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Tag: FBI informant

Attorneys: Boston Marathon Bomber Pushed to Spy on Chechen, Muslim Community for FBI

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The older of the accused Boston Marathon bombers was courted by the FBI to be an informant and keep an eye on the Chechen and Muslim community, according to lawyers for the younger alleged bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

The Boston Globe reports that the FBI pressured Tamerlan Tsarnaev to report on the communities, which may have “increased his paranoia and distress.”

“We seek this information based on our belief that these contacts were among the precipitating events for Tamerlan’s actions during the week of April 15, 2013, and thus material to the defense case in mitigation,” the lawyers said in their court filing.

“We base this on information from our client’s family and other sources that the FBI made more than one visit to talk with Anzor [his father], Zubeidat [his mother] and Tamerlan, questioned Tamerlan about his Internet searches, and asked him to be an informant, reporting on the Chechen and Muslim community.

“We do not suggest that these contacts are to be blamed and have no evidence to suggest that they were improper, but rather view them as an important part of the story of Tamerlan’s decline. Since Tamerlan is dead, the government is the source of corroboration that these visits did in fact occur and of what was said during them.”

The information was revealed in 23-page court filing, the Globe wrote.

Former FBI Informant Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison for Same Crime He Was Helping Investigate

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former college professor who was working as an FBI informant investigating mortgage fraud was sentenced to four years and four months in prison Thursdsay for hatching his own mortgage fraud scheme, The Plain Dealer reports.

Paul Tomko asked for leniency but got none from U.S. District Judge Christopher Boyko.

Tomko pleaded guilty in March to five charges, including conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

While Tomko pocketed about $100,000 by filing liens for work not performed, he also was working as an FBI agent from 2006-09, helping agents target fraudulent appraisers.

“How ironic,” the judge said. “While you’re helping the FBI you’re gutting the public.”

FBI Informant Lives Large in Cuba, reviving Claims That He Also Worked with Cuban Intelligence

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Gilberto Abascal was a main informant in two-high profile cases in Florida in the past seven years, but now he’s living large in Cuba, the Miami Herald reports.

Abascal was the key witness in the trial of militant Cuban exile Luis Posada Carriles two years ago, the Herald wrote. In 2006, he was the main informant in another case.

Now, the Herald wrote, Abascal is building a house, renting expensive cars and offering a large reward for information about the person who broke into his home.

For many, Abascal’s lifestyle reinforced the belief that he was serving as an informant for both Cuban and U.S. intelligence.

“This inferentially validates the conclusion that this was an individual who had a collaborative relationship with Cuban security . . . and casts a shadow on the FBI for its dealings with this guy,” said Arturo V. Hernandez, an attorney for another case in which Abascal was a main witness.

Book Explores Relationship Between FBI Informant and Mobster ‘Grim Reaper’

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A new book explores the secret world of FBI informants, questioning the extent of bureau protection for killers and other criminals, U.S. News & World Report said.

“Deal With the Devil: The FBI’s Secret Thirty-Year Relationship with a Mafia Killer” is written by investigative reporter and former ABC correspondent Peter Lance, who exposes the bureau’s questionable relationship with mobster Gregory Scarpa Sr., AKA the “Grim Reaper.”

Scarpa “was the most vicious killer in the history of La Cosa Nostra,” a notorious crime organization in the U.S. and Italy.

Because of deals with the FBI, Scarpa served a total of 30 days “in over 40 years of murder and racketeering.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Defense Lawyers Claim ‘Whitey’ Bulger Was Never a Rat, Despite Mounting Evidence

 

Whitey Bulger/fbi

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Lawyers for reputed mobster James “Whitey” Bulger continued to make the case that their client wasn’t an FBI informant, the Associated Press reports.

Bulger’s attorneys opened their case Tuesday in the murder and racketeering trial of the 83-year-old man accused of participating in 19 murders.

The Associated Press reports that Bulger’s attorneys grilled former FBI supervisor Robert Fitzpatrick, who indicated the reputed mobster denied being an informant.

Still, the FBI kept a file that showed Bulger often shared information on the mob and other criminals. Bulger’s associates also testified that he was an informant and regularly bribed FBI agents for information on investigations.

Reputed Mob Boss ‘Whitey’ Bulger Loses Temper During Murder, Racketeering Trial

 

Whitey Bulger

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Reputed mob boss James “Whitey”  Bulger lost his cool in court for the second time in his three-week-old trial for murder and racketeering, The New York Times reports.

Bulger became agitated while one of the government witnesses, John Morris, a former FBI witness, was testifying about Bulger’s role as an FBI informant. Bulger used an expletive and called Morris a liar, according to The Times.

Bulger has sought to show he was not an informant during his alleged reign in Boston.

“Whether it’s the ego of the defendant or his reputation he wants to preserve that he was not an informant,” Fred Wyshak, the lead prosecutor, said. “it’s a ridiculous contention.”

Star Government Witness Describes Murders He Says He Committed for ‘Whitey’ Bulger

 
Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An aging mobster and star government witness testified Tuesday that his heart was broken after learning that mob boss and friend James “Whitey” Bulger was an FBI informant, CNN reports.

“It broke my heart. It broke all loyalties,” said John Martorano, an alleged hit man who described the people he said he murdered. 

Bulger is accused of killing 19 people during nearly two decades.

Martorano, who lives on Social Security after serving 12 years in prison, testified that he pulled the trigger while Bulger was along to ensure a successful “hit.”

Defense Opens Trial Telling Jurors ‘Whitey’ Bulger Was Never an FBI Informant

Whitey Bulger/fbi

 Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former Boston mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger was never an FBI informant, his attorney said during opening statements in a trial that alleges 19 counts of murder, U.S. News & World Report writes.

Defense attorney J.W. Carney said Bulger never worked as an FBI informant against Italian mob rivals.

“Number one, James Bulger is of Irish descent,” Bulger’s defense attorney J.W. Carney said in court. “And the worst thing an Irish person could consider doing is becoming an informant.”

Bulger was arrested in June 2011 after spending 12 years on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted” list.