SI
SI
discoversearch

We've detected that you're using an ad content blocking browser plug-in or feature. Ads provide a critical source of revenue to the continued operation of Silicon Investor.  We ask that you disable ad blocking while on Silicon Investor in the best interests of our community.  If you are not using an ad blocker but are still receiving this message, make sure your browser's tracking protection is set to the 'standard' level.

   Strategies & Market TrendsAnthony @ Equity Investigations, Dear Anthony,


Previous 10 Next 10 
To: Bocor who wrote (115902)6/1/2013 6:27:26 PM
From: Sword
   of 122015
 
Tony, contact me when you are out and settled down. Congrats. Only 26 days left.

Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read


From: StockDung6/2/2013 7:22:55 AM
   of 122015
 
New book: Obama was pushed by Clintons into endorsement of Hillary in 2016

By EDWARD KLEIN Last Updated: 5:54 AM, June 2, 2013 Posted: 11:07 PM, June 1, 2013

    EXCLUSIVE

    President Obama made a secret deal to support Hillary Clinton when she runs for president in 2016, campaign sources say, payback for the support her husband gave him in 2012.

    Bill Clinton’s animosity toward Obama is legendary. A year before the last election, he was urging Hillary to challenge the sitting president for the nomination — a move she rejected.

    According to two people who attended that meeting in Chappaqua, Bill Clinton then went on a rant against Obama.

    “I’ve heard more from Bush, asking for my advice, than I’ve heard from Obama,” my sources quoted Clinton as saying. “I have no relationship with the president — none whatsoever. Obama doesn’t know how to be president. He doesn’t know how the world works. He’s incompetent. He’s an amateur!”


    AP
    HUB-BUBBA: “The Amateur” says Bill Clinton’s animosity toward the president cooled only with a promised endorsement and a fawning January spot on “60 Minutes” with Hillary.



    For his part, Obama wasn’t interested in Bill Clinton upstaging him during the presidential campaign. He resisted giving him any role at the convention.

    But as last summer wore on, and Democrat enthusiasm waned, chief political strategist David Axelrod convinced the president that he needed Bill Clinton’s mojo.

    A deal was struck: Clinton would give the key nominating speech at the convention, and a full-throated endorsement of Obama. In exchange, Obama would endorse Hillary Clinton as his successor.

    Clinton’s speech was as promised; columnists pointed out the surprising enthusiasm in which he described the president. It also lived up to Obama’s fears, as more people talked about Clinton’s speech in the weeks following than his own.

    But after his re-election, Obama began to have second thoughts. He would prefer to stay neutral in the next election, as is traditional of outgoing presidents.

    Bill Clinton went ballistic and threatened retaliation. Obama backed down. He called his favorite journalist, Steve Kroft of “60 Minutes,” and offered an unprecedented “farewell interview” with departing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    The result was a slobbering televised love-in — and an embarrassment to all concerned.

    It is just one of the debacles that have marked Obama’s second term, from Benghazi to the IRS scandal. While he was effective on the campaign trail, once in the Oval Office, he becomes a different person, one who derives no joy from the cut and thrust of day-to-day politics and who is inept in the arts of management and governance.

    Obama has made a lot of promises — and nothing ever happened.

    He once boasted that he’d bring the Israelis and Palestinians to the negotiating table and create a permanent peace in the Middle East. Nothing happened.

    He said he’d open a constructive dialogue with America’s enemies in Iran and North Korea and, through his special powers of persuasion, help them see the error of their ways. And nothing happened.

    He said he’d solve the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and put millions of people back to work. And nothing happened.

    He may yet try to back out of his promise to Hillary Clinton. But as Obama’s presidency sinks deeper into scandal and inaction, the question is — will Clinton even still want his endorsement?

    Adapted from the new paperback edition of Edward Klein’s “The Amateur: Barack Obama in the White House” (Regnery Publishing), out this week.

    Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read


    From: scion6/3/2013 10:23:15 AM
       of 122015
     
    SEC Suspends Trading of 61 Companies Ripe for Fraud in Over-The-Counter Market

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    2013-97

    Washington, D.C., June 3, 2013 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced the second-largest trading suspension in agency history as it continues its "Operation Shell Expel" crackdown against the manipulation of microcap shell companies that are ripe for fraud as they lay dormant in the over-the-counter market.

    List of the 61 Companies
    sec.gov
    Trading Suspension Order
    sec.gov
    Investor Bulletin: Trading Suspensions
    sec.gov

    The SEC suspended trading in the securities of 61 empty shell companies that are delinquent in their public filings and seemingly no longer in business based on an analysis by the SEC's Microcap Fraud Working Group. Since microcap companies are thinly-traded, once they become dormant they have great potential to be hijacked by fraudsters who falsely hype the stock to portray it as a thriving company and coerce investors into "pump-and-dump" schemes.

    In this latest review of microcap stocks nationwide using enhanced intelligence technology in the Enforcement Division's Office of Market Intelligence, the SEC identified these clearly dormant shell companies in at least 17 states and one foreign country. By suspending trading in these companies, they're obligated to provide updated financial information to prove they're still operational, essentially rendering them useless to scam artists now that they are no longer flying under the radar.

    "Stock manipulators crave empty shell companies that they can use to conduct pump-and-dump schemes and line their pockets with illicit trading profits by taking advantage of unsuspecting investors," said Andrew J. Ceresney, Co-Director of the SEC's Division of Enforcement. "We will aggressively suspend trading in such empty shells to take away a tool of their trade and help rid our markets of fraud."

    Pump-and-dump schemes are among the most common types of fraud involving empty shell companies. Perpetrators will tout a thinly-traded microcap stock through false and misleading statements about the company to the marketplace. They purchase the stock at a low price before pumping the stock price higher by creating the appearance of market activity and drawing investor interest. They dump the stock for significant profit by selling it into the market at the higher price once investors have bought in.

    Through its Operation Shell Expel initiative, the SEC suspended trading in a record 379 companies in a single day last year before they could be manipulated for fraudulent activity to harm investors.

    "Once a company ceases its filings and investors no longer have current information about it, there is no good reason for that empty shell to remain exposed in our public markets," said Christopher Ehrman, Co-National Coordinator of the SEC's Microcap Fraud Working Group. "In this initiative, we are committed to identifying unacceptable risks in the marketplace and removing them to safeguard investors."

    The SEC's Operation Shell Expel initiative has been led by Mr. Ehrman, Margaret Cain, Robert Bernstein, Jessica P. Regan, Leigh Barrett, and Megan Alcorn in the Office of Market Intelligence. The SEC appreciates the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Economic Crimes Unit.

    # # #


    sec.gov

    Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read


    From: scion6/3/2013 12:05:13 PM
       of 122015
     
    SEC Charges Atlanta Attorney with Converting Investor Funds

    U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

    Litigation Release No. 22710 / May 31, 2013

    Securities and Exchange Commission v. Robert A. Gist, et al., Civil Action No. 1:13-cv-01833-AT (N.D.Ga., May 31, 2013)

    On May 31, 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission charged Robert A. Gist (“Gist”), an Atlanta attorney and former sports agent, and Gist, Kennedy & Associates, Inc. (“Gist Kennedy”) (collectively, “Defendants”), a company that Gist controls, with defrauding at least 32 customers out of at least $5.4 million while acting as an unregistered broker from approximately 2003 to the present.

    According to the SEC’s complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Gist obtained the customers’ funds on the fraudulent pretense that he would invest conservatively on their behalves in corporate bonds and other securities. The complaint alleges that Gist invested none of the customer funds, but, instead, used the funds for his personal expenses, for the payment of purported dividends and proceeds from securities sales that he falsely claimed to have purchased on behalf of his customers, and for the operation of a company that he controlled until early 2013 known as ENCAP Technologies, LLC. The complaint further alleges that Gist regularly created and provided the customers of Gist Kennedy with fictitious account statements.

