentureBeat, China's New World TMT invested $700 million in investments and purchases for a one way "Video On-Demand" cable system but the set-top boxes failed to work. VentureBeat reports that Jianping “Tony” Qu took off with $100 million in bonuses, leased 30 cars and purchased a whopping 19 homes.

PrediWave filed for bankruptcy.

This is where the lawsuit against Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett comes into play. PrediWave believes the law firm was instrumental in the cover-up that cost the firm $2.8 billion.

Stay tuned.

Michelle "Bombshell" McGee fired from Angry White Boy Clothing

Michelle "Bombshell" McGee, the alleged mistress who claimed that Academy Award-winning Actress Sandra Bullock's husband Jesse James was cheating on Bullock with her fired, was fired from the Angry White Boy website.

This blogger received this comment on the blog post Michelle "Bombshell" McGee Nazi picts hot; paid $30,000 for story from Jimmy Ferrari...


Since the Angry White Boy clothing website has been much talked about on the web, Mr. Ferrari has set about a campaign of seeding that comment at as many sites as possible.

Jimmy Ferrari's action came after it was publicly revealed that Michelle McGee had posed in a Nazi-style bikini complete with a Swastika, and in a photo shoot connected with work for the website. This video shows those photos:

Meanwhile Sandra Bullock herself has been in almost constant hiding.  Bullock was reportedly trying to help Jesse James keep custody of his two children of the three of their family at the time the news of James' alleged affair with Michelle Mcgee surfaced.

Recently, Bullock cancelled another schedule International premier of The Blind Side, again siting personal reasons.

Shannen Doherty and Mark Ballas wow Dancing with The Stars

Related searches: erin andrews, buzz aldrin, kate gosselin, dancing with the stars 2010 lineup, chad ochocinco

Actress Shannen Doherty had an objective: to give her elderly father a reason to fight to live. On Dancing with The Stars, Shannon and her partner Mark Ballas may not have danced the most perfect Viennese Waltz, but it was romantically done and they wowed audience before her father, who had a massive stroke.

But her father was excited to see her do it and promised to go through physical therapy if she danced.

Even with a rather harsh critique by the judge Bruno, and an overall score of 18, they emerged as the crowd favorite.

Here's the video:

It's an amazing performance, considering Shannon told Ryan Seacrest she was "nervous and freaking out" on his 102.7 Kiis radio show.

Cal Governor's Race: Jerry Brown pulls some CVS products off shelves

The latest news in the California Governor's Race is only indirectly related to the race itself, but still part of it. California Attorney General and candidate for Governor Jerry Brown has won a court judgement ordering CVS and other retailers operating in California to take Pro Choice Beauty Care products off their shelves.

Pro Choice is the largest distributor of professional hair and nail products in America.

According to Legal Newsline, the judgement, handed down last week, calls for Pro Choice to pay $1.25 million in penalties and costs and calls for CVS Pharmacy, Rite Aid, Long's Drug Stores, Walgreen Company, Ralphs Grocery Company, Kmart and Target to take Pro Choice products down immediately. In a statement Jerry Brown said:

"Pro's Choice sold thousands of containers of pollution-causing hair products to consumers who unknowingly exposed themselves and the environment to harmful pollutants," Brown said. "Today's agreement will remove products from store shelves that pollute our air and exacerbate respiratory diseases such as asthma."

Pro Choice's products contain levels of air contaminants that are above the states limits for volatile organic compounds, which contribute to Ozone at ground level. Contrary to Ozone in the upper atmostphere, Ozone at ground level is dangerous.

Pro Choice purchases domestic products overseas and then re-ships them to America, selling them below suggested retail value. The previous blog entry related to CVS concerned the problem of CVS selling expired products around the nation; this court order is related to pollutants in Pro Choice products, some of which may fall under the same expired products issue.

Regarding the California Governor's Race, while the California Attorney General filed suit against Pro Choice in 2006, any action taken by the AG's Office that results in a statement issued by Jerry Brown has to be seen via the lens of the Governor's Race.  Because of Brown's unique position, he can campaign just by doing the work of the office.

Stay tuned.

