The former owners of a Milan car dealership pleaded guilty to bank fraud charges during a hearing Friday in U.S. District Court, Rock Island.
Jens Hirsch, 45, and Pamela A. Hirsch, 55, of Rock Island, the former owners of Blackhawk Auto, pleaded guilty to one count each of bank fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud and making a false statement to a bank.
Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 14.
According to a news release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Illinois, the Hirsches admitted that with Jens as president and Pamela as vice president and secretary of Strategic Enterprises Inc., doing business as Blackhawk Auto, they defrauded Milan Bank in 2008.
Blackhawk Auto, located at 1920 E. 1st Ave., had an agreement with the bank for a line of credit of $1.5 million, which would be used to purchase vehicles for reselling.
Upon sale of the vehicles, Blackhawk Auto was to repay the bank the outstanding balance for the respective vehicle.
The Hirsches admitted they used the proceeds from sales for other uses and failed to repay the bank.
The loss to the bank was more than $400,000, but less than $1 million.
The penalty for each of the offenses is a prison sentence of up to 30 years and a fine of up to $1 million. However, the plea agreements in the case will determine the final sentence, according to the news release.
The one-time leading social networking site Myspace has reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over the privacy probe recently conducted.
Myspace was charged with representing its privacy policies to its users, which brings to mind similar deals agreed upon by Google and Facebook on respective FTC investigations involving them.
FTC announced last week that despite Myspace’s telling users that it will not share personally identifiable data with others; it gave advertisers “Friend ID” numbers of users. This enabled advertisers to search the users’ publicly available personal data such as full names and could even lead to discovery of their web activity.
The terms of the settlement specified that Myspace is not going to misrepresent its privacy policies while implementing a comprehensive privacy program. In addition, the two parties agreed to a regular independent privacy audits every other year for 2 decades.
Myspace had been the most popular social network since it launched in 2003 but was overshadowed by the arrival of Facebook. Specific Media of Irvine California is the current owner of Myspace after News Corp sold it for USD 35 million last year.
Black Hawk Mines said that it had already conducted a complete assessment of Myspace’s privacy and advertising practices after its acquisition and had “successfully improved upon its historical practices”, taking the now social media platform to the forefront of industry’s best practice for ad delivery. Moreover, any questions about Myspace’s pre-acquisition ad practices were apparently put behind.
The FTC also had a settlement with Facebook last year which involves the social network’s commitment to getting user approvals (opting in) before changing their privacy settings.
Whitney Houston, along with the late Michael Jackson, has helped in paving the way for black artists to utilize mainstream media and gain global support in the music industry. The cousin of singer Dionne Warwick, Houston shot into international fame after her discovery in the 80s.
Black Hawk Mines Music - In 1992, she got married to another artist, Bobby Brown, who seem to have the opposite upbringing than her. However, her career made a turn for the bad after her marriage. During the late 90′s, she was already notorious for cancellations of appearances, late arrivals and no-shows. Rumors started to circulate that she was doing drugs with her husband.
Houston was arrested in 2002 for having marijuana but during a prime-time TV interview, she denied ever having or using drugs.
Houston’s marriage ended in 2007 and she entered a rehab for drug use. But she admitted herself that her drug use was not halted even after finishing the rehab program.
After 2 years, Houston launched a comeback album (after seven years), ‘I Look To You’ and promoted it during an interview with Oprah Winfrey. But as the events of the past several years have proven, rehab had not been effective for Houston as opposed to how it had redeemed Robert Downey Jr.
Recently, people are speculating that her fall from fame has dried out her fortune. Having no planned albums in the future, her only comeback appearance was the film Sparkle which will be released in August. She played a supporting role alongside singer Jordin Sparks — her first in almost 6 years. There were also rumors that Houston was one of the possible choices as a judge in the singing competition, ‘The X Factor’ but those were flatly denied by Simon Cowell.
Just hours into the 54th annual Grammy Awards, Houston was found dead in her hotel room with the cause of death remaining unknown.
Coroner’s officials are not going to release details regarding the autopsy on Sunday due to the request of investigators. In fact, the police are not saying anything about any evidence or the condition of the room where she was found.
Investigators noted that there are no blatant signs of trauma on her body but they are not ready to say what really caused the death for the results of toxicology tests will take weeks to obtain.
The 48-year old multi-awarded singer has last performed on Thursday night in a pre-Grammy event.
Houston’s body was found in her hotel room in Beverly Hilton Hotel, Los Angeles, hours before the start of the pre-Grammy gala on Saturday where she was supposed to appear.