San Diego photographer accused of taking shoppers’ cash and never offering photographs

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – Several women accuse a San Diego photographer of failing to provide promised services despite receiving initial payments.

Lisa is an East County mother of three searching for new photos of her family. She stumbled upon a Facebook post from Lexie Cruz promoting her photography business.

“I hadn’t had pictures of my kids in several years, so I thought it would be a good idea to give my business to someone in the area and young and emerging people,” said Lisa, who refused to use her last name.

The bail was only $ 40, but she said after paying, Cruz’s communication became infrequent. “I asked her to confirm the time and place to make sure we were going to the right park at the right time,” Lisa said. “It took her a week to finally reply and she replied less than 24 hours in advance.”

Cruz never showed up on the day of the photo shoot. “We waited almost an hour,” said Lisa.

Another mom from San Diego, Jennifer, said she booked Cruz for a pregnancy photo shoot last summer. After spending hours getting ready, she said Cruz told her at the last minute that she had a family emergency and couldn’t make it. Cruz tried to reschedule the appointment later that night – something Jennifer couldn’t do.

“I’m not the one who canceled her, she canceled me,” said Jennifer, who also refused to use her last name. “I asked to get my deposit back … and it kind of got dark.”

She assumed she’d lost her $ 20 – not a huge sum – and let go of it. It was only after hearing more stories about Cruz from other mothers that Jennifer decided to take action.

“Back then, in December, I started filing a police report just to do my part,” said Jennifer.

Christine also hired Cruz for a photo shoot as a Mother’s Day present. She paid $ 45 on her bail. Christine, who only wanted to share her first name, said Cruz claimed she mixed up the dates. “I sent her a message at 8 a.m. and said … are we good for tomorrow? We meet in Balboa Park. Is that okay with you? And she didn’t write to me until midnight that she couldn’t, “said Christine.

When Christine said she was going to report her to the San Diego Police Department, Cruz eventually gave her money back.

An online Facebook group where people share their stories has nearly 300 people.

One bride in the group named Meagan told Team 10 that she signed a contract with Cruz for their wedding in North Carolina in August. Meagan said she paid $ 1,000 through a banking app and Cruz was due to be shooting engagement photos in North Carolina on May 29. After hearing nothing from her for 11 days and receiving no confirmation that Cruz had ever bought a plane ticket to North Carolina, she asked for her money back. Cruz said their deposits are non-refundable.

Meagan said she had to hire another photographer and didn’t get any money back.

Cruz sent Team 10 a video with her explanation. In the 14-minute video, she said, “Every story has two sides.”

Cruz claimed that people were spreading false information about her.

“I have families that I’ve worked with. I did photo shoots, ”said Cruz. “Yes, there have been cancellations, no deposit was refunded and I take responsibility for what I did. But I also can’t say that I’ve done a lot of things that people say I am. “

Cruz told Team 10 they had a lawyer but wouldn’t give a name. Cruz doesn’t name specific customers in her video, but she said she wanted to be transparent.

“The last thing I want to do is tell mothers and brides that I’m stealing their money and running,” said Cruz.

Cruz wouldn’t do a one-on-one interview with Team 10. She was not charged with any crimes by the San Diego Police Department. A San Diego police spokesman confirmed that the “case is still active and is being investigated by detectives.”

The Better Business Bureau recommends anyone hiring a photographer for references, having a contract with all the details, and paying by credit card if possible. The BBB also does not recommend paying the entire fee in advance.

Team 10 women interviewed said they had learned a valuable lesson working with Cruz.

“Notice some of the red flags because she originally sent me a link to every cash app available,” Lisa said.

“Be sure to do your due diligence to review someone’s business,” added Jennifer. “Everyone wants a lot, but sometimes you get what you pay for.”

Cape Coral legal professional’s assistant who spent aged consumer’s cash sentenced to 16 months

LEE COUNTY

A Cape Coral woman is spending 16 months in jail for misusing the credit card of someone who trusted her to pay her expenses.

Kristin Nicole Jordan, 40, was convicted Tuesday of exploiting an elderly person. The family of the victim, who died in May, was compensated.

