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Archive for September, 2009

Belgian Arms Dealer Busted in Scheme to Ship Jet Parts to Iran

It’s good to see that Iran likes the U.S. for something — even if it is for military parts.

iran-map

By Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — A Belgian arms dealer who allegedly tried to smuggle fighter-jet engines and parts from the United States to Iran has been indicted, U.S. officials announced Wednesday, days after he was arrested in New York City after stepping off a flight from France.

Jacques Monsieur, 56, was charged Aug. 27 by a federal grand jury with six counts of conspiracy, smuggling, money laundering, and violating weapons-trafficking laws and export controls related to a U.S. trade embargo on Iran.

For Full Story

Read Indictment

Report Says More than 70% of Illegal Aliens and Contraband Will Make it Across U.S. Border

The borders at Mexico and Canada continues to present a daunting challenge. It’s obvious that the U.S. should and could be doing a better job at the border. Yet, the answers aren’t easy. More inspections might result in untenable traffic jams.

border-fence-photo5

By Homeland Security Newswire
According to DHS, the vast majority — more than 70 percent — of illegal aliens and contraband attempting to move across our border through official ports of entry will succeed

In fiscal 2008 U.S. Border Patrol officers working at checkpoints that are typically set up along roads and highways 25 to 100 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border stopped three people “who were identified as persons linked to terrorism,” according to information provided by the Border Patrol to the Government Accountability Office.

“In addition,” says a GAO report released Monday, “the Border Patrol reported that in fiscal year 2008 checkpoints encountered 530 aliens from special interest countries, which are countries the Department of State has determined to represent a potential terrorist threat to the United States.”

For Full Story

Major Dem Fundraiser Accused of More Major Fraud

It’s never good when a major fundraiser for your party is accused of corruption, particularly when it’s a big one like this.

Hillary Clinton/state dept. photo

Hillary Clinton/state dept. photo

By Grant McCool
Reuters
NEW YORK- A fund-raiser for Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and other Democrats who was charged last week with defrauding Citigroup Inc (C.N) also defrauded other banks, U.S. prosecutors said.

The allegations against fund-raiser Hassan Nemazee — arrested last week on a bank fraud charge and released on $25 million bail — were not formal charges but were in a letter dated Tuesday from prosecutors to a Manhattan federal court magistrate judge handling the case.

Nemazee, 59, head of a private equity firm, was accused on Aug. 25 of one count of bank fraud for seeking a fraudulent $74 million loan from Citigroup’s banking unit. He said after his arrest that he had repaid the loan.

For Full Story

Woman Goes on Runway and Fires Gun (Courthouse News Service)

Scathing Report Says SEC Repeatedly Failed to Catch Madoff Scam

sec-logo

It was painful enough seeing all the victims Bernie Madoff scammed. But it makes it all the more painful to be reminded of how incompetent the SEC was, and how this could have been exposed long ago.

By DAVID STOUT
New York Times
WASHINGTON – Unseasoned investigators from the Securities and Exchange Commission were alternately intimidated and enthralled by a name-dropping, yarn-spinning Bernard L. Madoff as he dodged questions about his financial house of cards, according to a scathing new report on the agency’s repeated failure to uncover the huge investment fraud.

“Madoff carefully controlled to whom they spoke at the firm,” the S.E.C.’s independent watchdog said in the report released on Wednesday.

For Full Story

Drugmaker Pfizer Pleads Guilty to Fraud and Will Pay Record $2.3 Billion

The government needs to bring more cases like this. This is the largest health care fraud fine in U.S. history.

pfizer

By Ransdell Pierson and Jeremy Pelofsky
REUTERS
NEW YORK/WASHINGTON – Pfizer Inc agreed on Wednesday to plead guilty to a U.S. criminal charge relating to promotion of its now-withdrawn Bextra pain medicine and will pay a record $2.3 billion to settle allegations it improperly marketed 13 medicines.

The world’s biggest drugmaker was slapped with the huge fines after being deemed a repeat offender in pitching drugs to patients and doctors for unapproved conditions.

For Full Story

Read Remarks By Associate  Atty. Gen. Tom Perrelli

Read Press Release

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Fed Prosecutor Says Holocaust Museum Shooter Was on a Suicide Mission

This is such a sad, tragic incident committed by one scary, unstable guy. The judge has ordered a mental competency exam.

James von Brunn/facebook photo

James von Brunn/facebook photo

By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — The elderly white supremacist accused of killing a guard at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in June was on a suicide mission and had planned the attack months in advance, a federal prosecutor said in court Wednesday.

Prosecutor Nicole Waid made the accusations during a brief hearing in the District’s federal court during which the suspect, James W. von Brunn, 89, spoke publicly for the first time since the shooting.

“The Constitution guarantees me a speedy and fair trial,” he said, sitting in a wheelchair, next to his defense attorney.

For Full Story

Ex-Ohio Rep. Traficant — King of the Bad Hair Day — Is Free Today

James Traficant, the ex-Congressman who never met a bad hair day he didn’t like, is resurfacing after a little stint where he deserved to be. Thankfully, there’s no crime for having a bad hair day, or he wouldn’t be getting out today.

James Traficant/umass.edu photo

James Traficant on one of his better hair days /umass.edu photo

By John Caniglia
Cleveland Plain Dealer
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Federal inmate 31213-060 is heading home Wednesday to a city where many still revere him, despite a conviction that made him a national disgrace.

James Traficant, the former Democratic congressman fond of staccato rants, cowboy boots and a weather-beaten toupee, is scheduled to leave a federal prison in Minnesota sometime Wednesday after serving seven years for bribery.

Some residents will wear “Welcome Home Jimbo” T-shirts and boast of his release.

For Full Story

Ex-Homeland Chief Tom Ridge Criticizes Waterboarding and Indefinite Detention

Tom Ridge/gov photo

Tom Ridge/gov photo

It’s too bad this happens in every administration: Some high-ranking people only seem to be willing to  speak up after it’s all over. The lesson here: express yourself to the powers that be when you’re there, not when you’ve left and decided to cash in with a book.

By Michael Scherer
Time
WASHINGTON — Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge does not want to “second-guess” the motivations of his former colleagues in the Bush Administration.

But with a new memoir, The Test of Our Times, about to hit bookstores, he is ready to talk about all the second thoughts he has been having.

For instance, he thinks waterboarding “was and is torture,” and he wishes the Bush Administration had not permitted it.

He thinks President George W. Bush should have gone to Congress sooner to get permission to expand the National Security Agency’s domestic-spying program.

He even frowns upon the Bush policy of indefinite detention for suspected terrorists, a policy that the Obama Administration has hinted it may continue to some degree.

For Full Story