    The complaint alleges that Gist used at least $2.2 million of the converted customer funds for the operation of ENCAP Technologies, LLC (“ENCAP”) during the time that he controlled ENCAP, and that the company gave nothing of value in return for the money. The complaint names ENCAP as a relief defendant and seeks disgorgement from it of unjust enrichment in the amount of at least $2.2 million plus prejudgment interest.

    Without admitting or denying the SEC’s allegations, Defendants Gist and Gist Kennedy agreed to settle the case against them. The settlement is pending final approval by the court. Specifically, the Defendants consented to the entry of an order permanently enjoining Defendants Gist and Gist Kennedy from future violations of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”) and Rules 10b-5 thereunder; permanently enjoining Gist from future violations of Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act; finding Defendants jointly and severally liable for $5.4 million in disgorgement plus prejudgment interest, imposing civil penalties to be determined upon motion of the Commission, freezing the Defendants’ assets, and providing other relief.

    SEC Complaint
    sec.gov

    sec.gov

    Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read


    From: scion6/3/2013 2:29:00 PM
       of 122015
     
    SEC Charges Fortune 200 Company for Accounting Deficiencies

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    2013-99

    Washington, D.C., June 3, 2013 — The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged a Bellevue, Wash.-based commercial truck manufacturer and a subsidiary for various accounting deficiencies that clouded their financial reporting to investors in the midst of the financial crisis.

    Additional Materials
    SEC Complaint
    sec.gov

    The SEC alleges that PACCAR’s internal accounting controls included ineffective procedures that kept the company from adhering to various accounting rules. PACCAR failed to report the operating results of its aftermarket parts business separately from its truck sales business as required under segment reporting requirements, which are in place to ensure that investors gain the same insight into a company as its executives. PACCAR and its subsidiary also failed to provide complete information about their respective loan and lease portfolios, and PACCAR overstated some loan and lease originations and collections at two foreign subsidiaries in its statement of cash flows.

    PACCAR and its subsidiary PACCAR Financial Corp. agreed to settle the SEC’s charges.

    “Companies must continually and diligently monitor their internal accounting systems to ensure that the information they are providing investors is accurate and consistent with relevant accounting guidance,” said Michael S. Dicke, Associate Regional Director of the SEC’s San Francisco Regional Office. “The deficient controls and procedures at PACCAR caused inconsistencies in its financial reporting and kept investors and regulators from seeing the company through the eyes of management.”

    According to the SEC’s complaint filed in federal court in Seattle, PACCAR is a Fortune 200 company that designs, manufactures, and distributes trucks and related aftermarket parts that are sold worldwide under the Kenworth, Peterbilt, and DAF nameplates. From 2008 through the third quarter of 2012, PACCAR failed to report the results for its parts business as a separate segment from its truck sales as required under Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). For example, PACCAR’s 2009 annual report showed $68 million in income before taxes for its truck segment. However, PACCAR documents and board materials reviewed by senior executives depicted the trucks business with a $474 million loss and the parts business with $542 million profit to arrive at the net income before taxes of $68 million. By at least 2008, PACCAR should have been reporting aftermarket parts as a separate segment in its SEC filings, but failed to do so until year-end 2012.

    The SEC’s complaint further alleges that PACCAR and PACCAR Financial Corp. failed to maintain accurate books and records regarding their impaired loans and leases, causing them to improperly identify and disclose loans and leases for impairment. As a result, they understated the amounts of their impaired receivables and the specific reserve associated with the receivables in footnotes to their respective 2009 Form 10-K filings. PACCAR understated the amount of its impaired receivables by 65 percent and the amount of the specific reserve associated with the receivables by 78 percent. PACCAR Financial Corp. understated the amounts by 64 percent and 37 percent. As a result of these deficiencies, PACCAR also made inaccurate statements to the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance regarding its processes for calculating the specific reserves on its impaired receivables.

