Desi Talk

4 September 6, 2019 NATIONAL AFFAIRS – that’s all you need to know By Ezra Fieser H amdi Ulukaya, a Turkish immigrant who used a small business loan to build a best-selling yogurt brand in the U.S., has a plan to solve the world's growing refugee crisis: Give them jobs. During a trip to Colombia, where he was meeting with business leaders and Venezuelan migrants, the billionaire founder of the Greek-style yogurt producer Chobani said companies have a responsibility to help solve the global refugee emergency. "The number one thing is hiring, a job," he said in an interview in Bogota. "For a refugee, it's day and night. That's the point at which they find their life can continue." Ulukaya, 46, is putting his money where his mouth is. Chobani has a policy of employing refugees at its U.S. plants, and he has pledged much of his personal fortune to the Tent Partnership for Refugees, a charity he founded. Since then, he's been traveling to recruit business leaders, pushing them to give refugees equal consideration when hiring employees. "It's good for the companies to be a part of this," he said. "Because people five years or 10 years from now are going to question 'What did you do about this? Why were you not part of this?' " The UN Refugee Agency estimates that the world- wide population of forcibly displaced people, which includes refugees and other migrants, has risen nearly 70% over the past decade, to roughly 71 million. About 4 million Venezuelans have fled an economic and humanitarian crisis in their homelands. Some 1.4 million have settled in Colombia, a country of 49 mil- lion that has called on international donors to help it cover growing costs. Ulukaya said a "significant" number of businesses in the goods and services industries with operations in Latin America have agreed to join him in helping Venezuelan migrants in Colombia by providing employment and other initiatives. They will announce their commitments next month in New York to coin- cide with the first day of the United Nations General Assembly. Raised in a dairy-farming family in Turkey, Ulukaya bought a shuttered Kraft Foods factory in upstate New York and launched his company in 2007 using a loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration. He turned the thick-style Chobani yogurt into a house- hold name in the U.S., where it is the No. 1 yogurt by sales, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The closely-held company has struggled in recent years as Greek yogurt sales dipped and competition increased. The yogurt maker's 2025 bond traded below 80 cents on the dollar at the end of 2018 before recov- ering to around 93 cents this month. Private equity firm TPG Capital lent Chobani $750 million in 2014 and received warrants that could have been converted into equity. Chobani paid off TPG last year by selling a 20% equity stake to Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan, which Ulukaya described as a "long-term minority investor." Sales have improved in 2019, the company said, and annual revenues are around $1.5 billion. For now, Ulukaya said he sees no need to take Chobani public, instead focusing on launching new products "in cate- gories where we've never been before," without elabo- rating on the products or timing. "I'm not against an IPO," he said. "I just have to do it for the right reason and at the right time." Ulukaya's net worth was estimated at $1.1 billion last year, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. In 2015, he signed on to the Giving Pledge cam- paign, popularized by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, and promised to commit the majority of his personal wealth to end the global refugee crisis. -B LOOMBERG Hamdi Ulukaya, CEO of Chobani, during an interview in Bogota, Colombia, on Aug. 27, 2019. IvanValencia— Bloomberg Hiring Refugees Is How To Solve Crisis, Yogurt Billionaire Says By StaffWriter resident Donald J. Trump announced Aug. 28, the names of a number of individuals he intends to nominate for federal judgeships, among them an Indian-American who was a former prosecutor. Shireen Matthews of California is being nominated by the President to serve as Judge on the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. Matthews, a magna cum laude gradu- ate of Georgetown University with a J.D. cum laude from Duke University School of Law, is currently a partner at Jones Day in San Diego, California. Prior to joining the firm, Matthews served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of California from July 2008 to September 2013, according to her profile on LinkedIn. Before entering government service, she was an associate with Latham & Watkins LLP in San Diego. After graduating from law school, Matthews served as a law clerk for Judge Irma E. Gonzalez of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. In her practice at Jones Day, Matthews says she “helps companies conduct internal investigations and build, enhance, and maintain effective corporate compliance programs.” She regularly defends clients before a range of government agencies including the Department of Justice, Health and Human Services-OIG, Environmental Protection Agency, and the Department of Defense. She worked on a wide variety of white-collar criminal cases involving allegations of bribery of public officials, defense contractor fraud, false claims, and health care fraud. At the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Matthews served as the Criminal Health Care Fraud Coordinator prosecuting violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute, criminal false claims, and aggravated identity theft. Her success stories include uncover- ing a multimillion dollar fraud involving stolen medical equipment from Camp Pendleton, a health care fraud investiga- tion of a hospital CEO, prosecution of wide-ranging contract fraud by a San Diego-based biotech firm, and obtain- ing one of the largest individual restitu- tion awards for the Social Security trust fund, she says on LinkedIn. She also has broad criminal trial experience and has successfully briefed and argued several cases before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, she added. She serves as the co-chair of the Lawyer Representatives for the Southern District of California and is on the Board of Directors for the San Diego Chapter of the South Asian Bar Association. She also serves on Jones Day’s firm-wide Diversity, Inclusion & Advancement Committee, and is active- ly involved in the firm’s pro bono initia- tive to provide legal assistance to veter- ans of the U.S. Armed Forces. Shireen Matthews Photo:LinkedIn President Trump Announces Slew Of Judicial Nominees Including An Indian-American P From News Dispatches A n Indian-American woman from Massachusetts who was facing a second degree murder convic- tion and life sentence for charges relating to violent shaking of a baby in her care, leading to its death, has been spared to serve a lower jail term. Pallavi Macharla’s sentence would be reduced as a result of the judge changing her verdict from second- degree murder to ‘involuntary manslaughter,’ the Boston Globe reported. Middlesex Superior Court Judge Kenneth Fishman said in his 17-page ruling Aug. 19, that, “This court cannot permit a verdict of second-degree murder to stand in the presence of such highly contested and inconsistent evidence,” the Boston Globe reported. Macharla was convicted this May 13, 2019, in the death of 6-month old Ridhima Dhekane more than five years ago in March 2014. According to the Boston Globe, the four-week trial saw a number of medical experts presenting different theories about how Ridhima Dhekane died. Macharla is a doctor by training from India, who ran an at-home day-care center. According to news reports on the case, prosecutors contended Macharla shook Ridhima so hard that her brain bled. Macharla on the other hand, said the child had vomited soon after being fed home-made apple sauce and stopped breathing. Though her defense wanted Macharla to be set free, the judge decided only on the reduced verdict, con- ceding that the Indian-American doctor had “no his- tory of abusive behavior toward children in the past but rather was a patient, considerate, and loving care- taker of children,” the Globe quoted him saying in his report. The Judge added, “There is, however, a child who has tragically died, coupled with evidence of extraordinary internal injuries that some experts would attribute to abusive head trauma in the form of a shaking and/or a blow.” As a result of this change in the verdict, Macharla’s life sentence will go down to around 5 years of incar- ceration, according to the Boston Globe. Judge Downgrades Verdict For Woman In Death Of Baby