Legally Weird - The FindLaw Legal Curiosities Blog

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Jason Nissen seems like a swell guy. Fourteen years ago, as a math teacher at a Queens high school, Nissen sold his students tickets to a free Dave Matthews Band concert. And it turns out he's been turning to shady ticket sales tactics ever since to turn a profit.

Nissen has been charged with wire fraud after using a fake premium ticket exchange as the cover for a Ponzi scheme. Nissen's told investors it would acquire and resell "premium tickets for events like the Super Bowl, the World Cup and the Broadway hit 'Hamilton.'" Instead, it used later investors' funds to pay back initial investors, cheating them out of over $70 million.

"You know what will be great," the civil fine-burdened man thinks to himself, "I'll just pay the whole thing in pennies. That will really show them."

Jokes about paying fines in change have existed since coins were invented, apparently, but most of us don't follow through on the threat because most of us are adults capable of understanding that dumping a bunch of pennies on a civil servant's desk is a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing. Still, some of us try to make a statement in copper-plated coins and need to be reminded that no, they don't have to take your pennies.

Dr. Kadri, a plastic surgeon with an office on Los Angeles's famous Rodeo Drive, has reported that a former employee has stolen thousands of patient records. While privacy rules prevent the doctor from disclosing whether the records stolen include any celebrities, the doctor did explain that the plastic surgery practice has helped countless affluent individuals from many different states and countries.

The employee quit after being confronted about embezzling money. When she quit, she claimed to have lost the company cell phone. However, the cell phone was found at the practice's Palmdale records storage office, after discovering the location had been burglarized. As such, the theft of the 15,000 patient records (the actual paper records) is presumed to be the work of this former employee. Unfortunately, what was found on the phone gave the doctor even more pause.

Never underestimate the stupidity of people on social media. Two adults, who were initially presumed to be teenagers, admitted to and were arrested for abusing a baby alligator by capturing it, blowing smoke into its face, feeding it beer, and using its tail to drink beers off. What's more, these geniuses thought it would be a good idea to post their abuse of the baby animal that is protected by both state and federal law on Snapchat.

The images they posted were saved, posted to Facebook by a concerned viewer, and then transmitted to the authorities, who are still investigating despite having already made arrests and filed charges. Joseph Floyd, 20, and Zachery Brown, 21, are being charged with a misdemeanor for harassing wildlife under state law.

A Kentucky Girl Scouts troop leader, Leah Anne Vick, was arrested this week for allegedly stealing over 6,000 boxes of Girl Scout cookies. With the average box of Girl Scout cookies containing 20 cookies, that's over 120,000 delicious, purloined treats. The street value of all those cookies is estimated at $26,000.

Vick, 26, signed for and picked up the 6,000+ boxes of cookies to distribute to her troop as part of her role as troop leader, but none of her girls ever reported receiving their inventories. It has also been reported that the Girl Scout's organization believes that Vick may have even stolen additional boxes that were destined for other troops, but were unsure because those boxes were not signed for.

With Mother's Day right around the corner, one Athens, Georgia, man provides insight in what not to do in the days leading up to Mother's Day. For the second time in just three months, and on the Wednesday before Mother's Day, Terry Bernard Ball Jr., was arrested in incidents at his mother's house.

What's more is that each incident that happened involved a pork chop and some rather unbecoming conduct, allegedly.

I don't know about you, but if I had just led police on a multistate chase, only stopped after spike strips were deployed, and was facing drunk driving charges, I might be tempted to use an alias. Maybe I might even use a famous person's name. Mind you, I'd probably go for a less recognizable famous person, like Brian Wilson, or, say, John Krasinski.

I don't think I'd be inclined to use the name of the former First Lady, senator from New York, Secretary of State, and, most recently, presidential candidate. Then again, I'm not Holly Lynn Donahoo, of Louisville, Kentucky.

Last week, a California woman was arrested, 'Whip-it' in hand, inhaling laughing gas in front of a police officer. The woman was in her car, in a hospital parking lot, when an officer arrived at the scene due to a report of a woman in a car with a handgun. In addition to charges related to drug use, she may also be charged with carrying a concealed weapon, which was found in her car.

Although nitrous oxide, Whip-its, laughing gas, or similar chemicals and gases may not be illegal to possess, using these and other legal products as inhalants to get high usually will violate the law. Whip-its, for instance, are commonly used by bakers and hobbyists for purposes that do not involve getting high. However, the laughing gas filled cartridges are frequently abused due to their ready availability, which often confuses individuals into thinking that it's actually legal to use Whip-its as a drug.

A napping toddler was discovered in a shopping cart in the Walmart on Liberty Highway in Anderson, South Carolina at around 8:30 in the morning last Thursday. The only problem? The child's parents were nowhere to be found.

According to the Independent Mail, however, police who responded to the scene did notice a woman lurking around, who attempted to walk away as officers approached her. The woman turned out to be Ashley Spivey, the young boy's mother, who was quickly arrested and charged with child neglect.

A married couple in Ohio got their own surprise when both the husband and wife were cited for misdemeanors by police after their gruesome, bad joke was taken too seriously by their Facebook friends. The pair thought it would be funny to stage a murder scene in their bathtub using ketchup, then post pictures of it online. The police were able to quickly catch up to them, and failed to see the humor.

What's worse is that rather than putting a disclaimer, or note, indicating that it was a garden variety joke, the husband was assuming responsibility, proudly. When law enforcement started receiving hysterical calls about the incident, officers arrived at the couple's home, discovering the not-so-clever ruse.