Business Briefs – December 19, 2018

Obama Health Law Sign-Ups Beat Forecast Despite Headwinds

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Affordable Care Act has yet again beaten predictions of its downfall, as government figures released Wednesday showed unexpectedly solid sign-ups for coverage next year. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said nearly 8.5 million people had enrolled as of last Saturday’s deadline, with about a dozen states still left to report. Though the final count won’t be known for a few months, it will be higher.

D.C. Sues Facebook Over Cambridge Analytica Privacy Scandal

WASHINGTON (AP) – The District of Columbia sued Facebook on Wednesday for allowing data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica to improperly access data from as many as 87 million users. D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine’s suit alleges that Facebook misled users about the security of their data and failed to properly monitor third-party apps.

FedEx Drops After Decline

NEW YORK (AP) – FedEx plunged after saying international shipping, especially in Europe, fell in the latest quarter. FedEx also said the U.S.-China trade dispute is affecting its business. FedEx posted a smaller profit than analysts expected.

FedEx stock lost 12.2 percent to $162.51. It has dropped 35 percent this year. Rival UPS lost 3 percent to $94.32 and has slumped 21 percent in 2018.

Ormer Bank Executives Sentenced to Prison for Fraud

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) – Two former executives of the only financial institution criminally charged in connection with the federal bank bailout program were sentenced to prison Wednesday for misleading investors and federal regulators about the bank’s troubled condition in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. Former Wilmington Trust chief credit officer William North, 59, was sentenced to 4½ years in prison, while former controller Kevyn Rakowski, 65, was sentenced to three years. North must also pay a $100,000 fine.

Missouri Farmer Charged In $140M Organic Grain Fraud Scheme

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A Missouri farmer is accused of marketing $140 million worth of non-organic corn, soybeans and wheat as organic over 7½ years. The U.S. attorney’s office in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, charged Randy Constant with fraud on Wednesday. The Chillicothe, Missouri, man is expected to appear in court Thursday. Prosecutors say more than 90 percent of his product was non-organic grain purchased from others. Three Nebraska farmers have pleaded guilty in the alleged scheme.

Consumer Financial Watchdog Abandons Name Change Plan

NEW YORK (AP) – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has decided to abandon a controversial renaming plan, in one of the first big decisions by its new permanent director. The CFPB no longer wants to call itself the “Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection,” a change that had been sought by Mick Mulvaney, President Donald Trump’s acting director of the bureau. The decision was announced in an email by new director Kathy Kraninger on Wednesday, who took over earlier this month.