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Leasing News is a web site that posts information, news, and
entertainment for the commercial bank, finance and leasing industry


Equipment Asset Manager
Los Angeles, California

Experience in heavy equipment required, ideal Class 8 trucks. Salary commensurate, performance bonus.
Call Shervin Rashti direct: 213-599-7660 or
send resume
Maxim Commercial Capital is a commercial finance company committed to fostering the growth of small and middle market companies by providing creative and flexible asset-backed financing solutions


Monday, December 23, 2013

Today's Equipment Leasing Headlines

Merry Christmas
  Happy Hanukkah
   Celebrate Kwanzaa
“God bless us every one.”
   Last Call
    Salvation Army Kettle
     Classified Ads---Asset Management
  Search for News on Sheldon Player
 November Leasing Was Down 13.2%
  by Kit Menkin
   “Should I ask about receiving a year-end bonus?”
Career Crossroad---By Emily Fitzpatrick/RII
     Classified Ads---Help Wanted
   Alexa Top Leasing Web Sites
December 22, 2013 Ratings
Leasing 102 by Mr. Terry Winders, CLP
  Bank TARP Deferral Tide Subsides
SNL Financial
  Top Stories December 16-December 20
(You May Have Missed One)
   Differences Between Christmas and Chanukah
    A Present for Santa
Poem by Barry Marks, Esq.
   Yellow Labrador Mix
West Monroe, Louisiana Adopt-a-Dog
   CEO of Debt Collection Agency Sentenced to Four Years
in Federal Prison for $10 Million Fraud Scheme
      Meet Me in St. Louis/It's a Wonderful Life
      A Christmas Story/Tim Burton's the Nightmare
       Before Christmas/A Christmas Tale
Fernando Croce Christmas Edition, Part Two
News Briefs---
BlackBerry posts $4.4-billion loss,
56% drop in revenue in quarter
   VIDEO: Instant Mobile Shopping with US Bank
    Swiss Banks Tell American Expats to Empty Their Accounts
     Banks Mostly Avoid Providing Bitcoin Services
      Ally Financial to pay $98 million for auto loan discrimination
       Expert: U.S. slow to adopt more secure credit cards
        Congressman, 121 others lose money in ‘stock loan’ scam
         Oracle jumps back into cloud acquisitions;
          Facebook prices secondary offering
           2014 Restaurant Traffic Outlook Up Slightly
The 2013 Gonzo Banker Awards
              Ones to Watch: Teddy’s Bigger Burgers
               China Deal Gives Apple Big Market To Court
                 Haunted by TV Holiday Shows Past

Broker/Funder/Industry Lists | Features (collection)
Top Ten Stories Chosen by Readers | Top Stories last six months (Be Careful of Doing Business)

  You May have Missed---
   SparkPeople--Live Healthier and Longer
    Sports Briefs---
      California Nuts Brief---
       "Gimme that Wine"    
          This Day in American History
           Daily Puzzle
               Weather, USA or specific area
                 Traffic Live----

######## surrounding the article denotes it is a “press release” and was not written by Leasing News nor information verified, but from the source noted. When an article is signed by the writer, it is considered a “by line.” It reflects the opinion and research of the writer.

Working Capital Loans $10,000-$250,000

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God bless us every one”

Merry Christmas
  Happy Hanukkah
   Celebrate Kwanzaa

The Cratchit family drew round the hearth, in what Bob Cratchit called a circle, meaning half a one; and at Bob Cratchit's elbow stood the family display of glass. Two tumblers, and a custard-cup without a handle.

These held the hot stuff from the jug, however, as well as golden goblets would have done; and Bob served it out with beaming looks, while the chestnuts on the fire sputtered and cracked noisily. Then Bob proposed:

'A Merry Christmas to us all, my dears. God bless us.' Which all the family re-echoed. `God bless us every one.' said Tiny Tim, the last of all.

--from "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens

From all of us at Leasing News---

Steve Chriest, Emily Fitzpatrick, Gretchen Gabriel, Rick Jones, John Kenny, Kim McArthur, Ralph Mango, Kit Menkin, Tom McCurnin, Mr. Terry Winders.

Advisory Board

Chairman, Advisory Board
Bob Teichman, CLP Teichman Financial Training, Sausalito, CA.
Ed Castagna, InPlace Auction, Melville, NY
Steve Crane, CLP, Bank of the West, San Ramon, CA
Dale Davis, Endeavor Financial Services, Costa Mesa , CA
Phil Dushey, Global Financial Services, Manhattan, NY
Ken Greene, Esq., Kenneth Charles Greene Law Offices,
Westlake Village, Ca.
Shawn D. Halladay, The Alta Group, Salt Lake City, UT
Robert S. Kieve, Empire Broadcasting, San Jose, CA
Bruce Kropschot, Kropschot Financial Services, The Villages, FL
Bruce Lurie, Douglas-Guardian Services Corporation, Houston, TX
Andrew Lea, HCL CapitalStream, Pt. Richmond, CA
Allan Levine, Madison Capital, LLC., Owings Mills, MD
Ralph Mango, comScore, Reston, Virginia
Don Myerson, BSB Leasing, Colorado, Hawaii
Armon L. Mills, CPA, J.H. Cohn, LLP, San Diego, CA
Tom McCurnin, Barton, Klugman & Oetting, Los Angeles, CA
Hugh Swandel, The Alta Group, Canada
Paul Weiss, Panthera Leasing, San Francisco, CA
Rosanne Wilson, CLP, 1st Independent Leasing, Beaverton, OR
Ginny Young, former Brava Capital, Orange, CA

"Peace on Earth"


Last Call

(Click to learn more)

SAN FRANCISCO---In the winter of 1891, Salvation Army Captain Joe McFee put a crab pot on the San Francisco docks and asked citizens to "keep the pot boiling" by making donations so he could feed the needy at Christmastime. These days, we all know this "crab pot" to be
The Salvation Army Christmas Kettle



Classified Ads---Asset Management

(These ads are “free” to those seeking employment or
looking to improve their position)

Portland, Oregon
"I am seeking full time position utilizing my vehicle and truck asset management skills and experience. I have been deemed by past employers as an excellent problem solver, high integrity, process developer followed by attention to detail." Del Snode. Resume

Free Posting for those seeking employment in Leasing:

All “free” categories “job wanted” ads:



Search for News on Sheldon Player

Sorry to report the only news is that after contacting nine county medical offices, no record has been found of the demise of Sheldon Player of Equipment Acquisition Resources, Palatine, Illinois.

Further communication with attorneys involved in the many cases brought forward before the Equipment Acquisition Resources bankruptcy also have produced no confirmation, just more rumors.

One observation made to Leasing News: "I’m sure he’s on a beach somewhere by now spending his stolen millions under a new identity."

Previous story:




November Leasing Was Down 13.2%
by Kit Menkin

(Chart: Leasing News)

Despite the Equipment Leasing and Finance Association MFL-25 report that new business was up 3% from November, 2012, the fact is leasing new business was down in November 13.2%, falling from $7.6 billion to $6.6 billion.

