Monthly Archives: July 2018

Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s Google Camp is as star studded as ever and most definitely not an ‘actual summer camp’

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maudanros/Shutterstock

  • Celebrities from entertainment and sports are guests of Google Camp 2018
  • The annual event, organized by Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, is taking place in Sicily.
  • Basketball legend Michael Jordan is rumored to be attending this year.

The “conference” known as Google Camp is not your typical sleep away.This is not the Catskills.

Few campers are likely to careen down any ziplines or go tubing.

This is an ultra-exclusive, super-secret, three-day gathering in Sicily of elite actors, fashion designers, media tycoons, models, pop stars and athletes hosted by Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page.

Certainly, the name can be misleading.

“My dumbass thought it was an actual summer camp sponsored by Google for really, really smart kids,” one person posted to Twitter on Tuesday.

Sergey Brin (left) and Larry Page

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Sergey Brin (left) and Larry Page
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Reuters

What actually is accomplished at these annual events, typically held in sunny and sandy locals, is not altogether clear. In past years, attendees have toured local ruins, enjoyed sumptuous meals and attended discussions on various topics.

It’s fun to imagine attendees laughing derisively at the plebeians who frequent other conferences, like the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. The Financial Times identified the guests at Google’s event as the “.0001 percent.”

This year’s event is being held at the Verdura Resort in Sicily. According to some tabloids and British newspapers, Lady Gaga, Harry Styles, Matthew McConaughey Bradley Cooper, and Leo DiCaprio are all in attendance this year. Former Chicago Bulls great Michael Jordan is rumored to be on his way.

Last year, campers includedSnapchat cofounder Evan Spiegel, Pharrell Williams and Prince Harry.

Not even Elon Musk thinks he can fix MoviePass

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Bill Pugliano / Stringer / Getty Images

  • Elon Musk has an established penchant for fixing problems.
  • But the ailing movie-ticketing app MoviePass is not one of them.
  • The Tesla and SpaceX CEO jumped into a brief Twitter exchange on Tuesday evening after one user asked him if he could fix MoviePass.
  • “No,” Musk replied.

Elon Musk, the billionaire CEO of Tesla, SpaceX and the face of several other burgeoning Silicon Valley enterprises, has a demonstrated penchant for solving problems.

The ailing movie-ticketing app MoviePass is not one of them, as noted in a brief exchange between Musk and a Twitter user on Tuesday.

When asked whether he could fix MoviePass, which has experienced a roller coaster of outages and a cash shortage, Musk said no.

Tech journalist Lance Ulanoff chimed in: “Seriously, no one can fix MoviePass.”

Here’s how that exchange went down:

MoviePass has been on a wild ride of late, due in part to the company burning through massive amounts of cash. It temporarily ran out of money days ago, prompting service outages.

Parent company Helios and Matheson Analytics borrowed $5 million to get the service back online, and on Tuesday, it announced it would raise the monthly subscription price for MoviePass to $14.95.

The ex-Tesla employee Elon Musk called a ‘horrible human being’ just slapped the company with a countersuit alleging defamation

Martin Tripp.

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Martin Tripp.
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Business Insider

  • On Tuesday, a former employee at Tesla’s Gigafactory filed a countersuit against the company. He alleges that Tesla is not living up to its mission to improve the environment and instead is generating “large quantities of waste and ‘scrap’ vehicle parts lying haphazardly on the ground inside the Gigafactory.”
  • Tesla sued the former employee, named Martin Tripp, in June after he leaked internal documents to Business Insider.
  • Tesla also alleged that Tripp hacked into the company’s manufacturing operating system, systematically transferred data off its network to third parties, and made false claims to the media regarding waste and quality issues at the company, all of which Tripp denies.
  • Tripp now alleges that Tesla made false statements about him around the time of the lawsuit.

Martin Tripp, a former process technician at Tesla who says he made $28 an hour, filed a countersuit against the company on Tuesday.

