The most pro-business legislator?

State Sen. John Watkins is the most business-friendly lawmaker in Central Virginia, according to Virginia FREE.

Local firm lands BP claims work

At least a small chunk of the billions of dollars BP has set aside to pay claims for the gulf oil spill will make its way to Richmond.

End of the road for a conman

Edward Okun, president of the now-defunct 1031 Tax Group, is going to spend the rest of his life in prison; or at least the next 100 years of it.

Legislators have their hands out

Richmond’s congressional delegation has submitted earmark requests for more than $105 million in federal funding for projects in the metro region for fiscal 2010. The projects run the gamut from local hospitals to economic development.

Ponzi trial with a twist

As far as alleged Ponzi schemers go, Darrell and Cynthia Underwood were almost monastic in their spending. Under the name Walkwood Properties, which had offices in Midlothian, the Underwoods promised investors 50 percent returns within 60 to 120 days, according to the indictment. In one of many strange twists, dozens of “investors” cashed out with large gains.

Man accused of $8 billion fraud found in Fredericksburg

Sir R. Allen Stanford, who is accused by the Securities and Exchange Commission of perpetrating an $8 billion financial scheme, was found in Fredericksburg yesterday by Richmond FBI agents. The Texas native, who resides on his estate in the U.S. Virgin Islands, was found visiting his girlfriend in Fredericksburg, according to news reports . He… Read more »

Beware snail mail ‘phishing’ scam

The U.S. Small Business Administration is warning small businesses not to respond to a wave of fake letters that request bank account information in order to qualify for federal tax rebates. The letters mimic the SBA letterhead and have been received by business owners across the country. None have been reported in Richmond yet, according… Read more »

Was LandAmerica’s 1031 business a Ponzi Scheme?

The gloves have come off as former LandAmerica customers fight to retrieve money they gave to the company to hold for a few months. Lawyers representing former customers of LandAmerica’s 1031 Exchange business have filed two class action lawsuits against the company, alleging that the Richmond-based firm committed fraud and was using money from new… Read more »

Madoff fraud: Three degrees of separation

“When you meet him, you’d like him.” – Pat Fishe, professor of finance at University of Richmond’s Robins School of Business. Fishe met alleged fraud Bernard Madoff in 2000 while serving as a visiting fellow at the Securities and Exchange Commission. On occasion, Madoff provided expert insight for the SEC.