Page 9 - Business Facts

Tehran, Iran. Two people were sentenced to death for committing fraud in Iran. How much did they embezzle to deserve that?

In the biggest fraud case in Iran’s history, four people were sentenced to death in 2012 for their involvement in banking fraud amounting to $2.6 billion. The charges were “corruption on Earth and disrupting the country’s economy.”

The owners of Amir Mansour Aria Development Co. Allegedly bribed bank managers to get loans and letters of credit. Seven state and private banks were reportedly connected to the fraud, which involved forging letters of credit from the partially state-owned Bank Saderat to secure loans for purchasing state-owned companies.

The fraud reportedly extended over a four-year period, but became more serious in the months before the scandal broke in September 2011. According to Iranian newspapers, Iranian businessman Amir-Mansour Aria masterminded the scam. The head of a judicial investigations unit has called the case “the most unprecedented financial corruption case in the history of Iran.”

Thirty nine suspects were arrested for their involvement; four got the death penalty and two received life sentences. The rest were handed down prison sentences — some as long as 25 years. They were also ordered to return the assets.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had campaigned against corruption before taking office in 2005 and so he came under attack when critics blamed his close aide and relative, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, of having ties with the main suspect. The government vehemently denied any involvement in the fraud.


Bank of America agreed to pay $410 million to settle a lawsuit brought against them—but they say they didn't do anything wrong

Bank of America has been accused of manipulating debit transactions in order to charge excessive overdraft fees. The bank denies any wrongdoing, but has agreed to settle it's part in the case by creating a $410 million settlement fund to reimburse Class Members.

The Bank of America overdraft fee settlement stems from many consumer complaints, including that of Plaintiff Ralph Tornes, who sued Bank of America for charging him nearly $500 in overdraft fees! He alleges that the bank rearranged the order in which it processed his purchases. Torres claims that Bank of America did not process his purchases in chronological order. Instead they rearranged them from largest to smallest so that he had to pay three $35 overdraft fees instead of only one.

If you had a Bank of America checking account or savings account that you could access with a Bank of America debit card, anytime between January 1, 2001 and May 24, 2011, and you were charged one or more overdraft fees as a result of Bank of America’s practice of posting debit card transactions from highest to lowest dollar amount, you are considered a Class Member of the Bank of America overdraft fee class action settlement.

As part of the Bank of America overdraft settlement, Class Members will receive payments or account credits for the unlawful overdraft fees they paid


Grand Theft Auto gamemakers deliberately initiated publicity stunts to boost sales. It worked!

The game Grand Theft Auto (GTA) was shrouded in controversy from it's inception. It was condemned in Britain, France and Germany and was banned from Brazil due to it's graphic portrayal of 'extreme violence' and it's 'glorification of criminal activity.' However, it remains one of the most popular games on the market today.

How did it become so popular? Rockstar played a very successful marketing game. They hired publicist Max Clifford, who planted sensational stories in tabloids and proved that there is no such a thing as 'bad publicity.'

The creator of the game, Mike Dailly stated: "He designed all the outcry, which pretty much guaranteed MPs would get involved…He'd do anything to keep the profile high." The publicity sparked moral outrage among right-wing politicians and activist groups alike.

Co-creator David Jones is adamant that they were not going out of their way to make the game controversial. He said: "We always did everything from the perspective of what's going to be the most fun. It just naturally kept pushing us down the darker direction."

Grand Theft Auto V has sparked controversy yet again. In a segment of the game the mission 'By The Book', contains player-initiated torture. The methods used in this mission are kneecapping, electrocution, dental extraction, and waterboarding.


Some awesome lists!

There is a McDonald's in Australia that plays classical music to annoy its patrons!

Teenage hoodlums beware. A McDonald's in Mount Annan, Sydney Australia, has been casually forcing teenagers off of its premises by playing classical music late at night.

This strategy was put in place to prevent the adolescents from hanging out in McDonald's through the late hours of the night.

Is the strategy working? Well, the store's operations manager, Matthew Watson, stated that "we've noticed a reduction in the number of young people hanging around, but we'll have to reassess it properly in a couple of weeks."

People in the neighbourhood around the McDonald's have also noticed that teenagers are causing less fuss and lingering around in the parks less after hours. In fact, the McDonald's restaurant apparently turns up their music really loud when they notice teenagers lingering in the car park. This causes the teenagers to leave almost immediately.

Of course, there have been a few people who are genuinely confused as to why teenagers are fleeing classical music, as if it is unbearable to listen to. Most people find it soothing, and some have even stated that they might stay at the McDonald's restaurants even longer.


The CEO of Blockbuster once mailed the CEO of Netflix a kitchen sink! Find out why

The rivalry between Netflix and Blockbuster became apparent the moment the CEO of Netflix, Reed Hastings, tried to sell his small business to Blockbuster. Blockbuster laughed in his face and told him that his home delivery DVD service isn't worth anything to them. Flash forward ten years later, Netflix is worth billions of dollars and Blockbuster has filed for bankruptcy.

Obviously, there's a middle part of this story that most people don't know. When Blockbuster was still valued at more than Netflix, the CEO of Netflix tried to combine his services with some of Blockbuster's already existing ones—but because of trust issues, a deal was never made.

Eventually, Blockbuster began to make desperate attempts to fix their mistake of not purchasing Netflix. According to Reed Hastings, Blockbuster was "throwing everything at them except the kitchen sink".

The following day, Reed Hastings received a kitchen sink from the CEO of Blockbuster, John Antioco.



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