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Archive for November 21st, 2012

Defense Attorney Alleges Undercover FBI Agent Spent $25,000 on Strip Clubs and Prostitutes for Himself and Targets

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The pre-trial battle continues in a Los Angeles case in which the defense claims an undercover FBI agent spent taxpayer dollars on prostitutes in the Phiippines for himself and three targets of a gun trafficking sting.

The latest: Federal defender John Littrell filed a motion Tuesday on behalf of his client Sergio Santiago Syjuco accusing the undercover agent of spending more than $25,000 “on strip clubs and prostitutes in this investigation.” He is asking that the judge dismiss the gun-trafficking case because of egregious government misconduct.

The government has denied wrongdoing and denied that the agent ever spent money on a prostitute.

The motion states:

The government does not dispute that the undercover agent spent $14,500.00 of taxpayer dollars in strip clubs and brothels in Manila. It does not deny this taxpayer money went toward alcohol consumed by the agents, as well as the fees of  “hostesses” that accompanied the undercover agent and his cover team. Since the motion to dismiss was filed in September 2012, the government has acknowledged that several thousand dollars more was spent in strip clubs and brothels in Manila.

And defense investigation has revealed that the undercover agent spent thousands of additional dollars beyond that at various strip clubs and brothels in the United States and the Philippines that the government has not disclosed to the defense. Taking into account the additional expenses that government disclosures and independent investigation has revealed, the total that the government appears to have spent on strip clubs and prostitutes in this investigation rises to more than $25,000.00.

The government offers no apology for its expenditures, despite clear evidence that the money went to brothels such as Area 51 in Manila that are known to betrafficking in under-aged prostitutes. The government contends that the undercover agent did not solicit prostitutes for himself, but defense witnesses who will testify at the hearing dispute that claim. Although the government argues that the undercover agent did not see prostitution engaged in first hand, and he was not explicitly told that the exorbitant bills that he was paying included the cost of that prostitution, it does not deny that the agent, based on his experience,training, and common sense, knew that he was paying for prostitutes, and did so intentionally.

Finally, the government argues, even assuming its agent did solicit prostitutes, his conduct was not so outrageous as to justify dismissal of the indictment because the prostitutes didn’t form “intimate” relationships with the defendants. This argument completely ignores the harm that the agent’s conduct had on the victims.

To read filing click here. 

 

Feds Seek forfeiture of home of Michigan Supreme Court Justice Accused of Bank Fraud

Judge Diane Hathaway/court photo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

 DETROIT — An FBI investigation has prompted the federal government to seek forfeiture of the home of Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway on accusations that she and her husband defrauded a bank of $600,000 in mortgage debt, the Detroit News reports

U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade ‘s office wrote in a criminal complaint that Hathaway and her husband, attorney Michael Kingsley, “systematically and fraudulently transferred property and hid assets in order to support their claim to (ING Direct) that they did not have the financial resources to pay the mortgage on the Michigan property.”

McQuade and her husband are accused of money laundering and bank fraud.

The Republican Party has called on McQuade to resign but to no avail.

If Hathaway resigns, Republican Gov. Rick Snyder could replace her in a special election that could give the GOP a 5-2 majority on the court, the Detroit News reported.

Undercover FBI Agent Kept Tabs on Three California Men Accused of Plotting Terrorist Attacks

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Three California men charged with plotting terrorist attacks on Americans and military bases overseas were planning to join the Taliban in Afghanistan and eventually fight for al-Qaida, the FBI said, the Associated Press reports.

Little did they know, an undercover agent was recording their conversations.

“The main lesson learned is: Don’t underestimate these groups,” FBI Special Agent David Bowdich told the AP. “This is a very serious case. I think ultimately the outcome was a success.”

The three were to fly to Istanbul, travel to Afghanistan and train to be terrorists to kill Americans living abroad, the AP reported.

FBI Seizes Records at Detroit Library System in Corruption Probe

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — FBI agents seized records and computer equipment from the Detroit Library System to investigate kickbacks involving a top official Tuesday, the Detroit News reports. Agents also raided the home of chief administrative officer Tim Cromer, who is accused of personally profiting from contracts.

The raid is just the latest in Detroit, where agents have been investigating corruption in virtually every corner of city government.

The FBI didn’t provide specifics on Monday’s raids but said contracts were involved, the Detroit News reported.

 

FBI: Number of Police Killed Rises Over Year Before

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty in the U.S. and Puerto Rico rose from 72 in 2011 from 56 the previous year, according to newly released FBI data, the AP reports.

Of the 72 fatalities, most involved an officer trying to make an arrest.

Most of the deaths – 29 – occurred in the South, while the West and Northeast had 10 each. In the Midwest, 21 officers were killed.

Police also died other ways. The FBI reports that 53 cops die in accidents in 2011, while nearly 55,000 were injured while in the line of duty.

 

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