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Archive for January, 2010

NY Mayor Bloomberg Joins Chorus of People Who Want 9/11 Terror Trial to be Held Outside City

new york 2By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has always tried to be a good host to the countless visitors who come to the Big Apple each year.

But he seems to be changing his tune about playing host to suspected mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and four others, who are supposed to go on trial in Manhattan sometime in the next two years or so.

“It would be great if the federal government could find a site that didn’t cost a billion dollars, which using downtown will,” he told reporters on Wednesday, according to the New York Times.

“It’s going to cost an awful lot of money and disturb an awful lot of people,” he said. “Can we provide security? Yes. Could you provide security elsewhere? Yeah, and I mean — the suggestion of a military base is probably a reasonably good one. Relatively easy to supply — to provide security. They tend to be outside of cities so that they don’t disrupt other people.”

The Times noted that it was an about face from the Bloomberg of two months ago, who said: ”It is fitting that 9/11 suspects face justice near the World Trade Center site where so many New Yorkers were murdered.”

No Shocker: Madoff’s Brother Peter Under Criminal Investigation

Bernie Madoff/facebook photo

Bernie Madoff/facebook photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It may come as little shock to most that ripoff king Bernie Madoff’s brother Peter Madoff is in trouble.

Bloomberg news service is reporting that Peter Madoff, the chief compliance officer at Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, is the subject of a criminal investigation. The news came out in a civil suit.

The United States Attorney’s Office “has informed us that Peter Madoff is a subject of its criminal investigation,’’ attorney Charles Spada wrote to U.S. Magistrate Judge Madeline Cox Arleo in Newark, according to Bloomberg.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

N.Y. Fed Prosecutors Not Shy About Pursuing Foreign Cases

It’s good that the long arm of the U.S. can stretch far beyond its borders when pursuing crime in this global world of ours. On the downside, at least in some cases, the U.S. Attorney’s Office could probably put resources to better use and let the country of origin charge and prosecute the cases. For example,  U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of  New York just indicted the  ex-President of Guatemala Alfonso Portillo on embezzling money and laundering it through American and European banks. He’s also facing corruption charges in his own country.  The question is: Was it necessary to pour those resources into that case?  It’s certainly a point of debate.

U.S. Atty. Preet Bharara/doj photo

U.S. Atty. Preet Bharara/doj photo

By Carrie Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors in New York are ratcheting up an aggressive strategy to pursue terrorists, drug traffickers and corrupt public officials who operate on foreign soil.

The expansion of traditional crime-fighting boundaries, which has its roots in an approach begun by the office in the 1990s, has been controversial among experts, with some questioning whether the effort is the best use of the U.S. government’s limited resources. But advocates say that using the long arm of American law to apprehend international figures whose crimes involve the United States might be the only way to attack an increasingly sophisticated global criminal threat.

Former Guatemalan president Alfonso Portillo became the latest target when he was arrested this week by police in Guatemala after money-laundering charges were unsealed in New York.

Read more »

Suburban Detroit Mayor Pleads Guilty to Bribery Charges

money-photoBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The mayor of Ecorse, a Detroit suburb of about 11,000 people, pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to bribery charges linked to a scheme involving a company that provided municipal works for the city, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Mayor Herbert Worthy admitted that between November 2007 and December 2008 he received more than $30,000 in bribes to make sure Michigan Municipal Services got the city contract. The company billed the city $3.1 million during that period. Two company officials have already pleaded guilty in the case.

Additionally, Erwin Hollenquest, the Controller of the city faces charges of accepting cash and a Lexus car in exchange for making sure the company was paid in full on its invoices “which contained hundreds of thousands of dollars in false and fraudulent charges,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

“Today’s conviction marks a decisive turning point in the federal investigation into municipal corruption in the City of Ecorse,” U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade said in a statement. “For the past several years the citizens of that city have suffered under the leadership of individuals who put their own personal gains above their sworn public duties.”

FBI Critical Incident Response Group Gets Lease at Richmond, Va. Airport

richmond airportBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The FBI’s Critical Incident Response Group is leasing part of the former Air National Guard base at Richmond International Airport for aviation operations, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

“We’re very excited to have the FBI as a tenant of the Richmond International Airport,” Jon Mathiasen, the airport’s president and CEO, told the paper. “They’ll bring commerce to the field by buying fuel and other services.”

The Capital Region Airport Commission signed a five-year lease with the FBI for the 8-acre site, with options to extend for up to another 15 years, the paper reported. The cost of the lease is $1 million a year.

Read more »

Men Who Tampered With Sen. Landrieu’s Phone Were Pulling a Prank, NBC Reports

new-orleans-map-istockBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — NBC’s Pete Williams is reporting that the four men arrested Monday for tampering with Sen. Mary Landrieu’s phones in her downtown New Orleans office were not trying to wiretap the phones, but “wanted to see how her local office staff would respond if the phones were inoperative.”

Williams’ attributed the information to a law enforcement official. The group of men were led by  conservative  videomaker James O’Keefe, who once duped the organization ACORN by posing as a pimp.

Authorities charged that O’Keefe, using his cellphone, videotaped two other men who entered the office posing as phone repairmen, who were trying to tamper with the phones.

The U.S. Marshals office arrested them.

Williams wrote that “they were apparently motivated, the official says, by criticism that when Sen. Landrieu became a big player in the health care debate, people in Louisiana were having a hard time getting through on the phones to register their views.”

Read New Orleans Times-Picayune Story

Acting Boss of N.Y. Genovese Crime Family Pleads Guilty to Racketeering Charges

thumbnail
By Allan Lengel
For Aol News

The acting head of the Genovese organized crime family, Daniel Leo, aka “The Lion,” and his nephew Joseph Leo, a lieutenant, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Manhattan federal court to racketeering charges related to loan sharking, extortion and illegal gambling.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office alleged that Daniel Leo became the acting boss of the Genovese organized crime family in 2005, rising from the family’s ruling council to run the show. The Genovese family is one of New York’s five legendary Mafia families.

Today’s guilty pleas were considered significant, part of the ongoing crackdown in recent years on the infamous New York mob, which has often been glamorized in films and TV. But the FBI asserts that Genovese and Gambino crime families in particular continue to thrive.

“They certainly have taken hits with the RICO statute (Racketeer Influenced And Corrupt Organizations Act), but organized crime in the New York City area is alive and well,” said David Shafer, assistant special agent in charge of the New York Office of the organized crime branch. “The Genovese family is a very, very strong family.”

For Full Story

Daily Show’s Jon Stewart Not Impressed with Bin Laden’s Remarks on Underwear Bomber