African and Caribbean Business Council to recognize outstanding leaders in Philadelphia

October 29, 2014

News Americas Now, PHILADELPHIA, PA, Weds. October 30, 2014: The African and Caribbean Business Council (ACBC)  will honor outstanding African and Caribbean nationals for their contributions to the City of Philadelphia and the region at its 5th Winter Awards Dinner on Saturday, November 8, 2012 from 6 to 11 p.m. at the Hilton Philadelphia Airport Hotel ,  4509 Island Avenue in Philadelphia.

The theme of the Awards Dinner is “Building Global Partnerships for Local and Global Economic Development.”

The event will recognize the great achievements of members of the fast growing population of African and Caribbean immigrants in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. According to recent estimates, the city is home to some 80,000 immigrants from more than 35 countries in Africa and the Caribbean.

The event will feature the Awards Dinner, a VIP Reception and a Business Roundtable. According to ACBC President Dr. Azuka Anyiam, the event is part of ACBC’s commitment to the promotion of business opportunities in Africa and the Caribbean and the growth of relationships in Philadelphia and the State of Pennsylvania.

Awards will be presented in seven major categories including the ACBC Award for Innovation, Excellence, Service, Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Person of the Year and ACBC Medal of Honor.

The day’s event will kick off with a Business Round Table Discussion on Trade and Investment from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Philadelphia Airport Hilton Hotel. This will be followed by a VIP reception for special guests, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The Winter Award Dinner will begin at 7 p.m. and the evening will close with an after dinner party. Several ambassadors from Africa and the Caribbean will be in attendance. There will be a special session on Ebola to help support the Republic of Liberia.

The keynote speaker for the Business Roundtable is Pennsylvania State Senator Mike Brubaker, Chair of the Senate Finance Committee. The roundtable is being held in association with The African and Caribbean Alliance for Development. The keynote speaker for the Awards Dinner is The Honorable Dr. Stephen Kebwe, Deputy Minister of Health and Social Welfare, Republic of Tanzania.

Sponsors of the Awards Dinner include Arik Air, Satandar Bank, Mack Defense LLC, International Water Company, Ecowayz, media partner VSN Network and Arkansas Department of Health.

About ACBC

ACBC’s goals are to promote international trade and investments between Africa, the Caribbean and the Greater Philadelphia region; propagate the perspectives of African and Caribbean entrepreneurs with respect to global policies that affect their ability to conduct business; organize global and local training workshops and events as well as to engage city, state, and federal government officials, through partnership and advocacy and to make available necessary infrastructures for the development and maintenance of viable African and Caribbean business communities.

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Sotheby’s International Realty Brand to Enter St. Martin

October 29, 2014

MADISON, N.J., Oct. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ – Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC today announced Pierres Caraibes in St. Martin has joined the Sotheby’s International Realty® brand and now will do business as St. Martin Sotheby’s International Realty.

The firm, which is owned by Lesley Reed, is located at Plaza Caraibes Bat A BP 144 Rue Kennedy, Marigot and 48 Rhine Road, Cupecoy,

“St. Martin is a unique territory, with two countries, three currencies, three official languages and a multitude of cultures that spread over the 34 square miles of the island,” said Philip White, president and chief executive officer, Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC.  “This Caribbean gem is outlined by sandy beaches, hillside valleys and a steady tropical climate.  We are proud to welcome Lesley Reed and her team to our network, combining the rich history of our brand with their experience of more than 26 years in the local luxury market.”and is expected to open in November.

According to Reed, she looks forward to the worldwide reach the Sotheby’s International Realty brand offers.  “We are thrilled to become part of the Sotheby’s International Realty brand’s exceptional global reach,” she said.  “Our mission is to provide a customer experience dictated by our professionalism and commitment to quality.  It is company standard to keep our customers’ interest in all decisions and we pride ourselves on the reputation we have built since 1999.”

The Sotheby’s International Realty network currently has more than 15,000 independent sales associates located in approximately 720 offices in 52 countries and territories worldwide.  St. Martin Sotheby’s International Realty listings are marketed on the sothebysrealty.com global website.  In addition to the referral opportunities and widened exposure generated from this source, the firm’s brokers and clients benefit from an association with the Sotheby’s auction house and worldwide Sotheby’s International Realty marketing programs.  Each office is independently owned and operated.

About Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC
Founded in 1976 to provide independent brokerages with a powerful marketing and referral program for luxury listings, the Sotheby’s International Realty network was designed to connect the finest independent real estate companies to the most prestigious clientele in the world. Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC is a subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE: RLGY), a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services.  In February 2004, Realogy entered into a long-term strategic alliance with Sotheby’s, the operator of the auction house.  The agreement provided for the licensing of the Sotheby’s International Realty name and the development of a full franchise system. Affiliations in the system are granted only to brokerages and individuals meeting strict qualifications. Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC supports its affiliates with a host of operational, marketing, recruiting, educational and business development resources. Franchise affiliates also benefit from an association with the venerable Sotheby’s auction house, established in 1744. For more information, visit www.sothebysrealty.com.

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Trinidadian Immigrant Wants Answers After Child Chokes To Death

October 28, 2014

Dyasha Phelps Smith

Dyasha Phelps Smith

By NAN Staff Writer

News Americas, BROOKLYN, NY, Weds. Oct. 29, 2014: A Trinidadian immigrant mother wants to know why her special needs child, Dyasha Phelps Smith, choked to death on a muffin at her Brooklyn school Tuesday.

Catherine Smith, 70, wants answers into the death of the 21-year-old child she adopted at age 3-year-old.

Smith was autistic and needed to have her food cut into small pieces and monitored as she ate or drank, her mother said.

But on Tuesday, the 21-year-old was eating the muffin in a classroom at the Star Academy, a special education program at the School for International Studies on Baltic St. in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, NY, when she began choking.

Paramedics were called and rushed her at about 12:15 p.m. to New York Methodist Hospital, where she died, authorities said.

Last night, New York schools officials were investigating the incident even as Catherine Smith demanded answers.

“I want to know why my child passed away at the school like that. She was supposed to have one-to-one attention, I want an autopsy,” the retired home health aide told News 4 New York.“She never choked at my house, how could she choke at school?”

The Trinidadian immigrant is also concerned that she did not learn of her daughter’s death from school officials but from the doctors at the hospital.

“This is negligence … They would always try to calm her down with food … I expected to see her alive and I saw my baby dead in a hospital bed,” the mom was quoted as saying by the New York Daily News.

Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña for her part said guidance counselors would be available at the school today, Wednesday, October 29th,  to “support the community during this tragedy.”

“I am deeply saddened to hear of this loss, and my heart goes out to the student’s family and the entire school community,” Fariña said in a statement.

But to Catherine Smith it’s all talk.

“She died like a dog. Why would this happen to a child amongst so many qualified people?,” the bereaved parent told the New York Daily News. “It’s total carelessness.”

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Cuban Doc. On Forefront Of Ebola Battle Dies Of Malaria

October 27, 2014

 

Cuban doctors at forefront of ebola fight in West Africa.

Cuban doctors at forefront of Ebola fight in West Africa.

By NAN Staff Writer

News Americas, LONDON, England, Tues. Oct. 28, 2014: There are now 250 Cuban medical doctors and nurses on the front line of the Ebola crisis in Africa and none have so far contracted the virus. But today, one of those volunteers will be buried not from a battle with the deadly virus but from malaria.

Jorge Juan Guerra Rodriguez, 60, who according to Cuban officials, was working as an administrator with a team of Cuban medical personnel sent to Guinea this month to stem the spread of the virus. But he died of cerebral malaria on Sunday.

Both ailments have similar symptoms, including fever, aches, vomiting and diarrhea. While Ebola is passed by contact with bodily fluids, malaria is transmitted by mosquitoes.

The economist, from Sancti Spiritus in central Cuba, traveled to Guinea on October 6 and began showing signs of illness on October 22.

“He will be buried here in Conakry on Tuesday, in accordance with the instructions of the Cuban foreign minister,” a Guinean official was quoted by the AFP as saying Monday.

“In the early morning hours (of Sunday) … his health was worsening, and eventually he suffered multi-organ failure and died in the afternoon,” Cuba’s health ministry added.

Cuba plans to ramp up the number of medical personnel in West Africa soon to 450. Some 165 alone have already been sent to Sierra Leone.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 50 more are soon to follow. Some 15,000 volunteers from the Caribbean island are said to have signed up for duty to fight Ebola.

Both Margaret Chan, the WHO’s general secretary, and the “Ebola czar” for the United Nations, David Nabarro, have personally thanked President Raul Castro and his health minister Robert Morales for their support and even the United States has praised Cuba’s actions.

