‘Old News’: On-going and Under-reported Corporate Crimes and Misdemeanors

Shell pulls out of Iran gas deal – Reuters 5/10/08


Merck dumps vaccine waste into water supply – Blacklisted News 5/2/08


“Merck has agreed to settle the violations of federal and state water pollution regulations. Merck will pay $10 million to institute a system that will prevent future hazardous discharges from their plant. They will also spend approximately $9 million for environmental projects and will pay $1,575,000 in penalties and civil damages for past violations. “Merck’s actions led to an extensive fish-kill and caused the Philadelphia Water Department to temporarily shut down its drinking water operations,” stated Acting Assistant Attorney General Tenpas. “This settlement ensures that Merck will take steps to prevent future illegal discharges including installing an early warning system to protect drinking water.”

Shell pulls out of big wind farm project – Business Week 5/2/08


EXCERPT: “Environmental groups and politicians criticised Shell for its decision to put its one-third stake in the £2bn project, which is projected to generate 1gw of emission-free energy—enough to power a quarter of London households—up for sale. The announcement was made days after Shell revealed it had earned $7.7bn profit in the first quarter of 2008. In its annual $27bn investment programme, renewable energy is barely visible. The Environment Secretary Hilary Benn called the decision “very disappointing. A lot of people would want to understand why this was the case… in a week in which the company announced record profits”.


Linens ‘n Things files for bankruptcy protection – BusinessWeek 5/2/08


FDA report shows problems at Merck vaccine plant – Philadelphia Inquirer 4/24/08


EXCERPT: “Federal inspectors documented unwanted “fibers” on the stoppers of vaccine vials at Merck & Co. Inc.’s vast vaccine plant in Montgomery County. They also found instances of contaminated children’s vaccines and complaints that were not always investigated at the West Point plant. Inspectors from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration spent 30 days at the plant between November and January and cited 49 areas of concern, including a failure to follow good manufacturing practices.”


Feds look at Wachovia in drug money probe – CNN 4/26/08


“Wachovia Corp. is being investigated by Federal prosecutors as part of a probe into alleged drug money laundering by Mexican and Colombian money-transfer companies, according to a Wall Street Journal report Saturday morning.”


DynCorp Manager Used Armored Car To Transport Hookers in Iraq – Muckraked 4/28/08


EXCERPT: “”DynCorp’s site manager was involved in bringing prostitutes into hotels operated by DynCorp. A co-worker unrelated to the ring was killed when he was travelling in an unsecure car and shot performing a high-risk mission. I believe that my co-worker could have survived if he had been riding in an armored car. At the time, the armored car that he would otherwise have been riding in was being used by the contractor’s manager to transport prostitutes from Kuwait to Baghdad.”


Despite alert, flawed wiring still kills GIs – NYTimes 5/4/08


EXCERPT: “In October 2004, the United States Army issued an urgent bulletin to commanders across Iraq, warning them of a deadly new threat to American soldiers. Because of flawed electrical work by contractors, the bulletin stated, soldiers at American bases in Iraq had received severe electrical shocks, and some had even been electrocuted. The bulletin, with the headline “The Unexpected Killer,” was issued after the horrific deaths of two soldiers who were caught in water — one in a shower, the other in a swimming pool — that was suddenly electrified after poorly grounded wiring short-circuited…In all, at least a dozen American military personnel have been electrocuted in Iraq…One electrician warned his KBR bosses in his 2005 letter of resignation that unsafe electrical work was “a disaster waiting to happen.” Another said he witnessed an American soldier in Afghanistan receiving a potentially lethal shock. A third provided e-mail messages and other documents showing that he had complained to KBR and the government that logs were created to make it appear that nonexistent electrical safety systems were properly functioning. KBR itself told the Pentagon in early 2007 about unsafe electrical wiring at a base near the Baghdad airport, but no repairs were made. Less than a year later, a soldier was electrocuted in a shower there.”
Thanks, KBR/Halliburton/Cheney! Let’s be clear, KBR employees are forced to sub-contract to Iraqi and Afghan civilians, so that KBR can keep th emillions the US has given them. The American KBR employees repeatedly point out the severe problems, and are ignored or reprimanded by KBR management. Then, when soldiers die in the shower, rather than on the front lines – we blame the US government? I think there’s plenty of blame to go around here…