    According to the SEC’s complaint, PACCAR also overstated equal and offsetting amounts in two lines within its statement of cash flows in the second and third quarters of 2009. PACCAR identified these errors during the first quarter of 2010 and reported corrected figures in its second and third quarter filings in 2010.

    The SEC’s complaint charges PACCAR with violations of the reporting, books and records and internal control provisions of the federal securities laws, and charges PACCAR Financial Corp. with violations of the books and records and internal control provisions. Without admitting or denying the charges, they agreed to the entry of a permanent injunction and PACCAR agreed to pay a $225,000 penalty. The settlement, which is subject to court approval, takes into account that PACCAR and PACCAR Financial Corp. have implemented a number of remedial measures to enhance their internal accounting controls and improve their compliance with GAAP.

    The SEC’s investigation was conducted by Jason Habermeyer and Cary Robnett of the SEC’s San Francisco Regional Office, and Peter J. Rosario of the Washington D.C. office.

    # # #

    sec.gov

    Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read


    From: scion6/3/2013 5:03:23 PM
       of 122015
     
    SEC Charges Cincinnati Resident and Delaware Firm with Offering Fraud

    U.S. SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

    Litigation Release No. lr-22712 / June 3, 2013

    Securities and Exchange Commission v. Detroit Memorial Partners, LLC and Mark Morrow, Civil Action No. 1:13-cv-1817-WSD, United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia

    SEC Charges Cincinnati Resident and Delaware Firm with Offering Fraud

    On May 30, 2013, the Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil injunctive action in the Northern District of Georgia against Detroit Memorial Partners, LLC ("DMP") and its managing member, Mark Morrow, a resident of Cincinnati, Ohio. The Commission alleges that Morrow caused DMP to issue approximately $19 million in fraudulent promissory notes and to sell $4.5 million in equity interests. DMP, which purported to be in the business of operating cemeteries, made material misrepresentations and omissions to investors who purchased the promissory notes and equity interests. Most significantly, DMP and Morrow misrepresented that it owned various cemetery properties and that the notes would be secured by those properties in Michigan. In fact, DMP did not own any cemetery properties and none of the notes were secured. Defendants also misrepresented that the proceeds from the notes would be used to acquire and manage cemeteries. In fact, significant amounts of the proceeds were used to fund Morrow's personal equity interest in DMP, for high risk trading in securities and to pay interest owed to other DMP note holders. Morrow also falsely told the equity investors that DMP was debt free, while knowing that DMP had incurred substantial obligations to the note holders.

    The complaint further alleges that DMP failed to register the note offering with the commission in violation of the registration provisions of the securities laws.

    The notes were sold by Morrow's long-time business associate Angelo Alleca through his investment advisory firm, Summit Capital. Alleca and Summit are the subjects of another lawsuit brought by the Commission charging them with operating a massive Ponzi scheme. See, SEC v. Alleca, et al., Lit. Rel. No. 22485 (Sept. 19, 2012)

    According to the Commission's complaint, a total of approximately $19 million in DMP notes have been sold to at least 190 investors in multiple states. Substantial investor funds are missing and unaccounted for.

    The Commission seeks an injunction against the Defendants to prevent further violations of the securities laws, disgorgement of their ill-gotten gains, civil penalties and interest.

    SEC Complaint
    sec.gov

    sec.gov

    Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read


    From: StockDung6/3/2013 5:45:44 PM
       of 122015
     
    Prison Inmate Allegedly Pulls Off Scam


    By Paul Johnson

    Story Created: Jun 3, 2013 at 3:35 PM MDT
    Story Updated: Jun 3, 2013 at 3:35 PM MDT

    BOISE, Idaho (KBOI-TV) - It's clear that Mark Brown is a smart guy, maybe even borderline brilliant.