Cuba’s response to the Ebola epidemic has won plaudits praise from humanitarian workers globally who say the international community’s reaction has been lacking.

The Ebola virus has already killed more than 4,900 people, mostly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

 

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If You Have Been Injured by Asbestos, Please Read this Notice of Voting Rights

October 27, 2014

WILMINGTON, Del., Oct. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ – The following statement is being issued regarding the In re Specialty Products Holding Corp. matter (Case No. 10-11780 (PJW) (Bankr. D. Del. 2010).

A Joint Plan of Reorganization (“Plan”) has been filed to reorganize Specialty Products Holding Corp. (formerly known as RPM, Inc.), Bondex International, Inc., Republic Powdered Metals, Inc., and NMBFiL, Inc. (formerly known as Bondo Corporation) (collectively, “Debtors”) in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware (“Bankruptcy Court”).

Persons or entities with asbestos related personal injury claims against any of the Debtors may vote to accept or reject the Plan by December 2, 2014. 

A detailed document describing the Plan, called the Disclosure Statement, was approved by the Bankruptcy Court on October 20, 2014.  The Disclosure Statement, a copy of the Plan itself and voting materials have been sent to known holders of asbestos related personal injury claims against the Debtors or to their lawyers.

Important Plan Provisions Regarding Asbestos Related Claims

The Plan proposes establishing a trust to resolve all asbestos personal injury claims against the Debtors.  Persons and entities with asbestos personal injury or related claims will be forever barred from asserting their claims against the Debtors or other parties specified in the Plan. If the Plan is approved by the Court, all current and future holders of asbestos personal injury claims against the Debtors can request and receive money only from the trust.  You should read the Plan and Disclosure Statement carefully for details about how the Plan, if approved, will affect your rights.

Voting Procedures

The Bankruptcy Court has issued an order describing how to vote on the Plan and the Disclosure Statement contains information that will help you decide how to vote.  Your legal rights will be affected if the Plan is approved.  For a vote to be counted, a ballot must be received at the address indicated on the ballot form by 5:00 p.m., Eastern time, on December 2, 2014.

Under the procedures approved by the Bankruptcy Court, lawyers for holders of asbestos claims may vote on the Plan on behalf of their clients, if authorized by the client.  If you are unsure whether your lawyer is authorized to vote on your behalf, please contact your lawyer.

How to Obtain Documents

Copies of the Disclosure Statement, which includes the Plan, the voting materials, and the notice of the hearing to consider confirmation of the Plan may be obtained by visiting the following websites:  www.deb.uscourts.gov and www.loganandco.com.  You may also obtain copies of these documents by sending a request, in writing, to Logan & Company, Inc., 546 Valley Road, Upper Montclair, NJ 07043 (Attn: SPHC Voting Department) or by calling 1-866-692-2119.

Confirmation Hearing

A hearing to consider confirmation of the Plan has been scheduled for December 10, 2014 at 3:30 pm ET in Courtroom 4B at the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, J. Caleb Boggs Federal Building, located at 844 North King Street, 4th Floor, Wilmington, Delaware 19801. You may attend the Hearing but are not required to do so.

Objecting to the Plan

If you want to object to the Plan, you must file and serve a written objection on or before 5:00 p.m. ET, on December 2, 2014.  All objections must comply with the requirements in the notice of the Confirmation Hearing.

For more information and to obtain a copy of the Plan, Disclosure Statement and Voting Materials,

Visit:  www.deb.uscourts.gov OR www.loganandco.com.

Write: Logan & Company, Inc., 546 Valley Road,

Upper Montclair, NJ 07043

(Attn: SPHC Voting Department)

Call:  1-866-692-2119

 

 

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Caribbean American Institute Wants Apology From GOP Congressman For Guyana Ebola Misspeak – A NAN First

October 26, 2014

Congressman Issa-cnn-ebola

Congressman Issa on CNN on Sunday Oct. 26, 2014. (CNN image)

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Oct. 27, 2014: A Caribbean American Institute is calling on Republican Congressman Darrell Issa, chair of the House Oversight Committee, to apologize after erroneously stating that the medical doctor who is now hospitalized with Ebola in a New York hospital returned from “Guyana” with the disease.

Issa, the U.S. Representative for California’s 49th congressional district at a House Oversight hearing on the US’ Ebola response on Friday, October 24th in Washington, D.C., three times misstated the country where the outbreak of Ebola originated was Guyana.  The first time he stated: “… in the West African nation of Guyana, the world first learned about yet another new outbreak of the Ebola virus” several months ago.

