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June 2009


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for June, 2009

Bernie Madoff Gets to Be Sentenced in Style


By Allan Lengel

The bad news for swindler Bernie Madoff is that’s he’s going off to federal prison for a long time.

The Good News: He gets to wear his own clothes at sentencing on Monday instead of his nifty prison outfit.

In a one-sentence order filed in U.S. District Court in New York on Wednesday, Judge Denny Chin wrote:

“That defendant Bernard L. Madoff (inmate #61727-054) is permitted to receive clothing at the Metropolitan Correction Center, 150 Park Row, New York, N.Y., to be worn by the Defendant at sentencing on Monday June 29, 2009.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan on Wednesday filed more than 200 pages in court that included angry letters and emails from investors.

Here’s an excerpt from one: “I am not sure what my entitlement is as far as speaking before the court,” wrote Rick Ashenfarb. “My wife and I lost 1 million dollars to this snake. It was all the money we had and now, we find ourselves in a dire financial position, especially because of the overall economy.

“As far as Madoff and his family, I can’t believe that one cent of his wife’s money did not come from this heinous crime. Therefore, his entire family should live under the same conditions as us, penniless!”

Congressman to the Rescue: Sidewalks too Hot For Fed Dogs


Just because they work like a dog,  doesn’t mean they have to suffer. Here’s Congressman Bob Brady to the rescue.

By Dan Gross
Philadelphia Daily News
CAPITOL Police dogs should soon be barking their gratitude to U.S. Rep. Bob Brady. Brady recently noticed that some of the bomb-sniffing dogs that inspect cars at the entrance to the Capitol were limping and was told it’s because of the hot pavement.

So Brady has arranged for the asphalt where the dogs work to be painted white.

The white paint is said to be 20 to 25 degrees cooler than blacktop, and Brady says the CIA, FBI, and Secret Service headquarters all have white paint to help their search dogs.

Brady says the painting will be done Saturday. He offered to provide paint, but the Capitol Police turned him down.

“The dogs are getting hurt and they can’t do their jobs. It’s hard to concentrate on smelling a bomb if their feet are burning,” Brady told us.

For Full Story


Feds Arrest 53 in Nationwide $50 Mil Medicare Scam

Medicare fraud has been so pervasive for so long. With our health care costs spiraling out of control, this type of fraud doesn’t help. We need to do even more to crack down on this activity. It goes hand and glove with health care reform.

FBI Agent arrests Bernice Brown/channel 7 detroit

FBI Agent arrests Bernice Brown/channel 7 detroit

Detroit Free Press
DETROIT — Federal authorities unsealed indictments Wednesday that charged 53 people in an alleged nationwide $50-million Medicare scam.

Forty-one of the suspects were arrested Wednesday — including 35 in metro Detroit.

Federal authorities allege doctors, physical therapists and employees at 27 companies paid kickbacks to patients for fake Medicare claims.

“I just want to say to those of you who work diligently and ethically to provide medical care through the Medicare program, we will work with you to root out the few who corrupt the system and taint the good reputations of health professionals everywhere,” said U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in Washington, D.C.

For Full Story

Read Summary of the Cases

Read Justice Dept. Press Release

Nigerian Executive Paid Ex-Rep. William Jefferson $100,000

This is some pretty damaging testimony for Jefferson. The FBI recorded Jefferson taking $100,000 in marked FBI bills from a business woman who was cooperating with the FBI. But this $100,000 payment is in addition to the FBI money, and was apparently made initially without the knowledge of the FBI. It may undercut some of the defense’s claim that the case was created by the FBI.

By Bruce Alpert
The Times-Picayune

The Jefferson trial/courtesy of Art Lien/NBC News

The Jefferson trial/courtesy of Art Lien/NBC News

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A former Nigerian telecommunications executive testified Wednesday that his former business partners delivered $100,000 to then-Rep. William Jefferson after the Democratic congressman requested a percentage of profits and revenue in a joint venture with a Kentucky technology company he was promoting.

