Saturday, May 7, 2011

Englishwoman Gets Seven Years for Using Fake Names to Bilk VAT Refunds

A lesson to me.  Thankfully I was never arrested for fraud.  I used to tell men in bars who paid unwanted attentions back in my wild days that I was Betty Boop.  Gave out fake phone numbers, too.  Yes, really!  Shame, shame on me.

Conwoman claimed to be BOTH daughters of T.S. Eliot to help steal £118k (even though the poet didn't have any children)
By Daily Mail Reporter

Last updated at 9:07 AM on 6th May 2011

Alison Reynolds (from article)
A con artist who posed as the identical twin daughters of poet T.S. Eliot was today jailed for seven years after defrauding the Government of nearly £120,000.

Alison Reynolds pretended to be both Claire and Chess Eliot, who she claimed were the twin daughters of the poet. In fact, Eliot never had any children.Reynolds used wigs, stage make-up and a variety of costumes to portray herself as at least 32 different people, Southampton Crown Court heard.

Using some of the fake identities, she posed as a theatre producer and director and falsely claimed VAT credits in the name of bogus dramatic companies.Actors and stage technicians had complained they had been left out of pocket after appearing in productions by Reynolds. [Oh, poor babies.  Go to Hollywood, see what happens to you there!]

Reynolds, 48, from Southampton, Hants, admitted eight charges including VAT fraud - claiming back VAT she had never spent - having a false driving licence and falsifying legal letters. She claimed VAT credits in the name of bogus theatre companies including Myths And Mirrors, Dreamweavers and Plan B at different locations around the country.

The names Claire and Chess Eliot were just two of a string of disguises Reynolds used to claim tax credits in the name of the companies.

And she even wrote a play about a woman who uses a false identity to become a Hollywood producer. [Oh come on, lots of people pretend to be Hollywood producers.]

Prosecutor Cairns Nelson QC told the court: 'What is clear is that this defendant is a dishonest fantastist. She created a job lot of bent accounts and used them for each of the companies she was involved with. The level of dishonesty and fraud is breathtaking.' [Right. They're just pissed off because she got away with over 100,000 pounds in tax fraud. Men who do this get movies made about them. See below.]

Mr. Nelson said it was doubtful the firms took part in legitimate business but instead were vehicles to commit fraud using false invoices to try and fool the authorities.

Reynolds had previous convictions for dishonesty dating back to 1987 and had used 13 different dates of birth during her criminal career, the court heard. In 2002 she was made the subject of a restraining order preventing her from using other names without informing the court or police.

In 2003, she moved to Burton-upon-Trent in Staffordshire where she pretended to be identical twins Claire and Chess Eliot. She set up The Journeyman Theatre Company and wrote a play, Desperately Seeking Jake Roverton, to make her scam more compelling. She even convinced managers at The Brewhouse Theatre to let her rehearse there free of charge. [What is the crime here - stupidity on the part of the theatre managers?]

The ruse was rumbled after theatre staff became suspicious that they had never seen Claire and Chess in the same room. Confronted by staff, she claimed to be in fact Denise Bryan. Staffordshire police investigated but did not find enough evidence to charge her.

A year later, Reynolds resurfaced in Sheffield using the alias Rebecca Perry, this time promoting a UK tour of play, Picture Perfect, by her new enterprise, Dreamweavers Theatre Company.

Next she went to Bristol setting up Plan B Theatre Company using the assumed name Alison Kennedy, peddling a new play called Holding Out For A Hero.

When police raided the Belle Gray clothes shop Reynolds owned in Lymington in 2008, HMRC officers found passports and driving licences in a number of names. Officers also discovered To Do lists with a reminder of 'VAT invoices to fake'. One letter on headed paper from a bogus firm said one of her aliases had gone missing in the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami.  Reynolds had even worked as a PA at a firm of solicitors under the name Jessica Maynard and had stolen an official stamp and headed paper to help her dupe the VAT man. [I'm sorry - I'm laughing right now.  This is just too funny.  She must have been very good at her job at the law firm.]

Abigail Coghill-Smith, defending Reynolds, who was born Virginia Povall, said she was bullied at school because of her name. She also suggested that her frauds were not complex.