But then it happened two more times.

“The news of that medical doctor returning from Guyana,” he said during the live C-Span streaming of the hearing, and then restarted the sentence.

“The news that a medical doctor returning from Guyana has tested positive for Ebola has raised even more questions,” Issa said.

Rickford Burke, LL.M., President of the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID), in a letter sent to Congressman Issa and shown first to News Americas Now last night, said the lawmaker’s “erroneous statements about Guyana have stigmatized our country, engendered misplaced fear of persons on flights from Guyana to the US as well as Guyanese arriving in the US.”

There are over one million Guyanese living in North America and large Guyanese-American communities in the US and there are several commercial flights from Guyana to the US daily.

“Congressman Issa!, Guyana is in South America, in the Western Hemisphere where you also live, and not West Africa. Associating Guyana with West Africa demonstrates a stunning lack of knowledge of world geography!,” the letter added.

“Moreover, no one in Guyana has either contracted Ebola, been exposed to any person/s with Ebola, treated any persons who have been infected with or exposed to Ebola and no Guyanese who has travelled to the US or any person who has travelled to the US from Guyana has ever had any exposure to Ebola,” it continues.

The group wants Issa “to immediately, and in person, retract your comments and render an unqualified apology to the people of Guyana and the Guyanese-American community.”

“I am confident that given your well publicized criticisms of several US government officials for ‘alleged” mistakes,’ you as a man of principle and Chairman of a powerful committee of the United States House of Representatives would not allow such a colossal mistake to contend without correction,” the letter copied to several other lawmakers including Speaker of the United States House of Representatives John Boehner and  Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, added.

It was not Issa’s first misstep on the issue of Ebola. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest on Friday mocked Issa for his pronunciation of the word “Ebola” and dismissed the hearing.

“I didn’t see much of it,” Earnest said to reporters during the White House Press briefing. “It does seem that most of the criticism was registered by somebody who struggled to pronounce the name of the virus at the hearing.”

Earlier in the hearing, Issa was pronouncing the word “Ebola” like “Eboli.”

Congressman Issa also humiliated himself on CNN Sunday while criticizing President Obama’s Ebola response. According to Politicsususa.com, he held up his smartphone to show the world how easy it would be to monitor body temperatures but unfortunately for him, the phone gave him the weather forecast instead.

 

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Former Puerto Rico Mayor Guilty

October 25, 2014

Eduard Rivera-Correa

Former Puerto Rico Mayor Eduard Rivera-Correa

News Americas, SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico, Sat. Oct. 25, 2014: The former mayor of the municipality of Río Grande, Puerto Rico, pleaded guilty Friday to soliciting and receiving cash bribes.

Eduard Rivera-Correa, 61, admitted to taking approximately $39,000 in cash bribes from a contractor who sought to be awarded three construction inspection contracts with the municipality of Río Grande.

According to his plea agreement, Rivera-Correa, while mayor of Río Grande in early 2010, requested that a contractor make regular kickback payments in exchange for the award of three construction inspection contracts worth a total of $329,000.  After the contracts were awarded and while payments were being disbursed by the municipality, the contractor delivered envelopes containing approximately $39,000 in cash to Rivera-Correa’s office and placed them in his drawer.

Rivera-Correa pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge Marcos E. López to one count of bribery.  Rivera-Correa was arrested on July 10, 2014, after being indicted by a federal grand jury.  His sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.

In his plea agreement, Rivera-Correa admitted to obstructing justice by threatening the contractor who paid him bribes.  On or about April 16, 2012, in a recorded conversation, Rivera-Correa threatened the contractor in an effort to intimidate him and dissuade him from cooperating with law enforcement.

 

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Stolen Peruvian Cultural Treasures Returned

October 23, 2014

Peruvian art

Peruvian art returned. (US ICE image)

By NAN Staff Writer

News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Fri. Oct. 24, 2014: Several looted Peruvian artifacts smuggled into the United States during the last several years have been returned to the countries government.

Following four separate investigations by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the artifacts were found and returned Wednesday to the Peruvian Consuls during simultaneous repatriation ceremonies in San Antonio, Denver and Boston.