The case dates back to 2019 when investigators from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office learned that the victim’s credit card was used in fraudulent charges for $ 42,276.

The eight-month investigation led to Jordan using the card to make purchases through 2017. She was employed as an assistant to a fiduciary attorney at the Musial law firm, which, according to its website, handles health care and long-term planning. for the elderly.

Records show Jordan bought numerous different things, including paying Comcast bills, buying groceries, shopping at Amazon, Victoria’s Secret, Nike, and several other retail stores.

Investigators said the victim found out that Jordan used her money to pay for all of that, including dinner, car payments, travel, cell phone bills, and school payments. The victim reported that she believed numerous transactions from her bank account were fraudulent.

Investigators said the victim eventually became suspicious of Jordan himself. WINK News spoke to Jordan shortly after her arrest, and she denied the charges, saying it was not true.

The law firm told investigators that they fired Jordan in May 2019.

Home panel investigates One Medical for allegedly letting shoppers reduce Covid vaccine line

Amir Dan Rubin |

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

A congressional committee overseeing the Covid-19 crisis has launched an investigation into the concierge health care provider A doctor reports of vaccination shots being given to family and friends of executives and wealthy customers that were not yet eligible in their states.

Rep. James Clyburn, DS.C., Chair of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, sent a letter Monday to Amir Dan Rubin, CEO of One Medical, for documents regarding their vaccine allocation practices.

With supplies of Covid-19 vaccines remaining scarce, state health departments have rationed priorities for prioritized groups of people, mostly frontline health workers, the elderly, and those with underlying medical conditions that put them at higher risk. In the letter, Clyburn alleged that San Francisco-based One Medical “has repeatedly and deliberately violated vaccine approval requirements in several cities and states in the past two months.”

One Medical, with a market cap of approximately $ 6.4 billion, offers VIP healthcare services to its customers for an annual fee of $ 199. The company, which went public last year under the name 1Life Healthcare, operates in nine states and the District of Columbia. according to its website.

“While One Medical has been warned that the company’s lax oversight of vaccine licensing rules allowed unauthorized patients to cross the line, it has reportedly failed to properly implement an effective admissibility review protocol and instructed staff to not to monitor the authority of the police, “wrote Clyburn.

“I am deeply concerned that medical providers’ refusal to adhere to vaccination prioritization guidelines and deliberate delivery of doses to people in lower priority groups are costing more American lives and delaying or even delaying containment of the virus across the country can derail, “wrote Clyburn.

James Clyburn, a Democrat from South Carolina, speaks during a press conference in Washington, DC on Wednesday, April 29, 2020.

Amanda Andrade-Rhoades | Bloomberg via Getty Images

One Medical representatives did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

One Medical shares fell more than 1% on Tuesday morning.

The congress examination is carried out according to NPR received internal communications from the company last week this showed that it routinely enabled wealthy customers and people with ties to business leaders to cut the limit on the vaccine. In some cities where One Medical operates, the company has been given thousands of doses of the rare vaccines, according to the NPR.

Complaints about the company have caused regulators, including the Washington State Department of Health, to stop distributing the vaccines to One Medical, NPR noted.

“These reports raise concerns that the company could use the federally funded vaccine rollout to increase membership rates and generate fees regardless of whether or not potential fee-paying members are actually eligible for the vaccination,” Clyburn wrote in the letter to the company.

NPR reported that some healthcare providers asked One Medical to change its practice.

“Why are young patients with no health problems who are enrolled in a trial membership … allowed to book and receive a Covid vaccine while health care workers are put on the waiting list?” A doctor asked about internal communications from NPR in January. “I’ve just seen two dates for it.”

In response to similar questions, staff were told not to discourage patients from receiving the vaccine.

“If that person sees themselves at a stage being vaccinated, they can confirm and schedule an appointment,” said Spencer Blackman, the company’s director of clinical education, in a message to a doctor, according to the NPR. “You can’t make the decision when someone ‘gets’. [a] Vaccine or not. “

Greenberg Traurig’s Leisure & Media Group Congratulates Shoppers Nominated for Academy of Nation Music Awards

ATLANTA, February 26, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Greenberg Sad, LLP‘s Entertainment and media group congratulates its customers on their nominations for the coming year 56th Annual Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awardsbeing held April 182021.