Tripp, 40, alleges that Tesla is not living up to its mission to improve the environment and instead is generating “large quantities of waste and ‘scrap’ vehicle parts lying haphazardly on the ground inside the Gigafactory,” according to the counterclaim.

Tripp also alleges that Tesla consistently reused battery parts that had been discarded as waste. His filing says he “was even told by one colleague that the colleague, after seeing damaged products being reused, intentionally further damaged the parts to prevent them from being used in a Model 3.”

More allegations from Tripp’s counterclaim:

  • “In mid-May 2018, [Tesla’s] Manufacturing Operating System (‘MOS’) showed that from January 1, 2018 to mid-May 2018, approximately $150,000,000 to $200,000,000 worth of battery module parts, including bandoliers and battery cells, had been categorized as ‘Scrap.'”
  • Tripp also claims that punctured battery cells were reworked with glue and put back on the manufacturing line: “Based upon information and belief, no quality inspections were performed on these ‘reworked’ battery modules before they were returned to the manufacturing processing line. Mr. Tripp personally observed technicians perform this process on several battery modules.”
  • Tripp claims that Tesla discontinued systems to track vehicle parts: “As a result, traceability is unknown for many vehicle-parts and/or materials which could have a drastic effect on determining where the part(s) were made, when, and by whom.”
  • Tripp denies allegations that he hacked into Tesla’s manufacturing operating system.
  • Tripp claims Tesla “published these false and defamatory statements out of malice and to retaliate against” him and “discredit him before the general public.”

Earlier, Tripp leaked internal documents and other information to Business Insider.

A self-proclaimed former Tesla fanboy, Tripp claims that he tried bringing his concerns to his superiors and to Tesla CEO Elon Musk first but that nothing came of it.

Now Tripp is being sued by Tesla, which accuses him of hacking the company and transferring secret information to third parties.

Tesla also claimed it received a tip from a “friend” of Tripp who suggested Tripp might try to “shoot up” the Gigafactory. Law enforcement looked into it at the time and found no credible threat.

Tripp denies any violent intentions in his counterclaim and says Tesla declined to reveal the name of the “friend” who gave it the tip.

“Tesla has used strong-arm tactics and a defamatory smear campaign in an effort to bury the disconcerting information Martin Tripp learned as a Tesla employee and to discredit Mr. Tripp before the general public,” Tripp’s attorney, Robert D. Mitchell of Tiffany and Bosco, said in a statement to Business Insider.

“By filing its lawsuit against Mr. Tripp, Tesla has now forced the issues to the forefront, and Mr. Tripp looks forward to defending himself before a jury of his peers by showing that what he witnessed and repeatedly reported at Tesla is, in fact, true.”

Tesla did not respond to requests for comment for this story.

What may happen when Tesla wants to sue you

Tripp’s legal troubles with Tesla began on June 14 and 15, when the company’s security team called him into meetings for questioning.

He tells Business Insider the first meeting lasted about six or seven hours. Tripp claims Tesla’s team wanted to know how he allegedly ran queries into its manufacturing operating system, such as about Tesla’s scrap waste and part prices, and why he’d do that.

Tripp says he told Tesla that he felt Musk was misleading investors about production numbers and that Tesla’s security personnel laughed in response.

Tripp says he then took Tesla’s team to an area where nonconforming battery parts were lying about. Some of those batteries were destined for rework, and he explained his fears about hurriedly reworked batteries going into “thermal runaway,” a condition in which an overheating battery begins to destroy itself.

Tripp says he was eventually escorted out by security, at which point, he says, he found his car surrounded by further security in the Tesla parking lot.

Tesla security wouldn’t leave until a truck came to escort Tripp out, he claims. The incident left him with the impression that he’d been let go from the company.

He was not.

The next day, Tripp says, Tesla’s security team called him back for more questioning and then put him on “administrative leave.”

Tripp recalls the second meeting with Tesla being shorter and less cordial than the first. Tesla’s team asked similar questions and then started to ask stranger ones, Tripp claims. They wanted to know how he had allegedly managed to put a program into the MOS that ran queries into the system at the same time every day, searching for scrap costs.