MLFI-25 New Business Volume (Year Over Year Comparison)
click to make larger

(Chart: ELFA)

(Yes, it was up 3% comparing year-to-year numbers).

The month of December generally shows high gains by the ELFA MFLI-25 chart, undoubtedly from those who report and have customers who renew their operating leases, such as ADP, as well as others on the list (see list at end of article).

As you can see above, the real concern should be about the first quarter as historically it is the lowest period of new business each year. This fact should give great concern to the industry, especially considering the 179 Tax advantage expires the end of 2013, with little hope that Congress will be kind to business with incentives. I know everyone is in favor of tax cuts, but for someone else, not for financing and leasing.

It reminds me of the saying by Russell B. Long, US Senator from Louisiana, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee for fifteen years from 1966 to 1981. He was a great exponent of tax law. He was aware of some of the political ramifications of "tax reform," stating that it simply meant "Don't tax you, don't tax me, tax that fellow behind the tree!"

(Bring back the Investment Tax Credit!)

These 13 charts are quite eye opening from the non-profit, non-partisan think tank Economic Policy Institute, well worth your time to view them:
(copy and place into your browser, if you don’t connect)

ELFA MLFI-25 Participants

ADP Credit
BancorpSouth Equipment Finance
Bank of America
Bank of the West
BB&T Bank
BMO Harris Equipment Finance
Canon Financial Services
Caterpillar Financial Services
De Lage Landen Financial Services
Dell Financial Services
Direct Capital Corporation
EverBank Commercial Finance
Fifth Third Equipment Finance
First American Equipment Finance, a City National Bank Company
GreatAmerica Financial Services
Hitachi Credit America
HP Financial Services
Huntington Equipment Finance
John Deere Financial
Key Equipment Finance
LEAF Commercial Capital
M&T Bank
Marlin Leasing
Merchants Capital
PNC Equipment Finance
RBS Asset Finance
SG Equipment Finance
Siemens Financial Services
Stearns Bank
Susquehanna Commercial Finance
TCF Equipment Finance
US Bancorp Equipment Finance
Verizon Capital
Volvo Financial Services
Wells Fargo Equipment Finance




Should I ask about receiving a year-end bonus?”
Career Crossroad---By Emily Fitzpatrick/RII

Question: Year-end is fast approaching, how do I know or may I ask if I am receiving a year-end bonus?

Answer: I am assuming you are with a fairly new employer (1-1.5 years). If under a year, it is not typical that a new operational-type employee would receive a year-end bonus. However, if you are in a sales type role, bonuses may be part of your “comp package” based on achieved/exceeded goals/targets.

Rule of Thumb: Year-end bonuses should be discussed/negotiated prior to acceptance of an employment offer. If you have failed to do so, inquire among employees who have at least three years of experience with the organization regarding historical bonus practices. Again, if you are employed with your company less than a few years and this was not negotiated during your employment offer, I would let it slide in 2013.

If you have been there approximately a year and have contributed to profits, gone above and beyond, etc… and you do not receive a year-end bonus, after the holidays, you may want to discuss with your direct supervisor as to why and how you would be eligible to participate in 2014’s year-end bonus program.

Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays

Emily Fitzpatrick
Sr. Recruiter
Recruiters International, Inc.
Phone: 954-885-9241
Cell: 954-612-0567
Invite me to Connect on LinkedIn
Also follow us on Twitter #RIIINFO

Career Crossroads Previous Columns


Leasing Industry Help Wanted


Senior Account Manager
Tustin, California

Min. 3 year equipment/vehicle leasing or finance industry experience, bachelors degree or higher, primary concentration on financing semi-trucks and trailers competitive salary commensurate with experience. Please click here for more information


Equipment Asset Manager
Los Angeles, California

Experience in heavy equipment required, ideal Class 8 trucks. Salary commensurate, performance bonus.
Call Shervin Rashti direct: 213-599-7660 or
send resume
Maxim Commercial Capital is a commercial finance company committed to fostering the growth of small and middle market companies by providing creative and flexible asset-backed financing solutions


For information on placing a help wanted ad, please click here:

Please see our Job Wanted section for possible new employees. 



Alexa Top Leasing Web Sites
December 22, 2013 Ratings

There were more visits in November for the leasing associations, most likely due to convention and convention news, as the latest has shown more back to "past positions" with Monitor Daily and Equipment Finance Advisor moving lower in the list (which is up, meaning more readers, as Google remains number one and Facebook number two.)

The CLP Foundation rating went back to its “past positions,” with most likely the introduction of their new site in November bringing many visitors.

November 20, 2013 Ratings

More about Alexa Internet:




Leasing 102
by Mr. Terry Winders, CLP


I have written many times that structure is the most important subject for discussion with a lessee or a structured program with a vendor. I have received questions on how to open the discussions on structure with a lessee that does not seem to be interested. So let’s discuss the order of the questions that may open the discussions. However the order depends on the lessee’s answers.

The first area of discussion is unusual cash flow or seasonal cash flow. If the lessee needs payments that follow the cash flow, an irregular payment lease would do a better job of that than a loan with level payments.

Next is question the actual term of use. We do not need a 36, 48 or 60 month term. The lease can end during a lull in the lessee’s business that may be any month of the year. A lot of accountants like the lease to end at the end of their year so they do have to create stub payments for the next year. A lease begins with the acceptance of the equipment but the termination is a function of when it is most convenient for the lessee.

The new accounting rules (if ever they come) will straight line the book depreciation and interest over the term of the lease instead of the expected term of use required on owned assets. Therefore the term of the lease will affect the size of the expense. So try and reach the lessee’s accountants for a suggestion of when to end the lease.

When dealing with vendors creating a special program that mirrors the actual use of the equipment if it is seasonal or create one the gives the lessee a few options on term and payment options.

In addition create a payment schedule that has payment factors for each month covering 33 months to 66 months. Then ask the lessee what size payments they want and fine what term gives them that payment.

When a true lease terminates and the lessee needs to purchase the equipment it is better to extend the lease with the same payment and let the term define the selling price and the purchase option will be a bargain but if nothing changes the accounting and tax will remain the same and the transaction will be good for both parties.

The largest value commercial equipment leasing brings to the table is its ability to adjust the payments to meet all of the needs of the lessee. If all you offer is level payments for 36, 48, or 60 months then you had better offer very low rates or you will not be very competitive. Leasing allows you to offer special terms that allow the lessor to make a living.

Mr. Terry Winders, CLP, has been a teacher, consultant, expert witness for the leasing industry for thirty years and can be reached at or 502-649-0448.

He invites your questions and queries.

Previous #102 Columns:


Mr. Terry Winders available as a consultant regarding assisting attorneys in resolving disputes or explaining procedures or reviewing documents as utilized in the finance and leasing industry.

He is the author of several books, including DVD's, as well as weekly columnist to Leasing News. He also performs audits of leasing companies as an expert on documentation, and has acted as an expert witness on leasing for litigation in legal and tax disputes, including before the IRS. He also has taught the senior bank examiners, how to review a bank leasing department, for the Federal Reserve in Washington D.C. and has trained the examiners for the FDIC on how to prepare a lease portfolio for sale.