“It is an honor and a privilege to represent these talented artists who deserve this important recognition,” he said Jess Rosen, Co-chair of the law firm Atlanta Entertainment & Media Practice, which represents the majority of the nominated artists and songwriters. “Greenberg Traurig is fortunate to have one of the country’s great entertainment practices raising the bar and leading the music industry. Our lawyers’ passion for the music industry, coupled with their deep understanding of the industry’s creative and financial problems, enables us To help clients achieve their business and artistic goals. “

Greenberg Traurig customers have received more than 25 nominations in the following categories:

Entertainer of the year:
Thomas Rhett

Artist of the year:
Miranda Lambert

Male Artist of the Year:
Thomas Rhett

Duo of the year:
Brooks & Dunn
Dan + Shay
Florida Georgia Line

Group of the year:
Lady A.
Small big city
Old Dominion

New Male Artist of the Year:
Travis Denning
Cody Johnson
Parker McCollum

Album of the year:
Kane Brown

Single of the year:
Miranda Lambert
Lee Brice

Song of the year:
Miranda Lambert
Old Dominion
Jesse Frasure
Thomas Rhett

Video of the year:
Miranda Lambert
Kane Brown

Music event of the year:
Thomas Rhett
Reba McEntire
Hillary Scott
Lee Brice
Devin Dawson

Songwriter of the year:
Josh Osborne

Roses, along with Bobby Rosenbloum and Jonathan Koby, has advised the biggest names in the country music industry for more than four decades, guiding outstanding songwriters, producers, recording artists, actors, writers and executives on critical career decisions.

According to its website, the ACM Awards are presented annually to honor and showcase the biggest names and emerging talents in the country music industry. The nominees are elected by the voting members of the Academy of Country Music. The winners will be announced April 18 during the 56th ACM Awards live broadcast 8 p.m. on CBS television.

The story goes on

About Greenberg Traurig’s entertainment and media practice: With offices in the hubs of the entertainment industry, Greenberg Traurig has built an experienced, international, multidisciplinary entertainment and media practice. The Greenberg Sad Entertainment and media practice The focus is on the music, film, television, sports, internet, digital media, publishing and theater industries. The team has access to key players in the entertainment industry and provides clients with the dedicated legal assistance they need to thrive in today’s multidisciplinary multimedia entertainment market. The entertainment and media attorneys were recognized by The Hollywood Reporter’s Power Lawyers, Variety’s Dealmakers Impact Report and Legal Impact Report, Billboard’s Power Lawyers, and Best Lawyers in America, Chambers regularly rated by Billboard USA Guide and Super Lawyers.

About Greenberg Traurig, LLP: Greenberg Traurig, LLP (GT) has approximately 2200 attorneys in 40 locations in The United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and the middle East. Recognized for its philanthropic donations, diversity and innovation, GT is consistently one of the largest companies in the US according to the Law360 400 and one of the top 20 on the Am Law Global 100. The company is climate neutral for its law, energy use in the office and Mansfield Rule 3.0 certified. Network: www.gtlaw.com

Contact:
Lourdes Brezo-Martinez
martinezl@gtlaw.com

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Ex-Dealer Took $411Ok from Shoppers, Some Cash Went to Casinos

Posted on: Feb 14, 2021, 10:02 am.

Last update on: February 14, 2021, 10:07 am.

Steve Bittenbender

A ruled investment broker is on bail after federal authorities accuse him of stealing more than $ 400,000 from customers to pay off personal debts, including money he owed casinos.


A former Long Island investment broker was accused of stealing more than $ 400,000 from clients. Federal prosecutors said Apostolos Pitsironis used some of the money to pay off the casino debt. (Image: Shutterstock)

The 52-year-old Apostolos Pitsironis faces a prison sentence of up to 20 years for the Eastern District of New York, according to a statement from the US Attorney’s Office. FBI agents arrested him on Wednesday in Dix Hills, Long Island. He appeared in court that same day.