According to Tripp, the security team told him it knew he had logged into nine computers and had the program running from three of them.

Tesla did not respond to request for comment on the meetings. In Tesla’s complaint, Tesla alleges that in the meetings, Tripp admitted to writing software that hacked Tesla’s MOS and to transferring “several gigabytes of confidential and proprietary Tesla data…” Tripp denies these accusations in his filing. He told Business Insider he didn’t even know how to code.

“This ordeal, which, inter alia, implied that Mr. Tripp was a danger to those around him, was highly embarrassing and distressing to Mr. Tripp,” Tripp claims in the filing.

Later, Musk wrote in a company-wide email that Tesla had a “saboteur” on its hands. Shortly after that, Tesla filed a lawsuit against Tripp.

In a now-public email exchange between Tripp and Musk, the Tesla CEO called Tripp a “horrible human being.”

The company alleges that Tripp stole confidential data and exaggerated the numbers in that data to the media. Tesla also alleged that Tripp hacked into its MOS.

Tripp says his safety was jeopardized in the weeks that followed.

The counterclaim alleges that Tripp “has received numerous threats to his personal safety, which, upon information and belief, have been stirred by the foregoing false and defamatory statements published about him” by Tesla. It continues: “Mr. Tripp has even been followed and trailed on multiple occasions by unidentified individuals.”

Claims and rumors

Rumors have flown around Tesla’s factories about Tripp and the “saboteur.”

An engineer at the Fremont, California, factory told Business Insider that the engineers thought it was crazy that any such “saboteur” could exist at all. In their opinion, this person would have to have been a professional hacker.

“The MOS configuration … gets overwritten daily with an automatic push from a stash repository,” the person said. “All changes on said stash are trackable and require approval from other members.”

He added: “Pushing malicious software onto other people’s computers would not be possible without their authorization unless [the person were] a professional hacker. To which then I would say, ‘Why is [Tripp] working as a process technician?'”

In his counterclaim, Tripp maintains that the information he sent to Business Insider was accurate.

All of this comes at a critical time for Tesla. Analysts at Goldman Sachs say the company may have to raise money soon to maintain a comfortable cash position as it tries to scale its new Model 3 sedan amid production delays.

The company reports its second-quarter earnings on Wednesday.

If you are a Tesla employee or customer who has a story to share about a car or experience with the company, give me a shout at llopez@businessinsider.com.

Disclaimer: The author of this article is specifically named in the counterclaim, where Tripp alleges that statements Musk made on Twitter to @lopezlinette are false and defamatory.

Apple CEO Tim Cook hits out at Trump’s tariffs: ‘They show up as a tax on the consumer’

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White House/Shealah Craighead

  • Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke out against President Trump’s tariffs on Tuesday, saying that they ultimately harm consumers.
  • He says that the tariffs haven’t hurt Apple yet, though the company is analyzing whether or not the latest round of proposed tariffs could have direct or indirect impacts on its business.
  • Read Cook’s full comments below.

Apple has a dim view of the Trump Administration’s proposed tariffs.

During a conference call on Tuesday, CEO Tim Cook said that he hoped “calm heads prevail” in the escalating rounds of trade restrictions between the United States and China.

“Our view on tariffs is that they show up as a tax on the consumer and end up resulting in lower economic growth,” Cook said. “And sometimes can bring about significant risk of unintended consequences.”

Cook said that none of the tariffs that have already been implemented have directly affected any Apple products, such as the iPhone. But Cook warned that the latest round, on $200 billion in Chinese goods – including some electronics – was still under evaluation for their impacts on the company.

“It’s actually a tedious process in going through it because you not only have to analyze the revenue products, which are a bit more straightforward to analyze, but you also have to analyze the purchases that you’re making through other companies that are not related to revenue,” Cook said.

“Maybe they’re related to data centers and that sort of thing,” he continued.