US identifies tainted heparin in 11 countries – NYTimes 4/22/08


EXCERPTS: “A contaminated blood thinner from China has been found in drug supplies in 11 countries, and federal officials said Monday they had discovered a clear link between the contaminant and severe reactions now associated with 81 deaths in the United States. But a Chinese official disputed the assertion that the contaminant found in the drug, heparin, caused any deaths and insisted that his country’s inspectors be allowed to inspect the American plant where the finished heparin vials were made. He said any future agreement to allow American inspections of Chinese firms should be reciprocal. “We don’t have a strong evidence to show that it is heparin or its contaminant that caused the problem,” said the official, Ning Chen, second secretary at the Chinese Embassy. Mr. Chen said that illnesses associated with contaminated heparin had occurred only in the United States, which he said suggested that the problem arose in this country”….
“The F.D.A. has identified 12 Chinese companies that have supplied contaminated heparin to 11 countries — Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the United States. Deborah Autor, director of compliance at the F.D.A.’s drug center, said the agency did not know the original source of all the contamination or the points in the supply chain at which it was added. Officials have discovered heparin lots that included the cheap fake additive manufactured as early as early as 2006, although a spike in illnesses associated with contaminated heparin began in November and persisted through February, officials said.”


Taser bracelets for every airline passenger – Wired 4/18/08


EXCERPT: “Beyond preying on people’s fears and insulting our intelligence, Lamperd is selling a product that’s a horrible idea in the first place. Do you really want those bracelets on your flight? If hijackers get their hands the transmitter, they’ll zap anyone standing in their way. Who’s to say that in the chaos of an emergency a crew member will have time to identify the threat, activate the correct bracelet and fire the EMD pulse before the terrorist has control of the plane? And then there’s the possibility of random craziness. What if a flight attendant loses her cookies and zaps a passenger who wants to keep the whole can of CranApple juice? What about drunk passengers? Do you want the lush in 36D getting his hands on what is essentially a bracelet-mounted stun gun?… Lamperd Less Lethal’s tagline is “Keeping the Situation Under Control.” I think “Exploiting People’s Fear and Making a Bad Situation Worse” might be more appropriate.”


Scandal at the Sierra Club: The Clorox Coup – CounterPunch 3/31/08


Oil Giant BP’s role in ‘biggest environmental crisis’ – Alternet 3/31/08


Pilot hurt in F-15 breakup sues Boeing – CNN 3/25/08

“Stilwell alleges Boeing knew or should have known the F-15 was defective, dangerous and could result in a catastrophic in-flight breakup as manufactured.”

Boeing cuts deal to sell jets to Iraq – Alternet 4/1/08

Court rejects rendition lawsuit against Boeing – Reuters/The Age 2/14/08 

Bush administration wants rendition lawsuit against Boeing subsidiary dropped – AP/Houston Chronicle 2/5/08

Chiquita sued over deaths of missionaries – Reuters/Yahoo 3/12/08


Chevron, Weyerhauser team up for biofuels – CNET 3/4/08


Fingertip Biometrics at Disney Turnstiles: The Mouse Does Its’ Bit for the Police State – via Boing Boing 3/15/08


No Blood for Chevron – Alternet 3/16/08


UBS Chairman takes 90% paycut – to $2 million for 2008 – CNN 3/18/08


Morgan Stanley profits fall 42% – BBC 3/19/08


UBS to vote on $10 Billion capital hike – MarketWatch 3/23/08

Also known as ‘capital dilution’ by existing shareholders

EXCERPTS: “Shareholders at Swiss bank UBS AG, one of the world’s hardest-hit victims of the subprime meltdown, will consider next month a proposal for a capital infusion of about $10 billion, according to a Swiss newspaper report Sunday…UBS booked more than $18 billion in write-downs relating to the risk loans to home buyers in the U.S., and analysts expect that more are likely on the way… UBS sharesjumped 7% to close at $28.51 on Thursday, but have still lost more than half their value in the past year’


Exxon’s Deadly Legacy Lives On – Alternet 3/24/08


EXCERPT: “My name is John Platt. I am a third generation Prince William Sound fisherman. My family has fished the Sound since the 1930’s.
Back in the early 1970’s, the State of Alaska, the Federal Government, as well as a consortium of oil companies proposed putting the terminus of the Alaska pipeline in Valdez. The fisherman’s union, including my father, opposed such action, which would ultimately put their livelihood at risk if an oil spill should ever occur. Their concerns were swept away with assurances that this would never happen. United States Senator Ted Stevens was quoted as saying, “Using the latest technologies, not one drop would ever touch the waters of Prince William Sound.”


