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Archive for December, 2009

Oye: Rabbi Off to Fed Prison for A Not So Kosher Tax Fraud Scheme

grand rabbi
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Simply put, it wasn’t kosher — not even close.

Naftali Tzi Weisz, 61, the grand rabbi of Spinka, a religious Jewish orthodox group, was sentenced Monday in Los Angeles to two years in prison for orchestrating a tax-cheat scheme prosecutors called “an astonishingly complex and sinister enterprise.”

Authorities say the Brooklyn rabbi and his assistant Gabbai Moshe E. Zingerman, 62,  solicited millions of dollars in donations and then refunded up to 95 percent of the money, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Donors were then able to claim tax deductions for the entire amount while only actually donating five percent of the money, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. The assistant also received a two year sentence.

To date, authorities said, seven people have been sentenced in the case and the investigation is ongoing.

Judge Rules Detroit Fed Prosecutor’s Emails Are Private

Ex-Prosecutor Convertino
Ex-Prosecutor Convertino

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A Detroit assistant U.S. Attorney doesn’t have to provide his emails in a controversial lawsuit involving a former colleague who is suing the Justice Department over leaks to the Detroit Free Press.

U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth of Washington ruled earlier this month that former federal prosecutor Richard Convertino can’t see any of assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Tukel’s emails to his private attorney or those involving Justice Department work.

Convertino has indicated that he thinks Tukel was the one who may have leaked information about an Office of Professional Responsibility investigation targeting him.

“We need to encourage candid communications among government officials allowing officials to deliberate honestly with each other, without fear that they discussions will be exposed to the public,” Judge Lamberth wrote in a ruling favoring Tukel, who had opposed the release.

He added that “Mr. Tukel reasonably expected that his emails with his personal attorney to remain confidential.”

Convertino, an aggressive prosecutor who became a controversial figure in the office, resigned in 2005 while under investigation for a 2003 terrorism case he prosecuted and won.

The convictions were later overturned and he was indicted on obstruction of justice charges, which alleged that he withheld exculpatory evidence from the defense and allowed false testimony during trial. He was eventually acquitted.

The emails included communications with his attorney and on Justice Department cases. The judge ruled that both were privileged and protected from being released.

Read the Judge’s Ruling

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FBI About to Release Michael Jackson Files: Tabloids Salivating

michael-jackson
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — You can already hear the tabloids salivating over the anticipated release of FBI files on legendary singer Michael Jackson.

The Daily Mail in London was among many media outlets to report that the FBI plans to declassify and release more than 300 documents on Jackson within the next two days.

The London publication reported that the files will include info on Jackson’s child molestation allegations in 1993 and 2004.

The paper reported that the FBI had a 679-page file, but only about half will be released.

End Could be Near for Louisiana Fed Judge Thomas Porteous Jr.

It looks like it could be the end for Louisiana Fed Judge Thomas Porteous. Perhaps Congress will figure out, enough is enough.

Judge Thomas Porteous

Judge Thomas Porteous Jr.

By Ben Evans
ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON –It’s not the lifestyle of a typical federal judge: Five or six vodka cocktails during lunch; gambling with borrowed money; bankruptcy under a phony name; cash, trips or home repairs from lawyers; and a bail bondsman with business before his court.

Witnesses in the congressional impeachment case against U.S. District Court Judge G. Thomas Porteous Jr. paint a jarring portrait of the former Louisiana state judge appointed to the federal bench in 1994 by President Clinton.

As Congress wrapped up several weeks of evidence-gathering hearings this week, legal experts who testified before a House task force suggested Judge Porteous is a clear candidate to become just the eighth federal judge in U.S. history to be impeached and convicted by Congress.

For Full Story

FBI Reports Drop in Murder, Rape, Robbery in First Half of 2009

FBI graphic

FBI graphic

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The number of crimes involving violence, property and arson dropped in the first half of 2009 compared to the same time last year,  according to the FBI’s Preliminary Semiannual Uniform Crime Report released Monday.

The FBI said it was the third year in a row crime had declined during that six month stretch.

The latest report, which compares January-June 2009 to the same period in 2008, showed that violent crime dropped 4.4 percent while property crime dropped 6.1 percent and arson declined 8.2 percent.

More specifically, the FBI reported that murders were down 10 percent, rape down 3.3. percent and robberies fell 6.5 percent.

Other highlights were cited in an FBI press release:

* Murder was lower in all four regions of the country, with the largest decreases in the Northeast (13.7 percent) and the West (13.3 percent).

Read more »

Neo-Nazi Leader Convicted of Hate Crimes in Va.

nazi party

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The self-proclaimed commander of a Neo Nazi group in Roanoke, Va., was convicted on Friday in federal court in Virginia  of intimidating individuals by threatening them and posting some of their names, addresses, phone numbers and other personal information on  a Neo-Nazi website, authorities said.

From 2006 to 2008, William A. “Bill” White of the neo-Nazi group American National Socialist Workers Party,  went after a bank employee over a financial dispute and others involved in a federal  anti-discriminatory housing lawsuit, authorities charged.

“These communications included late night telephone calls to the victims’ homes, during which he would identify himself as the leader of a white supremacist group; emails to the victims in which he would make threatening statements; and posting the victims’ names, addresses, phone numbers, and other personal information on neo-Nazi Web sites, sometimes accompanied by language advocating the murder of the targeted victim,” the Justice Department said in a press release.

He was also convicted of  threatening a human rights lawyer from Canada and a university administrator responsible for implementing a diversity program, the Justice Department said.

Read Press Release

Retired DEA Supervisor John Cipriano Dies at Age 66

dea-logo
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Retired DEA supervisor John Cipriano, who investigated organized crime, has died at age 66, the New York Daily News reported. The cause of death was attributed to complications following a kidney transplant.

The Daily News reported that Cipriano retired in 1998 and joined the New York Civilian Complaint Review Board, where he investigated police misconduct up until 2005.

“He was a legend, a gentleman and the epitome of a DEA agent,”retired NYPD Detective Tommy Dades told the Daily News.

He was buried Sunday in Staten Island.

Job Applicant Asks if Flunking FBI Polygraph Will Hurt Chances With Justice Dept.

polygraphBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Can flunking an FBI job entrance exam hurt your chances of getting another government job?

Derrick T. Dortch, president of Derrick T. Dortch, president of the Diversa Group, a career counselor who specializes in government job searches and military transition, answered  “no” during a recent chat at washingtonpost.com.

Here’s how the conversation went:

Question: “I just had an interview with the Board of Immigration Appeals in the Department of Justice, and I am still waiting for the results. I have a question about clearance matters. I also applied to be an FBI special agent, and although I made it through the selection process, I failed the polygraph examination. Do you think this will count against me if I get the BIA position?”

Derrick Dortch: “I am sorry to hear about the polygraph. The FBI’s polygraph process is a very stressful one, so don’t be too discouraged. Keep on applying to federal positions as you are doing. Now in terms of the polygraph and the DOJ, it should not be held against you. Most DOJ positions, aside from those in the FBI and a few other areas, do not require you to take a polygraph exam.”

Ticklethewire.com Reader Responds About Reliability of Polygraph

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