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Shoplifting and theft of products by staff -- is a problem for any retail store. The bigger the store, the bigger the problem. And, usually, the more expensive the item, the more it is stolen or shoplifted. So, it's only natural for retailers to take precautions.

But what if the items being protected behind locked cases aren't all that expensive? And what if a store is only putting products targeted to African American customers behind locked cases? That's allegedly what a Long Island Walmart was doing with women's hair care products, until they reversed course after a public backlash. But was it illegal?

In many industries, salespeople earn a living thanks to commissions, which can often get characterized as kickbacks. However, sometimes commissions or kickbacks aren't necessarily a good way to sell. They may not even be a legal way to sell, particularly in heavily regulated sectors.

In short, a kickback is illegal when there is a law prohibiting it, or similar conduct. These will often exist in the context of consumer protection laws, as well as government funding. And if you aren't sure whether your commissioned sales team is being paid legit commissions or illegal kickbacks, you'll want to read on.

The Super Bowl is this Sunday. March Madness is right around the corner. And with several states legalizing sports betting recently, 2019 has the potential to be the biggest sports gambling year yet.

So, what do small biz owners need to know before sports betting invades their offices? Here are a few legal pointers.

Some small businesses are licking their proverbial chops about Cyber Monday. Others? Not so much. What's the difference? Well, your outlook could be a bit different depending on whether you're an online retailer, or you're worried about your employees doing some online shopping while on the clock.

Either way, small business owners need to be thinking of data security come Cyber Monday, so here are some legal tips.

As the tumultuous last few years at MoviePass have proven, a subscription-based movie ticketing service is not the easiest thing to figure out. It turns out trying to price a monthly or yearly cost for unlimited movies is pretty tricky.

MoviePass competitor Sinemia is also having trouble with its pricing model. Or, more accurately, is getting into legal trouble for allegedly adding hidden fees to its subscriptions. A group of Sinemia customers is claiming in a lawsuit that the subscription-based service "essentially became a bait-and-switch scheme."

Cities and the FDA Crack Down on E-Cig Teen Vaping

Cities all across the country are putting pressure on various parts of the e-cigarette industry, in an attempt to dampen what is being called a "teenage vaping epidemic." For years, the federal government had been fighting traditional cigarette manufacturers, trying to eliminate sales and marketing to those under 18. But the e-cig movement blindsided officials, and though three steps behind, cities are ready to take on the fight to save youth from Nicotine Addiction 2.0.

There's a lot you need to worry about as an entrepreneur. Can you hire the right team and get the equipment, materials, or data to execute your vision? Is it scalable? Is it even really that good of an idea in the first place? Your nascent business may be the victim of a supply shortage, bear market, or plain old fashioned bad luck, but the last thing you're probably worrying about is your startup being a victim of fraud.

Well, you might want to change that.

A new study by the Harvard Business Review shows that startups are uniquely susceptible to fraud. But why?

Lawsuit: Lobster Company Co-Owner Behind $1.5M Embezzlement

Owning a business is like having a second family. No business owners ever want to believe that an employee, or worse yet a fellow co-owner, is embezzling funds from their company. But unfortunately it happens more often than is ever known, and this time, it happened to a lobster company in Maine. The other owners caught on to the shell game, but not before having tens of thousands of their lobsters sold, without ever receiving a dime.

Goop Settles Lawsuit Over Unscientific Health Claims

Gwenyth Paltrow's company, Goop, settled a lawsuit this week brought by 10 California counties for false advertising after numerous medical and consumer protection groups complained that their products didn't do what they claim they could.

Goop agreed to pay $145,000 in fines as well as refund customers that bought three of its products: the Jade Egg, the Rose Quartz Egg, and the Inner Judge Flower Essence Blend. The first two are egg-shaped products that are vaginally inserted and left for varying lengths of time to balance hormones, regulate menstrual cycles, prevent uterine prolapse, and increase bladder control. Wow -- talk about a panacea! The Inner Judge Flower Essence Blend is a blend of essential oils that can either be consumed or put in bathwater. Goop claimed it counteracted depression.

New Tesla Whistleblower Claims Spying, Drug Dealing at Nevada Plant

Tesla is on a good run of bad luck in the public relations department.

In June, whistleblower Martin Tripp alleged that Tesla manufactured batteries with puncture holes and systematically used waste material in vehicles to chase production goals. Tesla responded with a $1 million lawsuit for hacking and stealing trade secrets.

Two weeks ago, Elon Musk almost broke the internet over his tweet to re-privitize the company, which resulted in an SEC investigation.

Last week, in an interview with the New York Times, Musk broke down in tears, saying his work/life balance is "excruciatingly" out of whack, and offered anyone that wanted to take a crack at running the company to give him a call.