But Judge Peter Ralls QC disagreed.  Sentencing Reynolds, he said: 'There is an extraordinary level of planning and preparation and a staggering level of dishonesty in this case. I'm not sure I have seen a case which involved such persistent and detailed fraudulent activity. This is not VAT evasion - you're basically stealing from the public purse, dipping in as if it's your own and taking money that you have not earned. All of the receipts and invoices you have produced have a very genuine look about them. Quite a lot of trouble has gone into producing them. You hid your identity to make it more unlikely that you would be caught.' [Yeah, right.  You're just pissed off because a woman outfoxed The Man for so long.]

Reynolds was jailed for six years concurrently for the eight counts of fraud and given a 12 month sentence to run consecutively for perverting justice and breaching a restraining order.

She was also disqualified from acting as a company director for ten years.[Ouch! This punishment hurts! Now she can't be on the Board of Directors of a NYSE listed company. Maybe we need to give this judge a job in the USA and go after the rogues and posseurs who inhabit the halls of corporate America and Congress.] A number of other counts of fraud were left on file.
Men who do this kind of thing get movies made about them.  Two movies that I remember, specifically: one starring Tony Curtis as "The Great Imposter" - Ferdinand Waldo Demara, Jr.;  the other starring Leonardo di Caprio and Tom Hanks "Catch Me If You Can" - about Frank Abagnale, Jr. Abagnale actually committed financial crimes - but he passed the bar exam legitimately in the state of Louisiana when he was only 19.  Hmmmm....

Love This Image!

I don't watch the program - watching clueless 20 and 30-somethings going through who-knows-what-all to score a bedmate is yawn stuff to me.

I came across this image while doing my usual check of "chess news."  Love it!

Of course, this isn't anything new.  Three-handed chess variants have been around for a long time :)  Still, nice to see a mock-up of such a board being used in a television show (no matter how infantile it is), but really, darlings, the third set of chess pieces should be a different color from black and white!  Duh! 

3-way chess board and pieces

The Mask of the Red Queen

Sensational photo by Selkie - thank you! 

The Mask of the Red Queen and other priceless art objects/tableaus/murals are on temporary display in the Mexican National Museum in Mexico City.

More than 1,000 Year-Old Archaeological Pieces from Palenque Studied and Restored
May 7, 2011

MEXICO CITY.- [Excerpted] Archaeological pieces created more than 1000 years ago, found at the ancient city of Palenque, Chiapas, such as the tableau of the Temple of the Cross (Templo de la Cruz), the mask of the Red Queen (Reina Roja) and a group of figurines that represent members of the Palenque dynasty, have been restored or studied parting from their display at the exhibition Six Ancient Cities of Mesoamerica at the National Museum of Anthropology, already visited by 33,400 persons.

Laura Filloy, curator of the hall dedicated to Palenque at the exhibit that will be open until June 2011, commented that this show has represented an opportunity of enhancing the value of artwork from Palenque that is part of the collection of the museums of Anthropology (MNA) and Palenque Site Museum, as well as the Community Museum at Emiliano Zapata, Tabasco.

The Mask of the Red Queen (Reina Roja)
Restorer Laura Filloy mentioned that although the funerary mask of the woman who wed Pakal II underwent restoration recently, conducted by expert Juan Alfonso Cruz, the fact of being exhibited favored new analyses.

“We took advantage of the mask being transported from Palenque Site Museum to Mexico City to conduct analyses with the support of Dr. Jose Luis Ruvalcaba, from the Institute of Physics of the UNAM, in order to study the mineral used to create it.

“Unlike other Maya funerary masks, made out of jade and jadeite, the mask of the Red Queen (made near 672 AD and discovered in 1994) was made with an unknown type of malachite; we want to know where Palenque people found it, although there are unexplored mines near Palenque that were exploited not too long ago”, explained the specialist who works at the Restoration Area of the National Museum of Anthropology.

Those Pesky Vikings - They're Everywhere!

Remains of a Viking settlement have been found smack dab in the middle of the Temple Bar district in Dublin, Ireland! There is a 16-photo display within the article.

Archaeologists find new Viking site in Temple Bar
Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Overview shot of the excavation, from article.
 A VIKING SETTLEMENT has been uncovered in Temple Bar during building work to build a retractable canopy over Meeting House Square.

The settlement is believed to have been originally situated on what would have been an island in the middle of the River Poddle but would have been destroyed by flood waters in the 10th or 11th century.

Dermot McLaughlin, CEO of the Temple Bar Cultural Trust, posted a video blog in March that a “medieval, timber structure” had been uncovered. Further archaeological investigations found the two Viking homes at Meeting House Square, in the centre of Temple Bar. Bits of pottery from a slightly later era were also found at the site, when it was uncovered two weeks ago.

