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September 2014
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How to Become a Bounty Hunter

FBI Agents Bust Philadelphia Municipal Judge by Inventing Defendant

By Steve Neavling

A Philadelphia municipal judge who pleaded guilty last week to mail and wire fraud charges was caught in the act when the FBI invented a defendant, the Associated Press reports.

Judge Joseph Waters Jr., who was suspected of corruption, had no idea that the FBI created a bogus defendant, David Khoury, who was accused of carrying an unloaded pistol during a traffic stop.

Court documents show that an unidentified campaign donor asked the judge for leniency in the case of Khoury. According to those records, Waters urged another judge to help Khoury, calling the defendant  a friend.

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Gang Land News: Crooked CPA Who Sunk ‘Mafia Cops’ Holding Out On Feds

Jerry Capeci is a mob expert who formerly covered the Mafia for the New York Daily News. His website, Gang Land News, is a paid subscription site. This article was re-printed with permission.
By Jerry Capeci
Gang Land News

The crooked accountant whose testimony helped seal the fate of New York’s infamous “Mafia Cops” is back to his old tricks, court records show. 

Former CPA Stephen P. Corso cashed in on his testimony five years ago against ex-detectives Lou Eppolito and Steve Caracappa and avoided a long sentence for stealing $6 million from clients, the IRS and the state of Connecticut. Instead, he did eight months at a prison camp. Last month, four years after he was ordered to start paying $5.4 million in restitution, the feds called Corso on the carpet for not doing so, according to court papers filed in Connecticut Federal Court.

And Corso, who whined about his lenient sentence for seven months before beginning his prison term on September 15, 2009, is not happy about forking over any cash, according to court filings. Corso stole millions from clients right up until his friend and neighbor, TV sports icon Dan Patrick, discovered the accountant he trusted had stolen $803,000 from him and told the FBI. But since his prison term ended in 2010, Corso has reneged on an order to make monthly $4000 restitution payments. His default has angered all parties in the case, including his defense lawyers who have hadit with Corso.

Corso, 59, was ordered by Federal Judge Janet Hall to appear at a “debtor’shearing” next month. At that proceeding, he will be required to declare how much money he has, and how much he’s earning as a business consultant.

At the time of his sentencing, he was raking in more than $420,000 a year, according to court papers. Most importantly, he’ll have to say why he hasn’t been paying the $4000 a month Hall ordered him to pay when he concluded his prison term.

But before that, he’s going to have to hire an attorney to defend his interests at the hearing or go pro se because the two lawyers who represented him in late 2009 — Frank Razzano of Washington, D.C. and David Zabel of Bridgeport — have moved on. Both attorneys say in court papers that they have neither the expertise nor the desire to represent him at the debtor’s hearing.

At sentencing, Judge Hall ruled that $325,000 in an escrow account that Corso opened in 2002 be disbursed pro rata to his victims — clients whom he systematically ripped off while preparing their tax returns from 1997 to 2002. Corso placed the money in escrow when the FBI set him up in Las Vegas — where the CPA’s gambling losses had turned him into a thief —after he pleaded guilty and he began tape recording mob-tied gangsters he met in Vegas bars and on the Strip.

Read more »

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Convicted Ohio Congressman James Traficant Jr. Dies at 73

James Traficant/ photo

By  Matt Schudel
Washington Post

James A. Traficant Jr., an iconoclastic nine-term Ohio populist in the U.S. House of Representatives who was convicted on corruption charges in 2002, becoming the second member of Congress to be expelled since the Civil War, died Saturday,  Sept. 27 at a hospital in Youngstown, Ohio. He was 73.

A family spokeswoman, Heidi Hanni, confirmed his death to reporters. The former congressman was injured in a tractor accident on his farm near Greenford, Ohio, on Tuesday. A former aide told reporters in Ohio that he apparently had a heart attack while driving the tractor, which overturned inside a building and left the former congressman trapped underneath.

Mr. Traficant, a maverick Democrat who found his own path politically and seemingly in everything else, was one of the most deliberately outrageous members of Congress in history. Glib and voluble, he was known for wearing cowboy boots, skinny ties and out-of-date polyester suits and for a bouffant mound of hair that seemed to defy gravity.

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Weekend Series on Crime: Mexican Cartels in the U.S

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Are ISIS Militants Plotting to Strike NYC Subway? Security Increases After Threats Disclosed

By Steve Neavling

Claims by Iraq’s prime minister that ISIS militants have been planning to attack U.S. subways prompted officials in New York to increase surveillance and bag inspections at subways, the Associated Press reports.

But Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo emphasized that the threats are not verified. To show they are not afraid, they both rode trains Thursday.

“We have received information which, in the eyes of the United States government and the NYPD, is not verified. So what we’re doing is taking precautions until we have more information,” de Blasio said at a news conference after riding a subway under Manhattan.

Added Cuomo: “New York is more prepared than it has ever been.”

Iraq Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi told journalists Thursday that militants planned to attack subways in New York and Paris.

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FBI: We Know Identity of Masked Executioner Who Beheaded 2 American Journalists, British Aid Worker

By Steve Neavling

The masked executioner shown on video beheading two American journalists and a British aid worker has been identified by the FBI, the New York Daily News reports.

“I believe we have identified him,” Director James Comey said Thursday.

The FBI didn’t disclose the name of the militant, who has a British accent.

Jihadi John – as he’s been nicknamed – have been identified in some media outlets as a 23-year-old rapper named Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary.

His father, Adel Abdel Bary, was pleaded guilty last week of conspiring to kill Americans.

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Contentious Senate Hearings Expected When Obama Names Replacement for AG Holder

By Steve Neavling

Whoever is going to succeed Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. is likely to face a contentious Senate, the Washington Post reports.

Some Republicans even called for a delay because of the potential of midterm elections swinging in favor of the GOP in November.

“Allowing Democratic senators, many of whom will likely have just been defeated at the polls, to confirm Holder’s successor would be an abuse of power that should not be countenanced,” Sen. Ted Cruz said.

Democrats urged Republicans to let Obama make his selection without the drama.

“This is going to be the first real test, whether it’s in the lame-duck or early in the new year, whether our Republican colleagues are going to continue to obstruct,” Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Thursday in an interview. “Every president deserves to have his attorney general.”

Obama has yet to indicate when he will replace Holder.

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Border Patrol Agent Charged with Assaulting Detained 14-Year-Old Boy

By Steve Neavling

A Border Patrol agent has been charged with assaulting a 14-year-old immigrant for having a cellphone in detention, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Aldo Francisco Arteaga of Tucson was arrested Thursday on felony charges of assaulting a minor.

CBP officials said Arteaga surrendered Thursday after Jan. 3o video showed him assaulting the boy.

“The officer … sees the juvenile with a phone, a prohibited item, takes the phone from the juvenile and proceeds to punch him in the stomach,” Silva told the Los Angeles Times.

Arteaga couldn’t be reached for comment.

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