- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 2, 2009

MARYLAND

GREENBELT

Ex-NASA scientist put on probation

A former scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center has been fined and sentenced to probation for taking part in NASA contracts given to his wife’s company.

Mark Schoeberl, 60, of Silver Spring, on Tuesday was fined $10,000 and ordered to perform 50 hours of community service at sentencing.

According to the plea agreement, Schoeberl took part in matters in which he knew his wife had a financial interest. His wife owned Animated Earth, which manufactured software and kiosk displays.

Prosecutors said Schoeberl asked a colleague to approve a $20,000 appropriation directly to Animated Earth and directed financial personnel to initiate a $60,000 procurement of software to be bought from Animated Earth.

DISTRICT

Ex-nightclub owner guilty of tax evasion

The former owner of several D.C. nightclubs has been convicted of tax evasion after a search of his home uncovered nearly $2 million in cash.

Abdul Karim Khanu, 42, of Potomac and Bowie, was found guilty Tuesday in federal court of evading taxes for 2002 and 2003.

Prosecutors said Khanu skimmed millions of dollars in cash from two nightclubs he owned, DC Live and Platinum, for his personal use and to pay employees. Authorities found $1.9 million in cash and a double set of books when they searched his house.

VIRGINIA

ALEXANDRIA

Instructors: Yoga regs unconstitutional

The state of Virginia wants to make sure that if you yearn to be a yoga instructor, the people who teach you the Half Moon, the Sleeping Vishnu and the Upward Facing Dog poses know what they’re doing.

But three yoga instructors filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Virginia regulators, claiming that the state’s plan to license yoga teacher-training programs is an unconstitutional restriction of free speech.

“It’s just daft. It’s just a ridiculous idea,” said Suzanne Leitner-Wise, one of the plaintiffs and a yoga instructor who has provided training to U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, Virginia Democrat. “It’s the students who determine whether you’re a competent teacher,” not the state.

The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia, a regulatory body, planned to impose licensure requirements on yoga teacher-training programs by the end of the year, but has agreed to wait a few months at the request of state legislators.

The council does not want to regulate all yoga teaching, but says it has a duty to regulate the training of teachers.

CHARLOTTESVILLE

Kaine: New revenue to accompany cuts

Gov. Tim Kaine said tax exemptions are likely to be shaved along with state spending for services and programs in an austere budget he will submit later this month.

Mr. Kaine has made nearly $7 billion in cuts and other budget-balancing maneuvers because of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

He told the Associated Press on Tuesday that he will again propose eliminating the “dealer discount,” a break retailers once got for collecting and remitting sales taxes to the state.

That could put about $70 million a year back into a strained 2010-2012 budget that Mr. Kaine said will probably require $3.5 billion in new cuts.

He had proposed eliminating the small break for merchants in the 2009 General Assembly session, but lawmakers rejected it.

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