Items returned included two Colonial-era Cusco paintings, a funerary vessel from 100-1532 A.D., a Chancay statue from 1200-1450 A.D., a Lambayeque-style vessel from 800-1300 A.D., and Incan artifacts looted from ancient Peruvian graves.

“The cultural treasures returned today do not belong in the hands of any private collection or one owner. They belong to the people of Peru where they can be displayed and serve as a reminder of Peru’s rich cultural heritage,” said Thomas Winkowski, acting ICE director. “ICE remains a committed partner in the effort to ensure that we investigate individuals involved in the illicit trade and objects like these are returned to their rightful owner.”

“Thanks to the strong cooperation and commitment between the Government of Peru and the specialized agencies of the United States, we achieved the repatriation of an important number of pieces, because cultural property crimes are borderless and require a coordinated law enforcement response among countries” said Harold Forsyth, Ambassador of Peru in the United States. “The recovery of those cultural heritage artifacts is also a moral triumph for Peru so that the history of an ancient civilization may be preserved, a memory that belongs not only to Peru but humanity.”

Two paintings of St. Vincent Ferrer and St. Anthony Abbot were returned Oct. 22 by HSI San Antonio. They were stolen from the Maria Magdalena Church in Taray, Peru, in October 2001. The paintings were ripped from the upper-left and upper-right niches of the principal altar of the church. Both were retouched and reframed for sale and auction in the United States. The Peruvian Consul in Houston accepted the paintings at a ceremony at the San Antonio Museum of Art, hosted by HSI San Antonio Special Agent in Charge Janice Ayala.

In 2009, HSI Austin received information regarding four antique religious oil paintings stolen from churches in Peru that were sold at an Austin auction house. HSI special agents initiated an investigation and determined the paintings were listed in Interpol’s stolen works of art database. The paintings were seized from the individuals who purchased the paintings. Two of the paintings were repatriated to the Republic of Peru in 2012.

HSI Salt Lake City initiated its investigation after receiving information from HSI Tel Aviv that a U.S. citizen had been arrested by the Israeli antiquities authorities for attempting to smuggle antiquities out of Israel. Special agents interviewed the individual at his home in Utah which resulted in the seizure of objects purchased in Peru and Costa Rica and smuggled into the country. Part of the collection included pre-Columbian pottery from Peru. One item was a Chancay statue from 1200-1450 A.D., and the other was a funerary vessel from 100-1532 A.D.

HSI Knoxville investigated a business in Tennessee that sold Mayan artifacts. The business claimed the objects were from the Lambayeque region of Peru and were from an old collection, but the dates of importation and the origins were unknown. During an undercover investigation, HSI special agents purchased a vessel which was purported to be pre-Columbian. Experts from Tulane University examined the object and determined it was a black “Strap and Spout” vessel likely made in the Lambayeque style, circa 800-1300 A.D.

HSI Boston/Manchester special agents received information that an individual was attempting to sell looted Peruvian artifacts on eBay. The investigation determined the individual had a business partner in Peru who purchased artifacts from local farmers who looted graves.  The artifacts were mailed from Bolivia to avoid Peruvian customs officials.

Special agents found the suspect to be in possession of numerous pre-Columbian cultural heritage artifacts which were determined to belong to Peru. They seized 37 items. The Peruvian Ministry of Culture verified that 20 of the items seized were in fact genuine and cultural property of Peru.

HSI plays a leading role in criminal investigations that involve illegally importing and distributing cultural property, including illicit trafficking of cultural property, especially objects that have been reported lost or stolen. HSI International Operations, through its 75 attaché offices in 48 countries, works closely with foreign governments to conduct joint investigations, when possible.

Since 2007, more than 7,150 artifacts have been returned to 27 countries, including paintings from France, Germany, Poland and Austria; 15th to 18th century manuscripts from Italy and Peru; as well as cultural artifacts from China, Cambodia and Iraq.

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Charged For Roles In Costa Rican Telemarketing Schemes

October 23, 2014

By NAN Staff Writer

News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Fri. Oct. 24, 2014: Two individuals were yesterday charged while a third pled guilty for roles in Costa Rican telemarketing schemes targeting U.S. residents.

A California woman pleaded guilty Thursday for her role in a half-million-dollar “sweepstakes fraud” scheme that was run from Costa Rica and targeted U.S. residents while a Costa Rican national and an Ohio resident were also indicted for their roles in separate but similar schemes earlier this week.

