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Bloomberg BusinessweekBloomberg Businessweek

Bloomberg Businessweek July 1, 2019

Each issue of Businessweek features in-depth perspectives on the financial markets, industries, trends, technology and people guiding the economy. Get the digital magazine subscription today and draw upon Businessweek's timely incisive analysis to help you make better decisions about your career, your business, and your personal investments.

Country:
United States
Language:
English
Publisher:
Bloomberg Finance LP
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50 Issues

IN THIS ISSUE

access_time26 min.
america’s busiest bank robber was hooked

The first time he got $2,151. The second time it was $2,122. The third time, $2,760. When Anthony Hathaway spotted the black SUV with the tinted windows, he was pretty certain the end was near. The guys blowing leaves across from the KeyBank he’d been casing all afternoon seemed a little fishy, too—because it was February in Seattle and spitting rain. But that could have been the heroin talking, so Hathaway wasn’t certain he was under surveillance until he saw the same black SUV pull into a parking lot, turn around, and pass by him again. “I just had a feeling,” he said later. “But for some reason I didn’t care.” Hathaway drove to a nearby Burgermaster, parked the minivan he’d borrowed from his sister, and injected the last of his heroin. He stayed…

access_time6 min.
to catch a redwood thief

Deep into a California forest, up a steep hill and surrounded by ferns and branches, Ranger Branden Pero came across the victim, brutally attacked by ax and chainsaw. The clue that led him to this remote patch of the Redwood National and State Parks was a pile of rocks. The onetime stone barrier, now dismantled, had blocked access to a disused logging road. As Pero walked down the unpaved track to investigate in January last year, he came across the barest outline of a fresh path. It led directly to the crime scene. The victim was a tree. Specifically, it was a burl—a rounded protrusion from an ancient redwood that bulged out from the lower portion of the trunk. Burls contribute to a forest’s complex ecosystem of growth and regeneration. In…

access_time1 min.
so you want to buy your kid into college

For most of the modern era, there have been two ways to get your offspring into a prestigious U.S. university: hope they’re the real deal with legitimate academic chops—aka the front door—or make a major donation to the university—aka the back door. Either way, there were no guarantees. Then, on March 12, we learned about a third way: the side door, described by college counselor and cooperating witness Rick Singer in a 204-page federal indictment charging dozens of people in an elaborate scheme to falsify applications and pay off college gatekeepers. There were any number of ways to take the side door: getting your kid more time on standardized tests by faking a learning disability; hiring someone to take the tests for them; lying about your kid’s athletic abilities; and…

access_time24 min.
king of the snitches

I. THE RAID When the FBI showed up at the door of his penthouse in Miami Beach, fashion photographer Baruch Vega was drinking merlot with a group of models, stylists, and assistants. The group had just returned from two weeks of shoots in Puerto Rico and Cancún. They were preparing for another in Jamaica the next day. It was March 21, 2000. Vega was 50 and feeling like he’d hit his prime. Trim and tan, he owned a nine-seat Hawker jet and was a fixture at South Beach’s trendy restaurants—always wearing a tight black T-shirt and surrounded by beautiful women. He was thinking of trying to make one of them his fourth wife. But this fabulous life was actually a cover. Although none of his four daughters or his fashion friends knew it,…

access_time4 min.
to beat the sec, run out the clock

Over the course of 12 years, Charles Kokesh quietly misappropriated more than $30 million from investors, a jury found in 2014. Kokesh, now 71, cultivated some expensive and unusual hobbies, such as importing Argentine polo ponies and participating in cowboy-style shooting competitions, according to trial testimony. But the really unusual part of the story is how the U.S. Supreme Court decided he wouldn’t have to pay back most of the cash. Kokesh started four funds in the 1980s and ’90s. The pitch: They’d finance promising technology companies. Thousands of people ended up investing more than $100 million in them. Geoff Shepard was one. He put $5,000 into a fund in 1986, hoping he’d get in early on the next big thing. “You would have thought we could hit several home runs…

access_time14 min.
when the free fuel caught fire

The morning before 137 people died in Mexico’s deadliest pipeline explosion, clouds gathered on the horizon above Tlahuelilpan, a town two hours north of Mexico City. As the rising sun flicked the mountains poking out of the flatlands on Jan. 18, locals who worked in the nearby fields or factories left home to earn their daily wage. “PEOPLE WERE FIGHTING, OTHERS LAUGHING, AND MOST WERE DRUNK ON THE FUMES. THEY WERE THROWING GAS AT EACH OTHER” The day passed like any other. Around 2:30 p.m., 25 soldiers on patrol spotted a horde of people jostling and yelling at Mile 140 of the Tuxpan-Tula pipeline. They were engaged in another of the area’s major occupations: siphoning gasoline. That wasn’t surprising in and of itself. The patrol was there to protect the pipeline, which carries…

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