The discoveries were made during building for the erection of four large retractable umbrella-style canopies that will provide shelter over the square in inclement weather. Currently the square plays host to a food market on Saturdays and a host of events, festivals and outdoor film screenings during the summer months. The new improvements are intended to help make the space useable year-round.

Temple Bar is to celebrate 20 years of the Trust this year.

"Hill" Is Actually a "Tell" in Erbil

From the Kurdish Globe (in English)
Saturday, 07 May 2011, 07:49 GMT
7,000-year-old village discovered in Erbil
The Kurdish Globe
By Qassim Khidhir--Erbil

Remains of extinct birds found at excavation site

Erbil city has more than 1,000 potential archeological sites. The hills were once villages that were abandoned, destroyed or the inhabitants wiped out by disease. According to Erbil Directorate of Archeology, of the 1,000 archeological sites in Erbil, only one percent has been excavated.

How the site was discovered
At the end of 2010, archaeologist Nadir Babakir carefully looked at a hill in the Hasarok quarter, a new area on the eastern outskirts of Erbil. After some initial research, Babakir was convinced the hill was a historical site. "Immediately, I informed the Directorate of Archeology and the Ministry of Tourism and municipality about it," he said. "I was very worried because the government had already given the land to the people to build houses on it."

Later, the Directorate of Archeology sent a team to the site and, after some research, the team confirmed it as an archeological site. After that, the Ministry of Municipality told the landowners to stop building houses on and around the land. The ministry compensated the 60 landlords.

The government names the site Nadir, after Babakir. Under Kurdistan law, the government names archaeological sites after the person who discovers them, as a way to honor those who inform the authorities.

The age of the site
The Directorate of Archeology signed an agreement with the University of Athens to excavate the site. A team of archeologists from Athens University has excavated for a month. In a press conference, the head of the Greek team, Dr. Kosta disclosed that the initial research has put the age of the site at around 7,000 years old and it is from the Mesopotamian era.

Dr. Kosta said more than 1,000 archeological artifacts have been found at the site, including sacks, vases and animal paintings, as well as the remains of people, animals and birds. The excavation site is around 10,000 square meters. "The remains of some of the birds discovered are species that no longer exist," he said. The team will return in October to continue the excavation. Work on the site will continue for five years.

Kurdistan eyes archeological tourism
Kurdistan has at least 1,307 known archaeological sites. Among the most famous is the Erbil Citadel, the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in the world, which has been settled since 6,000 B.C.

Another is the Shanidar Cave, where nine Neanderthal skeletons were found, dating back 60,000 to 80,000 years. The cave is in Bradost Mountain, in Erbil province. It was excavated between 1957 and 1961 by Ralph Solecki and his team from America 's Columbia University and yielded the first adult Neanderthal skeletons in Iraq. One skeleton and casts of the others are at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Erbil and Suleimaniya both have museums with collections of antiquities, statues and remains from the Region, while Duhok Traditional Museum displays Kurdistan's folklore and heritage.

2011 European Women's Individual Chess Championship

Standings after Round 1 (long list):
Salome Melia, Georgia
Alexandra Kosteniuk, Russia

