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Archive for February 11th, 2009

It’s Raining Corporate Fraud: FBI Official Says Agency Has 500-plus Cases

There may be a job shortage and an ethics shortage in some political circles, but there’s no shortage of corporate fraud. The FBI may use some counterterrorism agents to help sort through the financial mess.

By Associated Press
WASHINGTON – The FBI is conducting more than 500 investigations of corporate fraud amid the financial meltdown, FBI Deputy Director John Pistole told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
Investigators are tackling an even bigger mountain of mortgage fraud cases in which hundreds of millions of dollars may have been swindled from the system, he told lawmakers.
Pistole says there are 530 active corporate fraud investigations, and 38 of them involve some of the biggest names in corporate finance in cases directly related to the current economic crisis.
For Full Story


American League MVP in 2002 Pleads Guilty to Lying to Congressional Investigators

Just as one black eye heals, the next one surfaces. Here’s baseball’s latest black eye. Rest assured, there’s more to come.

By Del Quentin Wilber and Dave Sheinin
Washington Post Staff Writers
WASHINGTON — Former Baltimore Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada pleaded guilty this morning to federal charges that he lied to congressional investigators about the use of performance-enhancing drugs in baseball.
Tejada, the 2002 American League MVP who now plays for the Houston Astros, faces up to a year in prison at a sentencing hearing set for March 26. He was released on his personal recognizance.
During a 45-minute hearing in U.S. District Court in Washington, Tejada admitted that he lied to congressional staffers during a 2005 interview in a Baltimore hotel room that focused on the prevalence of steroids in the game.
For Full Story

Read Criminal Information

Read Tejada Statement of Offense

UPDATE: Fed Prosecutors Looking Into Possibilty Lobbyist Gave Bogus Campaign Contributions To Rep. John Murtha

Rep. Murtha shakes hands with Pres. Bush
Rep. Murtha shakes hands with Pres. Bush

Rep. Murtha has long had the reputation as a wheeler-dealer on Capitol Hill, and he’s come under attack by some public interest groups. So it’s no surprise something like this would surface.

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
New York Times
WASHINGTON – Federal prosecutors are looking into the possibility that a prominent lobbyist may have funneled bogus campaign contributions to his mentor, Representative John P. Murtha, as well as other lawmakers, two people familiar with the investigator’s questions said Tuesday.
Employees of the PMA Group, the firm founded by the lobbyist, Paul Magliocchetti, have given a total of more than $1 million to political campaigns over the last three election cycles, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics.
In the first half of 2007, the PMA Group and its clients contributed more than $500,000 to three congressmen, Mr. Murtha, the Pennsylvania Democrat who is chairman of the House defense appropriations subcommittee, and his close allies on the panel, Representative James P. Moran of Virginia and Representative Peter J. Visclosky of Indiana.

For Full Story

Dirty Bomb Parts Found in Home of Man Shot by Wife

This comes under the category of “pretty darn scary”. The story was first reported by unattributable.com, an online magazine which covers and blogs on current events.

By Walter Griffin
Bangor Daily News
BELFAST, Maine – James G. Cummings, who police say was shot to death by his wife two months ago, allegedly had a cache of radioactive materials in his home suitable for building a “dirty bomb.”
According to an FBI field intelligence report from the Washington Regional Threat and Analysis Center posted online by WikiLeaks, an organization that posts leaked documents, an investigation into the case revealed that radioactive materials were removed from Cummings’ home after his shooting death on Dec. 9.
The report posted on the WikiLeaks Web site states that “On 9 December 2008, radiological dispersal device components and literature, and radioactive materials, were discovered at the Maine residence of an identified deceased [person] James Cummings.”
For Full Story

Read Report

U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald to Stay on the Job in Chicago

By Allan Lengel and Jon Perkins
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — As expected, Chicago’s U.S. Atty. Patrick Fitzgerald will stay on the job even though he’s a Bush appointee.
NBC’s Pete Williams reported that Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) recommended that the newly minted Atty. Gen. Eric Holder keep Fitzgerald.
NBC reported that the suggestion was “positively received”, according to Durbin’s office and the Justice Department.
In the past, presidents have replaced all 93 U.S. Attorneys. But President Obama has indicated that some Republican-appointed U.S. Attorneys might stay on.
In the halls of the Justice Department, there had long been speculation that Fitzgerald would either stay on as U.S. Attorney in Chicago or get a high-ranking job at the Justice Department.
Fitzgerald, 48,  has prosecuted a number of high profile cases. As a special prosecutor temporarily on assignment in Washington, he convicted Scooter Libby. More recently, he filed public corruption charges against the now ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Around the country, the native New Yorker is regarded as a “prosecutor’s prosecutor” among his peers.  Bush appointed him U.S. Attorney in 2001.