(This ad is a “trade” for the writing of this column. Opinions
contained in the column are those of Mr. Terry Winders, CLP)




Bank TARP deferral tide subsides
SNL Financial

The number of U.S. banks and thrifts behind on quarterly TARP dividend payments has fallen to 56, according to a Dec. 10 report from the Treasury. This figure is down from 73 institutions in August, 89 in May and 113 in February, thanks to TARP redemptions and Treasury auctions.

In addition to the 56 banks and thrifts behind on quarterly payments, in November the Treasury sold its stake in five institutions with deferred dividends: Bridgeview Bancorp Inc., Madison Financial Corp., Midtown Bank & Trust Co., Pacific City Financial Corp. and Village Bank and Trust Financial Corp.

Collectively the 56 companies owe $580.2 million, or about 0.28% of the original $204.9 billion that 707 banks and thrifts received under the Treasury's Capital Purchase Program.

Under TARP, bank holding companies must pay cumulative dividends, and missed payments accrue. Banks without holding company status pay noncumulative dividends, and missed payments do not accrue. In some cases, regulators may restrict banks from paying dividends if accumulated earnings do not meet a certain threshold. Some banks also must attain shareholder approval before paying dividends.

Out of the 56 companies in question, 53 have deferred payments more than six times in the past, and 26 of these companies have agreed to have a Treasury observer assigned and attend board meetings. Under the terms of the CPP, the Treasury has the right to elect up to two directors to the board of any institution that misses six dividend payments. To date, a total of 129 institutions have missed six or more payments.

Six companies have missed 18 payments, and three companies have missed 19. Saigon National Bank has missed 20 payments, more than any bank in the country. Saigon has declined to have a Treasury observer attend its board meetings. The company declined SNL's request for comment.

Full Report and Analysis:


Top Stories December 16-December 20
(You May Have Missed One)

Here are the top stories opened by readers:

(1) No Confirmation on Sheldon Player
But It Is Even More Curious than Before
by Kit Menkin

(2) Did E.A.R.'s Sheldon Player Die from Prostate Cancer?
Not Been Able to Confirm

(3) Navitas Lease Opens New Equipment
Manufacturer Financing Division

(4) Leasing Court Cases
December 2013 Up-Date

(5) NAELB Seven New Members in November
Five Brokers/Two Funders

(6) Mele Kalikimaka from Hawai'i
Jimmy Buffett

(7) Leasing 102 by Mr. Terry Winders, CLP
General Accounting (GAPP)

(8) New Hires—Promotions

(9) Ascentium Availability

(10) Where To Advertise for Leasing Business
Find Your Niche

John Kenny Receivables Management

• End of Lease Negotiations & Enforcement 
• Fraud Investigations
• Credit Investigations • Asset Searches 
• Skip-tracing • Third-party Commercial Collections | ph 315-866-1167|

(Leasing News provides this ad as a trade for investigations
and background information provided by John Kenny)




Differences Between Christmas and Chanukah
by Dave Silverman

Christmas is one day, same day every year. December 25. Jews love Dec. 25th. It's another paid day off work. We go to movies and out for Chinese food, and Israeli dancing. Chanukah is 8 days. It starts the evening of the 24th of Kislev, whenever that falls. No one is ever sure. Jews never know until a non Jewish friend asks when Chanukah starts, forcing us to consult a calendar so we don't look like idiots. We all have the same calendar, provided free with a donation from either the World Jewish Congress, the kosher butcher, or the local Sinai Memorial Chapel (especially in Florida). 

Christmas is a major holiday. Chanukah is a minor holiday with the same theme as most Jewish holidays. They tried to kill us, we survived, let's eat. 

Christians get wonderful presents such as jewelry, perfume, stereos.... Jews get practical presents such as underwear, socks, or the collected works of the Rambam which looks impressive on the bookshelf. 

There is only one way to spell Christmas. No one can decide how to spell Chanukah, Chanuka, Chanukkah, Channukah, Hanukah, Hannuka, Hannukah. 

Christmas is a time of great pressure for husbands and boyfriends. Their partners expect special gifts. Jewish men are relieved of that burden. No one expects a diamond ring on Chanukah. 

Christmas brings enormous electric bills. Candles are used for Chanukah. Not only are we spared enormous electric bills, but we get to feel good about not contributing to the energy crisis. 

Christmas carols are beautiful. Silent Night, O Come O Ye Faithful.....Chanukah songs are about dreidels made from clay or having a party and dancing the horah. Of course, we are secretly pleased that many of the beautiful carols were composed and written by our tribal brethren. And don't Barbara Streisand and Neil Diamond sing them beautifully? Don’t forget, Irving Berlin wrote “White Christmas.”

A home preparing for Christmas smells wonderful. The sweet smell of cookies and cakes baking. Happy people are gathered around in festive moods. A home preparing for Chanukah smells of oil, potatoes and onions. The home, as always, is full of loud people all talking at once. 

Women have fun baking Christmas cookies. Women burn their eyes and cut their hands grating potatoes and onions for latkes on Chanukah. Another reminder of our suffering through the ages. 

Parents deliver to their children during Christmas. Jewish parents have no qualms about withholding a gift any of the eight nights. 

The players in the Christmas story have easy to pronounce names such as Mary, Joseph and Jesus. The players in the Chanukah story are Antiochus, Judah Maccabee, and Matta whatever. No one can spell it or pronounce it. On the plus side, we can tell our friends anything, and they believe we are wonderfully versed in our history.

In recent years, Christmas has become more and more commercialized. The same holds true for Chanukah, even though it is a minor holiday. It makes sense. How could we market a major holiday such as Yom Kipppur? Forget about celebrating. Think observing. Come to synagogue, starve yourself for 27 hours, become one with your dehydrated soul, beat your chest, confess your sins, a guaranteed good time for you and your family. Tickets a mere $200. per person. 

Next year: I’m putting up a Christmas tree!


Poem by Barry Marks, Esq.

A Present for Santa

This is the story of Samantha Dawes
And her Christmas present for Santa Claus.
She said, “He gives gifts to good girls and boys.
So why is it no one gives Santa Claus toys?”

But Sam had a problem, I bet you can guess.
She wondered what present would Santa like best?
Would he like a ball or a game or toy gun?
What kind of a thing would Santa call fun?

Would he like a kite, a bike or a bat?
No, I think the North Pole is too cold for that.
Perhaps a toy doggie to tuck in at night.
No he’s a grown person, that just doesn't seem right!

Would he fly in an airplane or sail in a boat?
Oh dear he’s too heavy to fly or to float!
A belt is too big, he’d look silly in shorts.
She pondered and worried and grew out of sorts.

Then finally it hit her! An idea so great
She knew it was worth her staying up late.
She hid and she waited all through Christmas Eve
Until Santa appeared and would you believe?

She jumped from her hiding place yelling, “Surprise”!
She really scared Santa. He popped out his eyes
“You should be in bed,” he said with a wink.
“But Santa I'm here for a reason. I think…

You should have a present so I'll give you this!”
And Samantha gave Santa a hug and a kiss.