Rank after Round 1

1IMKosintseva NadezhdaRUS25671.01
GMKosintseva TatianaRUS25591.01
GMDzagnidze NanaGEO25571.01
GMLahno KaterynaUKR25301.01
GMDanielian ElinaARM25061.01
GMStefanova AntoanetaBUL25061.01
GMCmilyte ViktorijaLTU25041.01
IMKhotenashvili BelaGEO24701.01
GMCramling PiaSWE24681.01
IMMkrtchian LilitARM24681.01
IMUshenina AnnaUKR24681.01
GMArakhamia-Grant KetevanSCO24621.01
IMGaponenko InnaUKR24551.01
IMJavakhishvili LelaGEO24541.01
IMMoser EvaAUT24451.01
IMMelia SalomeGEO24441.01
IMKhurtsidze NinoGEO24361.01
IMKhukhashvili SopikoGEO24211.01
IMFoisor Cristina-AdelaROU24141.01
WGMPaikidze NaziGEO24081.01
IMOvod EvgenijaRUS24041.01
WGMBatsiashvili NinoGEO23991.01
WGMSavina AnastasiaRUS23891.01
IMMilliet SophieFRA23881.01
IMRomanko MarinaRUS23871.01
IMGalojan LilitARM23771.01
IMLomineishvili MaiaGEO23761.01
WGMRogule LauraLAT23621.01
WGMKovanova BairaRUS23611.01
IMPurtseladze MakaGEO23521.01
WIMMikadze MirandaGEO23511.01
IMZimina OlgaITA23461.01
WGMMamedjarova ZeinabAZE23421.01
WGMKochetkova JuliaSVK23411.01
WGMSzczepkowska-Horowska KarinaPOL23361.01
IMGvetadze SopioGEO23301.01
WGMStojanovic AndjelijaSRB23261.01
WIMCharochkina DariaRUS23201.01
WIMMammadova Gulnar Marfat QiziAZE23121.01
IMKachiani-Gersinska KetinoGER23091.01
WGMDaulyte DeimanteLTU23061.01
WGMManakova MariaSRB23031.01
WGMGuramishvili SopikoGEO22991.01
WGMCherednichenko SvetlanaUKR22971.01
WGMKrivec JanaSLO22961.01
WGMNemcova KaterinaCZE22941.01
WIMJanjghava NatiaGEO22911.01
WIMSeveriukhina ZojaRUS22911.01
WIMZiaziulkina NastassiaBLR22911.01
WIMIsgandarova Khayala Ilqar QiziAZE21431.01
WIMAlexanian NelliRUS21411.01
WFMMelashvili NinoGEO21041.01
WFMGoryachkina AleksandraRUS21031.01
Ibrahimova Sabina Oqtay QiziAZE20781.01
55IMMuzychuk AnnaSLO25370.51
GMKosteniuk AlexandraRUS25220.51
IMMuzychuk MariyaUKR24730.51
GMHoang Thanh TrangHUN24560.51
WGMPogonina NatalijaRUS24480.51
IMBodnaruk AnastasiaRUS24190.51
WGMZawadzka JolantaPOL24000.51
WGMSharevich AnnaBLR23780.51
WGMCharkhalashvili IngaGEO23730.51
IMSedina ElenaITA23510.51
WGMMamedjarova TurkanAZE23220.51
WIMTsatsalashvili KetiGEO22800.51
WIMArabidze MeriGEO22770.51
WIMUmudova NargizAZE22300.51
WFMSemenova ElenaRUS21880.51
WGMShaydullina SandugachRUS21600.51
WFMHairapetian AnnaARM21280.51
WFMMotycakova MonikaSVK21070.51
Skrabakova KatarinaSVK20710.51
WFMKharatyan AnahitARM20640.51
Guliyeva Sabina Ilqar QiziAZE20400.51
Shamatava AnaGEO19170.51
77IMHouska JovankaENG24290.01
GMZhukova NataliaUKR24280.01
WGMShadrina TatianaRUS23970.01
WGMGirya OlgaRUS23940.01
IMMatveeva SvetlanaRUS23800.01
WIMKhurtsilava IngaGEO22860.01
WGMAginian NellyARM22840.01
WIMBulmaga IrinaROU22840.01
WIMNikoladze SopioGEO22780.01
WIMKazimova Narmin Nizami QiziAZE22620.01
WIMOzturk KubraTUR22620.01
WIMOlsarova TerezaCZE22340.01
WIMFakhiridou EkateriniGRE22250.01
WFMFoisor Mihaela-VeronicaROU22200.01
WIMYildiz Betul CemreTUR22190.01
WGMKhmiadashvili TamarGEO22040.01
Vakhania AlexandraGEO21890.01
WIMTereladze SopikoGEO21770.01
WIMAbdulla Khayala Mardan QiziAZE21680.01
WIMGavasheli AnaGEO21600.01
WFMKhazhomia SalomeGEO21520.01
WFMCherednichenko ElenaUKR21470.01
WFMZhorzholiani MeriGEO21360.01
WFMIkonomopoulou MariaGRE21210.01
WFMNovkovic JuliaAUT21200.01
WFMBokuchava MadonaGEO21150.01
WFMFataliyeva Ulviyya Hasil QiziAZE21050.01
WIMMakka IouliaGRE21010.01
WIMLauterbach IngridENG21000.01
WFMMartirosyan LiaARM20930.01
WFMKhalafova Narmin Ilgar QiziAZE20650.01
Gevorgyan MariaARM20650.01
Jalabadze NatiaGEO20520.01
Rizhamadze PatmanGEO20520.01
Edes ZsofiaSVK20430.01
Boyard MarieLUX19890.01
Kobeshavidze LikaGEO19880.01
Kuchava AnaGEO19730.01
Unapkoshvili NaniGEO19700.01
Mammadova Aysel Alishiraz QiziAZE19640.01
Imnadze NatoGEO19620.01
Asgarova Turan Nizami QiziAZE19570.01
Soyunlu Narmin Asat QiziAZE18840.01
Gogishvili DeaGEO18560.01
Khomeriki NinoGEO18320.01
Choladze MariamGEO18180.01
Ghukasyan SiranushARM17660.01
Trapaidze LiziGEO17440.01
Kakutia AdaGEO17270.01
Gumberidze NinoGEO16640.01
WFMJalaghonia NinoGEO15620.01
Mumladze MaiaGEO15170.01
Javakhishvili MariamGEO14910.01
Tedoshvili AnaGEO14690.01

