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Archive for November, 2008

Dallas Maverick Owner Mark Cuban Charged With Insider Trading

Mark Cuban/nba photo

Mark Cuban/nba photo

Mark Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks may have had some rough times on the hard court.  But now he’s facing hard times in a real court.


By DAVE MICHAELS and BRENDAN M. CASE
Dallas Morning News

Federal regulators on Monday accused Mark Cuban of insider trading, saying he sold shares in an Internet company shortly after learning about a stock offering that was likely to push down the value of his shares.
The civil lawsuit involves a 4-year-old stock sale that Mr. Cuban has written about on his blog. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission alleges that Mr. Cuban avoided a $750,000 loss by selling his 6 percent stake after company executives told him confidentially about a stock offering restricted to major investors.
“It is fundamentally unfair for someone to use access to nonpublic information to improperly gain an edge on the market,” said Scott W. Friestad, the SEC’s deputy director of enforcement.
Mr. Cuban, the outspoken owner of the Dallas Mavericks and a suitor for the Chicago Cubs, denied the allegations and wrote on his blog Monday that he would fight the civil complaint.
Mr. Cuban wrote in March 2005 that he sold his stake in Mamma.com, an Internet search engine, because he disliked the tactic of selling stock below its market price, which is how Mamma.com’s CEO told him it would issue more shares in June 2004.
For Full Story

Read SEC Filing

Read Mark Cuban’s Blog and Comments On SEC Allegations

Other Stories of Interest

Judges Throw Out Contempt Order Against Former USA Today Reporter Toni Locy In Anthrax Case (AP)

Obama’s Justice Dept. Not Likely To Go After Bush Folks Who Authorized Torture

Maybe it’s all part of wiping the slate clean. But indications are anyone who condoned harsh interrogation techniques of suspected terrorists in the Bush years will be able to sleep tight.

By Lara Jakes Jordan
AP News
Barack Obama’s incoming administration is unlikely to bring criminal charges against government officials who authorized or engaged in harsh interrogations of suspected terrorists during the George W. Bush presidency. Obama, who has criticized the use of torture, is being urged by some constitutional scholars and human rights groups to investigate possible war crimes by the Bush administration.
Two Obama advisers said there’s little – if any – chance that the incoming president’s Justice Department will go after anyone involved in authorizing or carrying out interrogations that provoked worldwide outrage.
The advisers spoke on condition of anonymity because the plans are still tentative. A spokesman for Obama’s transition team did not respond to requests for comment Monday.
Additionally, the question of whether to prosecute may never become an issue if Bush issues pre-emptive pardons to protect those involved.
For Full Story

Also Read: Obama Faces Tough Issues on Domestic Spying (NY Times)

Pakistani Woman Who Tried Killing FBI Agents Mentally Unfit For Trial

In the long run, being mentally unfit has its advantages.

By Associated Press
A Pakistani neuroscientist indicted in New York on charges that she tried to kill an American soldier and F.B.I. agents while she was in custody in Afghanistan is mentally unfit for trial, a court-ordered psychological evaluation has determined.
The neuroscientist, Aafia Siddiqui, is unable to understand the nature and consequences of court proceedings and cannot assist properly in her defense, according to the evaluation at the Federal Medical Center Carswell in Fort Worth, Tex.
Judge Richard M. Berman of United States District Court in Manhattan described the results in an order sent to lawyers, according to an entry in the case on Monday. He scheduled a conference for Wednesday so lawyers could discuss what should happen in the case next, including the possibility of medication for Ms. Siddiqui.
For Full Story

N.Y. U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia the Latest To Quit

U.S. Atty. Michael Garcia

U.S. Atty. Michael Garcia

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The exodus continues.
Michael J. Garcia, the U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, becomes the latest U.S. attorney to call it quits.
Gracia, who had been U.S. Attorney since 2005, announced Monday that he’ll step down Dec. 1. Deputy U.S. Atty. Lev L. Dassin, 43, will become the acting U.S. Attorney.
Garcia, 47, served as an Assistant United States Attorney
in the Southern District of New York from 1992 to 2001, according to the office announcement.
He later served as Assistant Secretary of Commerce
for Export Enforcement and then as Acting
Commissioner of the United States Immigration and Naturalization
Service.
He was later named the Department of Homeland
Security’s first Assistant Secretary of
Immigration and Customs Enforcement. In September 2005, he
became the U.S. Attorney where he oversaw a number of high profile cases.

For Related Story Read New York Times Piece

U.S. Marshals Nab Fugitive Ex-Priest As He Exits Church in San Francisco

The U.S. Marshals knew former priest Wilputte Sherwood didn’t have a prayer of staying on the lamb forever.

