Serial scammer Barry Minkow fleeced his own flock

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One of Southern California’s most notorious fraudsters has been convicted again, this time for stealing $3 million from a San Diego church congregation where he served as a pastor. Barry Minkow – who’s already serving time in a federal lockup for securities fraud – is facing five years in prison in the church case. Minkow achieved fame as a teenager in the 1980s when he became the youngest person to take a company public. But his cleaning company, ZZZZ Best, turned out to be little more than a Ponzi scheme and Minkow ended up with a 25-year prison sentence. After getting out, Minkow worked with the FBI to help uncover white collar crimes. But he was convicted four years ago of manipulating stock prices of some of the companies he was investigating…Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are embracing the message of fiscal restraint delivered by Gov. Jerry Brown in his state of the state address. But that doesn’t mean there is universal agreement about Brown’s assessment of California’s priorities in the year ahead. In his annual address to state Legislators, Brown offered up a tale of two states: He said California’s resurgence is well underway, but he also cautioned that it’s threatened by economic and environmental uncertainties, especially the drought. Some GOP lawmakers yesterday said Brown isn’t doing enough to pay back California’s long-term debt. On the other hand, a number of Democrats called for more spending on social programs cut during the recession…atkinsThe next speaker of the state Assembly will be the first lesbian to hold that job, and the first San Diegan. Democrat Toni Atkins will succeed termed-out L.A. lawmaker John Perez, who was the first gay man to hold the post. Atkins’ selection could also mean that the top leadership seats in both houses belong to Southern Californians. L.A.’s Kevin De Leon is expected to become Senate Majority Leader. Usually, Southern California and Northern California split leadership responsibilities…occidentalPresident Obama has launched a federal tax force to combat sexual assault on college campuses, crediting a wave of student-led activism with bringing attention to the issue. Some of that activism has taken place at Occidental College, which the president attended. Students and faculty members at the Eagle Rock school have filed a federal complaint saying Occidental didn’t report sexual assaults to the government as required, and accusing Occidental of failing to investigate assault complaints. USC and U.C. Berkeley have been hit with similar allegations. A new federal report says one in five women is a victim of sexual assault while at college…raideretteAnd finally, the Oakland Raiders are being sued by current and former cheerleaders claiming wage theft and other unfair employment practices. The Raiderettes say the football team withheld all of their pay until the end of the season, failed to pay them for all hours worked and required the cheerleaders to pay many of their own business expenses. The cheerleaders say they’re paid $12,5000 a season, which they say adds up to less than $5 bucks an hour for the time they spend rehearsing, performing, and appearing at events.