2011 Asian Women's Chess Championship

Standings after Round 6- I corrected my prior post to indicate that the ladies are playing 9 rounds, not just 7.  Now I'm thoroughly confused:

Rank after Round 6

Rk.NameFEDRtgPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
1IMKaravade EeshaIND23434.51.0236817.0
2IMMunguntuul BatkhuyagMGL24634.50.0240619.0
3WIMPham Le Thao NguyenVIE23404.00.0240819.5
4WIMSabirova OlgaUZB22254.00.0239016.5
5IMHarika DronavalliIND25204.00.0236717.5
6WGMGomes Mary AnnIND23384.00.0236117.5
7WGMHuang QianCHN24004.00.0235416.0
8WGMTan ZhongyiCHN24014.00.0233317.5
9WGMSukandar Irine KharismaINA23623.50.0238619.5
10WIMNguyen Thi Mai HungVIE23093.50.0234016.5
11WGMHoang Thi Bao TramVIE23253.50.0227215.5
12WIMMuminova NafisaUZB23463.00.0237917.0
13WFMKhademalsharieh SarasadatIRI21663.00.0234416.5
14WGMNguyen Thi Thanh AnVIE23383.00.0234218.0
15Nodirjanova NodiraUZB21663.00.0232613.0
16WGMPadmini RoutIND23423.00.0229114.5
17WGMPourkashiyan AtousaIRI23743.00.0228314.5
18WGMSoumya SwaminathanIND23743.00.0227212.0
19WIMHejazipour MitraIRI22462.50.0241018.5
20WIMNakhbayeva GuliskhanKAZ22442.50.0235717.5
21Asgarizadeh MinooIRI20362.50.0234617.0
22WIMHamrakulova YulduzUZB22012.50.0232715.5
23WGMSwathi GhateIND23172.50.0225513.0
24WFMHakimifard GhazalIRI22182.00.0236616.5
25Alavi HomaIRI20092.00.0235112.5
26WIMGhader Pour ShayestehIRI22502.00.0233617.0
27Vardkar MariamIRI18970.50.5225815.0
28Ghaderi FarzanehIRI17160.50.5220413.5
29WGMTuvshintugs BatchimegMGL23130.00.0012.5

Tie Break1: The results of the players in the same point group#results against
Tie Break2: rating average of the opponents (variabel with parameters)
Tie Break3: Buchholz Tie-Breaks (variabel with parameter)

Pairings for Round 7:

Round 7 on 2011/05/08 at 1500

13WGMTan Zhongyi 24014IMMunguntuul Batkhuyag 24632
29IMKaravade Eesha 23434WIMPham Le Thao Nguyen 234011
31IMHarika Dronavalli 252044WGMGomes Mary Ann 233812
44WGMHuang Qian 240044WIMSabirova Olga 222521
57WGMSukandar Irine Kharisma 2362WIMNguyen Thi Mai Hung 230917
65WGMPourkashiyan Atousa 23743WGMHoang Thi Bao Tram 232514
713WGMNguyen Thi Thanh An 233833WGMSoumya Swaminathan 23746
824WFMKhademalsharieh Sarasadat 216633WIMMuminova Nafisa 23468
910WGMPadmini Rout 234233Nodirjanova Nodira 216625
1015WGMSwathi Ghate 2317WIMHamrakulova Yulduz 220123
1120WIMNakhbayeva Guliskhan 2244WIMHejazipour Mitra 224619
1226Asgarizadeh Minoo 20362Alavi Homa 200927
1318WIMGhader Pour Shayesteh 22502½Vardkar Mariam 189728
1429Ghaderi Farzaneh 1716½2WFMHakimifard Ghazal 221822
1516WGMTuvshintugs Batchimeg 231300not paired
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