I think you're going to have a pretty tough time deciding who deserves to be named Worst of the Worst this week in the realm of business, finance, and money.
Here are our nominees for this week's Call of Shame.
Vote at the bottom for a winner...er, loser.
PIG IN A BLANKET
David Letterman spent the week doing more damage to himself and CBS. I probably should have had him on last week's list, but this week he kicked it up a notch by apologizing on air to his wife for being a pig and bedding staff members-a story that gets seedier every day. Producer Robert Joe Halderman, accused of extorting $2 million from the late night talk show host, remains under the presumption of innocence, but Letterman has openly admitted his guilt as a sleazebag. The National Enquirer says a potential $300 million divorce battle is in the works. The Enquirer is sometimes right, but even if the story is wrong, Letterman will have hell to pay.
SON OF A ...
For those of you who aren't rich and sadly wish you had more to leave your kids, be happy your children have to make their own way in the world. This week Brooke Astor's son, Anthony Marshall, was convicted of tricking his ailing motherinto changing her will to leave him $200 million. Marshall is guilty of taking advantage of his mother's Alzheimer's to get her to sign everything over to him. His conviction could bring him 25 years in prison which, for an 85-year-old man, is a life sentence.
LENDING A HAND TO CRIME
On the other end of the wealth curve, we have the Kuzelkas or Lake Elsinore, California. Benjamin Kuzelka showed up at a Southern California emergency room this week with part of his hand blown off, claiming it was the result of a gun accident. Um, no. Actually, police believe he blew off part of his hand while mixing explosives at the home he shares with his mother and brother...the same home where they were allegedly growing marijuana AND HAD A LICENSED CHILD CARE CENTER. Talk about diversifying! Entrepreneurs! All three are now facing a variety of charges. Fortunately, no kids were in the house at the time of the explosion.
How do you explain away forgetting hundreds of thousands of dollars of net worth? It takes agility, the ability to look at all the angles. The House Ethics Committee is expanding an investigation into Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), who allegedly failed to report up to $500,000 he had in a Merrill Lynch account, up to $100,000 in rent from a multifamily rental property he owns, as well as tens of thousands of dollars in municipal bonds. Rangel's attorneys have blamed the lapses on sloppy bookkeeping, but if he can get sloppy with hundreds of thousands of dollars, what amount of money does it take to get his attention?
GO BEFORE YOU GO
All Nippon Airways wants full flights and empty bladders. The Japanese airliner is asking passengers to go to the bathroom before they board the aircraft to -I'm not kidding- reduce their carbon footprint. The theory is that if you evacuate yourself before boarding, you weigh less, and, therefore, the airplane uses less fuel. Less gas inside of you before takeoff means less greenhouse gas emitted from the aircraft. The airline says that if everyone on a full 777 flight goes before they go, it would reduce the weight of the plane by the weigh by 544 pounds! WHAT? That's more than two pounds per passenger. What are you people eating? I think they really want you to go at the airport so they can use less toilet paper and water on planes.
Finally, Nicholas Cosmo is accused to robbing investors of more than $400 million in a Ponzi scheme, but he may have his bail revoked and be forced to await his trial behind bars. According to Newsday, Cosmo has been allowed to await trial under home detention at his parent's house. But he's violated several conditions of bail, including using a computer, asking his girlfriend to get on the internet for him, and lying to his federal Pretrial Services officer about what he was doing on the computer. He lied? Really? Wow, I'm shocked.
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