Archive forJuly, 2015

Drug dealer’s girlfriend Courtney Randles is jailed for laundering his dirty cash

Liverpool Crown Court heard how Kenny, 26, was given a life sentence earlier this year for stabbing Anthony Duffy to death in Aintree, Liverpool.

He conspired to murder the 33-year-old drug dealer with 26-year-old Shaun Walmsley after they discovered Duffy was plotting to raid their £60,000 cannabis farm.

Prosecuting Randles case, Henry Riding said the defendant could never have believed in a month of Sundays that Kennys income was from his job as a secondhand car salesman.

She knew they were major drug dealers, working as far afield as Dover and Aberdeen, he told the court. Kenny was proud of the fact he was such a major drug dealer.

When police searched their apartment, accounts and tick lists showed a running balance of approximately £475,000 on a day-to-day basis. Some £61,970 in cash was hidden in a cavity behind a mirror in their bathroom.

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Walt Disney Co (DIS) Stock Upgraded At Topeka – Business Finance News

Topeka Capital Markets published a note on Friday, showing its positive sentiments on Walt Disney Co (NYSE:DIS) stock, as the sell-side firm upgraded the stock rating from Hold to Buy and revised up its price objective from $105 to $138. The research firm upgraded the stock on the companys upcoming Shanghai Park.

Although, there is a lot of word of mouth on Disneys Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which is expected to be released in December 2015, the research firm believes that the newly unveiled park will have more positive impact on the companys stock.

The Disneyland Shanghai, which is scheduled to open next spring, consists of six themed lands including Tomorrowland and Mickey Avenue, and an area where customers can interact with Marvel movies and Star Wars characters.

The companys first resort in China celebrates and embraces Chinas incredibly rich heritage, Disney Chairman and CEO Robert Iger said in a statement. Its meant to entertain and delight the Chinese consumers for decades to come.

Disney, along with local partners, is constructing the resort that will cost them around $5.5 billion, according to Bloomberg. The resort is served by two hotels, Toy Story Hotel and Shanghai Disneyland Hotel. The project is considered to be the companys biggest overseas investment, representing a big gamble on the middle-class consumer growth in the worlds most populous country.

Since the park will not be launched before mid-2016, Topeka analyst David Miller modestly improved the companys estimates for fiscal year 2016 (FY16). However, Mr. Miller believes that if demand is as high as he thinks it will be, the resort could potentially add upwards of 200 basis points (bps) of growth to the research firms FY17 Parks revenue forecast. The core earnings per share (EPS) projection for FY15 are $6.88.

For 3QFY15, the research firms EPS and revenue estimates are $1.43 and $13.25 billion, respectively. EPS predictions are $5.08 for FY15 and $5.73 for FY16. The new price target of $138 is based on 20 times FY17 EPS estimates.

According to data collected by Bloomberg, 24 out of 36 analysts who cover Disney stock rate it as a Buy and the remaining rate it as a Hold. The consensus price objective on the stock is $122.28, indicating 2.64% upside potential based on current stock price. As of 1:57 PM EDT, Disney stock is 0.28% up at $119.13.

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Cash Is King Despite New Signs of Life in the Market

Technicals once again took over this week as the stock market made a strong rebound. But has anything changed? With Janet Yellen today not throwing any curve balls regarding the Federal Reserve’s stated intention of raising short-term interest rates this year, no known catalyst can send this market much higher. Once again, the top of the 2015 trading range looms large, and cash is an investor’s friend.

It seems reminiscent of what happened just a few weeks ago when the Standard amp; Poor’s 500 had broken a short-term…

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Police: Man faking emergency to scam cash from Aurora businesses

Police have released a photo of a man they say scammed three west suburban businesses out of money by using a fake story about a personal emergency.

The man so far has taken money from three establishments, including two restaurants and a gas station, according to a statement from Aurora police.

In each case, he pretends to make phone calls to the owners of the business in front of employees, police said. He says he is having an emergency and needs help, and tells them the owners gave him permission to borrow money.

The first reported incident happened Sunday about 8:10 pm at a restaurant in the 1200 block of North Lake Street, police said.

Police said he tried the scam three more times on Monday: At a hotel in the 2400 block of Sullivan Road at 1:03 am; at a restaurant in the 2900 block of Kirk Road at 5:45 pm; and at a gas station in the 1300 block of Butterfield Road at 6:10 pm

He got cash from all of his targets except the hotel, police said.

On one occasion, he was seen getting into a gray SUV, similar to a Jeep Renegade, driven by another male.

He is described as a balding white man,  5-foot-5 to 5-foot-10, and 165-190 pounds with a tattoo of a bird or eagle on his right arm, police said. He also has some sort of tattoo on his left arm.

Anyone with information should call Aurora Police at (630) 256-5500, or Crime Stoppers at (630) 892-1000. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and qualify for a reward up to $5,000.

