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Archive for October, 2009

Accused Spy For Israel Had Been Busted for Overbilling NASA

No question Stewart D. Nozette was a smart scientist. But a smart criminal? He pleaded guilty in January to overbilling NASA. You’d think once you’re on the government’s radar you’d avoid — or least be careful — about doing foolish things. You’d think.

Stewart Nozette/nasa photo

Stewart Nozette/nasa photo

By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Stewart D. Nozette, the Chevy Chase scientist accused last week of attempted espionage, pleaded guilty in January to overbilling NASA and the Defense Department more than $265,000 for contracting work, according to court records unsealed Friday.

Nozette, 52, was arrested last week by federal authorities and accused of selling sensitive government secrets for $11,000 to an FBI agent posing as an Israeli intelligence operative. He faces a sentence of up to life in prison if convicted of attempted espionage.

For Full Story

Ex-U.S. Atty. Christie’s Crime Buster Image Being Tarnished in NJ Gov Race

Christopher Christie/campaign photo

Christopher Christie/campaign photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In New Jersey, a landscape flush with plenty corruption, former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie entered the gubernatorial race as a crime buster out to rescue the state.

But in the past few months, his Democratic opponent Jon Corzine and the media have done plenty to try and tarnish that image, accusing the Republican Christie of ethical breaches while he worked as the Bush-appointed U.S. Attorney in Newark from 2002 to 2008.

The latest question mark comes from the Newark Star-Ledger, which reported on Sunday that Christie, just before he quit, hired the son of a mentor and friend  over the objections of fellow federal prosecutors.

“Christie hired Samuel Stern over objections from nearly every assistant U.S. attorney who interviewed him, according to three federal law enforcement officials with knowledge of the hiring process,” the Star-Ledger reported. Samuel Stern is the son of  Herbert J. Stern.

“They contended Stern, who at the time was two years out of law school, lacked the experience to become a federal prosecutor, the officials said,” according to the Star-Ledger.

To read the full story click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI, IRS Try to Tackle $60 Billion a Year Healthcare Fraud

Weekend Series on History of Crime: FBI Agent Penetrated NY Gambino Crime Family and Almost Became Made Man

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBxsJwLyL10

*Story First Aired in 2008 on 60 Minutes

Ex-FBI Dir. Louis Freeh Gets Italian Citizenship

Louis J. Freeh at embassy ceremony/embassy photo

Louis J. Freeh at embassy ceremony/embassy photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Ex-FBI Director Louis J. Freeh, the tough American G-Man ,  is going Italian —  all the way.

In a ceremony at the Italian Embassy in Washington, Freeh was given Italian citizenship, according to the embassy website.

Freeh, who headed the FBI for eight years, “acquired his Italian citizenship in an official ceremony in which he swore allegiance to the Constitution before Italy’s Ambassador to the USA Giulio Terzi”, the website said.

Terzi cited Freeh’s fight against organized crime and “open cooperation with Italy’s major law enforcement agencies.”  Italy allows dual citizenship.

The site said Freeh’s “Italian ancestry traces back to his maternal grandfather who came to the United States in 1870 from the province of Avellino.”

Inspector Gen. Report Says FBI and ATF Sometimes Race to Be First to Explosive Scene

The Inspector General report simply confirms what’s already been reported and spoken of between agencies. In D.C., there  clearly have been turf battles between ATF and the FBI. One of those incidents occurred in 2003 when a North Carolina man with tractor threatened to set off explosives on the Mall in Washington. And that wasn’t the only one here.  It may build agency pride, but it’s bad for the public.

Burning car

By Terry Frieden
CNN Justice Producer
WASHINGTON – The inter-agency feuding between agents of the FBI and the ATF over handling of explosives investigations is so serious they sometimes race to be first on the scene of an explosives incident, a new report says.

The report – issued Friday by the Justice Department’s inspector general – found a major duplication of effort and strong disagreement about who has jurisdiction in investigations.

Both the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are agencies within the the Justice Department, and the department was sharply criticized by its inspector general, Glenn Fine, for failing to resolve the dispute.

“Our audit found, for example, that the FBI and ATF sometimes race to be the first federal agency on the scene of an explosives incident,” the report said. “Disputes have occurred when one agency arrives first and other agency believes the incident falls within its lead agency authority.”

For Full Story

Read Full Report

Pitts. U.S. Atty. Mary Beth Buchanan Can’t Avoid Controversy

Bush Holdover U.S. Atty. Mary Beth Buchanan

Bush Holdover U.S. Atty. Mary Beth Buchanan

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan of Pittsburgh, a Bush appointee who is expected to be replaced by an Obama appointee, can’t seem to avoid controversy. And this time, it may not be her fault.

In the latest incident, the Associated Press reports that the Pittsburgh federal defenders office is alleging that the Allegheny County Jail recorded telephone calls between defense attorneys and their clients and turned over some conversations to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Jail policy allows for the recording of all outgoing calls except to inmates’ lawyers.

The Associated Press quoted Federal Public Defender Lisa Freeland as being “incensed” and the office has scheduled a meeting with the county’s solicitor’s office.

The news agency said the jail claimed revamping of the phone system may have resulted in the jail inadvertently recording conversations. AP reported that Buchanan said her office never requested any of those conversations, and it didn’t listen to any that it may have gotten.

Buchanan triggered an internal Justice Department probe earlier this year when she publicly stated that a county medical examiner was guilty of crimes even after charges were dropped.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Crime History:The Fall of “Pretty Boy” Floyd

Pretty Boy Floyd/fbi photo

Pretty Boy Floyd/fbi photo

From the FBI Website
Two cars traveled down a country road towards the Conkle farm, two miles south of a small town named Clarkson on the eastern edge of Ohio. It was 4:10 on the afternoon of October 22, 1934, and history was about to unfold.

In one car were four Bureau agents, led by Chicago Special Agent in Charge Melvin Purvis. In the other were four local law enforcement officers, headed by East Liverpool Chief of Police Hugh McDermott.

The group was searching for Charles Arthur Floyd-known far and wide as “Pretty Boy,” a nickname he hated and refused to answer to, preferring “Choc”-and they quickly realized they’d found him. Wearing a navy blue suit, Floyd jumped from a car he was riding in and bolted across a rolling field, pistol in hand.

Within minutes, Floyd would breathe his last.

Read more »