FBI Turns to Foreign Press To Help Capture Boston Mobster “Whitey” Bulger

"Whitey" BulgerFBI Agent Richard Teahan at briefing

FBI Agent Richard Teahan at briefing/Bulger photo above

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON – The FBI wants to capture Boston mobster James “Whitey” Bulger badly.
Correction. Make that very badly.
On Tuesday, the agency took things up a notch and invited the foreign press in Washington for a briefing on Bulger, 79, who’s wanted for a host of crimes including 19-counts of murder. Agents suspect Bulger has been living overseas and stashed money  where he could have easy access.
“We’re hoping again we can reach people around the world and just make Whitey Bulger more of a household name like he is in Boston,” said Gail A. Marcinkiewicz, the FBI’s Boston spokeswoman, who attended the briefing at the Washington Foreign Press Center . “We’re trying to get Whitey Bulger’s name out there.”
Boston FBI agent Richard Teahan briefed the small group of reporters who showed up – less than a half dozen– and provided details about the gangster including allegations by women who said they were molested by him as children. The agency also distributed photos, videos and audio tapes of Bulger, who is definitely a household name in the Boston area and is on the FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted List along with Osama bin Laden.
Agent Marcinkiewicz said Bulger has been on the lam since 1995, and his last confirmed location was London in 2002. The FBI is offering a $2 million reward for information leading to his arrest.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

NYPD Counterterrorism Unit Thinks and Acts Globally

People expect big things from New York. The police department’s counterterrorism unit doesn’t disappoint with it’s global reach.

By Christopher Dickey
Newsweek

In sweltering Mumbai last November, two days after the terrorist rampage that killed or wounded more than 500 people, some odd figures joined the alphabet soup of agencies investigating the atrocity-three New York City police detectives. In 2005 other American cops looked at bomb detonators with Scotland Yard after the London tube bombings. Still others turned up in Madrid after its own train attacks in 2004, and several times in Jerusalem after suicide bombings there.
The cops showed up because David Cohen, the spymaster of the NYPD, sent them.
A former director of clandestine operations for the Central Intelligence Agency, Cohen wants his own people seeing up close and right away the warning signs-he calls them signatures-that might have revealed a terrorist operation taking shape.
And if the FBI, the CIA or any other federal agency objects to the NYPD making the world its beat, Cohen doesn’t really care.
“Listen to this,” he told me one morning at his office at police headquarters in downtown Manhattan. “We got a report from the FBI on the Madrid bombing which was terrific, it was great … It was f—ing 18 months later!” He drank from a mug with the eagle-and compass seal of the CIA on it. “They tried the best they could.”

For Full Story

NASA Scientist Gets 5 Years Probation For Having Child Porn on Work Computer

The NASA scientist caught a lucky break getting 5 years of probation. He remains on a paid leave while the agency reviews the case. The Baltimore City Paper raises some interesting questions about the case in this report.

By Van Smith
Alfred B Schultz/photo ssed

Alfred B Schultz/photo ssed

Baltimore City Paper
Alfred B. Schultz told City Paper in early January, after he was charged for viewing child pornography on his National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) computer (Mobtown Beat, Jan. 8), “I don’t know what happened . . . I may have done some of it, I don’t remember.”
The planetary scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center sounded genuinely in the dark about what prompted the charge, which accused him of breaking a NASA regulation, not a sex crime.
Days later, on Jan. 10, Schultz signed an agreement to plead guilty, thereby admitting that facts in the case are true. The plea agreement [see redacted document below*] states that Schultz’s illegal behavior was observed last August by agents of the NASA Office of the Inspector General who were monitoring Schultz’s computer as he visited “dozens of websites containing images depicting nude children, children posed in sexually explicit poses, and children engaged in sexual activity.” Two of the images Schultz accessed “belonged to photographic series of known child victims,” the plea agreement states.
On Feb. 4, Schultz’s agreement was brought before U.S. District Court magistrate judge Jillyn K Schulze, who accepted it on Feb. 6 and sentenced Schultz to five years of probation. Schulze declined to explain her decision to City Paper.
For Full Story
Read Redacted Plea Agreement