Reuters previously reported that the $200 billion round of tariffs could hit the Apple Watch thanks to an obscure classification by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. That list is currently in a public comment period, which ends in the fall.

Products including wearable, smart home hubs, smart speakers, wireless earbuds, and whole home Wi-Fi devices are all under tariff threat, according to the Consumer Technology Association, a trade group. Apple makes products in several of those categories.

Cook has met with President Donald Trump in the White House, and earlier this year, the New York Times reported that Trump told Cook that the U.S. government would not place a tariff on iPhones assembled in China.

Cook previously said that he told the President that tariffs were “not the right approach.”

“I don’t think that iPhone will get a tariff on it,” Cook said in an interview in June.

Apple reported earnings on Tuesday of $2.34 per share on revenue of $53.3 billion on its most recent quarter ending in June. Apple is the most valuable publicly traded U.S. company.

Cook’s full comments from the call are below:

Our view on tariffs is that they show up as a tax on the consumer and end up resulting in lower economic growth. And sometimes can bring about significant risk of unintended consequences.

That said, the trade relationships and agreements between the US and other major economies are very complex. It’s clear that several are in need of modernizing.But we think that in the vast majority of situations that tariffs are not the approach to doing that.

We’re sort of encouraging dialog and so forth. In terms of the tariffs that have been imposed or have exited the comment period, I think there’s one that’s exiting today, there have been three of those. Maybe I can walk through those briefly to make sure everyone is on the same page.

The first was the U.S. imposed a tariff on steel and aluminum, was, you know, many many different countries. That started, I believe, the beginning of June.

There have been two other tariffs that have totaled about $50 billion of goods from China that have either been implemented or exiting the comment period in this month. The latest one exits today.

If you look at those three tariffs, none of our products were directly affected by the tariffs. There is a fourth tariffs which includes goods valued at $200 billion, also focused on goods imported from China. That one is out for public comment, probably like everyone else, we’re evaluating that one and we’ll be sharing our views of it with the administration and so forth before the comment period for that one ends.

It’s actually a tedious process in going through it because you not only have to analyze the revenue products, which are a bit more straightforward to analyze, but you also have to analyze the purchases that you’re making through other companies that are not related to revenue. Maybe they’re related to data centers and that sort of thing. So we’re going through that now, and we’ll be sharing our results later on those and … public comment.

Of course the risk associated with more of a macroeconomic issue such as an economic slowdown in one or more countries or currency fluctuations that are related to tariffs is very difficult to quantify. So we’re not even trying to quantify that, to be clear about it.

All of this said, we’re optimistic, as I’ve been the whole time, that this will get sorted out. Because there is an inescapable mutuality between the US and China that sort of serves as a magnet to bring both countries together. Each country can only prosper if the other does. And of course the world needs both US and China to prosper for the world to do well.

That said, I can’t predict the future. But I am optimistic that countries will get through this. And we are hoping that calm heads prevail.

‘Traitor!’: CNN reporter Jim Acosta heckled by ‘CNN sucks!’ chants at Trump rally

CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta

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CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta
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Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

  • Supporters of President Donald Trump heckled CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta at a presidential rally in Tampa Bay on Tuesday.
  • Attendees chanted “CNN sucks” and shouted, “traitor,” and “you’re a liar” as Acosta reported on camera from the event.
  • Acosta has frequently clashed with White House officials and is regularly denied questions by the president, who calls his network “fake news.”

CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta was loudly heckled by supporters of President Donald Trump at presidential rally in Tampa Bay on Tuesday.

As Acosta – a sharp questioner of the president and a frequent target of his ire – reported live from the event, a crowd of rally attendees surrounding him chanted “CNN sucks” and shouted, “traitor,” and “you’re a liar.”

Several reporters on the ground documented the incident.

Donald Trump Jr., a vocal critic of CNN, posted a video of the chants on his Instagram account with the caption: ” Hahahaha never gets old!!!”

