- - Wednesday, June 9, 2010

CALIFORNIA

Day-laborer crackdown OK’d

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal appeals court says the California city of Redondo Beach can enforce a local ordinance prohibiting job solicitation and arrest day laborers.

A divided 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday reversed a lower-court decision.

The appeals court says the city’s ordinance, modeled after a Phoenix law upheld by the same court, was a reasonable response to traffic problems that officials said day laborers, soliciting work, caused at two city intersections.

Redondo Beach’s law was enacted in the 1980s but not enforced until 2004, when 60 day laborers were arrested in stings by undercover police posing as people seeking to hire workers.

Judge Kim Wardlaw, a 1995 appointee of President Clinton, dissented from the 2-1 majority, writing that the ordinance violated the laborers’ free-speech rights.

FLORIDA

Ex-lawyer sentenced for Ponzi scheme

FORT LAUDERDALE — Disbarred lawyer Scott Rothstein, whose seemingly unlimited wealth bought palatial homes, exotic cars and mega-yachts, was sentenced Wednesday to 50 years in prison for operating a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme using faked legal settlements.

The sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge James I. Cohn was below the 100-year maximum Rothstein faced for five felony convictions, including racketeering conspiracy, money-laundering conspiracy and wire fraud.

Rothstein, who turns 48 on Thursday, hoped for a 30-year sentence because of his extensive cooperation with investigators, and prosecutors could later ask for up to one-third off his sentence because of continued assistance.

HAWAII

2 soldiers charged in $50,000 scheme

HONOLULU — A federal grand jury has indicted two soldiers based at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii on conspiracy, bribery and money-laundering charges.

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