Dumebi Kachikwu, a part-owner of Nigeria Digital Television when Jefferson was trying to broker a deal between the company and Louisville-based iGate Inc., delivered the most damaging testimony yet in the trial, now in its third week, in which Jefferson faces charges of bribery, racketeering and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Jefferson’s attorneys are expected to cross-examine Kachikwu when the trial resumes today.

For Full Story

FBI Arrests White Supremacist Blogger on Charges of Threatening Lives of 3 Chicago Judges

Hal Turner/msnbc photo

Hal Turner/msnbc photo

The white supremacists movement seems to be grabbing headlines as of  late. A white supremacist killed a guard at the Holocaust Museum in Washington a few weeks ago. Now we’ve got the arrest of Hal Turner. The movement, which has become more disorganized in recent years with the deaths of key leaders, is trying to make inroads. The FBI is concerned the ailing economy and the election of an African American president could help recruiting.

By The Associated Press
CHICAGO – A white supremacist blogger was arrested at his New Jersey home Wednesday and charged with threatening to assault or murder three Chicago-based judges who refused to overturn local ordinances banning handguns.

Hal Turner, 47, a former Internet radio talk show host, was taken into custody by FBI agents who went to his North Bergen home with a search warrant, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

Prosecutors quoted a Turner Internet posting as saying: “Let me be the first to say this plainly: These judges deserve to be killed.”

For Full Story

Is Justice Dept. Covering for Saudis Links to Terrorism?

saudi-flagU.S. relations with the Saudis is obviously important. But is it worth covering up that nation’s ties to terrorism? And is it worth compromising the integrity of the Justice Department, which is deeply involved in the fight against terrorism?

By Eric Lichtblau
New York Times
WASHINGTON – Documents gathered by lawyers for the families of Sept. 11 victims provide new evidence of extensive financial support for Al Qaeda and other extremist groups by members of the Saudi royal family, but the material may never find its way into court because of legal and diplomatic obstacles.

The case has put the Obama administration in the middle of a political and legal dispute, with the Justice Department siding with the Saudis in court last month in seeking to kill further legal action.

Adding to the intrigue, classified American intelligence documents related to Saudi finances were leaked anonymously to lawyers for the families. The Justice Department had the lawyers’ copies destroyed and now wants to prevent a judge from even looking at the material.

For Full Story

Read Documents Showing Links

Internet Spam King Pleads Guilty in Detroit

As punishment, the man should have to read spam all day — and while he’s at it — eat spam.spam-can

Detroit Free Press
DETROIT — The feds once called him the spam king.

On Monday, Alan Ralsky took on the new title of convicted felon after pleading guilty in U.S. District Court in Detroit to sending millions of unsolicited e-mail in a stock-fraud scheme that netted him $2.7 million in the summer of 2005.

An indictment charged that Ralsky, 63, of West Bloomfield; his son-in-law, Scott Bradley, and others used unsolicited e-mail to pump up the price of penny stock in Chinese companies to artificially high prices and then sold it.

For Full Story

Feds Charge Seattle Thai Restaurant Chain Owner With Sham Marriages

Sure love is blind. But federal authorities aren’t. And they say some folks here were ordering up sham marriages.


AP Legal Affairs Writer
— The owner of a Seattle area chain of Thai restaurants pleaded not guilty Tuesday to paying four of her workers to enter into sham marriages allowing three of her relatives and another Thai national to stay in the U.S.

Varee Bradford, who operates five Thai Ginger restaurants, was arrested Tuesday on one count of immigration fraud conspiracy and three counts of immigration document fraud. She was released on her own recognizance after entering her plea in U.S. District Court.

A grand jury indictment says three workers were paid $10,000 to more than $20,000. Another, who had been promoted to management, was loaned $3,780. The three men and one woman allegedly were told the marriages would only have to last two years, until their spouses received green cards.

For Full Story


Executions on Hold in Missouri During Federal Review (AP)
53 Indicted in $50 Million Medicare Fraud Scheme (Detroit Free Press)