The Supreme Court is currently considering whether to halve the punitive damages levied against Exxon for its massive 1989 oil spill from the Exxon Valdez tanker, from the current $2.5 billion to something more like $1 billion. Exxon claims the higher number amounts to excessive punishment. According to the New York Times, the decision may come down to a tie with four justices on either side; Justice Alito is not participating because he owns Exxon Mobile stock. The Exxon Valdez disaster “caused a 3,000-square-mile oil slick and still affects Alaska’s fisheries after nearly 19 years.”
Hooray! Steve Warshak, the snake oil salesman responsible for Enzyte (and consequently for those awful “Smiling Bob” ads) was found guilty today of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering. So was his mom.
Last December, Theodore Karantsalis received a letter from Sprint, where he was a customer, telling him that someone who banks with Wells-Fargo—where he’s not a customer—was presented with his invoice and personal data when they logged into their Wells-Fargo Checkfree account. The customer contacted Sprint, and Sprint contacted Karantsalis. Karantsalis decided that he’d deal with the issue on his own instead of bringing a lawyer into it or throwing his hands up in frustration, so he took both companies to small claims court.
Kevin Trudeau isn’t the only one writhing in the icy grip of justice this week—one-time magazine subscription entrepreneur Richard L. Prochnow was ordered to pay over $7 million a few weeks ago when the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld a judgment from July of 2006. Prochnow ran Direct Sales International (DSI), a bad magazine company that lied to customers and trapped them in a “buying club” that charged monthly fees and was very difficult to cancel.
Meet Floribel Hernandez Cuenca and Manuel Martin. California police arrested the pair on “felony cheese making charges” after they tried to sell 375 pounds of bathtub cheese at an open-air market in San Bernardino. Bathtub cheese, otherwise known as “illegal soft cheese,” can cause a range of maladies including listeria, salmonella, and everybody’s favorite gut goblin, E. coli.
The 375 pounds of seized illegal cheese included panela, queso fresco and queso oxaca varieties, the [California Department of Food and Agriculture] says. It was a significant find, the department says.
Judge Kenneth Robertson of Alabama has sentenced more than 20 people to wear signs reading: “I Am A Thief; I Stole From Walmart.”
Convicted shoplifters are no longer welcome at Walmart, even if they wear signs proclaiming: “I am a thief, I stole from Walmart.” Walmart was initially gung-ho about the decision to publicly shame the thieves, and even planned to keep the signs for future use. Their dreams of shoplifter shame now lie slightly worn at the return desk after a Walmart attorney told Judge Kenneth Robertson that the shoplifters were persona non grata at Walmart.
Robertson said the attorney said WalMart was afraid “that people might try to run [the shoplifters] down or throw something at them.”
Walmart does not want blood on their
hands parking lots. Judge Robertson has ordered the shoplifters to finish their sentence outside his courthouse, where they apparently can’t be run down or have things thrown at them. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER
Don’t steal from the Walmart in Attala, Ala or Judge Kenneth Robertson Jr. will make you wear a sign that says, “I AM A THIEF I STOLE FROM WALMART.”