    But what's astounding is the way prosecutors say he apparently pulled off a major, years long financial fraud, taking in big corporations, courts and attorneys across the nation, all from behind bars in an Idaho prison cell.
    Investigators believe he used a cherished electric typewriter that he was allowed to keep in his small, spare cell, and legal ads found in national newspapers including the Wall Street Journal and USA Today, to make fraudulent claims in big class-action lawsuits and bankruptcies.

    He's alleged to have typed up professional-looking legal documents, false letters from law firms and more, and made skillful use of the "legal mail" exception for inmates that allows for correspondence with attorneys and judges without review from prison staff. Big checks poured in - Brown's take in multiparty lawsuits including a $70 million GlaxoSmithKline drug-pricing settlement and a $20 million IBM shareholders' settlement.
    Authorities say Brown collected close to $64,000 through those settlements and deposited the money in his prison trust account, which inmates can use for things like commissary purchases. He then transferred much of it out to an investment account that authorities have targeted for potential forfeiture.

    Brown is now facing a 12-count federal indictment for mail fraud and awaiting a September trial.

    The story of how Brown went from 23-year-old University of Idaho computer science student to 53-year-old inmate suspected of perpetrating one of the most inventive prison scams ever discovered is a tale of habitual crime, long sentences, mental illness and lack of treatment. Before he'd turned 18, he'd committed 13 burglaries, according to court documents, including one at a U.S. post office. He faced other struggles, including a suicide attempt, an escape from a juvenile detention center and temporary placement in a foster home. By 1982, he'd been involved in 60 known thefts and burglaries.

    He enrolled at the University of Idaho in the spring of 1978 to work toward a computer science degree and excelled there. But at night, he broke into university buildings, homes and businesses, hiding away his loot. He was on felony probation in 1982 when a search of his university dorm room turned up piles of stolen property, from computer components and other electronics to jewelry. Brown was diagnosed with kleptomania and borderline personality disorder. In a 20-minute, tearful statement to the court, he pleaded for leniency as the judge pondered a 20-year prison sentence.

    "I'm not saying I don't need to be locked up," the young defendant told the court, as the Lewiston Tribune reported at the time. "If that's what needs to be done to keep me from stealing, then that's what I wish. At the same time, I feel I need something else. I honestly feel that the things I've done stem from things I was never in control of."

    Brown got out on parole in 1994, but by then, he was a 35-year-old with a long list of disciplinary violations in prison. He'd broken rules, stolen items and forged purchase orders at his job at Correctional Industries. Brown found work at Terry Rich's company, Applied Process Controls, doing technical support for industrial instrumentation controls.

    "He adapted very quickly to any circumstance you could put him in, whether it was a conference room of Idaho Power engineers, anything," Rich recalled. "He was great on the phones."

    Then, a few months later, Rich got a call in the middle of the night from Boise police detectives. "They said, 'Does Mark Brown work for you?' and I said yes. And they said, 'Well, not any longer, because he's going back to prison.'"

    Eight days after a state parole office in east Boise had been torched, silent alarms were tripped at another Department of Correction office in west Boise. Police found a broken window and an oily liquid spread across computers and other equipment; moments later, outside, Brown sped around the corner in his two-tone 1978 Volkswagen bus. Officers gave chase and cornered him in an alley behind a grocery store; in the bus were a baseball bat with fragments of glass on it, a gas can, gloves, a flashlight, and a puddle of the oily liquid.

    Brown was arrested and his apartment searched; it was full of stolen property, including lots and lots of computer equipment, along with exotic birds in cages and other items that were tied to a string of business burglaries in Boise. He was sentenced to serve up to 116 years in prison.

    "I went and visited him at the Ada County Jail before he went back to prison," Rich said. "I said, 'Mark, why would you do this? I trusted you, gave you a chance to really start your life over again - this is what you do?'?"

    Rich was looking at Brown through the glass in the jail's visiting area; Brown was emotionless, he said. "He just sort of shook his head. He told me he was a career criminal. He told me, 'This is what I do.'?"