Patricia Diane Clark, 56, of Sacramento, California, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge David S. Cayer of the Western District of North Carolina to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering, all in connection with a Costa Rican telemarketing fraud scheme that targeted U.S. residents.

According to Clark’s plea agreement, from approximately 2007 through February 2013, her co-conspirators called U.S. residents from Costa Rican call centers, falsely informing them that they had won a substantial cash prize in a “sweepstakes.”

The victims, many of whom were elderly, were told that in order to receive the prize, they had to send money for a purported “refundable insurance fee.”  Clark admitted that she picked up money from the victims and sent it to her co-conspirators in Costa Rica.  Clark also admitted that she managed others who picked up money from the victims in the United States and that she kept a portion of the victims’ payments.

Also according to Clark’s plea agreement, once the victims sent money, Clark’s co-conspirators contacted the individuals again and falsely informed them that the prize amount had increased, either because of a clerical error or because another prize winner was disqualified.  The victims then had to send additional money to pay for new purported fees to receive the now larger sweepstakes prize.  The attempts to collect additional money from the victims continued until an individual either ran out of money or discovered the fraudulent nature of the scheme.

Clark admitted that, along with her co-conspirators, she was responsible for approximately $640,000 in losses to hundreds of U.S. citizens.

Additionally, earlier this week, Marco Vinicio Fallas Hernandez, 41, a Costa Rican citizen, was charged in a superseding indictment in the Western District of North Carolina with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, ten counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and nine counts of international money laundering in connection with a similar telemarketing scheme.  According to the indictment, Hernandez and his co-conspirators were responsible for causing approximately $10,000,000 in losses to hundreds of U.S. citizens, many of whom are elderly.  Eight individuals, including Hernandez, are charged in the superseding indictment.

Separately, Paul Ronald Toth Jrj., 38, a resident of Bloomingdale, Ohio, was indicted in the Western District of North Carolina this week on one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and six counts of international money laundering.  According to the indictment, between November 2009 and November 2010, Toth and others he supervised received money from victims of a Costa Rican telemarketing scheme.  Toth allegedly kept some of the proceeds and wired the remainder to Costa Rica using numerous persons as senders and recipients, all in a manner designed to conceal and disguise the fraudulent source and nature of the transactions.  Toth is alleged to have received more than $300,000 of illegal proceeds during the scheme.

 

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Bajan Wants To Be Mayor Of A Canadian City – A NAN First

October 23, 2014

john-edwards

Surrey Mayoral Hopeful John Edwards.

By NAN Staff Writer

News Americas, Surrey, B.C., Fri. Oct. 24, 2014: A Barbadian-born immigrant is hoping to be the next mayor of Surrey, a city in the province of British Columbia, Canada.

John Edwards, who has lived in Surrey since 1994, says he’s hoping to increase regional, national and global opportunities for local businesses and create job opportunities in his city through the building of a convention centre by 2018 to attract more tourists and create new jobs

He would also like to see a “surge” in police presences and increased funding for programs like Block Watch, Surrey Crime Prevention Society and victims’ services.

Last year, Surrey had a record number of 25 homicides, including the high-profile death of Julie Paskall, a 53-year-old mother of three who was brutally beaten in what police called a robbery gone wrong outside a Newton hockey arena in December.

Edwards was born in St. Andrews, Barbados, attended the Alleyne High School and left the island in 1968 for England. There he studied nursing and became a registered nurse and psychiatric nurse.

He then moved to Canada in 1974 and worked for 30 years in the pharmaceutical industry.

Edwards has been president of the Rotary Club of Surrey and a member of the Canadian Healthcare Engineering Society, the American College of Healthcare Executives and the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management.

It is not his first attempt at political office. In 1984, Edwards sought federal political office in Mission-Port Moody but was defeated by Gerry St. Germain.

He is hoping to set make history this time around for Caribbean immigrants in Surrey as its first Bajan mayor.

Edwards is also urging all Caribbean immigrants “to explore and access the broad range of opportunities available in higher education, job training and community engagement” and get more involved in “participation in political life at all levels of government.”

The race for mayor of B.C.’s fastest growing city could be the closest it’s seen in years. Edwards faces tough competition from former three-term mayor Doug McCallum, who lost to current Mayor Dianne Watts in 2005 and Surrey City Councillor Barinder Rasode and Linda Hepner.

Surrey’s municipal elections take place on November 15th. Current Mayor Watts is not seeking re-election.

 

 

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