Old Santa he smiled. A tear dropped from his eye.
“No one gives me presents I don't quite know why.
But this of all gifts is the best, you know
Merry Christmas and thank you! Now to bed. Ho Ho Ho!”

So here is the message to you girls and boys.
He doesn't want clothes or sailboats or toys.
If you want to give Santa a gift, leave a note
That says I LOVE SANTA, he’ll read what you wrote.

And if you do the same for your Mom and your Dad,
They’ll tell you your present is the best that they’ve had.
So when you listen for Santa to fly in from above,
Remember that Christmas all about love.

This is the story of Samantha Dawes
And her Christmas present for Santa Claus.
The story is silly but maybe it’s true
It’s the very best season to say I LOVE YOU!


Yellow Labrador Mix
West Monroe, Louisiana Adopt-a-Dog


"Hi there, I had a family but they moved away and didn't take me. A nice neighbor is taking care of me and trying to find me a LOVING family. I hope you'll give me a chance, I'll repay you with lots of love!"

This dog is NOT at the shelter. This is a courtesy listing. Please do not call or email the shelter as we have no further info. Contact info is below.

If you are interested in Dutchess, email

Ouachita Parish Animal Shelter
West Monroe, LA 71292


Adopt-a-Pet by Leasing Co. State/City

Adopt a Pet




### Press Release ############################

CEO of Debt Collection Agency Sentenced to Four Years
in Federal Prison for $10 Million Fraud Scheme

WASHINGTON, DC - Christy Romero, Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), and Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announce that Peter Pinto, 38, of East Quogue, N.Y., was sentenced last Thursday by U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport, Conn., to four years of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for his role in a more than $10 million dollar fraud scheme at Oxford Collection Agency, where Pinto served as president and chief executive officer.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Oxford Collection Agency (“Oxford”) was a private financial services company that engaged in accounts receivables management, primarily debt collecting, with offices in New York, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Businesses and other entities contracted with Oxford to collect debts on their behalf. Oxford’s clients included, among others, an educational institution, a laboratory, a computer company, and various banks. Oxford collected debts from consumers under the pretense that it would report all such collections to its clients and remit the appropriate amount to each client. However, Pinto and other Oxford executives routinely caused Oxford to collect debts that were never remitted to its clients. The co-conspirators referred to these unremitted collections as a client’s “backlog.” To hide the backlog, co-conspirators would make periodic fraudulent collection reports to certain clients that under-reported the amount of funds collected. Pinto and others diverted various funds from their client remittances and used them for their own ends.

Certain co-conspirators also transferred money from one client trust account to another client account, from Oxford’s operating account to a client account, or from a client account to Oxford’s operating account to cover various shortfalls and backlogs or to improperly use collections to directly fund Oxford’s operations.

“Peter Pinto, president and CEO of Oxford Collection Agency, orchestrated the $10 million fraud scheme—using intimidation and bribery to make it happen—that skimmed money from Oxford clients and investors,” said Christy Romero, Special Inspector General for TARP (SIGTARP). “Pinto was the ringleader behind the bribe payments made to a former manager at TARP recipient U.S. Bank in exchange for the bank’s collections business. The bribes began with expensive cigars and escalated to cash payments of as much as $5,000 per month disguised in cigar boxes. For his fraud, Pinto will spend the next four years in federal prison. SIGTARP and our law enforcement partners will ensure that those guilty of fraud related to TARP are held accountable for their crimes.”

Starting in April 2007, Oxford secured a line from credit from Connecticut-based Webster Bank, a bank that received funds through the U.S. Department of the Treasury Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), without informing Webster Bank about its significant client backlogs or outstanding payroll taxes. Pinto and others sent falsified financial statements to Webster Bank, eventually increasing the credit line to $6 million, and laundered funds from the credit line to promote the ongoing fraud scheme against their clients. During that same period, Pinto and others also solicited millions of dollars in investments from various investors, without ever disclosing to their investors the existence of their backlogs. Some of the investor funds into Pinto’s personal bank account without investor knowledge.

Oxford’s victims lost more than $10 million as a result of this scheme.

The investigation also has revealed that Oxford sometimes obtained and retained business with its banking clients by paying bribes and kickbacks to bank officials.

On May 11, 2012, Pinto pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering, and to one count of wire fraud.

Five other Oxford executives have pleaded guilty, including Pinto’s father and chairman of the board Richard Pinto, Pinto’s brother and Oxford vice president Patrick Pinto, vice president of finance and chief financial officer Randall Silver, executive vice president Charles Harris, and chief operations officer Carlos Novelli. Former assistant vice president at U.S. Bank, Wilbur Tate III, also pleaded guilty in relation to a conspiracy to accept bribes from executives at Oxford.

Richard Pinto was sentenced to five years of imprisonment. The other defendants await sentencing.

This matter is being investigated by SIGTARP, the Internal Revenue Service–Criminal Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Connecticut Securities, Commodities and Investor Fraud Task Force. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Liam Brennan and Special U.S. Attorney John McReynolds.

This prosecution was brought in coordination with President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, which was established to wage an aggressive and coordinated effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. SIGTARP is a member of the task force. To learn more about the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, please visit


The Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program investigates fraud, waste, and abuse in connection with TARP.

To report suspected illicit activity involving TARP, dial the SIGTARP Hotline: 1-877-SIG-2009 (1-877-744-2009).

#### Press Release #############################


((Please click on ad to learn more))
(Leasing News provides this ad “gratis” as a means
to help support the growth of Lease Police)


Leasing News: Fernando's View
by Fernando Croce

Special Christmas Edition, Part Two:

When it comes to celebrating Christmas with your loved ones, a great movie is as much of a seasonal staple as eggnog and mistletoe. So check out Netflix for the rest of our Yuletide recommendations!

Meet Me in St. Louis (Vincente Minnelli, 1944): Arguably Hollywood's greatest director of musicals, Vincente Minnelli delivered one of his most beloved films with this exquisite evocation of turn-of-the-century Americana, where he also met his future wife Judy Garland. Taking place over the course of the year 1904 in St. Louis, it chronicles the experiences of members of the Smith family. There's smitten middle daughter Esther (Garland), parents Anna (Mary Astor) and Alonzo (Leon Ames), and precocious youngest daughter Tootie (Margaret O'Brien, who won a Special Childer's Oscar for her performance). Affectionate, stylish, and filled with such unforgettable tunes as "The Trolley Song," "The Boy Next Door" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," this is a holiday treasure that even after several decades still leaves audiences with a glowing feeling.

It’s a Wonderful Life (Frank Capra, 1946): The story of the joys and travails of George Bailey (James Stewart) has long achieved a reverential spot in American pop culture. Who can forget Lionel Barrymore as a modern-day Scrooge, Henry Travers as Clarence the angel, and George’s joy as he finds his daughter Zuzu’s flower in his pocket? Still, there is a darker side to the movie that many viewers miss even today, a very thin line that separates the American Dream from a nightmare and combines hope and despair. It’s this balance, cathartically realized by director Frank Capra with help from Stewart’s deeply felt performance, that gives this classic masterpiece its enduring power, charm, and grace.

