Archive for December 16th, 2009
By Allan Lengel ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — A key prosecution witness in the public corruption trial of ex-Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson, could be seeing daylight soon.
As expected, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III of Alexandria, Va., in a written filing on Dec. 11 substantially cut the sentence of key witness Vernon Jackson from 87 to 40 months. The government had asked that the judge cut the sentence by 50 percent.
Jackson, 57, owner of a high-tech, Kentucky-based business called iGate, had pleaded guilty to bribing Jefferson in exchange for the Congressman’s help promoting business in Africa.
As part of the guilty plea, Jackson agreed to cooperate and ended up delivering some key testimony during the summer trial that resulted in Jefferson being convicted on 11 of 16 counts of public corruption.
WASHINGTON –– A former office manager for the late Sen. Edward Kennedy was indicted Tuesday in a scheme to get more than $75,000 extra in salary and bonuses, the Justice Department said.
Ngozi T. Pole, 39,of Waldorf, Md., was charged in a six-count indictment that alleged that as office manager for Kennedy between 2003 and 2007 he “repeatedly submitted paperwork causing the Senate to pay him larger salary and bonus payments than had been approved by either the chief of staff or Senator Kennedy,” a Justice Department press release said.
Film pirating is serious business in California.
The latest turn in the never-ending problem came Wednesday morning when FBI agents arrested a New York man for unlawfully distributing a pirated copy of the movie “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” before it was officially released in theaters.
The FBI said it arrested Gilberto Sanchez, 47, at his home in the Bronx without incident. A federal grand jury in Los Angeles had indicted him on Dec. 10.
Authorities allege that Sanchez had uploaded the copyrighted “X-Men Origins: Wolverine to www.Megaupload.com last spring.
“The film was uploaded prior to its theatrical release,” said FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller in Los Angeles. ” The investigation into the initial compromise of the film is continuing. Additional arrests have not been ruled out.”Uploading a copyrighted work to the Internet carries a statutory maximum penalty of three years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine or twice the gross gain or gross loss attributable to the offense, whichever is greater, authorities said.
WASHINGTON — The feds are taking the upcoming 9/11 trial quite seriously.
Richard Kolko, an FBI spokesman in New York, said the agency will be forming a squad to assist the prosecutors in preparing the case against alleged mastermind of the plot, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others.
The squad, he said, will include “agents, analysts and other professional support with a wide variety of experience working on major trials and investigations. Many of the personnel have worked the 9/11 investigation since the beginning.”
“The squad will function as a task force with members from NYPD, PAPD, FDNY and several other agencies,” Kolko said in a prepared statement. “Their role will be to provide investigative support throughout the legal proceedings. We will provide additional information on this squad in the near future.”
Kolko said the squad will currently have more than a dozen people, but that could grow if necessary.
WASHINGTON — Apparently party crashers Tarek and Michaele Salahi aren’t the only ones who can get into the White House without an invite.
The Associated Press reported a Georgia couple showed up to the White House a day early for a tour and ended up at an invitation-only breakfast with President Barack Obama and wife Michelle on Veterans Day.
“It left the White House once again explaining how people who were not on an event guest list wound up being ushered into the presidential mansion anyway,” AP reported.
D.C. Judge Releases Man Wrongfully Imprisoned for 28 Years: Expresses Anger over Faulty FBI Analysis
WASHINGTON — A D.C. judge on Tuesday angrily criticized the government for relying on erroneous testimony of an FBI analyst in a case in which a man was imprisoned for 28 years for a rape/murder he didn’t commit, the Washington Post reported.
D.C. Superior Court Judge Fred B. Ugast ordered Donald Eugene Gates, 58, released after DNA evidence showed someone else killed Catherine Schilling, 21, a Georgetown University student in the city’s sprawling Rock Creek Park in 1981.
The FBI analyst incorrectly linked two hairs belonging to an African American to Gates. They were found on the victim, the Post reported.
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