According to a complaint filed Tuesday by FBI special agent Rachel Cartwright, Pitsironis was an advisor to an unnamed couple for 10 years from 2009 onwards. After switching companies in late 2018, the couple moved their accounts to their new company so that they could continue to manage it.

An announcement dated January 2019 in Newsday Janney Montgomery Scott LLC hired Pitsironis as the first vice president in his Melville office. Previously, he was a branch manager for Wells Fargo.

Around the same time, authorities alleged that Pitsironis had asked its customers for a $ 200,000 loan. They refused his request.

Almost half a year later, between May 2, 2019 and June 11, 2019, it is alleged that he made 22 transfers from the victims’ accounts to a transfer controlled by himself and his wife. As for the transfers, Pitsironis incorrectly said that he had been given verbal permission to make the transfers.

Financial advisors have a significant responsibility to properly manage the savings of those who trust them. Anyone neglected by illegal practices on this front should and will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law, ”said William F. Sweeney, Jr., FBI assistant director in a statement.

Court records show that Pitsironis deposited the $ 200,000 bond on Wednesday.

More than $ 60,000 went to casinos

Cartwright claimed Pitsironis spent at least $ 62,402 in three casinos. He sent $ 40,502 to an unnamed Atlantic City casino and then another $ 15,000 to a second casino in New Jersey City.

He also sent $ 2,000 to an unnamed casino in South Florida. He’s also reportedly made more than $ 2,000 in payments for a car and more than $ 1,700 to a landscaper.

Pitsironis has also reportedly made withdrawals totaling $ 18,600. This included a $ 4,900 withdrawal from an ATM at the first unnamed Atlantic City Casino.

The money was frozen about a week after the last transfers.

“The defendant allegedly stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from investors to pay off his personal debts, violating the trust they had placed in him to manage their money safely and honestly.” Acting US attorney Seth D. DuCharme said in a statement. “This bureau aims to protect the investing public from corrupt financial advisors like the defendant who puts greed before the well-being of his clients.”

Getting investors to pay off gambling debts or support a habit is not a new trend. The authorities have prosecuted several for operations Ponzi plans Finance Gaming Sprees.

Sports radio personality Craig Carton received a 42-month federal fine after using $ 5.6 million in investor funds earmarked for a ticket resale business to encourage a gambling habit. He is currently in detention after about a year in prison.

Broker banned by the authority for compliance

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) acts as the private regulator for securities transactions. Its origins go back more than 80 years.

FINRA’s BrokerCheck stated that a client filed a complaint on June 17, 2019, alleging that Pitsironis transferred $ 411,000 from their account without permission. The records indicate that Janney Montgomery Scott completely settled the case.

Records show the company fired him on June 19 after its own review.

On September 9, 2019, the organization announced that Pitsironis is not allowed to “work with a FINRA member company” in any position. In the verdict, FINRA stated that Pitsironis had accepted “without admitting or rejecting the allegations”.

From September 6, 2019 to February 26, 2020, six additional customers filed disputes. All point out that the customer borrowed money to Pitsironis, but they either paid back slowly or didn’t pay at all. In some cases, the funds came from clients’ individual retirement accounts and were subject to tax penalties with no timely repayment.

Those six cases claimed nearly $ 434,000 in damages. According to BrokerCheck, all parties have settled the cases for a total of nearly $ 370,000.

DVIDS – Information – Cash issues: Bliss ACS Monetary Readiness Program helps shoppers with training, supplies AER help

The start of a new year can instigate the thought of setting financial goals and finding new ways to keep up with monetary decisions. This may sound like an easy task, but what rules define the best way to keep finances on track? What kind of budget is effective? When is the best time to start saving? Is Financial Support Available?

These are just a few of the questions answered as part of the Fort Bliss Army Community Service Financial Readiness Program. This resource provides advice and educational assistance on managing finances, eliminating debt, setting financial goals, and developing money management skills. Through the FRP, soldiers suffering from financial difficulties can also seek help through the army’s emergency aid program.