A Christmas Story (Bob Clark, 1983): Another iconic Yuletide movie, Bob Clark’s charmer is known to play on TV for days on end during Christmas season marathons. It’s easy to see why. Depicting the holiday through the eyes of a precocious nine-year-old boy, it glows with nostalgia and bubbles with irresistible humor. All young Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) wants is to survive childhood and get a BB gun from Santa, but things rarely go as planned when your parents (Melinda Dillon and Darren McGavin, both wonderful) think pink bunny suits make good gifts. In a movie filled with classic scenes, none is more memorable (or funnier) than Ralphie’s visit to a very cranky department-store St. Nick.

Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (Henry Selick, 1993): A rare treat that can be enjoyed on both Halloween and Christmas, this stop-animation classic would make for a great double-bill with the Bass-Rankin specials of the 1970s. The marvelously twisted plot follows fearsome but good-hearted ghoul Jack Skellington, who, despite being crowned Pumpkin King at Halloween Town, dreams of something besides macabre costumes and haunted houses. After a dose of Christmas spirit following a visit to the North Pole, Jack decides to spread holiday cheer the only way he can—kidnapping Santa Claus and delivering the presents himself. Directed by Henry Selick (“Coraline”) yet in every frame carrying the stamp of Tim Burton, this is a beautiful blend of the prankish and the poignant.

A Christmas Tale (Arnaud Desplechin, 2008): One of the most interesting filmmakers working today, French director Arnaud Desplechin offers a tragicomic banquet with this irresistible seasonal story. It follows the travails of the Vuillards, a large family often plagued by emotional and physical upheavals but is determined to put all troubles aside and pull through for the sake of the beloved matriarch Junon (French cinema legend Catherine Deneuve). With a record number of squabbling relatives and uncomfortable secrets, however, it’s a job easier said than done. Even though there’s no shortage of drama, the movie’s mood remains exhilarating, buoyed by strong emotions and an exceptional cast. With the holidays drawing near, audiences will have the chance to discover a new Christmas favorite to set aside the old classics. With subtitles.


News Briefs----

BlackBerry posts $4.4-billion loss, 56% drop in revenue in quarter,0,3084839.story

VIDEO: Instant Mobile Shopping with US Bank

Swiss Banks Tell American Expats to Empty Their Accounts

Banks Mostly Avoid Providing Bitcoin Services

Ally Financial to pay $98 million for auto loan discrimination

Expert: U.S. slow to adopt more secure credit cards

Congressman, 121 others lose money in Virginian’s ‘stock loan’ scam

Oracle jumps back into cloud acquisitions, Facebook prices secondary offering

2014 Restaurant Traffic Outlook Up Slightly; Mainly Thanks to Baby Boomers

The 2013 GonzoBanker Awards

Ones to Watch: Teddy’s Bigger Burgers

China Deal Gives Apple Big Market To Court

Haunted by TV Holiday Shows Past




--You May Have Missed It

12 Fascinating Facts About Apple and Steve Jobs


SparkPeople--Live Healthier and Longer

7 Myths and Facts about Chocolate
Melting the Myths for Good


Football Poem

The Quarterback

    He bends down 
To snap the ball 
The quarterback ready to receive 
The moment of tension is broken 
With the snap 
The battlefield engages 
The men move quick to the crowd 
The fans screams 
Are drowned out 
By the eternity 
Of struggle and pain 
The players endure 
For ten yards 
Till it starts again

*Inspired by Allan James Saywell

Adam Caldwell



Sports Briefs----

Broncos bounce Houston, clinch AFC West as Peyton Manning sets NFL record

Cardinals knock off Seahawks, 17-10

Patriots Strike Early, Roll Past Ravens 41-7

Chargers beat Raiders; playoff hopes live

'Houdini' Tony Romo turns incredible mess into impressive victory, but can he do it again?

Jeff Gordon grades the Rams after the victory against Tampa Bay.

Steelers Get Wild 38-31 Win Over Packers


California Nuts Briefs---

Goodbye, Candlestick

What's next for Candlestick Park

S.F. Fire Dept. dominates list of highest-paid city workers

Railroad museum exhibit marks 150 years of California state parks

Woody Allen brings his jazz band to the Bay Area


“Gimme that Wine”

What the nose knows about wine

Edgar M. Bronfman, Who Built a Bigger, More Elegant Seagram, Dies at 84

Canvasback Takes Flight

Niagara Wine Trail grows to 20 sites

Chinese billionaire killed in helicopter crash as he tours newly-acquired French vineyard