Bay City News Service
A fugitive former Catholic priest convicted in 1993 of sexually abusing underage boys in Arizona was arrested while leaving church Sunday in San Francisco’s Castro District, federal authorities announced today.
Wilputte Alanson Sherwood, 63, had been sought for fleeing his probation out of the Phoenix area in 2005. He was subsequently named the Maricopa County Adult Probation Department’s most wanted sex offender, the U.S. Marshals Service reported.
U.S. Marshals spokesman Matt Hershey said Sherwood’s capture was considered a high priority for the service, which is tasked with tracking down unregistered sex offenders under the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act.
Hershey said reports out of Arizona alleged Sherwood may have had sexual encounters with thousands of individuals, including hitchhikers and runaways.
“We would consider him a major case,” Hershey said.
For Full Story

Scientist In Va. Pleads To Selling Rocket Technology to China and Bribery

Yes it is rocket science, and yes scientist Shu Quan-Sheng is in big trouble.

AMAC Intl.

AMAC Intl. in Newport News

By DENA POTTER
The Associated Press
NORFOLK, Va. — A Virginia scientist pleaded guilty Monday to selling rocket technology to China and bribing Chinese officials to secure a lucrative contract for his high-tech company.
Shu Quan-Sheng , 68, pleaded guilty to two counts of violating the federal Arms Control Act and one count of bribery at a hearing in U.S. District Court in Norfolk.
Shu is president of AMAC International Inc. of Newport News. He is a naturalized U.S. citizen who was born in Shanghai.
Prosecutors said Shu, an expert in cryogenics, sold technology to China for the development of hydrogen-propelled rockets.
For Full Story

Read Statement of Facts

Judge Orders Feds to Release Documents on Wrong Anthrax Suspect

Court documents may give us some insight as to why the government doggedly went after the wrong suspect, scientist Steven Hatfill,  for so many years.

Scientist Steven Hatfill

Scientist Steven Hatfill

By Jesse J. Holland
The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — A federal judge on Monday ordered the Justice Department to release the information it used to persuade the courts to let it search the home of a former Army scientist who was exonerated in the 2001 anthrax attacks.
U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth said the government’s search warrants and supporting documents relating to former Army scientist Stephen Hatfill and his then-girlfriend Peck Chegne should be made public.
The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times asked for the materials to be released, contending the public has a right to know why investigators wanted to search Hatfill’s home and on what basis the courts agreed to allow those searches.
“The anthrax investigation was one of the most complex, time-consuming and expensive investigations in recent history,” Lamberth said. “As a result, the American citizens have a legitimate interest in observing and understanding how and why the investigation progressed in the way that it did.”
For Full Story

Obama Needs To Fix Shortcomings of Dept. of Homeland Security

In these exciting transition times after the election it is good sport to speculate on what might be coming with the new President’s government. Already there is buzz about another New Deal. That may be a good thing when you consider the problems facing Federal law enforcement. The net result of years of mission creep and unfunded mandates has left its mark on Federal law enforcement. The old complaint about having more mission than people has never been truer.

The creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the wake of 9/11/01 was a shock to the system from which Federal law enforcement has yet to recover. In creating DHS, the Bush Administration combined the failed managements of Treasury’s Customs Service and Justice’s Immigration and Naturalization Service. Consequently, the DHS succeeded in creating an agency that has yet to find a coherent identity. Another “Fed Frankenstein” is Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The media is full of stories from this DHS quadrant, particularly about the shortcomings of the Air Marshal’s Service and the airport screeners.

Perhaps the Obama Administration “New Deal” might provide some relief here. Its transition teams should make certain no good budget dollars follow bad ones and management fixes internal control weaknesses in these organizations. A top to bottom analysis of DHS should determine a new strategic plan to bind this cabinet department together. Some agency pieces may need to be jettisoned or returned to other Executive Branch departments. The DHS needs to have a common sense organization that benefits the Nation rather than the bureaucratic lash up of today. A litmus test for the transition team is to review the DHS of today against the findings of the 9/11 Commission and determine if there are still homeland security gaps to be filled.

Some effort must be focused on the DHS mission. The schizophrenic Immigration enforcement laws and regulations need to be addressed. These laws need to be free from political manipulation and grounded in fairness and uniformity, particularly when it comes to the protection of the border.

Perhaps the national service idea (besides Armed Forces duty) that President-elect Obama articulated during the campaign as a way for young citizens to earn college tuition credit might include helping fulfill some of the broad mission of DHS. In any case, DHS is definitely a place for a “New Deal.”