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Archive for February, 2009

Mexicans Arrest Man Suspected of Killing Border Patrol Agent

The signs of violence in this region are everywhere along the border. Here’s another example of how the violence is impacting American lives.

By ELLIOT SPAGAT
Associated Press Writer
SAN DIEGO – A man suspected of killing a U.S. Border Patrol agent last year by running him over with a drug-loaded Hummer was arrested Wednesday near a Mexican resort town, the FBI said.
Mexican federal agents arrested Jesus Navarro Montes, 22, near Zihuatenejo in an operation coordinated with the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service, the FBI said. The U.S. government is seeking his extradition on drug charges.
FBI agents in San Diego want to question Navarro, a Mexican citizen, about the January 2008 death of Border Patrol Agent Luis Aguilar in southeastern California’s Imperial Sand Dunes, where marijuana smugglers have long mixed in with recreational dune riders.
For Full Story

Sen. Schumer’s Chief Counsel Expected To Get N.Y. U.S. Attorney Post

Of all the U.S. Attorney offices, this is one of the highest profile ones in the nation. The office is going after Bernie Madoff and Wall Street.

By AMIR EFRATI
Wall Street Journal

The Obama administration is expected to nominate Preet Bharara, who investigated the firing of eight U.S. attorneys by President George W. Bush, as the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, several people familiar with the matter say.
The U.S. attorney for the Southern District, who is based in Manhattan, has traditionally played the leading role in policing business-related corruption and white-collar crime and serving as Wall Street’s watchdog. The office is currently handling the investigation of Bernard Madoff’s alleged multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.
The 40-year-old Mr. Bharara has yet to be nominated by President Barack Obama. If he is ultimately confirmed by the Senate, he would take over the post at a time of widespread anger at Wall Street, though few major criminal prosecutions.
For Full Story

Can A.G. Eric Holder Jr. Heal the Justice Department’s Wounds of the Past?

Eric Holder Jr/gov photo

Eric Holder Jr/gov photo

President Obama inherited a mess: two wars, a failing economy a sky-high anxiety level around the country, and oh yes, a Justice Department that needed serious mending.
He’s tasked Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr. with reparing things at Justice. Can Holder do it?

By Michael Weisskopf
Time magazine
WASHINGTON — Eric Holder Jr. was trained long ago in crime and punishment. He grew up in the East Elmhurst section of Queens, N.Y.–so populated by cops and firefighters that rush hour looked like the shift change at a station house.
A popular teen prank was setting off the red fire-alarm box near his modest brick house on 101st Street. Nearly everyone tried it once, but not Eric, the churchgoing Boy Scout who knew the consequence of disobeying rules: “A good, quick smack on the bottom,” his mother Miriam recalls. “If you did something wrong, you’re going to have to pay a price.”
That rule guided Holder after he left Queens to become a corruption prosecutor, municipal judge and U.S. Attorney. And it will probably guide him as the nation’s 82nd Attorney General. Holder takes over a sprawling, 110,000-person Justice Department that was treated at times like a private law firm by the Bush Administration, both in its novel interpretation of the law and in the way it purged employees who did not share its political views.
For Full Story

More Maddening Madoff News: His Wife Withdrew $15 Million Just Before His Arrest

Bernie Madoff

Bernie Madoff

In every passing week, the level of disgust in the Bernie Madoff case rises.

By Reuters
BOSTON/NEW YORK – The wife of Bernard Madoff withdrew more than $15 million from an account linked to the accused swindler in the days before his arrest, Massachusetts authorities said on Wednesday, adding a new layer of intrigue to the probe of the purported $50 billion scam.
Ruth Madoff pulled out $10 million on December 10, the day before her husband was arrested and charged with running a global investment fraud, and $5.5 million on November 25, according to Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin.
The disclosure came in reports produced by Cohmad Securities Corp, a firm co-owned by Bernard Madoff that funneled millions of dollars from its clients to the financier. Galvin’s office filed a court complaint trying to suspend Cohmad’s license as a broker in Massachusetts.
For Full Story

Other Stories of Interest

White Powder Triggers Evacuation of FBI Headquarters in El Paso

White powder scares have haunted the American landscape ever since 2001. Offices have been shut down with regularity, and there’s no end in sight.

By The Associated Press
EL PASO, Texas – The FBI headquarters in El Paso was evacuated Wednesday after two people in the mail room were exposed to a white powdery substance.
The employees who came in contact with the powder were taken to a local hospital as a precaution. Everyone else in the federal law enforcement building, which houses about 200 FBI employees and nearly 100 U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency personnel, was sent home while hazardous materials crews worked to identify the substance.
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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