By Haddon Libby
Anyone who watches any of the big news networks knows that these broadcasts are essentially bereft of news unless you want a regular dose of politics, shootings, or a weather alert. This week let’s review some of the news that you can use.
The FBI released it Elder Fraud Report this month. In it, they found that 88,262 frauds were reported against people sixty years of age or older. These scams stole $3.1 billion, an 84% increase from 2021. The average loss was $35,000 per victim with more than 5,000 seniors losing more than $100,000. Nearly $1 billion of these losses came from investment scams with another $827 million related to cryptocurrencies. Investment scams have grown five-fold over the last year. Tech support was another area of significant fraud and led to nearly $600 million in losses. A confidence or romance fraud stole $400 million, government impersonators $136 million and real estate $135 million.
California residents experienced 11,500 frauds followed by Florida (8,400), Texas (5,700) and New York (4,200). Relative to population size, Arizona had the worst problems with 3,500 people offended. The safest places are North Dakota with 109 and Vermont at 188.
Los Angeles city councilman, Curren Price, Jr. was charged with ten counts of embezzlement and perjury. It seems that the councilman voted for things that paid his current wife $184,000 in medical benefits and payments from developers. Price is not the only city council person to be arrested in recent years. Former councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas was found guilty of conspiracy, bribery and fraud.
The Supreme Court unanimously ruled that criminals who have been found guilty of crimes can be allowed to serve the terms for their crimes concurrently versus consecutively. While the ultimate sentencing is left to the trial court judge, this ruling should shorten prison sentences for multiple offenders.
A pastor in Kenyan was arrested after a mass grave with more than 300 of his parishioners was found. It seems that Paul Mackenzie, the pastor, told his followers that dying through starvation was the key to meeting Jesus. In total, it is estimated that more than 600 people are missing from his group of followers. Kenya is a spiritual country with 85% Christian and 11% Muslim.
Ger-Jan Oskam lost the use of his legs in a motorcycle accident due to a spinal cord injury. After scientists implanted technology in his brain, he can once again walk. What happens is that Oskam thinks about moving his legs as you or I would, and those thoughts work with implants that stimulate his muscles into action so that he can walk. At present, he can only walk two or three minutes a day, but this breakthrough provides hope to all with mobility issues.
A study by the University of Rochester found that rest may not be the best way for cancer patients to recover. Reseachers found that yoga helps with recovery as it reduces inflammation and fatigue.
BUS TO HEL
The bus to HEL on route 666 is no more. After years of pressure by Christian groups, PKS Gdynia is changing the route number to 669.
Two 59-foot-tall inflatable ducks were released into Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong last week. This installation piece was created by Dutch artist Florentjin Hofman. “Double duck, double luck,” says Hofman. “In a world where we suffered from a pandemic, wars and political situations, I think it is the right moment to bring back the double luck.” The exhibit is expected to float around in the harbor for two weeks.
Haddon Libby is the Founder and Chief Investment Officer for Winslow Drake Investment Management. For more information on our services, please visit www.WinslowDrake.com.