Free Mobile Wine Program

Wine Prices by vintage

US/International Wine Events

Winery Atlas\

Leasing News Wine & Spirits Page


This Day in History

    1620 - One week after the Mayflower arrived at Plymouth Harbor in present-day Massachusetts, construction of the first permanent European settlement in New England begins. By the mid-1640s, Plymouth's population numbered 3,000 people, but by then the settlement had been overshadowed by the larger Massachusetts Bay Colony to the north, settled by Puritans in 1629. The term "Pilgrim" was not used to describe the Plymouth colonists until the early 19th century and was derived from a manuscript in which Governor Bradford spoke of the "saints" who traveled to the New World as "pilgrimes." In 1820, the orator Daniel Webster spoke of "Pilgrim Fathers" at a bicentennial celebra tion of Plymouth's founding, and thereafter the term entered common usage.
1657--Hannah Duston, captured by Indians less than a week after the birth of her eighth child, was able to secure a hatchet with the help of an English boy captive while they were on the way back to the Indian village and she attacked their captors. She killed nine of the ten Indians and scalped them to prove the deed before escaping. She received 25 pounds from the British general in Boston who gave rewards for scalps.
    1776 – [First?] Continental Congress negotiated a war loan of $181,500 from France.
    1776 – Thomas Paine wrote “These are the times that try men’s souls.”
    1779 -Benedict Arnold, in absentia, court-martialed for “improper conduct.”
    1783- George Washington resigned his commission as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army in the senate chamber of the Maryland State House in Annapolis, where the Continental Congress was then meeting.
(lower part of:
    1788- Maryland votes to cede a 10 square mile area for District of Columbia
    1811 - A cold storm hit Long Island Sound with a foot of snow, gale force winds, and temperatures near zero. During the storm many ships were wrecked, and in some cases entire crews perished
    1823 - An anonymous poem appeared in the Troy (NY) Sentinel, "A Visit from St. Nicholas," later known better as "'Twas the Night Before Christmas." The poem was written by a professor of Greek and Oriental literature, Clement Clark Moore, and appeared without his permission in the newspaper.
    1834- John R. Morrison of Springfield, OH was granted a patent for bellows for smiths and furnace fires.
    1839 - The second of triple December storms hit the northeastern U.S. The storm produced 25 inches of snow at Gettysburg, PA, and gales in New England, but only produced light snow along the coast.
     1848-The first railroad to run west of the Mississippi River was the Pacific Railway of Missouri (later known as the Missouri Pacific), which began passenger service from St. Louis.
     1852 - In San Francisco, California, the Theatre of Celestial John opened on Telegraph Hill, fronting on Dupont Street. It was the first Chinese theatre in the United States. The theater consisted of one vast [???] and had a seating capacity of 1,400. There were no tiers of boxes. No scenery was used.
     1853-In San Francisco, the Metropolitan Theater opened on Washington St.; first theater to be lit by gas.
     1860 -- Harriet Monroe birthday, founder/longtime editor of "Poetry" magazine, born Chicago, Illinois.
     1867-Birthday of Madame C J Walker, probably the first Black millionaire. Considered a marketing genius, she made her fortune in hair straightener and care products for Blacks. The hair straightener and some other products she invented herself and, in the early days, she mixed them herself in large tubs. Orphaned, she married at 14 "to get a home," before moving from Louisiana with her daughter to St. Louis to work as a $1.50 a day washerwoman. She developed her products (which she said came to her in a dream after prayers) that were marketed much in the way Avon and Mary Kay products are sold today, door-to-door and then through neighborhood salespeople. She was a noted philanthropist in black causes, leaving a trusteeship to make sure the gifts continued after her death. For example, in one of her obituaries, it was noted "She spent $10,000 every year for the education of young Negro men and women in Southern colleges and sent six youths to Tuskegee Institute" An unusual stipulation in her will decrees that the company which is still in existence is always headed by a woman. Much of the assets of the Walker Company have been willed to the NAACP by Madame Walker's grand daughter
    1870 – American artist John Marin born
    1902-Birthday of Vivian Harris - Afro-American singer, comedian, chorus girl and longtime "Voice of the Apollo." It is reported she made 10,000 appearances at the famed Apollo in Harlem, New York. She was one of the first to dance the Charleston in a 1923 Broadway production of “Runnin' Wild”. She danced, sang, and did whatever to keep the Apollo going during the Great Depression. When she wasn't onstage or helping behind the curtain, she worked in wardrobe and even taking tickets. Highly talented, Vivian Harris appeared in a number of shows on Broadway and even in France. She died in 2000 at the age of 97.
    1902---Birthday of author Norman Maclean born Clarinda, Iowa. Firefighter, fly-fisher, scholar, storyteller. Author of “A River Runs Through It”. Died 1990. “Eventually, all things merge into one, & a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood & runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, & some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.”
    1913- President Woodrow Wilson signed the "Federal Reserve Act" into law. The act established twelve Federal Reserve Banks and the Federal Reserve System. The system serves as the nation's central bank, has responsibility for execution of monetary policy. It is called on to contribute to the strength and vitality of the US economy, in part by influencing the lending and investing activities of commercial banks and the cost and availability of money.
    1919- African-American Alice H Parker patents gas heating furnace
    1928-- The National Broadcasting Company set up a permanent coast-to-coast radio network in the US. NBC had been formed two years earlier by General Electric, Westinghouse and RCA, with David Sarnoff as its chief organizer.
    1929-Trumpet Player Chet Baker Birthday (My friend Warren Luening said he often played “flat.” He certainly was bombed out. When I was much younger, I dated one of Chet Baker's ex-girlfriends. She told me he used to beat her up, and since then, I have never been able to listen to any of his albums—although he is considered of the giants of modern jazz.
    1931-Birthday of clarinet player Henry Cuesta, McAllen, TX
    1933-Birthday of altoist Frank Morgan, born Minneapolis, MS.
     1935-Birthday of broadcaster and Pro Football Hall of Fame running back Paul Vernon Hornung, born Louisville, KY.
     1935-Birthday of singer Esther Phillips, Galveston, TX. At age 13, she was a member of Johnny Otis's rhythm-and-blues revue. She had a number of r-and-b hits in the early '50s but was forced to retire temporarily because of illness later in the decade. Phillips came back stronger than ever at the start of the '60s with an r-and-b version of a country ballad, "Release Me." It reached number eight on the US charts in 1962. The Beatles paid tribute to Little Esther in November 1965 by featuring her on a BBC television show. Phillips died August, 1984.
    1938-Music impresario John Hammond presented his famous Spirituals to Swing concert at Carnegie Hall in New York. The event introduced many black jazz musicians to a white audience for the first time, and helped launch a craze for the rhythmic boogie-woogie piano style. Among those appearing were pianists Albert Ammons, Meade Lux Lewis and Pete Johnson with vocalist Joe Turner, blues singer Big Bill Broonzy, gospel singer Sister Rosetta Tharpe, clarinetist Sidney Bechet and the Count Basie Orchestra.
    1939-US Trotting Association Incorporated. Following an agreement at a January meeting to merge several regional organizations into a national body, the US Trotting Association was incorporated in the State of Ohio.
    1939-Frank Sinatra, at $75 a week, wins release from the Harry James Band to join Tommy Dorsey.
    1940-Birthday of folk singer and songwriter Tim Hardin, born in Eugene, Oregon. Despite his ability as a performer, his greatest impact was as a writer of songs that proved great successes for other artists. Hardin's best-known composition is "If I Were a Carpenter," which provided Bobby Darin with a hit in the early 60s, and a gold-record single for Johnny Cash and June Carter later in the decade. In 1980, Tim Hardin was found dead of a heroin overdose in his Hollywood apartment.