At the High Court, Damage Control – Washington Post 2/27/08

Supreme Court struggles to find Exxon not liable for Valdez spill


Chief Justice Roberts defends Exxon – ThinkProgress 2/28/08


Blackwater dropped blinding tear gas on Iraqis and US soldiers in 2005 – Raw Story 1/10/08


The Corporate Takeover of Water in Ecuador – Alternet 11/9/07


EXCERPTS: “It is a well kept secret that Bechtel won a contract to privatize the water in Ecuador’s largest city, Guayaquil, just months after the massive citizen protests that threw Bechtel out of Bolivia.” … “Now, more than six years later, the residents of Guayaquil are demanding damages from the company for water contamination, an end to water cut-offs, and a return to local, public control.” “The Brazilian government says huge new oil reserves discovered off its coast could turn the country into one of the biggest oil producers in the world.”


Oil in my Water? – Polaris Institute 1/22/08


EXCERPT: “Most people know of Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon, ConocoPhillips and British Petroleum as some of the world’s biggest oil companies. These corporations are synonymous with gasoline, motor oil and environmental degradation. Regardless of their ubiquity in our everyday lives, many people are not conscious of how these names are intimately linked to the bottled water industry through the production of PET plastic bottles.”
“Given that 80% of the PET produced in the United States ends up in a Coca-Cola, Pepsi or Nestlé beverage container, we thought that it would be useful to highlight the direct links these bottled water producers have with the largest oil, chemical and plastic corporations on the planet. This analysis will help complete a picture of who is profiting from supplying oil based plastic to the bottled water industry and that the players in this supply chain are some of the worst environmental polluters of our time.”


Chrysler CEO: “We are operationally bankrupt” – 12/21/07


Merrill Lynch: US Recession Has Begun – BBC 1/8/08


FBI awards $1 Billion 10-year contract to Lockheed Martin for biometric database – Washington Post 2/13/08


22,000 died amid delayed Bayer recall – Reuters 2/15/08


Eli Lilly considers $1 Billion fine over Zyprexa – NYTimes 1/31/08


Dow contamination site could be worst ever in US – Manufacturing.net 11/26/07


“A dioxin find at the bottom of Michigan’s Saginaw River could be the highest level of such contamination ever discovered in a U.S. river or lake, according to a federal scientist involved in cleanup efforts downstream from a Dow Chemical Co. plant. A crew testing the Saginaw and Tittabawassee rivers discovered the sample, which measured 1.6 million parts of dioxin per trillion of water, The Saginaw News and The Detroit News reported last week. That level is about 20 times higher than any other find recorded in the archives of the U.S. environmental agency.”


Aspartame’s Sweet Dreams – ThePanelist 2/14/08


EXCERPT: “Consumer groups – backed by a wealth of statistical data showing aspartame’s link to immune system and nervous system damage, and the irreversible genetic harm done when aspartame metabolizes into formaldehyde in the body – continue to argue against Monsanto’s assertion that aspartame is harmless. As one lawyer commented when discussing the future of aspartame litigation: “Tobacco will pale next to aspartame”