Acosta, who frequently butts heads with White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders during press briefings, was similarly heckled by Trump supporters at a June rally, where he was both yelled at and asked for autographs. Earlier this month, the president denied Acosta the opportunity to ask him a question at a press conference in the UK, calling CNN “fake news.”

On Monday, Acosta was yelled at while asking the president a question about Russian collusion following a news conference in the Oval Office with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

White House staffers yelled over him, pressing him to leave the room.

“Move, Jim. Let’s go. Keep going Jim. Let’s go. Jim, we’re leaving. Come on Jim. Go. We’re done,” yelled one White House staffer.

Right-wing pundits, including Sean Hannity and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, celebrated the incident, while those on the left celebrated the veteran CNN reporter as a hero of the anti-Trump “Resistance.”

Acosta has repeatedly defended his practice of shouting questions at the president – something he’s done on multiple occasions after the president either stopped taking questions from reporters or refused to take any at all.

LeBron James’ commitment to send kids from his school to college could one day reach over $100 million

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Jason Miller/Getty

  • LeBron James opened his public school, the I Promise School, in Akron, Ohio, on Monday.
  • Kids who graduate from the school and meet specific standards will qualify for a full scholarship to the University of Akron, through the LeBron James Family Foundation.
  • James has pledged to send up to 2,300 kids to school, potentially creating a $105 million commitment.

LeBron James on Monday unveiled the I Promise School, the new public school he opened in Akron, Ohio.

The school will start with 240 at-risk children (third and fourth graders) with plans to expand to over 1,000 students.

In addition to an extensive infrastructure meant to support the students, kids in the I Promise program will also have a chance to earn a full scholarship through the LeBron James Family Foundation to the University of Akron.

According to a spokesperson for the foundation, the I Promise program currently has 1,300 kids. When James and his foundation announced the program in 2015, they said they could give scholarships to as many as 2,300 students.

If 2,300 students were to qualify for the scholarships, it would be quite a commitment by James and his foundation. Tuition and fees for in-state students at the University of Akron are currently $11,466. Over four years, that’s $45,900. For 2,300 kids that would be approximately $105 million in scholarships.

Of course, it’s possible that 2,300 kids don’t qualify for the scholarship, bringing that number down. In an interview with Business Insider in 2016, James confirmed that students would need to hit specific standards, including graduating with a 3.0 GPA, to qualify for the scholarship.

A spokesperson for James said putting a number on the commitment would be inaccurate because the cost of tuition could change.

Nonetheless, at the current rate, with a growing program, it’s safe to say James’ commitment could be huge.

James called the opening of I Promise School the most important accomplishment of his career. In addition to improving his hometown community, his commitment could change a generation and perhaps start a new trend among athletes.

A Canadian province just killed one of the world’s largest basic income pilot projects

Ontario Premier Doug Ford reacts during his unofficial swearing in ceremony in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, June 29, 2018.

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Ontario Premier Doug Ford reacts during his unofficial swearing in ceremony in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, June 29, 2018.
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REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

  • Ontario’s new premier, Doug Ford, killed its three-year basic income pilot project.
  • The project was started under Ontario’s former government in July of 2017.
  • Ford promised he wouldn’t kill the project during the election campaign.

The new government of Ontario, Canada’s largest province, killed its basic income pilot project on Tuesday.

Nearly 4,000 people in Ontario were receiving a no-strings-attached monthly stipend through the project, which was put into place by former premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal party.

People who made less than $34,000 (CAD) per year were eligible to receive up to $17,000 annually, and couples who made under $48,000 received up to $24,000 per year, minus 50% of any earned income, The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reports.

The program was started in July of 2017 and was slated to run for three years. The previous Ontario government estimated the cost of the pilot project to be around $50 million.

Lisa Macleod, Ontario’s Minister of Children, Community and Social Services, told reporters that the project was too expensive and “clearly not the answer for Ontario families.”

“I’m in shock,” Dave Cherkewski, an Ontario man who was receiving a stipend through the project, told the CBC. “I had a three-year plan and now it’s gone.”

