Digital Startups in trouble: A roundup of news headlines from around the world on 29th Nov
Founder of Mobile Payments Start-Up Mozido Pleads Guilty To Making Illegal Campaign Contributions: Michael Liberty, the founder of one of the most richly funded private companies in the mobile payments industry, pleaded guilty on Monday to violating federal campaign finance law.Liberty admitted to making $22,500 of illegal campaign contributions in the names of nine family members, employees and associates, to the campaign committee of presidential candidate Mitt Romney in 2011. Federal law prohibits making political contributions in the names of others.
Documents unsealed on Monday in federal court in Maine show Liberty made the contributions between May 2011 and June 2011. While federal prosecutors did not identify the candidate Liberty supported with illegal contributions, Federal Election Committee records show the contributions Liberty made at the time were to Romney’s principal campaign committee. Romney won the Republican presidential nomination before losing the general election to Barack Obama in 2012. (Read the rest on Forbes)
Employee benefits start-up Zenefits is fined $3.5 million for licensing violations – Clifornia’s insurance regulator will collect a $3.5-million fine from a San Francisco employee benefits start-up that cheated state education requirements for sales agents.
Zenefits admitted to regulators nationwide this year that would-be agents used software to circumvent online classes they needed to take to be licensed. In recent months, the firm agreed to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to settle licensing violations in several states.
The California penalty, announced Monday, marks the largest one yet, according to state Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. Zenefits would pay an additional $3.5 million, for a total of $7 million, if it falls out of compliance with the settlement over the next two years. (Read the rest on LA Times)
Image: John Reese
Amazon Worker Jumps Off Company Building After E-Mail Note – An Amazon.com Inc. employee was injured when he leaped off a building at the company’s Seattle headquarters in what police characterized as a suicide attempt.
The man, who wasn’t identified by authorities, sent an e-mail visible to hundreds of co-workers, including Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos, before the incident occurred, according to a person familiar with the matter. The man survived the fall from Amazon’s 12-story Apollo building at about 8:45 a.m. local time Monday and was taken to a Seattle hospital, police said.
The man had recently put in a request to transfer to a different department, but was placed on an employee improvement plan, a step that can lead to termination if performance isn’t improved, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing company personnel matters. More than 20,000 people work in multiple buildings at Amazon’s headquarters. (Yahoo News)