Federal Reserve Approves Colorado Credit Union To Serve Cannabis Industy (But There’s A Catch)

by: Peter J. Gallagher (@pjsgallagher) (LinkedIn)

image from 3.bp.blogspot.comThe Wall Street Journal recently reported that the Federal Reserve conditionally approved a Colorado credit union, Fourth Corner Credit Union, to serve cannabis-linked businesses. To obtain this approval, however, the credit union had to “step back from its original plan to serve state-licensed dispensaries.” Instead, it will focus on “individuals and companies that support legalized marijuana, including those who partner with vendors, such as accountants and landlords.” In other words, the credit union can service individuals and entities involved in the cannabis industry, but not those who “touch the plant.”

 Read the full article here.

Today at SCOTUS – [Insert Bad Fish Pun Here]

by: Peter J. Gallagher (@pjsgallagher) 

 In an interesting case this morning at the US Supreme Court, the Justices will be asked to determine whether a fish is a “tangible object.” No. Really. That is the issue in Yates v. United States.

The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which was passed in the wake of the Enron scandal, makes it a crime to “destroy, mutilate, conceal, or cover up any record, document, or tangible object” with the intent to obstruct a federal investigation. It is unlikely that Congress had fish in mind when it passed the Act, but this is nonetheless the federal law that was used to convict John Yates — captain of the Miss Katie, a commercial fishing boat out of Cortex, Florida — for throwing 72 red grouper that were allegedly below the legal limit back into the ocean.  


Continue reading “Today at SCOTUS – [Insert Bad Fish Pun Here]”

New Suits Allege Real Estate Brokers Imposed Illegal Duplicative Charges

by:  Michael L. Rich

The New Jersey Law Journal reports the filing of three putative class actions on March 16, 2011 alleging that real estate brokers defraud buyers and sellers by charging administrative fees for services covered by commissions.   Specifically, the suits allege that Weichert Realtors and Prudential Real Estate Affiliates impose administrative fees of $200 to $275 on real estate transactions, notwithstanding the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development declaring last year such fees illegal.  One suit filed in U.S. District Court in Camden, New Jersey alleges violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act.  The two suits filed in Burlington County Superior Court claim violations of the state’s Consumer Fraud Act and the Truth in Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act.  More details to follow.