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ATM workers forget $150000 sack of cash on lawn

Maybe do a double take on inventory, especially if youre stocking ATMs with cash.

Some $150,000 in cash is now missing after two ATM cash delivery workers in New Jersey left a cash-filled satchel on a lawn, according to a Huffington Post report.

The workers drove off, not realizing they were missing a bag of money. When they returned 15 minutes later, the bag was gone, the HuffPo post said.

Police believe they have a suspect, seen picking up the cash bag and driving off in a white SUV in surveillance video, the HuffPo story said, citing the Cliffview Pilot.

Copyright 2015 Cable News Network/Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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US municipal bond investors stash cash ahead of expected rate rise

NEW YORK Investors in US municipal bonds are sitting on more cash than they have in years, in part because theyre wary of the $3.7 trillion market at a time when interest rates are expected to rise.

Levels of cash in some portfolios are higher than they have been for at least the past few years, according to interviews with managers from 10 different firms of varying sizes.

And cash has grown to record levels over the last decade in the open-end muni mutual funds tracked by investment research firm Morningstar, according to data the firm provided to Reuters.

Between March 2014 and March 2015, cash rose by $6.2 billion to $31.9 billion, the biggest such jump in at least 10 years. In 2005, it was at only $8.9 billion. Cash is now at 5.5 percent of holdings, almost double the 3 percent 10 years ago. The data do not include closed-end funds.

The Federal Reserve is expected on Wednesday to point to a growing US economy and stronger job market as it sets the stage for a possible interest rate hike in September.

A lot of my investors whove been with me for a long time know that it can be very painful when rates go higher, said Michael Pepe at JHS Capital Advisors, who focuses on municipal investments. Theyd rather earn nothing than lose 10, 20, 30 percent.

Feeding the flows of cash are seasonally strong summer bond calls, coupon payments and maturities. Some investors are not reinvesting, whether by choice or because there is not enough supply to meet demand.

Bond investors are especially sensitive to the risk of rising interest rates, as prices of bonds they already own generally fall when rates rise. Investors on the sidelines say they are ready to jump back in but they will wait until bond prices decline.


Several factors have led investors to hesitate. They do not know how far or how fast yields on longer-term bonds could rise in response to a Fed hike of short-term rates. They have also had credit shocks with negative headlines out of Puerto Rico and Chicago. And global factors, including Chinas stock market slump, have triggered global markets volatility that has even spooked investors in some safe-haven securities.

At BlackRock, portfolios are at 5 or 6 percent cash, compared with 2 percent on average normally, said Peter Hayes, head of BlackRocks municipal bond group.

Our time horizon on that cash isnt very long. We dont advocate for sitting on cash for a long period of time, Hayes said.

In June alone, investors received $56.6 billion through current and advanced refundings and maturing bonds and notes, according to Interactive Datas MuniView.

JHS Capital Advisors clients are usually almost fully invested, Pepe said. But currently, they have on average 30 percent allocated to cash and some are as high as 40 percent, the highest levels ever.

Muni investors are not alone in increasing their cash levels. According to a July Bank of America Merrill Lynch survey of global fund managers for all asset classes, cash levels have soared to 5.5 percent, the most since December 2008.

Some muni investors are reluctant to jump back in. Burt Mulford of Eagle Asset Management said June didnt see as much reinvestment as usual.

The challenge for the retail investor … is finding the bond to replace the bond that just got called, he said, because yields are now so low.

Eagle has about 5 percent cash currently – down slightly from a month ago but much higher than its average 1 percent cash position, Mulford said. The last time it was as high was the summer of 2013, during the so-called taper tantrum, when bonds sold off, driving up yields, after the Fed began curtailing its bond buying.

The hefty cash levels are just one indicator that the muni market is in the doldrums. Returns so far this year have been tepid at 0.69 percent, according to the SP National AMT-Free Municipal Index, and investors have pulled money out of municipal bond funds for 11 of the past 12 weeks.

Though the cash buildup is prompted partly by fear, it also positions the market for a lift because investors will be liquid enough to jump back in when valuations improve.

If you do get some of that scare, a dislocation in the market, we have the dry powder to redeploy, said Julio Bonilla, portfolio manager at Schroders. Every portfolio manager out there right now is very focused on maintaining some form of liquidity.

That could mean a better second half of 2015 for munis.

We are definitely more optimistic for the second half of 2015, said Eagles Mulford. The trend is gradually turning around.

Dawn Daggy-Mangerson, director of McDonnell Investment Managements municipal portfolio team, said the firm had studied muni performance every time the Fed began a cycle of interest rate rises in the past 25 years. In all four instances – 1994, 1997, 1999 and 2004 – munis showed positive returns of about 5 percent or more annualized for two years after the hikes.

Its expensive to sit in cash, she said. And people have been wrong about rising rates for the last couple of years. The longer youre wrong, the more its going to hurt you.

