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July 2009


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for July, 2009

Disbarred Lawyer Testifies that He Tipped Off Wrong People: Boston FBI and Police Detective

The ugliest chapter in the history of the Boston FBI continued to unravel in federal court in Boston where families are suing the government for allegedly failing to stop mobster/FBI informants from killing. In Tuesday’s testimony, a disbarred attorney said he started to suspect that the FBI and Boston police were crooked.


By Shelley Murphy
Boston Globe Staff
BOSTON — A disbarred lawyer testified yesterday that he warned an FBI agent and a Boston police detective in 1980 that a bookmaker was poised to drop a dime on a drug-dealing ring involving corrupt police officers and South Boston crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger.

The bookmaker, Louis Litif, was shot to death one to four weeks later, on April 12, 1980, according to the former lawyer, Kevin Curry of Winchester.

“I began to figure out in my mind that I might very well have tipped the wrong people off,” said Curry, testifying in a federal trial over wrongful death suits filed against the government by Litif’s family and the families of two women Bulger allegedly killed. Curry first reported the information to investigators a decade ago.

Curry testified that he was representing a drug dealer when Litif offered to be a witness in the case. He said Litif professed to be taking drugs out of Boston Police Headquarters, with the help of corrupt officers, and giving them to a South Boston operation controlled by Bulger. At the time, Litif was awaiting trial on a murder charge and was looking to cut a deal, he said.

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Jurors See Video of Informant Handing Rep. William Jefferson $100,000

Nearly everyone has heard about the marked $90,000 in FBI money FBI agents found in Jefferson’s home freezer on Aug. 3, 2005. On Tuesday, jurors saw an FBI video of a government informant handing $100,000 to Jefferson in a brief case. When agents raided the freezer, $10,000 of that payoff was missing. The prosecution hopes the video leaves an impression with jurors. It’s also interesting to note how careful Jefferson was during the conversation with the informant, Lori Mody.

The case gained notoriety after the FBI found $90,000 in Jefferson's freezer

The case gained notoriety after the FBI found $90,000 in Jefferson's freezer

By Jonathan Tilove and Bruce Alpert
New Orleans Times-Picayune
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Jurors in the corruption trial of former Rep. William Jefferson saw a videotape Tuesday of the congressman accepting a briefcase packed with $100,000 in cash that prosecutors say was intended as the down payment on a bribe to the vice president of Nigeria.

Four days later, on Aug. 3, 2005, FBI agents found $90,000 of the marked bills stashed in the freezer at Jefferson’s Washington home.

Four times, from four different camera angles, the prosecution played the July 30, 2005, videotape of Jefferson receiving the briefcase from Lori Mody, the Virginia businesswoman who was his partner in a Nigerian telecommunications venture. Mody had brought the briefcase to their rendezvous in the parking lot of a Ritz Carlton Hotel in suburban Virginia.

“Would you like to take a peek at it, or whatever?” Mody asked as Jefferson removed the briefcase from the car trunk.

“I would not, ” replied Jefferson.

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Karl Rove Deposed in U.S. Attorney Firing Probe

Karl Rove

Karl Rove

If anyone can shine light on the matter, it’s Karl Rove. He loves to talk as a regular on Fox News. Let’s see if he was as talkative during this deposition.

The Politico
WASHINGTON — Former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove was deposed Tuesday by attorneys for the House Judiciary Committee, according to Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), the panel’s chairman.

Rove’s deposition began at 10 a.m. and ended around 6:30 p.m, with several breaks, Conyers said.

Conyers would not comment on what Rove told congressional investigators, what the next step in the long-running Judiciary Committee investigation would be or whether Rove would face additional questioning.

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Ex-Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales Finds Some Love in Lubbock: University Hires Him

Ex-Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzalez

Ex-Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales

Well, it’s still good to loved. And apparently former Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales, who is still the subject of an investigation into the controversial firings of Bush appointed U.S. Attorneys, has found love in Lubbock. They may not have hired the best ex-Atty. General, but he’s likely to be loyal if his time in the Bush administration is any indication.

The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
LUBBOCK, Tex. — Controversial former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will be a political science professor and diversity recruiter at Texas Tech, the university’s chancellor told The Avalanche-Journal.

Gonzales, 53, will begin his full-time duties at the university on Aug. 1, Chancellor Kent Hance said.

