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Archive for December 14th, 2009

63-Year-Old Calif. Man Charged With Using NASCAR Scam to Bilk Investors out of $10 Million

nascar
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

NASCAR is often associated with the roar of the crowd and the smell of burning rubber.  In Los Angeles,  it may be associated with the roar of angry investors and the smell of a scandalous investment.

Federal authorities in Los Angeles charged Eliott Jay Dresher, 63, of Chatsworth, Calif., with allegedly taking at least $10 million from about 50 investors, including family and friends, to finance a wholesale business to distribute NASCAR merchandise to big box stores like Costco.

In return, investors were to get returns of 20 to 25 percent every six months, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Turns out, authorities said, there was no such business, and investor were paid money from what turned out to be a Ponzi scheme.

Authorities say the Ponzi scheme collapsed last year,  as did many, when he was unable to make payments to investors.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said a federal magistrate judge  on Monday determined he was a flight risk and ordered him detained pending his Jan. 26 trial.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Karen Loeffler Sworn in as Alaska’s First Female U.S. Attorney

Karen Loeffler/jason kohler-kttu-tv
Karen Loeffler/jason kohler-ktuu-tv

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Karen Loeffler officially became Alaska’s first female U.S. Attorney on Friday.

Loeffler was sworn in at a ceremony in the U.S. District Courthouse in Anchorage, KTUU-tv reported.

Former U.S. Attorney Robert Bundy administered the oath to Loeffler and described her as a brilliant attorney and state shooter, the tv station reported.

“Being the U.S. attorney is a big deal,” Loeffler said, according to the station. “It’s a very important office. There’s a lot of challenges that we have now. We have very good state and local partners, and we’re working very hard on addressing issues and hearing from people what the issues are.”

It Ain’t the Swine Flu, But the FBI Says it’s a Virus Worth Looking Out For

computer virus By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON – It may not be the menacing Swine Flu, but this virus could cause you some pain.

The FBI has issued a consumer warning regarding a pop-up security message on the Internet.

“The messages may contain a virus that could harm your computer, cause costly repairs or, even worse, lead to identity theft,” the FBI said in a press release. “The messages contain scareware, fake or rogue anti-virus software that looks authentic.

“The message may display what appears to be a real-time, anti-virus scan of your hard drive. The scareware will show a list of reputable software icons; however, you can’t click a link to go to the real site to review or see recommendations. Cyber criminals use botnets—collections of compromised computers—to push the software, and advertisements on websites deliver it. This is known as malicious advertising or “malvertising.”

Once the pop-up warning appears, it can’t be easily closed by clicking the “close” or “X” buttons.”

To Read more click here.

NY FBI Gives Dir. Community Leadership Award to Activist Devorah Halbertstam

Former US Attorney General Michael Mukasey, FBI Assistant Director in Charge (ADIC) Joseph Demarest Devorah Halberstam and the Honorable Rudolph Giuliani, Former Mayor of New York. Photo credit: Matthew Coleman, FBI
Former US Attorney General Michael Mukasey, FBI Assistant Director in Charge (ADIC) Joseph Demarest Devorah Halberstam and the Honorable Rudolph Giuliani, Former Mayor of New York. Photo credit: Matthew Coleman, FBI

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Devorah Halberstam, whose son was killed in a terrorist attack on the Brooklyn Bridge in 1994, was honored last week with the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award. It honors individuals and organizations for their efforts in combating crime, terrorism, drugs, and violence.

The New York FBI Office gave her the award.

In a press release, the FBI said:

“On March 1, 1994, Devorah’s son, Ari Halberstam, was murdered in a terrorist attack on the Brooklyn Bridge. Following her son’s murder, Devorah committed herself to the fight against terrorism. She pounded the halls of Congress to change laws on immigration, terrorism and gun control. Working side by side with former Governor of New York George Pataki and other officials, she was instrumental in enacting the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2001, the first of its kind in New York State.

Read more »

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Says Black Community Needs to Confront Violence and Other Social Ills

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Before a Sunday church crowd of more than 400 people in Long Island , Atty. General Eric Holder Jr. advocated a “spiritual awakening” among African Americans, saying the community needs to confront violence and other social ills that disproportionately impact blacks, Newsday reported.

Holder, a native of Queens, honed in on the absence of black fathers, which he said has hurt the family unit in  the black community.

“Too many men in the black community have created children and left them to be raised by caring mothers. These women do a wonderful job, but we ask too much of them and too little of our men,” Holder said at the Memorial Presbyterian Church in Roosevelt, L.I., on Baldwin Turnpike, according to Newsday. “It should simply be unacceptable for a man to have a child and then not play an integral party in the raising and nurturing of the child.”

The Bernie Madoff Brand Name Wearing Thin

Bernie Madoff

Bernie Madoff

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Bernie Madoff brand is wearing thin.

The Regis College in Weston, Mass., held an auction on Sunday and sold four of Madoff’s belongings for a total of $2,025, the Boston Globe reported.

The paper reported that most bidders could have cared less who had owned the items; they simply wanted the items.

“It’s a Bvlgari necklace, and it’s gold,”  Issac Shapiro, a 36-year-old art dealer who does business in Russia said, according to the Globe, which reported that eh paid $1,250 for the piece, and also paid $400 for a sterling silver bracelet.

“I just buy for resale value,” Shapiro said. “I don’t think it will make a big difference.”

To read more click here.

Fed Judge Gives NY Woman Probation for Smuggling Monkey Meat

monkey
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Authorities at Kennedy Airport three years ago stumbled across a little surprise while inspecting shipments from Africa: a package containing monkey meat.

On Friday, a federal judge in Brooklyn gave Staten Island resident Mamie Manneh, a native of Liberia, probation for illegally importing the meat that can carry numerous infectious diseases like tuberculosis and Ebola, the New York Post reported.

In all, authorities found  65 pieces of  meat that included primate parts. Court documents show she imported the meat and resold it from her home.

The New York Post reported that U.S. District Judge Raymond Dearie gave Manneh probation because she suffers from mental illness.

She apologized in open court and said, according to the Post, “For a long time  I was not on medication.”

Read Sentencing Memorandum