Families On Line founder investigated for fraud
Mark Thurman, CEO and founder of filtered Internet service provider Families On Line is being investigated by the FBI for mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering. "A convicted thief with a lengthy rap sheet, the Fort Lauderdale resident and his associates may have made off with more than $1 million of investors' money—spending it on everything from car financing to $5,000 worth of sex toys," reports The Miami Herald. The Internet company got into trouble earlier this year when it promised its customers Playstation 2 consoles—then claimed it was duped by its supplier. "It is absolutely 100 percent evident that we were scammed," Thurman told the media. But prosecutors now say it was Thurman who masterminded the Playstation 2 scam as part of a larger scheme to defraud investors. "The problem is that the Internet has … become a haven for those who prey on society," Thurman says in his site's "Message from the Founder." Apparently he might know all too well what he's talking about.

Churches can destroy historic buildings, says California Supreme Court In a 4-3 decision last week, the California Supreme Court upheld a 1994 state law exempting churches from landmark preservation laws. The law had come after many churches—especially the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles—sought to overhaul or close buildings. Churches, the law said, could now declare their buildings (including schools, hospitals, and other structures) exempt from preservation laws. "By providing the exemption, the state simply stepped out of the way of the religious property owner," wrote Justice Marvin Baxter. Without the law, Baxter said, preservation concerns "could affect the ability of many owners ...

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