    It's unclear exactly when Brown obtained the electric typewriter that investigators believe he used in the fraud scheme and carried with him from one prison to the next.

    According to his federal indictment, Brown's securities and bankruptcy fraud scheme started in September 2007. That was the same month he was transferred to the North Fork Correctional Facility in Sayre, Okla., a private prison run by Corrections Corp. of America, as Idaho shipped hundreds of inmates out of state due to crowding. Brown stayed there two years, before being returned to the CCA-run Idaho Correctional Center south of Boise.

    On Aug. 28, 2009, a search of Brown's cell at ICC turned up curious items: numerous typewritten letters from various nonexistent law firms "purporting to provide proof of Brown's purchase of various stocks or interest in various settlements," from IBM corporate securities litigation to NovaStar Financial Inc. securities litigation. CCA officials placed Brown in segregation for five days, reclassified him to medium security and notified the Ada County Sheriff's Department that they had a case of apparent mail fraud by an inmate. He also lost commissary privileges for 45 days.

    Nearly two years later, on Oct. 31, 2011, Brown was transferred to the state prison in Orofino. He brought along his typewriter; officials there weren't told of the alleged fraud.

    In March 2012, a mail room officer mentioned to Cpl. Wesley Heckathorn, a guard at the Orofino prison and a former investigator for the U.S. Navy, that Brown seemed to be receiving "a large amount of mail that's marked 'legal mail.'?"

    Legal mail is handled differently than other mail in prisons, which is routinely screened by prison authorities. Inmates are allowed to correspond with their attorneys and the courts to conduct appeals or address other legal matters without such screening.

    The volume of legal mail "struck me as odd," Heckathorn said; he figured such a long-term inmate likely was past the appeals period.

    Heckathorn reported the matter to the warden and other prison authorities, who authorized him to start screening the correspondence. "From March to July, I just kind of covertly monitored all of his phone calls, I was looking at his mail, I was watching his finances, kind of collecting data," Heckathorn said. "In July, I had enough data to indicate that a crime was likely being committed."

    In July 2012, Heckathorn and the prison sent a report to the FBI, which began investigating. In August, a publishing company called him to say Brown had filed a fraudulent claim in the company's bankruptcy litigation.

    A federal grand jury indicted Brown on charges of mail fraud, and a trial is tentatively set to begin in September in U.S. District Court. Much of the nearly $64,000 that authorities believe he received through the prison fraud scheme was transferred to an investment account now targeted for potential forfeiture.

    Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read


    From: scion6/4/2013 11:24:18 AM
       of 122015
     
    “I have read and agree to the Terms” is the biggest lie on the web. We aim to fix that.

    We are a user rights initiative to rate and label website terms & privacy policies, from very good Class A to very bad Class E.

    Terms of service are often too long to read, but it's important to understand what's in them. Your rights online depend on them. We hope that the ratings below can help you with that. Do not hesitate to click on a service to have more details!

    Ratings

    [...]
    more
    tosdr.org

    Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read


    From: StockDung6/4/2013 3:19:50 PM
       of 122015
     
    Prosecutors Want Prison For Ex-Baker Atty in $55M Fraud
    Share us on: Twitter Facebook LinkedIn By Juan Carlos Rodriguez

    Law360, New York (June 04, 2013, 3:11 PM ET) -- Federal prosecutors Friday recommended prison for a former Baker & McKenzie LLP partner who recently pled guilty to taking part in a $55 million stock-fraud deal and skimming $1.6 million in interest from a client’s escrow account.

    Martin Weisberg was a securities partner at the firm’s New York office from 2005 to 2007, when Brooklyn prosecutors charged him with taking kickbacks as part of a scheme that raked in $55 million in illegal profits through secret sales of discounted shares in Ramp Corp. and Xybernaut Corp....

    Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last Read


    From: StockDung6/4/2013 6:07:27 PM
       of 122015
     
    'We're going to die, we're going to die': Storm chaser's last words as widest ever twister bore down

    From POST WIRE SERVICES Last Updated: 4:38 PM, June 4, 2013 Posted: 4:13 PM, June 4, 2013


      AP

      This undated photo provided by The Discovery Channel shows Carl Young, left, and Tim Samaras watching the sky.

      OKLAHOMA CITY — The deadly tornado that struck near Oklahoma City late last week killing 18, including three storm chasers, had a record-breaking width of 2.6 miles and was the second top-of-the-scale EF5 twister to hit the area in less than two weeks, the National Weather Service reported Tuesday.

      The weather service initially rated the Friday tornado that hit El Reno as an EF3. But the agency upgraded the ranking after surveying damage from the twister, which along with subsequent flooding killed 18 people. The weather service determined that the storm packed winds reaching 295 mph.

      Caught in the midst of the gigantic storm was a group of storm chasers who had nowhere to hide. Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Betsy Randolph heard the panicked voices of the crew over her patrol radio right before the storm turned into their car.

      "They were screaming, 'We're going to die, we're going to die,'" Randolph told USA Today. "There was just no place to go. There was no place to hide."

      The three storm chasers — Tim Samaras, his photographer son Paul Samaras, and meteorologist Carl Young — were killed when the twister they were pursuing made a sudden left turn and slammed into their car, sending it flying through the air like a toy.

      The three had no chance, said Tim Samaras’ brother, Jim.



      KFOR TV

      An image taken from video shows the vehicle that longtime storm chaser Tim Samaras, his son Paul and colleague Carl Young were killed when a powerful tornado hit near El Reno, Okla. on May 31.

      “Because of the circumstances on the two-lane road, it appears that he could not get out of the way, and, basically, the tornado picked up his vehicle,” Jim Samaras told the “Today” show.

      The tornado then hurled the light Chevy Cobalt to the ground, leaving it looking as though it had been rammed through a trash compactor, police said.

      Tim Samaras, 55, was found dead still belted into the mangled wreck, while the bodies of his son, 24, and Young, 45, were flung a quarter-mile away— in opposite directions.

      Their car was found upright in a ditch with its wheels blown off and the engine a quarter-mile away.

      The update from the National Weather Service means the Oklahoma City area has seen two of the extremely rare EF5 tornadoes in only 11 days. The other hit Moore, a city about 25 miles away from El Reno, on May 20, killing 24 people and causing widespread damage.

      But Friday's massive tornado avoided the highly populated areas near and around Oklahoma City, and forecasters said that likely saved lives. When the winds were at their most powerful, no structures were nearby, said Rick Smith, chief warning coordination meteorologist for the weather service's office in Norman.

      "Any house would have been completely swept clean on the foundation. That's just my speculation," Smith said. "We're looking at extremes ... in the rare EF5 category. This in the super rare category because we don't deal with things like this often."

      El Reno Mayor Matt White said that while his city of 18,000 residents suffered significant damage — including its vocational-technical center and a cattle stockyard that was reduced to a pile of twisted metal — he said it could have been much worse had the violent twister tracked to the north.

      "If it was two more miles this way, it would have wiped out all of downtown, almost every one of our subdivisions and almost all of our businesses," White said. "It would have taken out everything.

      "It's very scary ... I don't think a normal person can fathom just how scary. I don't think they realize how lucky El Reno was."

      The EF5 storm that hit Moore decimated neighborhoods. In Friday's storm, many of the deaths were caused by heavy flash flooding following the storms. Three storm chasers died in that storm.

      Smith said the storm's 2.6-mile path — besting a record set in 2004 in Hallam, Neb. — would have made the storm hard to recognize up close.

      "A two-and-a-half mile wide tornado would not look like a tornado to a lot of people," Smith said.

      With AP.

      Share RecommendKeepReplyMark as Last ReadRead Replies (1)
      Previous 10 Next 10