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Archive for December, 2011

Happy New Year!!!! from ticklethewire.com

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man. ~Benjamin Franklin

Cheers to a New Year and another chance for us to get it right. – Oprah Winfrey

“What you do for Jewish New Year is you go down to Times Square… It’s a lot quieter than the regular New Year. It’s just a few Jews walking around going, ‘sup?’” Jon Stewart

“The proper behavior all through the holiday season is to be drunk. This drunkenness culminates on New Year’s Eve, when you get so drunk you kiss the person you’re married to.”  P.J. O’Rourke

Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past. Let it go, for it was imperfect, and thank God that it can go“. - Brooks Atkinson

Democratic Fundraiser Convicted in $21 Million Bank Fraud Scheme

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A fed jury in Brooklyn on Friday convicted Democratic fundraiser Courtney Dupree in a scheme to get $21 million in fraudulent loans.

Dupree, the CEO of the Long Island-based, GDC Acquisitions, a holding of company, was charged with grossly overstating the firm’s billings to fraudulently obtain a $21 million loan from Amalgamated Bank. The jury acquitted Thomas Foley, GDC’s former chief operating officer.

The case garnered some publicity for various reasons.

Ex-Green Bay Packer running back Dorsey Levens and Robert Holland, ex-CEO of Ben and Jerruy’s ice cream, testified as character witnesses for Dupree.

And defense attorney Roscoe C. Howard Jr, the former D.C.  U.S. Attorney, accused the FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office of illegally obtaining documents in the case, then lying about it.

Howard raised the issues in a Dec. 21 letter filed in court and addressed to presiding U.S. District Judge Kiyo A. Matsumoto. He had asked the judge to suppress any illegally obtained materials.

The judge this past week rejected that request and the case went forward.

The government press release after the conviction stated:

“This case was brought in coordination with President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. ”

 

Puerto Rico FBI Agent Drowns in Attempted Rescue

By The Associated Press

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — An FBI agent who tried to rescue a swimmer in distress has drowned at a beach in northeast Puerto Rico, authorities said Friday.

Daniel Knapp, a 43-year-old agent who was based in San Juan, drowned on Thursday at Hidden Beach in the coastal city of Fajardo, the FBI said in a statement.Friends of the swimmer had asked Knapp for help, and he was able to reach the swimmer but was later overcome by rough ocean conditions, the FBI said.

“He died a hero, saving another life,” said local FBI director Joseph S. Campbell.

To read more click here.

 

Feds Charge 14 Romanians With “Phishing” Internet Scam to Get Peoples’ Personal Info

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Fourteen Romanian citizens apparently banked on the gullibility of mankind.

Federal authorities in Connecticut last week announced charges against the 14 for allegedly getting personal information from people on the Internet through a scheme known as “phishing.”

The indictment includes allegations that one or more of the defendants  in June 2005  sent a spam e-mail to people,  including a resident of Madison, Conn., which purported to be from Connecticut-based People’s Bank, authorities said in a press release.

“The e-mail stated that the recipient’s online banking access profile had been locked and instructed recipients to click on a link to a web page where they could enter information to ‘unlock,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office wrote.

Authorities said the web page looked as if it was from People’s Bank. In reality, it was hosted on a compromised computer unrelated to People’s Bank.

Authorities alleged that the defendants shared thousands of e-mail messages that contained credit or debit card numbers, expiration dates, CVV codes, PIN numbers, and other personal identification information such as names, addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth and Social Security numbers.

The defendants then allegedly used the information to access bank accounts and lines of credit to withdraw funds without authorization, often from ATMs in Romania.

In addition to People’s Bank, authorities said the group targeted financial institutions and companies including: Citibank, Capital One, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Comerica Bank, Regions Bank, LaSalle Bank, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo & Co., eBay and PayPal.

Charged in the indictment are CIPRIAN DUMITRU TUDOR, MIHAI CRISTIAN DUMITRU, BOGDAN BOCEANU, BOGDAN-MIRCEA STOICA, OCTAVIAN FUDULU, IULIAN SCHIOPU, RAZVAN LEOPOLD SCHIBA, DRAGOS RAZVAN DAVIDESCU, ANDREI BOLOVAN, LAURENTIU CRISTIAN BUSCA, GABRIEL SAIN, DRAGOS NICOLAE DRAGHICI, STEFAN SORIN ILINCA and MIHAI ALEXANDRU DIDU, all residents of Romania.

 

Weekend Series on Crime: The FBI Spy Within, Robert Hanssen

http://youtu.be/txvGjRxdByw

About the Movie

http://youtu.be/NFfHIjAa08Y

Mob Expert Picks Top Mob Stories of 2011

Joseph Massino/gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

As New York mobster stories go, there seemed to be no shortage in 2011. Mob expert Jerry Capeci should know.

Capeci, a former New York Daily News reporter, runs the website Gang Land News. On Thursday, he picked the top mob stories of 2011.

Hands down, he writes, the top story was the Mafia Takedown arrests of 127 wiseguys and “various  cohorts.”

Runner up story, Capeci writes, was the appearance in April in fed court in Brooklyn of ex-Bonanno boss Joseph Massino on the witness stand at the capital murder trial of successor boss Vincent (Vinny Gorgeous) Basciano.  Massino made history, becoming the first mob boss from one of the 5 New York crime families to take the witness stand for the feds.

Though Capeci  picks the massive takedown in January as the top mob story of the year, he is not without some skepticism.

On the day of the announcement, Capeci writes that the “feds put on an overblown dog and pony show at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn in a pretty transparent effort to send a message to mobsters that they were still a top priority of the federal government.”

“Six weeks later, as Gang Land reported on March 3, the priority claims went down several notches when it was learned that FBI bosses had combined the five squads that had been investigating the Five Families into three, and cut the number of mob-busting agents by 25%, to about 45, the lowest number since the days of J. Edgar Hoover.”

Gang Land News website

Some Passengers Packed Heat to the Airport This Holiday Season

file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Holiday travelers this month were packing more than presents when heading off to the nation’s airports.

The Transportation Security Administration reported that 31 firearms were found at airport checkpoints the week of Dec. 19 to Christmas Day.

The weekly TSA tally of guns found at airport checkpoints normally ranges during the year from the teens to the 30s. The common excuse: Passengers  say they forgot the gun was in their luggage.

In addition to guns found during that weekly period in December, the TSA reported that it discovered “7 artfully concealed prohibited items.”

Also, two passengers were arrested “after investigation of suspicious behavior or fraudulent travel documents.”

 

Customs and Border Protection Gets Additional Drone for Mexico Border

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The skies of Arizona just got another set of eyeballs.

The Arizona Daily Star reports that the U.S. Customs and Border Protection has just gotten a fourth “drone” in Arizona.

The unmanned drone, known as Predator B, will be used to protect the U.S.-Mexico border,the paper reported.

The Daily Star reported that Customs and Border Protection now has six Predator B drones to patrol the U.S. border from California to Texas.