Thu05052016

News

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Gregory Helfrich

Santa Clara Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a Los Altos Hills man they suspect repeatedly molested a child decades ago.

Detectives arrested Gregory Helfrich, 54, on a warrant at his Old Page Mill Road home April 27 and...

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Schools

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students


Courtesy of Jessica Harell
Blach Intermediate School seventh-grader Paris Harrell, who loves science and animals, recently received a scholarship from the local branch of the AAUW to attend Tech Trek camp.

It’s not every day that a junior hig...

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Community

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner


Federici

Longtime Los Altos resident Mario Federici, who turned 98 Feb. 24, is a man of many languages. He shared his knowledge with thousands of students during his long career as a teacher.

Federici was born and raised in Italy, where he stud...

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Comment

Attend an event, get involved, have fun: Editorial

You don’t have to run for city council to get involved in the community. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending a Los Altos event. You’ll have plenty of opportunities, as the May and June calendars are bustling with activity.

The Dow...

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Special Sections

Racing around Monterey

Racing around Monterey


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The easy handling of the VW Golf R, above, makes for an ideal ride along the Big Sur coast.

 

When automotive journalists are asked to list their favorite places in the world to drive, Monterey alway...

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Business

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations


Courtesy of Eureka
Eureka, a new restaurant in downtown Mountain View, highlights local craft beer and whiskeys on a menu of food spanning from sea to farm.

Craft beer and fancy whiskeys headline the menu at Eureka, the new restaurant that opene...

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People

Stepping Out

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'


Courtesy of Palo Alto Players
The Baker’s Wife, left, and Cinderella’s erstwhile Prince stand out in the Palo Alto Players production of “Into the Woods.”

Little Red Riding Hood sets forth at the outset of “Into the...

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Spiritual Life

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International


Courtesy of Los ALtos United Methodist Church
Hidden Villa will bring some of its farm animals to Los Altos United Methodist Church Sunday to support the nonprofit Heifer International.

Los Altos United Methodist Church is scheduled to salute th...

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Defendant cites SEC unfairness, inaccuracy in court case: Other Voices

My companies and I have been the subject of numerous articles in your publication over the past 15 months. I write this letter to set the record straight on a number of issues regarding the lawsuit SEC v. Small Business Capital Corp., et al.

The first issue is that the SEC indisputably used false financial illustrations throughout their lawsuit. This is not a matter of conjecture, as the SEC has admitted to using an improper formula. The SEC is the country’s foremost regulatory authority on accounting matters. Yet it managed to make “good-faith mistakes” (SEC’s term in its lawsuit pleadings) to overstate the funds’ actual distributions by 54 percent and, from there, make “Ponzi-like scheme” allegations. The allegations were used to seize $45 million of invested monies, much of this from local investors.

This is a civil lawsuit matter. However, the criminal equivalent of what the SEC has done, with its false formulas, is called “planting evidence” and creating false pretense. Additionally, the SEC falsely labeled the court-appointed receiver a “licensed CPA” in this lawsuit when he is not a CPA at all. While the rest of the business world calls such actions “fraud,” the SEC and the receiver are able to describe these matters as “good-faith mistakes.” Their actions make a mockery of the public’s trust in federal regulatory oversight.

The second issue is “bureaucratic and regulatory creep.” The subject businesses were in good standing with federal and state regulators at the time of the injunction. This includes oversight by the U.S. Small Business Administration that was involved with the investment fund’s federal licensing. Post-Bernie Madoff, the SEC tripled its enforcement actions. This includes reviewing companies that have never been advised of any need to register with the SEC and who, in fact, were already registered to issue securities under the state. Is it fair for a federal agency to suddenly apply the standards of publicly traded companies to small, nontraded private investment funds that had no prior federal regulatory oversight?

The third issue is the actions of the SEC to interfere with due process for legal representation. Both the SEC and the receiver have submitted to the court substantial numbers of false statements and material omissions. A “pro se” defendant (self-represented) faces huge obstacles in being able to conduct discovery (fact finding), and with establishing legal arguments in a format acceptable to the court. In the matter of this lawsuit, the receiver’s attorneys have, time and again, refused to provide information to the court by citing that this writer did not “cross his t’s or dot his i’s” in his requests.

Additionally, the court in its ruling stated the equivalent of “we’re not going to go through your information” to see if you have proved your point.

The court recently ruled in favor of the SEC in its request for summary judgment, which means that this lawsuit may never go to trial. This is a substantial disappointment not just to myself, but also to the scores of investment fund members who have written the court strong letters of disapproval.

More information on this lawsuit is available at markfeathers.com. An appeal was filed Aug. 29 with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the court’s summary judgment in favor of the SEC.

To read the court’s ruling in its entirety, visit this story online.

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