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Fraud and Failure for Your Tuesday
Tuesday, May 9th, 2023
1. Uber's Security Chief Only Executive Sentenced for Covering Up Data Breach
How cheeky! The former chief security officer for Uber has been sentenced to three years of probation for trying to cover up a 2016 data breach in which hackers accessed tens of millions of customer records from the ride-hailing service. Joseph Sullivan was convicted by a federal jury in San Francisco last October of obstructing justice and concealing knowledge that a federal felony had been committed. Joseph knows snitches get stiches. He was ordered to pay a fine of $50,000 and no other Uber executives were charged in the case.
2. The J-Spot: Charlie Javice vs. JPMorgan
Judge Kathaleen McCormick has ordered JPMorgan Chase to pay Charlie Javice's legal fees in her 9-figure fraud case. The ruling comes after JPMorgan sued Javice for fraud in its $175 million acquisition of her college financial-planning site, Frank. The bank claimed that the acquisition was made under the guise that Frank had 4.265 million customers, but instead received a business with fewer than 300,000 customers. Charlie Javice is facing an iconic trio of criminal charges for conspiracy: wire fraud, bank fraud, and securities fraud. What a legend.
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3. Construction Permitting Made Easy: PermitFlow's Seed Funding
PermitFlow, a San Jose-based startup developing software for developers and general contractors to streamline the absolutely hellish construction permit application and management process, has secured $5.5 million in seed funding. Co-founders Samuel Lam and Francis Thumpasery designed the company to provide the $1.6 trillion construction market with permitting intelligence and software automation via their product that was in beta testing in 2021 and 2022 before launching a little over a year ago. It now works with dozens of customers in California, Texas and Florida and has supported permitting to over $600 million of project value. Construction isn't the sexiest industry, oh wait... maybe it kind of is?
4. Lucid Still the Ugly EV Stepsister
American automaker Lucid Motors has reported a 159% increase in revenue for Q1 2023, but the company's production and delivery numbers were down compared to a quarter ago. The company remains optimistic about its future, however, and has enough cash on hand to keep its operation going through at least Q1 2024. A year of runway doesn't sound all that comforting but okay sure. In April, the company's deliveries slipped a bit compared to a quarter ago, but the company remains confident it will produce at least 10,000 vehicles this year.
5. Beware! PaLM 2 to Join the AI Arms Race
Google's annual developer conference, Google I/O, is set to unveil a number of AI updates, including a general-use large language model called PaLM 2 which has been tested on a broad range of coding, analytical, and creative tests. And yes, PaLM probably aced every single one. The company will also make announcements on the theme of how artificial intelligence is "helping people reach their full potential". The updates come as competition ramps up in the AI arms race, with Google and Microsoft racing to incorporate chat AI technology into their products.