Despite all of the FRP services on offer, there is still an uncomfortable stigma about turning to consultants, said FRP manager Philip Chang.

As a veteran in the army, Chang said he remembered working with young recruits who did not know where to seek financial help and who felt uncomfortable receiving help from the military.

“It was so easy for these new soldiers to make big purchases and buy new cars,” he said. “Many of them were so excited to receive their first check and spend all of their income without taking the time to plan future bills and expenses.”

Chang added that when joining the military, many members of the military are usually careful to sign a vehicle and not read the fine print about the high interest rates that are incurred over the life of the loan. “It is only after the contract is signed that the soldiers realize they may have lower prices available,” he said.

“I’ve been where you are and I know what it feels like to get that first paycheck and want to spend it right away,” said Chang. “Now that I am part of the FP program, I see the importance of financial planning. Our first mission is to reduce the debts of soldiers and family members. We want to be their first way out – and never their last – strong finances are the basis for strong families. “

Military ID holders who enroll for the FRP are assigned an accredited, licensed financial advisor who focuses on debt management and basic banking resources. The program begins with an assessment worksheet listing expenses, savings, and income ratios.

Virtual classroom sessions provide information on saving and investing, planning savings goals, reducing debt, and saving for emergencies. Financial highlights describe budget management, building up credit, personal financial planning for use, transition and relocation insurance, and writing checks.

Marion Walker, a member of the FRP team, said requests for training and advice have increased since the COVID-19 pandemic began, but staff are fully prepared to continue to schedule appointments and walk-ins. She explained that all arriving soldiers will receive practical financial solutions and ways to avoid debt traps during their in-processing briefings.

“Managing finances can be very overwhelming,” said Walker. “I always try to ask each customer what money problem they want to address first, and then take it step-by-step to help them meet their financial goals.”

Active and retired Soldiers suffering from financial difficulties can also seek assistance through the Army Emergency Relief Fund, which provides assistance to eligible ID holders in the form of interest-free loans or grants based on financial needs.

AER loans can help with overdue bills, food aid, rent, emergency leave, medical and mortgage payments. In addition, any AER loan can be converted into a grant in whole or in part based on financial needs and income.

Raul Minjarez, deputy head of the AER, said soldiers do not have to go through their chain of command to apply for a loan and no appointments are required. In an emergency outside of business hours, the request will be forwarded through the American Red Cross. On average, loan applications typically take 24 to 48 hours, but times can vary.

Heightened the dangers of “payday loans”, Minjarez said he worked with soldiers who originally signed up for $ 100 loans. However, due to the hidden interest accumulation, more than $ 1,000 was raised within one year.

“With an AER loan, you will never pay back more than you originally asked, and there are never any hidden interest or fees,” he said. “It’s just about soldiers helping other soldiers.”

The Fort Bliss AER has served more than 3,000 soldiers, retirees and their families with interest-free loans or grants of more than $ 4 million per year.

To learn more about Bliss Financial Preparedness Programs offered through ACS, visit
https://bliss.armymwr.com/programs/financial-readiness-program
https://bliss.armymwr.com/programs/army-emergency-relief-aer

Recording date: 01/26/2021
Release Date: 01/26/2021 3:52 PM
Story ID: 387673
Place: FORT BLISS, TX, USA
Hometown: EL PASO, TX, USA
Hometown: LAS CRUCES, NM, USA
Web views: 9
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Choose: Ogden legal professional violated ethics guidelines by withholding, spending shopper’s cash | Courts

OGDEN – A judge found Monday that an Ogden attorney violated the rules of professional ethics by pocketing and pretending to be a client’s dispute settlement and lying about it after he was caught.

At the end of a two-and-a-half-day trial in the Second District Court, Judge Noel Hyde ruled that Richard H. Reeve had been guilty of dishonesty, failed to seize three clients’ funds, and wrongly granted a paralegal curtailment of a settlement.

Hyde also objected to statements made by Reeve during the trial, saying there was “no evidence” to support some of Reeve’s allegations, “even under oath on his testimony during that trial.”