“Anytime, I can get a former cabinet member to work for the university, I will,” Hance said. “He can teach (students) about government, about goals, about diversity. Here’s a guy whose parents were migrant workers, and he went on to one of the highest offices in the land.”

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FBI Report Says Mortgage Fraud Problem Continues to Grow

istock_000007759741xsmall1By Allan Lengel
WASHINGTON – The mortgage fraud problem is growing and continues to plague the crippled real estate market.

The FBI on Tuesday released the 2008 Mortgage Fraud Report which showed that mortgage fraud Suspicious Activity Reports increased 36 percent to 63,713 during fiscal year 2008, compared to 46,717 during the same period the year before.

“Mortgage fraud hurts borrowers, financial institutions, and legitimate homeowners,” Assistant Director Kevin Perkins of the FBI Criminal Investigative Division said in a prepared statement.
“The FBI, in conjunction with our law enforcement, regulatory, and industry partners, continues to diligently pursue perpetrators of mortgage fraud schemes.”

According to an FBI press release, other key findings in the report include:
•As of FY 2008, the western region of the United States had the most pending FBI mortgage fraud-related investigations.
•The top 10 mortgage fraud states for 2008 were California, Illinois, Texas, Georgia, Ohio, Colorado, Maryland, Florida, Missouri, and New York.
•Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia were newly identified as having significant mortgage fraud problems.
•Criminals continued using old schemes, including property flipping, builder-bailouts, short sales, and foreclosure rescues. Additionally, in response to tighter lending practices, they facilitated new schemes, such as reverse mortgage fraud, credit enhancements, condo conversion, loan modifications, and pump and pay.

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FBI Investigating Inglewood, Calif. Police Shooting

The Justice Department Civil Rights Division is already looking into the department. And the Los Angeles Times found last year that 5 of 11 people shot and killed by the department since 2003 were unarmed. Something needs to change there.


By Ari B. Bloomekatz
Los Angeles Times

The FBI has opened a criminal investigation into the Inglewood Police Department’s fatal shooting of 31-year-old Marcus Smith in May.

The criminal probe, which was announced by the city in late June, is at least the third ongoing investigation into the department’s use of deadly force. The FBI confirmed that it had opened the investigation, but would not discuss it.

The civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington is already looking into the department’s patterns and practices. The Los Angeles County Office of Independent Review, which monitors the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, is also looking at the Inglewood department’s training, supervision, policies and protocol at the city’s request.

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Senators Taking Applications to Replace Pitts. U.S. Atty Mary Beth Buchanan

Sen. Dick Durbin/official photo
Sen. Dick Durbin/official photo

By Allan Lengel

Things aren’t looking so good for Bush loyalist Mary Beth Buchanan, who has expressed interest in remaining the U.S. Attorney in Pittsburgh.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review is reporting that Pennsylvania Democratic Sens. Bob Casey and Arlen Specter are taking the applications for the Pittsburgh job as well as the one in Philadelphia held by interim U.S. Attorney Michael L. Levy.

In Illinois, Sen. Dick Durbin has recommended Springfield assistant U.S. Attorneys Gregory Harris or James Lewis — for the U.S. Attorney post in the state’s central district, according to the State Journal-Register.

In the southern district of Illinois, he recommended retaining U.S. Attorney A. Courtney Cox. Durbin had already recommended that U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald of Chicago stay on, which he is.

Durbin also recommended three names for the U.S. Marshal job in the central district of Illinois, the Illinois paper said. They include: Kenneth Bohac, a deputy U.S. Marshal in Kentucky; Adams County Sheriff Brent Fischer and Robert Moore, a former U.S. Marshal.

Calif. Man Pleads Guilty to Fed Charges of Posting Hollywood Films on Internet


By Allan Lengel

If there’s any place on earth that takes the illegal distribution of movies seriously, it’s the Los Angeles area.

Derek Hawthorne, 21, is learning that the hard way.

Hawthorne pleaded guilty Monday before U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner in Los Angeles to two felony counts of illegally uploading copyrighted works. He was busted by the U.S. Secret Service.

Authorities charged that Hawthorne uploaded on the Internet for all to see “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and “Australia”, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

The movies had been released in the theaters, but had yet to be released on DVD. Sentencing is set for Sept. 28.