ComCast Knows Who’s in Your Living Room? – BlacklistedNews 3/19/08


Raid on BP/British Petroleum: A Russian Spy Story – Business Week 3/20/08


EXCERPTS: “On Mar. 19 plainclothes Russian police—presumably operatives of Russia’s Federal Security Service, or FSB—raided the Moscow offices of both TNK-BP and British Petroleum – BP, seizing documents and hauling in two managers for questioning. Formal charges were issued the next day. According to a statement released by the FSB, the two men arrested are brothers, Ilya and Alexander Zaslavsky, both Russians with U.S. citizenship. They are accused of obtaining classified information that would be of use to foreign oil and gas companies. Ilya works for BP. Adding to the intrigue, brother Alexander heads the Moscow Alumni Club for the British Council, the cultural arm of the British government and the subject of a recent diplomatic spat between Russia and Britain. In January, Russia forced the closure of the British Council’s offices outside Moscow after police brought in Council staff for questioning on unrelated matters.”
“What to make of it? Even before news of the arrests broke, Russia’s media had been awash with speculation about the reasons for the police raids on TNK-BP and BP’s offices. According to Russia’s Interior Ministry, the raids were linked to an investigation into Sidanco, a former Russian oil company that ceased to exist when it was merged into TNK-BP in 2003. For several years the former Sidanco has been subject to tax investigations dating to the period before BP made its investment. Yet in a bizarre and confusing twist, other branches of the same Ministry flatly deny that any investigation into TNK-BP’s relationship with Sidanco is under way. What’s more, the arrest of the Zaslavsky brothers has no obvious connection to the Sidanco case. That raises the disturbing, but all too credible, possibility that Russia’s Interior Ministry, the branch of the government responsible for the tax probe, hasn’t the faintest idea what the FSB is up to. The other alarming possibility is that TNK-BP is simultaneously the subject of two—or possibly even more—unrelated investigations, signaling a concerted government crackdown on one of the largest foreign investments in Russia.”


Russia’s Severstal to buy US steel mill for $810 Million – Ria Novosti 3/21/08


EXCERPT: “Sparrows Point is located in Baltimore County, Maryland, and is owned by ArcelorMittal, a joint venture between Indian Mittal and Luxemburg Arcelor. The U.S. Department of Justice demanded in February 2007 that ArcelorMittal sell Sparrows Point in a bid to prevent a monopolization of the market after the merger of Mittal Steel and Luxemburg Arcelor. “


Alcoa bribery probe launched – CNN 3/12/08


EXCERPTS: “The U.S. Justice Department has begun a criminal investigation into whether aluminum maker Alcoa Inc. participated in bribery in the Persian Gulf state of Bahrain. In documents filed Thursday in U.S. District Court, federal prosecutors asked a judge to halt a federal civil lawsuit that accused Pittsburgh-based Alcoa of bribing officials through overseas shell companies to secure hundreds of millions of dollars in overpayments.”…Aluminum Bahrain B.S.C., also known as Alba, in which the Bahrain government holds a 77 percent stake, is seeking more than $1 billion in damages from Alcoa and other affiliated defendants, according to a federal lawsuit filed last month…Alcoa, the world’s third-largest aluminum producer, reported 2007 revenue of $30.75 billion, an all-time record.”


Carlyle Group may buy CIA contractor Booz Allen Hamilton – Alternet 3/20/08


EXCERPT: “The Carlyle Group, one of the world’s largest private equity funds, may soon acquire the $2 billion government contracting business of consulting giant Booz Allen Hamilton, one of the biggest suppliers of technology and personnel to the U.S. government’s spy agencies. Carlyle manages more than $75 billion in assets and has bought and sold a long string of military contractors since the early 1990s. But in recent years it has significantly reduced its investments in that industry. If it goes ahead with the widely reported plan to buy Booz Allen, it will re-emerge as the owner of one of America’s largest private intelligence armies.”


Whistleblower: Major mobile carrier giving FBI unrestricted access – ArsTechnica 3/6/08


EXCERPT: “Computer security analyst Babak Pasdar says that a major mobile telecommunications carrier has a built-in backdoor that provides an undisclosed third-party with unfettered access to its internal technical infrastructure, including the ability to eavesdrop on all calls through its network. In an affidavit that describes the circumstances and basis for the allegations, Pasdar provides evidence which could indicate that the FBI is on the other side of the secret line, engaging in warrantless surveillance of mobile communications.”


Nanotech Exposed in Grocery Store Aisles – Global Research 3/13/08


EXCERPT: “Untested nanotechnology is being used in more than 100 food products, food packaging and contact materials currently on the shelf, without warning or new FDA testing, according to a report released today by Friends of the Earth. The report, Out of the Laboratory and onto Our Plates: Nanotechnology in Food and Agriculture, found nanomaterials in popular products and packaging including Miller Light beer, Cadbury Chocolate packaging and ToddlerHealth, a nutritional drink powder for infants sold extensively at health food stores including WholeFoods.”