    1941--ELROD, HENRY TALMAGE Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 27 September 1905, Rebecca, Ga. Entered service at: Ashburn, Ga. Citation: For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while attached to Marine Fighting Squadron 211, during action against enemy Japanese land, surface and aerial units at Wake Island, 8 to 23 December 1941. Engaging vastly superior forces of enemy bombers and warships on 9 and 12 December, Capt. Elrod shot down 2 of a flight of 22 hostile planes. By executing repeated bombing and strafing runs at extremely low altitude and close range, he succeeded in inflicting deadly damage upon a large Japanese vessel, thereby sinking the first major warship to be destroyed by small caliber bombs delivered from a fighter-type aircraft. When his plane was disabled by hostile fire and no other ships were operative, Capt. Elrod assumed command of 1 flank of the line set up in defiance of the enemy landing and, conducting a brilliant defense, enabled his men to hold their positions and repulse intense hostile fusillades to provide covering fire for unarmed ammunition carriers. Capturing an automatic weapon during 1 enemy rush in force, he gave his own firearm to 1 of his men and fought on vigorously against the Japanese. Responsible in a large measure for the strength of his sector's gallant resistance, on 23 December, Capt. Elrod led his men with bold aggressiveness until he fell, mortally wounded. His superb skill as a pilot, daring leadership and unswerving devotion to duty distinguished him among the defenders of Wake Island, and his valiant conduct reflects the highest credit upon himself and the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.
    1941-Shep Field's All woodwind band cuts “Firedance.”
    1942 - Bob Hope agreed to entertain United States airmen stationed in Alaska for what would be the first of his famous Christmas shows for American armed forces across the world. The Christmas show tradition continued for over three decades.
    1944---Top Hits
White Christmas - Bing Crosby
Santa Claus is Coming to Town - Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters
Don't Fence Me In - Bing Crosby & The Andrews Sisters
I'm Wastin' My Tears on You - Tex Ritter
    1944--BOLDEN, PAUL L. Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company 1, 120th Infantry, 30th Infantry Division. Place and date: Petit-Coo, Belgium, 23 December 1944. Entered service at: Madison, Ala. Birth: Hobbes Island, lowa. G.O. No.: 73, 30 August 1945-. Citation: He voluntarily attacked a formidable enemy strong point in Petit-Coo, Belgium, on 23 December, 1944, when his company was pinned down by extremely heavy automatic and small-arms fire coming from a house 200 yards to the front. Mortar and tank artillery shells pounded the unit, when S/Sgt. Bolden and a comrade, on their own initiative, moved forward into a hail of bullets to eliminate the ever-increasing fire from the German position. Crawling ahead to close with what they knew was a powerfully armed, vastly superior force, the pair reached the house and took up assault positions, S/Sgt. Bolden under a window, his comrade across the street where he could deliver covering fire. In rapid succession, S/Sgt. Bolden hurled a fragmentation grenade and a white phosphorous grenade into the building; and then, fully realizing that he faced tremendous odds, rushed to the door, threw it open and fired into 35 SS troopers who were trying to reorganize themselves after the havoc wrought by the grenades. Twenty Germans died under fire of his submachine gun before he was struck in the shoulder, chest, and stomach by part of a burst which killed his comrade across the street. He withdrew from the house, waiting for the surviving Germans to come out and surrender. When none appeared in the doorway, he summoned his ebbing strength, overcame the extreme pain he suffered and boldly walked back into the house, firing as he went. He had killed the remaining 15 enemy soldiers when his ammunition ran out. S/Sgt. Bolden's heroic advance against great odds, his fearless assault, and his magnificent display of courage in reentering the building where he had been severely wounded cleared the path for his company and insured the success of its mission.
    1947 - John Bardeen, Walter H. Brattain and William Shockley created the transistor, for which they would share the 1956 Nobel Prize in physics. In its original form, the transistor took up a large amount of space in the New Jersey lab where it was invented. Today, thousands of transistors can be put into a space tinier than a pinhead; and used in electronics such as computers, radios, televisions and video games.
    1948 – In Tokyo, Japan, Hideki Tojo, former Japanese premier and chief of the Kwantung Army, is executed along with six other top Japanese leaders for their war crimes during World War II. Seven of the defendants were also found guilty of committing crimes against humanity, especially in regard to their systematic genocide of the Chinese people. On November 12, death sentences were imposed on Tojo and the six other principals, including Iwane Matsui, who organized the Rape of Nanking, and Heitaro Kimura, who brutalized Allied prisoners of war. Sixteen others were sentenced to life imprisonment, and the remaining two of the original 25 defendants were sentenced to lesser terms in prison. In addition to the central Tokyo trial, various tribunals sitting outside Japan judged some 5,000 Japanese guilty of war crimes, of whom more than 900 were executed.
    1954 - Walt Disney's “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”, starring Kirk Douglas, James Mason, Peter Lorre and Paul Lukas, was released to theaters. It became one of the Disney studio's biggest-grossing films.
    1952---Top Hits
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus - Jimmy Boyd
Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer - Gene Autry
White Christmas - Bing Crosby
Don't Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes - Skeets McDonald
    1955-Pioneer rock 'n' roll disc jockey Alan Freed sponsored a week-long series of shows at the Academy of Music in Manhattan. The bill included both jazz and rhythm-and-blues acts, such as the Count Basie Orchestra and The Cadillacs. The shows took in more than $100,000.
    1955 - The barometric pressure dipped to 28.97 inches (981 millibars) at Boise ID, an all-time record for that location.
    1957 - Actor Dan Blocker debuted on television in the "Restless Gun" production of "The Child". My father Lawrence Menkin wrote the original television play, and later was story editor and wrote several “Bonanza” episodes. My father wrote many TV westerns in the 1950's. Two years after this “pilot,” Blocker would star in NBC's "Bonanza" as Hoss Cartwright.
    1957-The title song to his movie “April Love” becomes Pat Boone's fifth US number one hit.
    1960---Top Hits
Are You Lonesome To-night? - Elvis Presley
Wonderland by Night - Bert Kaempfert
North to Alaska - Johnny Horton
Wings of a Dove - Ferlin
    1961 - Holiday travel was paralyzed over extreme northeastern Kansas, and adjacent parts of Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska. The storm produced 5 to 15 inches of snow, with drifts up to ten feet high.
    1964-After making their first appearance on ABC-TV's Shindig! (where they perform "Little Saint Nick," "Dance, Dance, Dance," "Papa Oom Mow Mow," and "Monster Mash"), and in flight from Los Angeles to a concert in Houston, the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson suffers a nervous breakdown, leading to his immediate retirement from touring. Glen Campbell, still a studio musician, is hired to take his place on stage, and is eventually replaced by permanent member Bruce Johnston.
     1966 - Grateful Dead, The Steve Miller Blues Band, Moby Grape @ Avalon Ballroom, San Francisco
Artist: Victor Moscoso
    1967- The Jimi Hendrix Experience's "Foxy Lady" is released.
    1968-Crew of USS Pueblo released by North Korea. The crew and captain of the U.S. intelligence gathering ship Pueblo are released after 11 months imprisonment by the government of North Korea. The ship, and its 83-man crew, was seized by North Korean warships on January 23 and charged with intruding into North Korean waters. The seizure infuriated U.S. President Lyndon Johnson. Later, he claimed that he strongly suspected (although it could not be proven) that the incident with the Pueblo, coming just a few days before the communist Tet Offensive in South Vietnam, was a coordinated diversion. It was 11 long months before the Pueblo 's men were freed. Both captain and crew were horribly treated and later recounted their torture at the hands of the North Koreans. With no help in sight, Captain Lloyd Bucher reluctantly signed a document confessing that the ship was spying on North Korea. With this propaganda victory in hand, the North Koreans released the prisoners and also returned the body of one crewman who died in captivity. Some Americans criticized Johnson for not taking decisive retaliatory action against North Korea; others argued that he should have used every diplomatic means at his disposal to secure a quick release for the crew. In any case, the event was another blow to Johnson and America's Cold War foreign policy. It dug Johnson in deeper into the war effort to overcome his “loss of face.”