Golden State Warriors for sale, but $315 million is too high

The sports World and the Internet's abuzz with the news that NBA basketball team Golden State Warriors Owner Chris Cohan's selling his organization. Speculation's rampant that Oracle Founder and Chairman and CEO will purchase the Oakland, CA-based NBA basketball team, but the idea's out there, expressed over at Forbes, that the Warriors will sell for a record price of over $400 million.

Anyone paying $400 million or more for the NBA's Golden State Warriors in the current California economic climate is a damn fool twice over. The Golden State Warriors are not worth $400 million, let alone the Forbes-estimated value of $315 million. But that's a good place to start.

The problem is because of California's high unemployment, currently at 13.2 percent, and Golden State's home town Oakland's unemployment rate, last estimated at over 17 percent, offering the old value of $315 million estimated based on 2008-2009 numbers before the economic dive hit rock bottom is not the right decision.

Because of the terrible jobs picture, which harm game ticket sales, the largest revenue generator for sports organizations absent any television revenue-sharing agreement, The Warriors had to drop ticket prices for the 2010-2011 season. The ticket prices were reduced between 8 percent and as much as 28 percent. Golden State Warriors President Robert Rowell said...

"We know the economy's been tough. We know the season's been tough. When putting pricing together, we realized we needed to do something to address the fact that our fans have hung with us as long as they have."

The guess in this space is Chris Cohan's selling the team because he doesn't see the California economy improving anytime soon. Since that's almost certainly the case, paying over $315 million for the Warriors at this stage in time is a bet that the economy will get much better. Why should anyone make a bit that Cohan, who knows the organization, isn't willing to make himself?

How much should one pay for the Golden State Warriors? A fair price for the Warriors reflects a weighted average of the percentage drop in ticket prices, the best indicator of the current economic problem. Since a full seat schedule of prices changes by location is not available as of this writing, a reasonable factor is 10 percent. Thus a fair price for The Warriors is $283.5 million.

But $400 million? You've got to be kidding!

Stupak "Baby killer" yeller Rep. Randy Neugebauer apologizes

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The 2010  Heath Care Reform Bill has brought out the best and the worst behavior in activists and in legislators.

 The latest example of Republicans who've behaved badly is Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) who stepped forward to identify himself as the person who yelled "Baby Killer" as Rep Bart Stupak (D - Michigan) was speaking on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives Sunday, as captured in this CBS video:

According to Talking Points Memo, Rep. Randy Neugebauer apologized to Bart Stupak, saying he's just trying to "represent the people of the 19th Congressional District." Randy Neugebauer said he didn't intend to insult Stupak but was trying essentially to replicate the message his constituents sent at town hall meetings.

But if that's the case, and considering Rep. Joe Wilson (R - South Carolina) and his "You lie!" outburst at the 2009 State of the Union Address, what can we expect in the future? We're entering an era of the legislator as activist, and with some dangerous signposts. If Rep. Neugebauer thinks it's OK to yell at a Congressional colleague what's to stop another Congressperson from threatening a representative, or worse?

Everyone has strong beliefs, but it's important to make sure they're tempered by listening and seeking the truth of where the other person is coming from, otherwise the person will appear to be psychotic.

In this case, Bart Stupak sealed a deal with the Obama White House to keep federal funds from being used for health care abortions. For Rep. Randy Neugebauer to yell at the time means that he may very well not have understood the new agreement. He thinks that, even with all of the efforts made, the Senate bill is still a "baby killing" bill.

That Rep. Randy Neugebauer fails to see reality is just plain scary.

Stay tuned.

Health Care Bill passes: Rush Limbaugh off to Costa Rica

It's all over Twitter: Health Care Bill passes: Rush Limbaugh off to Costa Rica! Apparently Rush Limbaugh said he would seek medical care in Coast Rica if Obama's Health Care Reform Bill passed.

Well, the prospect of the broadcasting blowhard that is Rush Limbaugh boarding a plane out of the U.S. for Costa Rica must have turned some Democrats to vote for Obama's Health Care bill because it passed, 220 to 212.

