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>>Jury Convicts Former Aequitas Executives

(Portland, OR) -- A federal jury has found the former CEO and executives at Lake Oswego based Aequitas investments guilty of fraud. CEO Robert Jesenik, Andrew MacRitchie and Brian Rice were convicted of conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud worth 300-million dollars. At its peak, Aequitas employed nearly 200 people. During the six week trial, prosecutors outlined the case that showed the executives misrepresented the company's use of investor money to repay other investors. Other co-conspirators agreed to plea agreements in the case.


>>Biden Meeting With McCarthy, Congressional Leaders Today 

(Washington, DC)  --  President Biden will sit down with Speaker Kevin McCarthy and other Congressional leaders later today to resume talks about the debt limit and avoiding default.  The U.S. could be unable to pay its bills and default on its debt as soon as June 1st if Congress doesn't act.  Republicans are demanding deep spending cuts in exchange for their votes to increase the nation's borrowing limit, while Biden wants an increase without any conditions attached.  McCarthy today signaled the two sides were still "far apart" on coming to a solution.  He accused the White House of not being serious in discussions.  Biden this weekend, however, said he was optimistic an agreement would be reached.

 

>>ChatGPT Creator To Testify Before Congress  

(Washington, DC)  --  The man behind ChatGPT will testify before Congress today.  OpenAI CEO Sam Altman will take questions from lawmakers calling for guardrails and regulation of artificial intelligence tools over fears it could be abused.  Altman's company is leading the development of AI with its popular generative language platform ChatGPT.  Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, who chairs the subcommittee Altman will appear before, said artificial intelligence urgently needs rules and safeguards.  

 

>>Appeals Court Affirms Elon Musk Still Needs a "Twitter Sitter"

(Austin, TX)  --  Elon Musk still needs a "Twitter Sitter."  A revised settlement agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission will remain in place, including the need for a third party to review what the Tesla CEO tweets about his company.  Musk had been trying to get the consent decree lifted, arguing that it violated his constitutional right to free speech. An appeals court disagreed and dismissed Musk's claim. The SEC put the consent decree in place in 2019 after Musk made what commissioners considered "false and misleading" statements about securing funding for Tesla in advance of a planned effort to take the company private. 

 

>>Vice Media Files For Chapter 11 Bankruptcy 

(Washington, DC)  --  Vice Media is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection following years of financial troubles.  A group of Vice's lenders has submitted a bid of 225-million dollars to acquire the company out of bankruptcy.  The move isn't expected to interrupt daily operations for Vice's businesses.  The media company known for sites including Vice and Motherboard had been restructuring and cutting jobs across its news business over recent months.  The company was considered to be worth five-point-seven billion at one point. 

 

>>Report: IRS Developing Free E-Filing Program

(Washington, DC)  --  Taxpayers could soon be able to file their taxes digitally and free of charge directly with the IRS.  The Washington Post reports the agency has been quietly developing its own prototype system that could disrupt the tax prep market.  The Inflation Reduction Act set aside 15-million dollars to create a free and direct filing program.  The system will reportedly be available to a small group of taxpayers through a pilot program by January.  Right now, the IRS works with several companies to provide free e-filing for qualifying taxpayers.

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