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November 2010


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for November, 2010

Wall Street’s New Sheriff: NY U.S. Atty Preet Bharara — A Bruce Springsteen Fan

U.S. Atty. Preet Bharara/doj photo

By Shira Ovide
Wall Street Journal

Hey, hedgies, better brush up on Preet Bharara’s CV and predilections. The U.S. Attorney for Manhattan is looking like the new Sheriff of Wall Street–-and he’s a Springsteen fan, to boot.

Bharara’s office, along with the FBI and the SEC, are closing in on an insider-trading case that could ensnare a wide swath of bankers, investor consultants, hedge funds and mutual-fund traders, The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend.

Investigators in part are looking into the role played by the cottage industry of industry consultants and analysts who give hedge funds and mutual funds an in-depth look into industries.

The wide-ranging probe stemmed from Bharara’s focus on insider trading. Bharara may not be a household name, but he made his bones taking on organized crime in New York, and more recently has tackled investigations into Bernie Madoff, the Galleon insider trading probe and the arms merchant known as the “Merchant of Death.” Wall Street isn’t so tough by comparison.

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San Fran Feds Won’t Retry Man Who Sent Racist, Threatening Email to President

Haskell was upset about Obama's election

w.h. photo

By Allan Lengel

Fed prosecutors in San Francisco have decided on Monday not to retry a man who was charged with threatening to kill President Obama via email, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The decision came after a jury on Nov.1 deadlocked in a 6 to 6 vote on whether the racist and violent email was a threat or an empty rant, the Chronicle reported.

The paper reported that U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel of San Francisco ordered defendant John Gimbel released from custody after fed prosecutors decided not to retry him.

Gimbel, 60, of Crescent City Del Norte County,Calif. was arrested after sending an e-mail in September 2009 to Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and several news organizations, the paper reported.

The paper said the subject line stated “Kill the ‘president’ ” and the message was filled with profanity and racial epithets.

FBI Raids Hedge Funds in What Promises to Be Big Wall Street Scandal

By Allan Lengel

The big Wall Street folks with lots of money could soon be trading in those $3,000 tailored wool suits for orange jumpsuits in what promises to be a full blown, major scandal.

F.B.I. agents on Monday raided offices of three hedge funds as part of an escalating probe into insider trading on Wall Street, the New York Times reports.

The hedge funds include Level Global Investors of New York and Diamondback Capital Management of Stamford, Conn., Loch Capital Management of Boston.

“We are conducting court-authorized search warrants as part of an ongoing investigation,” said N.Y. FBI spokesman Richard Kolko in a statement. “The matter is sealed. We have no further comment.”

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IG Report Cites Fed Court Security Concerns About Training and Broken Equipment

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — Walk through any federal courthouse and it seems security is pretty tight.

Still, a Justice Department Inspector General report on courthouse security says federal judges and personnel could be at risk because of poor training, questionable contracts and broken security equipment, the Washington Post reports.

The Post’s Ed O’Keefe writes that the Justice Department report found “multiple district offices failed to detect mock explosive devices sent to them in February 2009 by agency officials as part of a test of local security procedures.”

The report  also said three unnamed federal district court chief judges expressed serious concerns about security procedures, the Post reported.

Jeff Carter, a Marshals spokesman, said the agency worked with the inspector general’s office on the investigation and is making changes recommended by investigators.

“We take these responsibilities seriously and realize there is always room for improvement and continue to make great strides in our efforts to protect the federal judiciary,” Jeff Carter, a Marshals spokesman told the Post via e-mail. “The Marshals Service is proud of our ability to ensure the safe and secure conduct of judicial proceedings.”

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Head of TSA John Pistole Says Evaluating Security Methods at Airport

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More Than 9 Years After the Fact: Jury Convicts Man in Chandra Levy Murder

Ingmar Guandique

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

WASHINGTON — A jury convicted a Salvadoran illegal immigrant of two counts of first-degree murder today in the killing of intern Chandra Levy, a case that was based on circumstantial evidence and lacked any DNA or forensic evidence.

The Superior Court jury reached the verdict for Ingmar Guandique, 29, on the fourth day of deliberations, capping a nine-year march to justice for the death of the Washington intern, who was romantically linked to then U.S. Rep. Gary Condit.

Chandra Levy’s mother, Susan, who attended the trial, smiled when the verdict was announced; Guandique had no reaction, WUSA-TV reported.

Afterward, she spoke outside the courthouse before a throng of reporters and thanked the prosecution, defense and judge but said she found no closure or peace in the verdict.

Chandra Levy

She called the murder of her daughter “a lifetime sentence. I live with it everyday.”

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Al-Qaeda Threatens More Small Bomb Attacks

Osma bin Laden

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — Yes, even Al-Qaeda is looking for a bang for its buck.

The Washington Post reports that al Qaeda “is threatening to launch a wave of small-scale attacks similar to the recent failed parcel bomb plot, which the terrorist group describes as a low-budget operation that caused fear and costly countermeasures in the West.”

The new threat was published Saturday in the latest issue of the group’s English-language magazine, Inspire.

“We will continue with similar operations and we do not mind at all in this stage if they are intercepted,” one article said, according to the Washington Post. “It is such a good bargain for us to spread fear amongst the enemy . . . in exchange for a few months of work and a few thousand bucks.”

To read more click here.

Justice Dept. and FBI Probe 2008 Fatal Shooting by Off-Duty Deputy Marshal in LA

By Allan Lengel

The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division  and the FBI are investigating a deputy U.S. Marshal who fatally shot a tattoo parlor employee while off duty during a confrontation in Los Angeles in 2008, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The local prosecutor had found inconsistencies in deputy marshal Matthew Itkowitz’s story, but declined prosecution for insufficient  of evidence.

Itkowitz shot Ryan Gonzalez, 26, in an alley after a night of drinking.

Itkowitz claimed the shooting was in self defense while he was being beaten and threatened with a gun, the LA Times reported.

“The footage, made public by The Times last week, shows Gonzalez twice knocking Itkowitz to the ground and at one point brandishing what authorities said appears to be a gun,” the LA Times reported. “But Itkowitz does not open fire until after the confrontation has ended.

“The footage shows Gonzalez walking away and apparently waving back at Itkowitz for him to do the same when Itkowitz pulls a gun from his rear waistband and tucks it behind his leg. When Gonzalez turns and begins walking back toward Itkowitz, the off-duty deputy marshal pulls out his gun and begins firing. As Gonzalez flees down the alley, Itkowitz chases after him, firing a total of five shots.”

The confrontation began after Itkowitz’s wife came running to several people in the alley asking for help, saying she feared her husband was going to hurt her, the Times reported.

Itkowitz remains on duty.

To read more click here.