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November 2010


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for November, 2010

Passengers Irked About Airport Patdowns; TSA Chief John Pistole Discusses Issue

Hacker Who Illegally Accessed Sarah Palin’s Email Gets Prison Time

Sarah Palin/ official photo

By Allan Lengel

David C. Kernell, the son of a Tennessee state lawmaker, was sentence Friday to one year and one day in prison for hacking into Sarah Palin’s email during the 2008 presidential campaign, the Justice Department said.

Kernell, 23, was convicted in April after a week-long trial on one count of misdemeanor unauthorized access to obtain information from a computer and one count of obstruction of justice.

Authorities had charged that Kernell, who was a University of Tennessee student, illegally accessed Palin’s email account by resetting the account password.

Authorities said he accessed the email by answering a series of security questions that allowed him to reset the password and gain access.

Federal authorities said Kernell read the contents of the account and made screenshots of the e-mail directory, e-mail content, and other personal information.

He then posted posted screenshots of the e-mails and other personal information to a public website.

During sentencing, he said, according to the Associated Press:

“I am not going to make any kind of excuses. I’d like to apologize to the Palin family.”

He is the son of state Rep. Mike Kernell, D-Memphis.

Justice Dept. Reports Says U.S. Was “Safe Haven” For Nazis and Their Collaborators

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — A 600-page, never-released Justice Department report concludes that the American intelligence officials created a “safe haven” in the U.S. for Nazis and their collaborators after World War II, the New York Times reports.

“It describes the government’s posthumous pursuit of Dr. Josef Mengele, the so-called Angel of Death at Auschwitz, part of whose scalp was kept in a Justice Department official’s drawer; the vigilante killing of a former Waffen SS soldier in New Jersey; and the government’s mistaken identification of the Treblinka concentration camp guard known as Ivan the Terrible,” the New York Times reported.

It also discusses the successes and failures of the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations, created in 1979 to deport Nazis, the Times reported.

The Times reporter Eric Lichtblau writes:

“Perhaps the report’s most damning disclosures come in assessing the Central Intelligence Agency’s involvement with Nazi émigrés. Scholars and previous government reports had acknowledged the C.I.A.’s use of Nazis for postwar intelligence purposes. But this report goes further in documenting the level of American complicity and deception in such operations.”

To read more click here.

To read full report click here.

Defense Begins Monday for FBI Agent in Mississippi

By Allan Lengel

The defense begins its case Monday in the trial of FBI agent Hal Neilson, who is accused of hiding his interest in a building in Oxford, Miss., that housed the FBI office he headed up, and then lying about it.

The prosecution rested its case, using recordings and documents to show his interest in a company that build and leased the building, according to the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.

Neilson has claimed that Michael Turner – the Jackson FBI office’s top lawyer until 2008 told him he could buy into the company so long as he was a passive, silent partner.

The paper reported that Turner denied that, but admitted losing focus on details in his waning years with the FBI.


Marshals Auction for Madoff’s Belongings Nets More than $2 Mil

Ruth Madoff's 10.5 carat diamond/u.s. marshals photo

By Allan Lengel

Bidders came bidding Saturday in New York for the belongings of swindler Bernie Madoff, who seems to have the public appeal of a mobster.

The U.S. Marshals Service, using an auction house, netted more than $2 million for Madoff’s and his wife Ruth’s belongings, which included Ruth’s 10.5 carat diamond engagement ring, which sold for $550,000, according to the New York Daily News.

Proceeds will go to repay victims of Madoff’s long-standing Ponzi scheme, which involved ripping off some $65 billion.  Some of Madoff’s properties have already been auction off.

The Daily News reported that hundreds packed the Sheraton Hotel and Towers on Seventh Avenue in Manhattan for the auction. On top of that, more than 1,000 online bidders participated.

A grand piano went for $42,000. Slippers and unused underwear were also sold.

I bought these things because I admire him in a way,”  Mario Mazza, 67, of Monmouth Beach, N.J., who bought a bar set for $2,200 and a set of boxes, plates and vases for $625 told the Daily News.

“It’s interesting because he used to own this stuff and now it’s going to be mine. When I look at this stuff it will be a reminder of the good and the bad side of people.”

To read more click here.


Weekend Series on History of Crime: The Death of Deep Throat

FBI Brings in Plumber After Busting Prominent D.C. Area County Executive and Wife

Jack Johnson

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — The FBI on Friday brought in a plumber to try and keep some evidence from going down the toilet.

According to the Washington Post and an FBI affidavit,  the  FBI summoned the  plumber after agents arrested Prince George’s  County Executive Jack Johnson and his wife Leslie Friday on charges of trying to destroy bribe money from a developer.

Both Johnson and his wife were heard on a wiretapped phone talking about flushing a check from a developer down the toilet as FBI agents waited outside the house, according to an FBI affidavit. Johnsons’ wife is a  County Council member in Prince George’s County, a suburb of Washington.

The plumber, Steve Wilson of Gene’s Plumbing in Harwood, Md.  told the Post: “I’m checking the toilet to make sure there is nothing in them.”  He said so far he hadn’t found anything.

Agents arrest Jack Johnson/

The arrest came as a shock even though Johnson’s questionable relationship with developers had surfaced publicly in the past.  Johnson, who was the state’s attorney for Prince George’s County before becoming the county executive, had been a well respected political figure in the Washington area.

An FBI affidavit by agent Wendy Munoz of the Baltimore field Division stated that Johnson took a $100,000 check from a developer in exchange for helping get government housing funds for a development.  And on November 5, the FBI recorded Johnson taking $5,000 in cash from the developer, according to the affidavit. A week later, the same developer gave Johnson $15,000 in cash.

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FBI’s Janet Kamerman Gets a Bump Up at Headquarters

Janet Kamerman/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — Janet L. Kamerman gets a bump up at FBI headquarters from associate executive assistant director of the Human Resources Branch to executive assistant director of the Human Resources Branch.

“Janet brings a tremendous amount of expertise in human resources and leadership to this position,” FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said in a statement issued Friday. “She will continue to move the Bureau’s programs forward in the areas of human resources, training, and security to achieve our mission.”

Kamerman entered the FBI as a special agent with the FBI in July 1989 and was first assigned to the Houston Division where she worked a variety of crimes including organized crime, drug and international terrorism.

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