Rush Limbaugh should get on a plane to Costa Rica as punishment for how he's treated so many people, and for how much he put into trying to defeat a bill that helps so many people. A lot of people want to see Rush take off for Costa Rica. So many that "Rush Limbaugh" was a trending topic on Twitter:

simulx RT @miketreder: Send an email to Rush Limbaugh at this address - - reminding him of his promise to leave the country if HCR passed!
6 minutes ago from web

Even Roger Ebert wanted Rush Limbaugh out of here and was willing to sign a bon voyage card.

ncstage RT @ebertchicago: Be a good sport. Sign the bon voyage card for Costa Rica-bound Rush Limbaugh.
13 minutes ago from UberTwitter

And this hilarious video sums up what a lot of people have told Rush to do Sunday night after Obama's Health Care plan passed:

Indeed, Rush Limbaugh put on a full court press to stop Democrats from voting for the Health Care Bill. He even posted key phone numbers and emails to use on his website. In the end, Rush Limbaugh lost, and American won.

As California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger would say "Hasta La Vista, baby!" Trouble is, the saying could apply to him, too.

Stay tuned.

Health Care Bill passes; Obama makes history!

On a vote of 220 to 212 the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Senate version of President Obama's Health Care Reform bill. President Obama has done what no President was able to do in the last half of the 20th Century and the opening of the 21st Century: stewart a reform, a much needed one, of the American Health Care system.

Of course, Obama didn't do it alone. White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel worked the halls and the phones. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi kept the heard of cats that the Democratic Party can be in line. And many Democrats, from Rep. Barbara Lee (D - 9 California), to the legendary John Lewis (D-Georgia), withstood name calling and worse to stay the course and see the Health Care Reform Bill to passage.

Now, over 31 million Americans, some who never thought they'd be able to get health care, can actually do so when the market pool system becomes available July 1st. The real surprise will be when Americans who own small businesses discover their taxes didn't go up at all. The other neat thing will be when Couch Potato Conservatives who thought the sky was going to fall realize it's still up and they can't get medical treatment.

What a victory. A win for what's right and just against those who were wrong and injust. The Tea Party Movement members are the goats in all of this, because their behavior in no small way worked to bring Democrats together.

What the country saw over the weekend was racism and that racism is a mental illness. It's about time.

Obama brought that change and we believed in it.

NFL Draft: NFL's fear of smart black men hurts Myron Rolle

Myron Rolle is a name you're going to read about more and more as we approach the 75th NFL Draft. Indeed, Myron Rolle's a name you may already know about if you watch the NFL Network, who's featured the Florida State Cornerback in it's special segments about NFL Draft prospects. 

If you know about Myron Rolle, you know he's smart. Rolle is a Rhoades Scholar, and one of just 32 people in America to earn such an honor in 2009.

Myron Rolle's also a nice, gentlemanly person, and a lady-killer. This blogger knows this because my friend Mary Moffett, lovely, model-thin, blonde, and very married, just about drooled over him at the 24th Annual Leigh Steinberg Super Bowl Party in Miami, Florida. "God," she said, "that's man's a model. I'd..." And it was about that point I had to mute the conversation.

Myron Rolle has a presence about him that says "success" without Rolle even opening his mouth. He's got the gift of human capital to such a degree that it's threatening to the NFL. The trouble is, Myron Rolle's just the kind of guy the NFL needs. If the league can get over its fear of smart black men.

This charge is not intended to get you the reader to think this is a black v. white issue. It's not. It's a culture problem. Think about it. Myron Rolle's a cornerback from Florida State who went there because he idolized Deion Sanders. So why isn't Deion openly talking about Myron Rolle? At last year's NFL Draft, then-Texas-Tech Wide Receiver Michael Crabtree openly talked about how "Prime" helped him and how he would text back and forth with Deion Sanders.

Not in the case of Myron Rolle.

And what about the Tampa Bay Bucaneers, who have an African American coach in Raheem Morris, yet at the NFL Combine asked Rolle why he deserted his team in 2009? (He didn't not play because of his Rhoades Scholarship requirements at Oxford.) Why ask that question?

From a distance, with NFL Network Analyst Brian Billick raising character concerns in Rolle's case because he's a Rhoades Scholar (no kidding), it's not hard to think the NFL desires a young black man they can bail out of jail because the league's hardwired to see black men in that way. It's the problem that is the central reason why the NFL has such a small percentage of black head coaches and why the Black Coaches Association is so weak in challenging the NFL to change that state of affairs.

The league needs to embrace the smart black man. It can start by treating Myron Rolle with more respect that he's received to date. An invite to the NFL Draft would be a great start.