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Tag: bribery

Rep. Chaka Fattah, Associates Indicted on Racketeering Conspiracy Charges

Rep. Chaka Fattah

Rep. Chaka Fattah

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Rep. Chaka Fattah of Pennsylvania and four associates were indicted by a grand jury Wednesday on racketeering conspiracy charges, accused of misusing hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes and charity and campaign funds.

The 58-year-old Democrat from Philadelphia was charged in a 29-count indictment along with lobbyist Herbert Vederman, 69, of Palm Beach, Florida; Fattah’s Congressional District Director Bonnie Bowser, 59, of Philadelphia; and Robert Brand, 69, of Philadelphia; and Karen Nicholas, 57, of Williamstown, New Jersey, the FBI announced Wednesday.

They are accused of bribery, conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and numerous counts of bank fraud, money laundering, making false statements to a financial institution and falsification of records.

“As charged in the indictment, Congressman Fattah and his associates embarked on a wide-ranging conspiracy involving bribery, concealment of unlawful campaign contributions and theft of charitable and federal funds to advance their own personal interests,” Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell said. “When elected officials betray the trust and confidence placed in them by the public, the department will do everything we can to ensure that they are held accountable. Public corruption takes a particularly heavy toll on our democracy because it undermines people’s basic belief that our elected leaders are committed to serving the public interest, not to lining their own pockets.”

“These crimes and the subsequent elaborate cover-up constitute an egregious breach of public trust,” said Special Agent in Charge Edward J. Hanko of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “It is the duty of the FBI, IRS and Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute those who violate this trust and put personal gain above public service.”

Some of the charges date back to Fattah’s failed 2007 campaign for mayor of Philadelphia. He and his associates are accused of borrowing $1 million from a wealthy supporter and concealing the funds with sham contracts.

Fattah also is accused of trying to pay down a $130,000 campaign debt by attempting to steer federal grants to the consult with whom he owed money by inventing a nonprofit.

FBI’s Secret Insider Took Bribes from 2 Countries Ahead of World Cup

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s inside source on the FIFA investigation admitted to federal authorities that he took bribes from two countries that wanted to host the World Cup, according to ABC News.

The informant, Charles Blazer, an American ex-FIFA executive committee member,  pleaded guilty to tax evasion and fraud in 2013. New documents show how he became an informant.

“Among other things, I agreed with other persons in or around 1992 to facilitate the acceptance of a bribe in conjunction with the selection of the host nation for the 1998 World Cup,” Blazer said the November 2013 hearing, according to a court transcript.

Officials said Blazer recorded conversations with other soccer officials.

Other Stories of Interest


Justice Department Won’t Pursue Charges Against Murdoch-Owned Media Companies

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Justice Department investigation into Rupert Murdoch-owned media companies won’t result in charges following allegations of voicemail hacking and payments to public officials in the U.K., the USA Today reports.

News Corp. and 21st Century Fox were under investigation after hacking the voicemail accounts of sources, celebrities and politicians. They also were accused of bribing public officials.

It’s unclear why the Justice Department dropped the case without charges.

“We are grateful that this matter has been concluded and acknowledge the fairness and professionalism of the Department of Justice throughout this investigation,” according to a statement released Monday by Gerson Zweifach, general counsel of News Corp and group general counsel and chief compliance officer of 21st Century Fox.

Other Stories of Interest


Powerful New York Assembly Speaker Arrested on Charges of Bribery, Conspiracy

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, via State of New York

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

One of New York government’s most influential and well-known politicians faces serious charges that he used his extraordinary power in return for millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks, The Associated Press reports.

The FBI arrested Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who posted $200,000 bail after being charged with federal counts of bribery and conspiracy.

The powerful 70-year-old now faces up to 100 years in prison.

After his release, Silver was dogged, saying he was “confident that after a full hearing and due process, I’ll be vindicated on the charges.”

He is accused of abusing his power to obtain about $4 million in payments characterized as attorney referral fees solely through the corrupt use of his official position.”

Democrats said they plan to stand behind Silver, a prominent voice.

“Along with the Senate majority leader and the governor, he plays a major role in creating state budgets, laws and policies in a system long-criticized in Albany as ‘three men in a room,'” The Associated Press wrote.

Justice Department Concerned About Amount of Fraud in Military

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department isn’t exactly having trouble finding fraud in the military, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

Take Fabian Barrera, who made $181,000 by claiming he recruited 119 people into the military. Barrera, who was sentenced to at least three years in prison lat month, never referred any of the recruits.

With multiple conflicts worldwide, the military has a lot of money that is being questionably spent, the Justice Department has found. Cases include bribery and steering contracts to select businesses.

“The schemes we see really run the gamut from relatively small bribes paid to somebody in Afghanistan to hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of contracts being steered in the direction of a favored company who’s paying bribes,” Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell, head of the Justice Department’s criminal division, said in an interview.

Over the past few months, four retired and one active-duty Army National Guard officials have been charged in connection with bribery and kickback schemes.

Breaking: Ex-New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin Gets 10 Years in Prison

Mayor Nagin/city photo

 
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Another ex-big city mayor is headed to federal prison.

On Wednesday, C. Ray Nagin, the ex-mayor New Orleans was sentenced to 10 years in prison on corruption charges. He was convicted in February.

Nagin was found guilty in February on 20 counts that included kickbacks from contractors seeking city work, the New York Times reported.  The kickbacks came in cash and trips and other things of value.

He was arrested in January 2013, nearly three years after he left office.

Last year in Detroit, ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was hit with a harsh sentence of 28-years for bribery, kickbacks and tax related charges.

To read more click here.

Letter by Jail Inmate Prompted Wide-Sweeping Investigation of L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputies

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

What turned into the largest mass arrests of L.A. County sheriff’s officials in decades began with a single letter from a jail inmate, the Los Angeles Times reports.

FBI Agent Leah Marx testified that the probe began in June 2010 when a county jail inmate detailed a pattern of violence by deputies.

The letter prompted a joint civil rights and public corruption investigation after more inmates began describing excessive force, Marx said on the stand for one of the deputy’s trials.

One inmate told the FBI that deputies were offering contraband for a bribe.

FBI Makes Arrests, Raids in Public Corruption Cases in North Carolina, California & New York

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Separate corruption investigations led to the arrests of two public officials in North Carolina and California and to the raid of the office of a New York state senator, the Washington Post reports.

Hundreds of federal agents descended on offices in the San Francisco Bay Area, arresting several people including state Democratic Sen. Leland Yee and a former head of a Hong Kong-based crime syndicate.

In the North Carolina sting, FBI agents arrested Democratic Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon, charging him with theft and bribery. He’s accused of soliciting and accepting bribes, the Post reported.

And in New York, Assemblyman William Scarborough’s offices were raided, and he was questioned in his Albany hotel room. He was questioned about per diem reimbursements, he told reporters.