National Roundup

California
Federal judge puts Starbucks lawsuit on ice

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A federal judge has thrown cold water on a lawsuit that claimed Starbucks defrauded customers by adding ice to its cold beverages.

Judge Percy Anderson tossed out the potential class-action lawsuit because a reasonable customer would know that a portion of iced coffee or tea would include ice and they’d be able to see it through the clear plastic cups the beverages are served in. In fact, he said, even a child would get it.

“As young children learn, they can increase the amount of beverage they receive if they order ‘no ice,’” Anderson said in a ruling issued Friday in U.S. District Court. “If children have figured out that including ice in a cold beverage decreases the amount of liquid they will receive, the court has no difficulty concluding that a reasonable consumer would not be deceived into thinking ... some portion of the drink will be ice rather than whatever liquid beverage the consumer ordered.”

Alexander Forouzesh sued Starbucks Corp. in May for fraud, breach of warranty and false advertising, among other claims.

The Los Angeles man said the chain was cheating customers out of iced coffee and tea by filling cups as much as halfway with ice.

Forouzesh said Wednesday that he plans to appeal and was insulted by the judge’s remarks about children.

“Any child can figure out that they’re being deceived by Starbucks, as well,” he said. “It’s not right. The whole point is that we’re being deceived.”

A Starbucks spokeswoman said the company was pleased with the decision and the judge’s remarks.

A similar case is still percolating in Chicago’s federal court. The coffee company is due to file its defense in that case Thursday.

Illinois
Judge finds ­terrorism suspect unfit to go to trial

CHICAGO (AP) — A federal judge has ruled a suburban Chicago terrorism suspect mentally unfit to stand trial on charges he placed what he believed to be a bomb outside a bar.

U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman said at a Thursday hearing that she has concluded 22-year-old Adel Daoud is sincere in his belief that aliens, the Illuminati and Freemasons are conspiring against him.

Agents arrested Daoud in a 2012 sting after he placed what he believed to be the explosive device outside a Chicago bar. He also is charged with attacking an inmate who allegedly taunted him with a Prophet Muhammad drawing.

Daoud’s attorney, Thomas Durkin, has said it’s impossible to defend someone who believes his attorneys are part of an Illuminati conspiracy.

Prosecutors have argued Daoud is sufficiently mentally fit.

Oregon
Judge: Bundy unfit to serve as his own lawyer

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Federal Judge Anna J. Brown is set to strip Oregon standoff defendant Ryan Bundy of his ability to represent himself in court.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the judge wrote in an order filed Wednesday that Bundy has been unwilling to follow her orders and has shown an “open defiance” of the court’s authority.

Brown gave Bundy until Monday to “show cause” why she shouldn’t reinstate an attorney to represent him.

She wrote that by repeatedly raising “frivolous issues and matters” that the court has previously ruled on or resolved, Bundy has engaged in “serious and obstructionist misconduct,” “abused the dignity of the courtroom” and used his pro se status as a “license not to comply with relevant rules of procedural and substantive law.”

Bundy is one of eight defendants charged with conspiring to impede federal employees at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

North Dakota
Man accused in sports betting scheme sues IRS

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — A Bloomington, Minnesota man accused of running an illegal sports betting scheme in North Dakota is suing the Internal Revenue Service.

Gerald Greenfield says the IRS overestimated his tax liability by tens of thousands of dollars in 2007 and 2008. KFGO radio reports that Greenfield wants a federal judge to order seized financial records returned so he can file amended tax returns.

Greenfield was indicted by a federal grand jury for accepting an estimated $10 million in illegal sports wagers, many of which came from the Fargo area.

Greenfield is serving a combined 68-month sentence for a Minneapolis-area mortgage fraud scheme and escape from a federal prison in Duluth.

A company that purchased Greenfield’s foreclosed home is also suing the IRS to remove a lien on the property.

New Jersey
AG: Theft ring preyed on people selling cars on Craigslist

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Two New Jersey residents and a Florida man are facing charges they were the ringleaders of a vehicle-theft scheme that focused on people selling cars on Craigslist.

The state Attorney General’s Office said Wednesday that 38-year-old Luther Lewis of Piscataway, 36-year-old Tyisha Brantley of Scott Plains and 39-year-old Justinas Vaitoska of Palm Beach Gardens,
Florida, have been indicted on charges including promotion of organized street crime and leader of an auto-theft network.

Prosecutors say the defendants enlisted the aid of others in the case to use fake bank checks to purchase cars from private sellers and then sell them to dealerships around the state. Authorities say they would troll the internet to look for cars they could steal.

It’s not known if they have lawyers.

Georgia
Life behind bars for man who sold teen girls for sex

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) — A Lithonia man convicted of selling two teenage girls for sex has been sentenced to life in prison.

DeKalb County District Attorney spokesman Marcus Garner says in a statement that 30-year-old Robert Tate of Lithonia was found guilty last week of rape, trafficking of persons for sexual servitude, pimping a person under the age of 18 and interference with custody charges.

In 2014, Tate and another man, Jamal King, met the 16-year-old girls who had run away from their Macon foster homes.

The suspects sold the girls for sex on a website and took them to hotels.

Authorities say Tate choked, abused and raped one of the girls when she was five months pregnant. She later escaped and told authorities.

King pleaded guilty to charges and was sentenced to 13 years in prison.

 

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