Westlaw Journals weekly round-up

April 2, 2014

Westlaw Journals Weekly RoundupHighlights from the past week’s litigation headlines over at the Westlaw Journals blog include a ruling in favor of Hershey Co.’s investors in case over alleged child-labor abuses and some legal trouble for at least three California men:

Judge won’t dismiss search for proof Hershey accepts child-labor-laced cocoa: A Delaware Chancery Court judge may have made it easier for shareholders to search company records to confirm suspicions of wrongdoing when he recently ruled that Hershey Co. investors need only show their directors might be looking the other way when buying child-labor-tainted cocoa. Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster denied Hershey’s motion to dismiss a shareholder demand to see records of the confectioner’s dealings with West African cocoa farms that are notorious for child labor abuses, according to a transcript of the Mar. 18 oral ruling. (Delaware Corporate)

California man gets 17+ years, $500K fine in bankruptcy fraud case: A California businessman who was convicted by a jury on 15 counts of bankruptcy fraud and related charges has been sentenced to 17 years and eight months in prison ordered to pay a $500,000 fine. Steven K. Zinnel, who hid his roles in various companies from a bankruptcy court during a contentious divorce, will also forfeit $2.8 million in corporate interests and real estate under the sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California on Mar. 4. (White-Collar Crime)

46 people charged with rigging foreclosure auctions in California: Charges against two Northern California real estate investors and 44 other people alleging a conspiracy to rig bids for foreclosed homes at public auctions were unsealed March 10 by a federal judge, the Justice Department has announced. Grant Alvernaz, of Pleasant Hill, and Douglas Moore, of Walnut Creek, pleaded guilty to felony charges of bid-rigging and conspiracy to commit mail fraud in late 2011, court documents say. (Bank & Lender Liability)