Ontario’s new Premier, Doug Ford, ran on a platform much further to the right than Wynne. Ford is the older brother of Rob Ford, the notorious crack-smoking former mayor of Toronto. He took office on June 29th.

During the election campaign, Ford promised he wouldn’t kill the basic income project, CBC reports.

Ontario’s basic income project was one of the largest worldwide. The biggest is a 12-year pilot in Kenya.

In Finland, where 2,000 unemployed residents are receiving basic income under a pilot, government enthusiasm to expand the project has “evaporated,” one of the experiment’s leaders told the BBC. The project will not be extended beyond this year as a result.

Tesla is reportedly flying in non-manufacturing employees to help with Model 3 production

Model 3 production has put a strain on Tesla's finances.

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Model 3 production has put a strain on Tesla’s finances.
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Tesla

  • Tesla is bringing in non-manufacturing employees to help at its vehicle and battery production factories as it seeks to maintain a production rate of 5,000 Model 3 sedans each week, CNBC first reported.
  • While Tesla has reassigned workers in the past to help boost production, the company is including a wider range of employees in the effort, including some from its energy business, according to CNBC.
  • The move has reportedly put pressure on some of Tesla’s other divisions, including vehicle service, where customers are reportedly experiencing longer wait times.

Tesla is bringing in non-manufacturing employees to help at its vehicle and battery production factories as it seeks to maintain a production rate of 5,000 Model 3 sedans each week, CNBC first reported.

The publication reports that employees from the company’s service centers and energy business are being flown to Fremont, California – where it makes cars – and Sparks, Nevada – where it makes batteries and powertrains – to keep production rates from flagging.

According to CNBC, the move has put pressure on some of Tesla’s other divisions, including vehicle service, where customers are reportedly experiencing longer wait times. Employees reportedly feel pressure as well, taking new, temporary roles to avoid negative performance reviews.

A Tesla representative told Business Insider that temporary reassignments are voluntary and do not have a major effect on production. The representative also said that employees who are reassigned are placed in roles that match their skills, and those who do not opt for reassignments will not be punished with negative performance reviews.

“This will likely happen less moving forward since, as we’ve previously announced, we’re in the process of smoothing out our deliveries through the quarter,” the representative said.

While Tesla has reassigned workers in the past to help boost production, the company is including a wider range of employees in the effort, including some from its energy business, according to CNBC. The publication reports that some employees have been working temporary assignments away from their homes for weeks.

The effort comes as Tesla continues to ramp up production for the Model 3, the company’s first mass-market vehicle. Tesla struggled to increase production after the vehicle was launched in July 2017 and twice missed its self-imposed deadline to produce 5,000 in a week, but hit that rate at the end of June. During the second quarter, the company made more Model 3s than in the prior three quarters combined, in part due to a new production line the company assembled in an outdoor, tent-like structure.

The Model 3 has also put a strain on Tesla’s finances, as the company has posted significant losses in the quarters since it was launched. Musk has said the company will become profitable in the second half of this year, despite skepticism from some Wall Street analysts. In June, Tesla laid off around 9% of its employees.

Tesla will report its second-quarter earnings on Wednesday.

If you’ve worked for Tesla and have a story to share, you can contact this reporter at mmatousek@businessinsider.com.

See the real estate properties in New York and LA that prosecutors are accusing Paul Manafort of funneling millions through

Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort departs from U.S. District Court in Washington, U.S., February 28, 2018.

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Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort departs from U.S. District Court in Washington, U.S., February 28, 2018.
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REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort appeared in court on Tuesday to defend against charges that include money laundering and tax fraud.

The indictment, which the special counsel Robert Mueller filed in October, says Manafort enjoyed a “lavish” lifestyle and bought many multimillion-dollar properties and “personal items” like Range Rovers, rugs, and even a $15,000 ostrich jacket.

“Manafort used his hidden overseas wealth to enjoy a lavish lifestyle in the United States, without paying taxes on that income,” the indictment said. Manafort has pleaded not guilty.