(Reporting by Hilary Russ; Additional reporting by Jennifer Ablan; Editing by Megan Davies and Martin Howell)

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Residents in £1.5m council tax debt

National Debtline, the free advice service run by the Money Advice Trust, highlighted the figure, which was included in an official submission to the Department for Communities and Local Government, as evidence that too few residents who are struggling to keep up with council tax bills are receiving the free debt advice they need.

A total of 105 calls for help with debt were made from the Broxtowe area to National Debtline last year.

Council Tax is now the fastest growing type of debt problem.

Joanna Elson OBE, chief executive of the Money Advice Trust, the charity that runs National Debtline, said: “We are seeing more and more people seek help with council tax arrears – but the fact that Broxtowe residents owe £1.6 million makes us concerned that many more people in the area are struggling alone. Free debt advice services such as National Debtline are here to help.

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This Colombian town is trying to get rid of cash — but it’s not so easy

CONCEPCION, Colombia — A group of armed bandits recently ambushed and robbed the mayor of this small town, but they didnt get much for their effort.

The thieves shot at Mayor Gustavo Lopez’s car as he drove into town, forcing him to stop and empty his pockets at gunpoint.

“They took my wallet, but I didn’t have much cash in it,” Lopez told me over a coffee in his modest office. “They also took my cellphone, but they couldn’t retrieve the money I had in there.”

Thats because Lopez uses mobile money, a technology that is quickly growing in Colombia and other parts of the developing world. His town of 5,000 is trying to become the first in Latin America to entirely phase out cash and rely solely on digital currency.

For this mountain town, accessible only by unpaved road, switching to digital currency is not about being hip, its about being practical.

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Council tax debt of £13.8m

Rochdale residents currently owe pound;13.8m in unpaid council tax equivalent to an average of pound;150 per household according to figures released by the National Debtline.

The debt is slightly up from last years figure of pound;13.7m.

National Debtline also confirmed that Rochdale is in the top 20% of local authorities for council tax arrears in England for 2014/2015.

The figures also show that a total of 522 calls for help with debt were made from the Rochdale Borough to the National Debtline in 2014.

According to National Debtline, council tax is now the fastest growing type of debt problem it is helping clients to resolve with 24 per cent of all callers now in arrears, up from 14 per cent in 2007.

Salford and Manchester are among the worst local authorities in the country when it comes to collecting council tax.

In Manchester, there was pound;12.3million outstanding (they collected 91.8 per cent of pound;146.7million) with a further pound;7.9million due in Salford (they collected 91.6 per cent of pound;93.7million).

Rochdale Council did not respond to a request for comment.

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Kingsport Mayor looks to retire campaign debt, asks for donations

KINGSPORT, TN  (WJHL) Two months after the Kingsport Mayor election was decided, we learned the winner is still raising money to pay off his campaign debt.

Candidates raised and spent tens of thousands of dollars vying for the seat.

The winner, John Clark, raised almost $30,000, but a NewsChannel 11 viewer alerted us to a mailer from Clark asking for continued donations.

Over the course of five months from February to June, Mayor Clark spent just under $55,000.

He was elected in May.

According to this mailer he sent out while he was Mayor-Elect, he is still looking to retire debt for 40 percent of his campaign costs.

From videos to yard signs, Mayor John Clark says it costs a lot to run a campaign even on a local level.

It is a cost Clark tells us was necessary.

I felt that I did not have name recognition. To get my messaging out, I needed to hit on all cylinders from a marketing perspective, and that costs money, said Clark.

According to this mailer Clark sent out 3 to 4 weeks ago when he was Mayor-Elect, it is money he still needs help paying off.

The mailer said in part, Im very appreciative for the financial contributions of about 100 friends and family whose donations covered 60 percent of our campaign costs. It went on to say, The remaining 40 percent is debt outstanding that I would like to retire with this fundraising initiative.

It is nothing thats mandatory of course,and some people have offered to do this and help me reduce the debt, said Clark.

When we asked people in Kingsport what they think about a candidate needing help with debt after a campaign, we got mixed reactions.

I think that is ridiculous, said Darin Conner.

If a person wants to help with campaign debt thats fine, said Russell Mccarty.

We also asked people what they think about candidates spending tens of thousands of dollars on a local race.

The next guy is going to want to spend 100 thousand dollars because he is going to want to out do what this guy just did, said Conner.

I really dont think that is excessive, Kingsport is a large metropolitan area, said Mccarty.

When we dug into the 2013 election, where incumbent Dennis Phillips won his fifth term as Kingsports mayor, we found he only spent just over $3,000 on his campaign from January to June of 2013.

Fast forward to 2015, and the amount it took to become mayor is more than 15 times the amount it took just a few years ago.

Clark tells us that mailer asking for donations will be the last.

 Copyright 2015 WJHL. All Rights Reserved.

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