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La Barbecue owner-manager duo indicted for insurance fraud​

(la Barbecue/Facebook)

The couple behind East Austin restaurant hotspot la Barbecue have been indicted for their alleged role in "a $350,000 workers' compensation fraud scheme," the Texas Department of Insurance said Tuesday.


LeAnn Mueller, who owns the barbecue restaurant and food truck, will be summoned to appear in Travis County District Court alongside Allison Clem, her wife and la Barbecue's manager. Both were ordered to appear in court Sept. 28.

The charge stems from 2016, when an employee suffered "severe injuries while operating a piece of kitchen equipment," per the press release. La Barbecue had been without workers' compensation coverage since November 2014.

Clem and Mueller found out about the incident that day, and Clem called Paychex Insurance for coverage four days later. The manager then asked to backdate the new policy to July 1, 2016, three weeks before the injury, and claimed no prior losses.

Travelers Casualty Insurance Company of America approved the injury claim and paid over $350,000 in medical and indemnity benefits, including lifetime care, to the employee.

If found guilty, the two could be ordered to pay $700,000—double the original compensation given to the injured worker—plus restitution.

"We believe once a jury hears the facts, that la Barbecue, LeAnn Mueller and Allison Clem will be exonerated," Clem and Mueller's lawyer told Axios.

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With deposition and trial looming, Elon Musk has offered $44B for Twitter, again
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Elon Musk has proposed once again to buy Twitter for $54.20 a share.

The news that Musk is offering to carry on with the $44 billion buyout was first reported by Bloomberg. Now, a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission shows Musk made the proposal in a letter to the tech giant on Monday.

The New York Stock Exchange temporarily halted trading in Twitter stock twice Tuesday, first because of a big price move and the second time for a news event, presumably the announcement of Musk's renewed offer.

While the per share offer price on this latest proposal remains the same as the original offer, it’s unclear if Musk has made other term changes or if Twitter would reject it. According to other reports, a deal could be reached this week.

The stock closed at $52.00/share Tuesday, indicating market uncertainty around the $54.20 offer.

After Musk informed Twitter of plans to terminate the original agreement in July, Twitter sued. A trial has been expected in Delaware Chancery Court on Oct. 17.

With the proposition of a buyout on the table again, it revives the question of whether Musk might move Twitter from San Francisco to Central Texas.

He’s done so with some of his other companies. Tesla’s headquarters in southeast Travis County had its grand opening earlier this year and tunneling business The Boring Company moved to Pflugerville. At least two other Musk companies, SpaceX and Neuralink, have a Central Texas presence without being headquartered here.

Technology journalist Nilay Patel this afternoon voiced concerns that owning Twitter and Tesla together could be problematic for Musk, as his Tesla manufacturing facilities in Germany and China are both in countries that have disputes with Twitter over content moderation and censorship.

Telsa shares fell after the Twitter news became public, before rallying to close up, at $249.44.