Here’s a look at some of the properties prosecutors are accusing Manafort of funneling money through, according to the indictment, other public records, and media reports:


The indictment says Manafort wired $6.4 million from an offshore account to purchase three different properties, one of which is this brownstone in Brooklyn.

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General view of the 377 Union St. building in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., February 17, 2018
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Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

Source: Business Insider


Manafort’s ownership of the house became public after a community blogger who was taking pictures of the house was tipped off that it belonged to him.

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People walk in front of the 377 Union St. building on February 17, 2018.
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Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

Source: The New York Times


Manafort allegedly bought the house through a holding company, but never lived there. Instead, his daughter and son-in-law apparently planned to renovate it and move in.

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Workers are seen working at a brownstone house belonging to Manafort in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood of Brooklyn on October 30, 2017.
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Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Source: The New York Times


Manafort’s companies borrowed nearly $7 million in order to buy the house, according to public records.

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A worker is seen working inside the brownstone house in Carroll Gardens on October 30, 2017.
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Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Source: The New York Times


As the future of the house remains unclear, Manafort could put the property back on the market for as much as $9 million.

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Another view of the brownstone house in Brooklyn.
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Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Source: The Real Deal


A second property that Manafort allegedly used money from an offshore account to buy is located on Howard Street in the SoHo neighborhood of Manhattan, according to the indictment.

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A general view of a building at 29 Howard Street where Manafort is listed as owner of a suite, according to an indictment.
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Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Source: Business Insider


Like with his Brooklyn house, Manafort has been accused of falsely reporting to the bank that his daughter and son-in-law were living at his SoHo condo.

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The building at 29 Howard Street is located in the SoHo neighborhood of New York City.
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Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Source: Business Insider


Manafort reportedly purchased the condo in 2012 through a shell company for $2.85 million — money the indictment says came from Cyprus.

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The ground level of 29 Howard Street in SoHo.
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Brendan McDermid/Reuters

Source: Business Insider


Manafort’s daughter reportedly purchased a third property in New York City, located in Chinatown, for over $2.5 million in 2007.

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People walk in front of the 123 Baxter St. building in New York City on February 17, 2018.
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Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

Sources: Curbed, 377 Union


The shell company Manafort and his daughter used to purchase the Chinatown apartment received a $10 million loan from a Cyprus bank, the indictment alleges.

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People walk in front of the 123 Baxter St. building in New York on February 17, 2018
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Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

Source: 377 Union


Manafort reportedly reached a deal with Mueller to use his Chinatown apartment as collateral for his $11.7 million prison bail.

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Another view of the 123 Baxter St. building in New York on February 17, 2018.
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Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

Source: Curbed New York


Manafort and his family were expected to lose $4 million of investments in properties in Los Angeles, including this one his son-in-law purchased for $7.5 million.

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View of the house located at 1550 Blue Jay Way in Los Angeles, California on December 13, 2017
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Alex Gallardo/Reuters

Source: Bloomberg


The properties in California are now under the purview of the special counsel after Manafort reportedly failed to disclose a loan from a lender that was also the main creditor in his bankruptcy cases.

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A property at 2401 Nottingham Ave is seen under construction in Los Angeles on December 13, 2017
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Alex Gallardo/Reuters

Source: Reuters


The creditor in the bankruptcies of Manafort’s four properties in the Los Angeles area reportedly gave his shell company a loan for his Brooklyn property, according to court filings and public records.

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A property at 2401 Nottingham Ave is seen under construction in LA on December 13, 2017.
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Alex Gallardo/Reuters

Source: Reuters


Another real estate holding Manafort allegedly used money from an offshore account to buy is located in this apartment building in Alexandria, Virginia, according to the indictment.

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A cyclist makes his way past a building in Alexandria, Virginia on August 9, 2017 that contains a unit listed to Manafort.
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Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

Source: Business Insider


That also happens to be where his trial is taking place. Jury selection and opening arguments kicked off on Tuesday, July 31.