Cargill: Key Player in Global Food Crisis – Global Research 5/14/08


Floridians suffer drought while state sells unlimited water rights to Nestle for – $230. – BoingBoing 4/10/08


Taco Bell, Wal-Mart, NRA hired black ops company that targeted environmental groups – Raw Story 4/11/08


Video: Wal-Mart Spreads Like A Virus – via BoingBoing 3/25/08


Citigroup to pay $1.7Billion to settle Enron claims – CNN 3/26/08


“After the company declared bankruptcy in 2001, creditors have pursued nearly a dozen banks, including Citigroup, for their role in the company’s bookkeeping acrobatics that led to Enron’s collapse. Citi is the last company named in a suit against these major financial institutions to reach a settlement.”


Bad Bank – Forbes 4/1/08


EXCERPTS: “Taking a cue from the last big U.S. real estate lending crisis, UBS is forming a “bad bank” to deal with its glut of weakened assets tied to the mortgage markets….It is moving “substantial parts” of its credit work-out portfolio to a new company that will, at least at first, be wholly owned by UBS. At the same time, the bank has plans to raise $15 billion in new capital from shareholders in a rights issue. It remains to be seen whether U.S. banks laden with mortgage securities–Citigroup comes to mind–will follow suit. The last big U.S. case of “good bank/bad bank” was in the late 1980s, when Mellon Bank of Pittsburgh saved itself by getting regulators to sign off on such a plan.”


Shell Deer Park TX wins $883 Million military fuel contract – Bloomberg/Houston Chronicle 4/4/08


IBM federal contract ban lifted – CNet 4/4/08


EXCERPT: “The company announced Friday that a temporary suspension order, which had banned IBM from participating in new federal government contracts, has been lifted. But while the ban, which lasted nine days, has been removed, Big Blue is still busy cooperating with the Environmental Protection Agency with the investigation that had triggered the broad suspension. The environmental agency is examining possible violations of its procurement process over IBM’s bid for EPA business.”


A Town Torn Apart by Nestle – Business Week 4/3/08


‘We spied on 36,00 customers using the internet’ BT admits – Daily Telegraph UK 4/4/08


“BT tested secret “spyware” on tens of thousands of its broadband customers without their knowledge, it admitted yesterday. It carried out covert trials of a system which monitors every internet page a user visits.”


Candid Camera: Video production company gets last laugh on Wal-Mart – Wall St Journal 4/9/08


EXCERPT: “For nearly 30 years, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. employed a video-production company here to capture footage of its top executives, sometimes in unguarded moments. Two years ago, the retailing giant stopped using the tiny company. At first, the decision threw Flagler Productions Inc. into a panic. Now it’s Wal-Mart that’s squirming. In recent months, Flagler has opened its trove of some 15,000 Wal-Mart tapes to the outside world, with an eye toward selling clips. The material is proving irresistible to everyone from business historians and documentary filmmakers to plaintiffs lawyers and union organizers. Among the revealing moments: A former executive vice president and board member challenges store managers in 2004 to continue his work opposing unionization. Male managers in drag lead thousands of co-workers in the company’s corporate cheer. In another meeting, managers mock foolish or dangerous use of a product sold in its stores. In 1991, founder Sam Walton describes Hillary Clinton, then a Wal-Mart director, as “one of us.” The best part, maintains plaintiffs lawyer Gene P. Graham Jr., is that “Wal-Mart has no control over this stuff.”


Abandoned to Their Fate: Victims of the Bhopal Disaster – Guardian 4/9/08


Ministers under pressure to reopen BAE probe; high court says decision to drop inquiry unlawful – Guardian UK 4/11//08


Blackwater contract to be renewed – CNN 4/4/08


Google partners with NSA, CIA – Raw Story 3/31/08


NSA had access built in to Microsoft Windows – National Expositor 3/27/08


Fever named after Blackwater – Global Research 3/26/08


Chevron in talks to tap Iraq’s oil – San Francisco Chronicle 3/25/08



2 Comments so far
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this appears our every day news

Comment by subprime explained

Useful. I agree.

Comment by Ila

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