    1968 -- At Apple's Christmas party, John Lennon and Yoko Ono hand out presents to the children of the staff, dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus.
    1969 - B.J. Thomas was awarded a gold record for the single, "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" from the film, "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid". On January 3, 1970, the song would hit number one on the pop charts, staying there for 4 weeks.
    1968---Top Hits
I Heard It Through the Grapevine - Marvin Gaye
For Once in My Life - Stevie Wonder
Stormy - Classics IV featuring Dennis Yost
Wichita Lineman - Glen Campbell
    1969 - B.J. Thomas' "Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head" is certified gold
    1969-The Supremes began Diana Ross's farewell engagement at the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas. Ross would go on to a hugely successful solo career. The Supremes also continued to hit record charts with Ross's replacement, Jean Terrell. She was the sister of heavyweight boxer Ernie Terrell.
    1969 - Elton John had his first meeting with arranger Paul Buckmaster, writer Bernie Taupin and producer Gus Dudgeon. Their collaboration started one of music's most lucrative milestones of the 1970s. Together the four created "Your Song", "Friends", "Levon", "Tiny Dancer", "Rocket Man" and many more.
    1970-Canadian folksinger Joni Mitchell was awarded her first gold record for the album "Ladies of the Canyon." The LP contained the hit single "Big Yellow Taxi”
    1972- The “ Immaculate Reception:” In an AFC first-round play-off game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Oakland Raiders, the Raiders were ahead, 7-6, with 22 seconds to play. Pittsburgh had the ball on its own 40-yeard line. Steelers quarterback Terry Bradshaw threw a desperation pass intended for Johnny Fuqua. The ball deflected off an Oakland defender into the waiting arms of Franco Harris, who ran into the end zone for the winning touchdown. The Steelers defeated the Raiders, 13-7, and the play has since been known as the “Immaculate Reception.”
    1973 - Jim Croce's "Time In A Bottle" hits #1
    1974- The first free agents in major league baseball were Andy Messersmith of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Dave McNally of the Montreal Expos. A Federal arbitrator ruled that the two players, and by extension other major league baseball players not bound to a current contract, were free to sell their services to the team that offered them the most money.
    1975-Metric Conversion Act: The Congress of the US passed Public Law 94-168, known as the Metric Conversion Act of 1975. The act declares that the SI (International System of Units) will be the country's basic system of measurement and established the United States Metric Board which is responsible for the planning, coordination and implementation of the nation's voluntary conversion to SI (Congress had authorized the metric system as a legal system of measurement in the US by an act passed July 28, 1866. In 1875, the US became one of the original signers of the Treaty of the Metre, which established an international metric system.
    1976---Top Hits
Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright) - Rod Stewart
The Rubberband Man - Spinners
You Make Me Feel Like Dancing - Leo Sayer
Thinkin' of a Rendezvous - Johnny Duncan
    1978-Rod Stewart's "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy" is released.
    1979 - Rod Stewart's "I Don't Want to Talk About It," Anne Murray's "Daydream Believer," Queen's "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," and Neil Diamond's "September Morn" all enter the pop charts
    1982 - A major winter storm struck Colorado producing heavy snow and blizzard conditions. A record two feet of snow was reported at Stapleton Airport in Denver, which was shut down for 33 hours. Up to 44 inches of snow fell in the foothills surrounding Denver. The storm hurt the ski industry as skiers were unable to make it out of Denver to the slopes, and the closed airport became a campground for vacationers.
    1983 - The temperature plunged to 50 degrees below zero at Williston ND to equal their all-time record. Minneapolis MN reported an afternoon high of 17 degrees below zero, and that evening strong northerly winds produced wind chill readings of 100 degrees below zero in North Dakota
    1984---Top Hits
Like a Virgin - Madonna
Sea of Love - The Honeydrippers
Cool It Now - New Edition
Why Not Me - The Judds
    1987 - A winter storm brought heavy snow to the Central Rockies, and also spread a blanket of snow across the Middle Missouri Valley in time for Christmas. Snow and high winds created near blizzard conditions in Wyoming. Snowfall totals in Wyoming ranged up to 25 inches at Casper, with four feet of snow reported at the Hogadon Ski Resort on Capser Mountain. The Wolf Creek Ski Resort in Colorado received 26 inches of snow. Totals in the Middle Missouri Valley ranged up to 16 inches at Alpena SD, with 14 inches at Harrison NE. Strong winds ushered unseasonably cold air into the southwestern U.S. Canyon winds gusting to 100 mph created ground blizzards in Utah.
    1989 - An historic arctic outbreak spread to the Gulf Coast Region, and a total of 122 cities across the central and eastern U.S. reported record low temperatures for the date. Forty-one of those cities reported record lows for the month of December, with some cities breaking December records established the previous morning. Morning lows of 11 degrees at New Orleans LA and Lake Charles LA, 4 degrees below zero at San Angelo TX, and 26 degrees below zero at Topeka KS, established all-time records for those four locations. Yankton SD was the cold spot in the nation with a morning low of 31 degrees below zero. A storm system moving across the Florida peninsula and along the Southern Atlantic Coast produced high winds and record snows along the Carolina coast. Unofficial morning lows included 50 degrees below zero at Recluse WY and 60 degrees below zero at Rochford SD. Broadus MT and Hardin MT tied for honors as the official cold spot in the nation with morning lows of 47 degrees below zero. Snowfall totals of 15 inches at Wilmington NC and 13.3 inches at Cape Hatteras NC were all- time records for those two locations. Gale force winds, gusting to 60 mph, produced waves thirty-four feet high off the coast of North Carolina, and whipped the heavy snow into drifts up to eight feet high. The storm resulted in the first white Christmas of record from northeastern Florida to North Carolina.
    1991 - Longtime Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Chuck Noll retired after 23 seasons. He was the only coach to have four Super Bowl wins (1975-1976, 1979-1980) and was the fifth winningest coach in the NFL (209-156-1).
    1991 -recent rains in Austin, TX set a new monthly (13.59 inches) and annual record total (51.64 inches).
    1994 – John Connolly, FBI agent, came to the Winter Hill gang’s headquarters in a Boston liquor store and warned Kevin Weeks of pending FBI arrests for mobsters James Bulger, Stephen Flemmi and Francis Salemme. Connolly was convicted for corruption in 2002 and sentenced to 121 months
    1994-an intense nor'easter, a hybrid winter and tropical storm lashed New England with high winds and heavy rains. The storm had its origin in the western Gulf of Mexico and had characteristics of a tropical storm even as it reached 40 degrees latitude. The storm "dumbelled" around a developing winter type storm off the mid-Atlantic and approached New England from the south-southeast. Winds exceeded hurricane force over coastal areas. Walpole, MA had a wind gust of 88 mph. Sustained winds of 63 mph with a gust to 84 mph were recorded at Nantucket. Falmouth, MA had a wind gust of 78 mph and Ashaway, RI a gust of 74 mph. Plymouth, MA was deluged with 4.85 inches of rain and Gloucester, MA had 4.72 inches.
    1997-Phil Jackson of the Chicago Bulls won the 500th game of his coaching career as the Bulls defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 94-89. Jackson got to 400 in his 682nd game, faster than any other coach in NBA history. He was the twentieth coach to reach the 500 mark.
    1997-Right wing Jarri Kurri of the Colorado Avalanche became the eight player in NHL history to score 600 regular-season goals. Kurri tallied in the first period as Colorado defeated the Los Angeles Kings, 5-1.
    1997 - Terry Nichols was convicted by a Denver, Colorado, jury on charges of conspiracy and involuntary manslaughter in the 1995 federal building bombing in Oklahoma City.
    2009 - The Yankees are assessed with a luxury tax of $25.69 million for its spending in 2009. The World Series champion club is the only team to be penalized this year for crossing the salary threshold, as it has in all seven years since the tax was initiated by the collective bargaining agreement in 2002.



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