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Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort is shown in a court room sketch on the opening day of his trial in Alexandria, Virginia on July 31, 2018.
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REUTERS/Bill Hennessy

Source: Business Insider

Woman sues Canada Dry for false advertising after lab found only a ‘microscopic’ amount of ginger in the ginger ale

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Gary Cameron/Reuters

  • Julie Fletcher of Bolivar, New York filed a lawsuit on July 10 against Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, claiming she was misled about the possible health benefits of Canada Dry ginger ale.
  • For years, Fletcher has drank Canada Dry to soothe her and her kids’ stomach aches, because the can says it’s made with ginger, a natural cure for nausea and other ailments.
  • The lawsuit cites lab testing that shows that ginger is not a significant ingredient in Canada Dry, making up less than two parts per million of the soft drink.
  • Dr. Pepper Snapple Group did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment on the suit.

If you thought a glass of Canada Dry soothed your stomach on your last flight, it could be all in your head.

The soft drink’s parent company, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group (DPSG), was hit with a new lawsuit earlier this month, by a woman who claims she was misled about the potential health benefits of the ginger-flavored drink.

While Canada Dry’s bottles and cans say it’s “Made from Real Ginger,” the lawsuit cites lab testing that shows the drink doesn’t contain “‘real ginger’ as reasonable consumers understand that term.”

The lawsuit was filed in federal court on July 10 by Julie Fletcher, a mother in Bolivar, New York.

Fletcher says she’s been drinking Canada Dry – and giving it to her kids – to soothe stomach aches for years, because it advertises that it’s made with real ginger.

“Ms. Fletcher believed this meant that Canada Dry was made using ginger root and was, as a result, a healthier alternative to regular sodas,” her lawyer writes in the lawsuit.

So she was shocked when another recent lawsuit, filed in Missouri, cited lab testing that showed only “microscopic” amounts of ginger in the soft drink.

“Instead, Canada Dry Ginger Ale is made from carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, preservatives and ‘natural flavors,’ i.e., a flavor compound comprised predominantly of flavor extracts not derived from ginger, and a minuscule amount of a ginger flavor extract,’ the lawsuit alleges.

In addition to the “Made from Real Ginger” packaging labels, the lawsuit says Fletcher was also misled by the company’s commercials.

The lawsuit says that DPSG started focusing on the ginger aspect of Canada Dry since the mid-2000s, when the soft drink industry was taking a hit for being unhealthy.

In 2011, Canada Dry put out multiple commercials focusing on a ginger farm where bottles and cans of Canada Dry were harvested from the ground like real ginger roots.

A 2011 commercial showed Canada Dry bottles being harvested in a field as though they were real ginger roots.

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A 2011 commercial showed Canada Dry bottles being harvested in a field as though they were real ginger roots.
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Dr Pepper Snapple Group

And it’s undeniable that the rebranding worked.

According to the lawsuit, “within six months of adding the [‘Made from Real Ginger’] claim, Canada Dry sales skyrocketed by almost 9%, and continued to increase every year thereafter – even with sales of regular sodas continuing to decline.”

Fletcher is seeking unspecified damages in the suit, claiming she was “economically damaged” by continuing to buy Canada Dry under false pretenses. She also hopes to turn the case into a class-action lawsuit.

Similar lawsuits have been filed in other states

This isn’t the first lawsuit regarding the amount of ginger in Canada Dry. Similar lawsuits have also been filed in Massachusetts and California.

Another case was filed in Missouri but dismissed in April when the plaintiff dropped the case.

In that case, DPSG argued that even though a lab didn’t find significant amounts of ginger in its ginger ale, that didn’t mean it wasn’t there.

“Plaintiffs’ entire theory of falsity rests on a single-sentence conclusion that some never-identified ‘independent laboratory’ tested some unspecified beverage, in a never-disclosed way at a never-alleged time,” the company said in court documents.

Business Insider reached out to DPSG for comment on Tuesday about Fletcher’s lawsuit, but did not receive a response.