The judge said Reeve “stopped short of deliberate perjury, but there were certainly shades and artful answers to questions.”

Hyde hosted a status conference on February 25 that gave Reeve and Barbara Townsend, an attorney for the Office of Professional Conduct at the Utah State Bar, time to prepare for the trial.

Possible penalties range from a warning to a ban.

The OPC filed the case in 2017, accusing Reeve of processing a $ 380,000 severance payment awarded to Jean Tonioli in a 2015 death against a drug company. The Roy wife’s husband, Bob, died in New York City when the couple returned from a Baltic vacation in 2011.

The previous Monday, Townsend interviewed Reeve about two withdrawals he made in August and September 2015 from the personal credit union account where he had deposited Tonioli’s stake of approximately $ 254,000 in February.

Reeve testified that he withdrew $ 22,110 on Aug. 1 to pay a car dealer for a vehicle and on Sept. 9, he withdrew $ 16,000 to pay a woman who later became a wife.

Townsend said those withdrawals came “after he testified there was trouble” when he was able to pay Tonioli because by then much of her money had been spent.

Last week, Reeve blamed his ex-wife for at least two large withdrawals earlier this year that he said still had access to the account during the divorce.

In her concluding argument, Townsend said, even if his ex-wife spent part of Tonioli’s money, “He’s the attorney in charge of the settlement money. It doesn’t matter what (the first wife) did.”

“Over the course of seven months, he spent not only $ 99,000 on what was his (part of the settlement) but also $ 167,000 of Tonioli’s money,” Townsend said.

Last week Townsend detailed other expenses, such as trips to Las Vegas, San Antonio and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and purchases from wedding chapels and rings.

Reeve, who represented himself in the ethics process, admitted in his final argument that he had endangered his integrity, put his legal partners in a difficult position and violated Tonioli’s trust.

“I deeply regret the behavior I demonstrated,” he said, adding that he “tried to take immediate steps to correct the problems.”

Townsend argued that the evidence is overwhelming that Reeve is violating the rule of ethics that prevents a lawyer from engaging in “dishonesty, fraud, deception or misconduct”.

According to testimony, Reeve ordered his trainee attorney to have the billing check forwarded to him, not the usual procedure on the law firm’s escrow account.

That was in February 2015. The paralegal eventually went to executives at a law firm in Ogden, where she and Reeve were working on his failure to pay Tonioli and his client’s stone wall when she asked for the money.

Reeve was confronted with this in September 2015, saying the money was in an escrow account and Tonioli knew about it. After the company investigated, Reeve changed its story, saying the settlement was still pending in federal court, which was also wrong.

The company fired Reeve on September 16, and he met with Tonioli and her son the next day to pay for the money they had come.

But as evidence, the OPC produced a document Reeve had prepared for that meeting, which Townsend said covered up the truth about what had happened to the money.

“He made up this document to show for the Toniolis’ that it was all in there all along,” said Townsend. “Don’t be fooled by what Mr. Reeve said.”

Hyde ruled that several of the arguments Reeve made in his defense were “not credible”, including his description of that September 17 document.

The document, a screenshot of what was presented as a credit union banking record, “is in and of itself a misrepresentation and Mr. Reeve knew it at the time he was preparing it,” said Hyde.

Hyde said he found it “very worrying” that Reeve would “go to considerable effort in attempting to create the appearance of a justification for this document” by this process.

Last week Reeve testified that he had sold part of his stake in a limited liability company to his brother so that he could raise enough money to pay Tonioli what she owed.

But Hyde said Reeves’ details on these moves “weighs on credibility” because there is no record of such a transaction and no evidence of the source of the $ 167,000 Reeve deposited to offset what he spent.

The judge found that Reeve had broken rules not to trust the custody of client funds in the Tonioli matter and two other cases where Reeve had directed the trainee attorney to send settlements to him.

Hyde also confirmed allegations that Reeve violated restrictions on attorney independence by seeing the trainee attorney received approximately $ 3,000 from his share of court profits.