Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

January 2011
S M T W T F S
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Archive for January, 2011

Va. ATF Agent Under Investigation for Allegedly Stealing Tens of Thousands of Dollars of ATF-Owned Cigarettes

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Federal authorities are investigating allegations that an ATF agent in Virginia stole tens of thousands of dollars worth of ATF-owned cigarettes and sold them, according to the Daily Press newspaper.

The agent Clifford D. Posey, 43, who is part of the Norfolk, Va. ATF office, has not been charged, but the allegations are contained in a federal search warrant affidavit written by J. Brian Burnett, a special agent with the Department of Justice’s Inspector General’s Office, the paper reported. The ATF-owned cigarettes are used as bait in stings.

The affidavit alleges that Posey of Chesapeake,Va., stole the cigarettes, moved them to a rented storage unit in Virginia Beach where he distributed the goods for money, the paper reported.

“Posey has … used his position as an ATF Special Agent to facilitate the embezzlement of property belonging to the United States,” the affidavit said. ATF said Posey has been suspended without pay since December, the paper reported.

The paper said Posey declined Tuesday to discuss the case.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Sentenced at Age 93, Mob Underboss Was Wiseguy’s Wiseguy

John "Sonny" Franzese/wikipedia photo

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

The story line of Colombo family underboss John “Sonny” Franzese, 93, of New York reads something like this: He knew Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. He got booted from the Army in World War II for displaying homicidal tendencies. His son testified against him in trial last year. And the feds recorded him talking about hiding bodies — though he was never convicted of murder.

And now Franzese, a wiseguy’s wiseguy who a federal prosecutor said was responsible for the “glamorization of the Mafia over the past century,” could spend what’s left of his life in prison.

His grandchildren and daughter wrote gushing letters to the judge asking for leniency, but Franzese was sentenced last week in a Brooklyn, N.Y., federal court to eight years for shaking down Hustler and Penthouse strip clubs in Manhattan and a Long Island pizzeria for protection. He reportedly could become eligible for parole at age 100.

“He’s very resilient,” his attorney, Richard B. Lind, told AOL News, commenting this week on Friday’s sentencing. “He took it like a man.”

Franzese was the underboss — or the second in command — of the Colombo crime family, one of five Mafia families in New York. He got there by taking wrong turns every step of the way, authorities say.

“From a very young age, he has engaged in relentless and increasingly brutal violence, starting with an assault arrest at the age of 19 in 1938, then escalating to rape of a waitress in a garage in 1947 and armed bank robbery in 1967,” Brooklyn Assistant U.S. Attorneys Cristina M. Posa and Rachel J. Nash wrote in a court document last month, weeks before sentencing.

To read more click here.

Feds Bust 2 Hackers for Stealing Emails from AT&T’s iPad Data Base; Some Famous Names Included

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

With the most modern of technology comes the most modern of crimes.

Two men — one from Arkansas and another from California — were arrested Tuesday and charged in Newark, N.J.  with hacking into the AT&T’s servers and stealing emails and personal info of about 120,000 Apple iPad users including such notables as Diane Sawyer, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Harvey Weinstein and Rahm Emanuel.

The thievery happened between June 5 and June 9, authorities said.

Andrew Auernheimer, 25, of Fayetteville, Ark., and Daniel Spitler, 26, of San Francisco were arrested by the FBI and charged with an alleged conspiracy to hack AT&T’s servers and for possession of personal subscriber information obtained from the servers.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said that immediately after the Immediately following the theft, the hackers provided the stolen e-mail addresses and ICC-IDs (Circuit Card Identifiers) to the website Gawker, which published the stolen information in redacted form.

The article said the breach “exposed the most exclusive email list on the planet,”and indicated that iPad users were vulnerable to spam marketing and malicious hacking, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Mayor Bloomberg

U.S. Attorney Fishman stated: “Hacking is not a competitive sport, and security breaches are not a game,” said Newark U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman.

“Companies that are hacked can suffer significant losses, and their customers made vulnerable to other crimes, privacy violations, and unwanted contact.” Computer intrusions and the spread of malicious code are a threat to national security, corporate security, and personal security.”

FBI Says Bomb Found at MLK Parade in Spokane

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yz79RsXA-IM

Life Tenure for Fed Judges Raises Issues of Senility, Dementia

By Joseph Goldstein
Special to ProPublica

Judge Richard Owen of the U.S. District Court in Manhattan gathered a group of lawyers in his courtroom in 2007 to discuss the possible leak of sealed documents in a business case. As the hearing got under way, Owen, then 84, asked for someone to explain this newfangled mode of communication the lawyers kept mentioning — e-mail.

“It pops up in a machine in some administrative office, and is somebody there with a duty to take it around and give it to whoever it’s named to?” he asked.

Some of the lawyers figured that Owen, whose chambers came with a mimeograph machine when he became a judge in 1973, was just behind the times. Others wondered if the judge’s memory was failing him.

After all, the most famous case in his long career — the back-to-back trials of Silicon Valley investment banker Frank Quattrone — had revolved around a single e-mail. Yet he now acted as though this was the first he was hearing about it. “He didn’t understand what was happening in his own courtroom,” said one lawyer present that day.

Read more »

Atty. Gen. Holder Announces New Professional Misconduct Review Unit

Eric Holder Jr./ticklethewire.com file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has created a “Professional Misconduct Review Unit” to handle disciplinary actions for career attorneys at the department resulting from Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR) investigations.

Attorney Gen. Eric Holder Jr., in announcing the new unit on Tuesday, said it will be headed up by Kevin Ohlson,who has served as Chief of Staff and Counselor to Holder since February 2009.

OPR investigates allegations of professional misconduct involving Department attorneys. The new unit will review OPR findings of reckless professional misconduct and determine whether evidence supports those findings. The United States Attorneys (EOUSA) will still refer findings of “poor judgment or mistake” to the appropriate U.S. Attorney for appropriate action.

“The current procedures for resolving these disciplinary matters consume too much time, and risk inconsistent resolutions, but this new Unit will help change that by providing consistent, fair, and timely resolution of these cases,” Holder said.

“In the vast majority of cases, Department attorneys meet their professional obligations but when allegations of misconduct occur, all parties deserve a fair and timely resolution. This Unit will be instrumental in achieving that goal and will also further the Department’s mission of meeting its ethical obligations in every case.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Woman Pleads to Voluntary Manslaughter in Death of Pitts. FBI Agent Sam Hicks; Gets Nearly 16 Years

Christina Korbe/wtae tv

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A woman pleaded guilty Tuesday morning in federal court in Pittsburgh to voluntary manslaughter and discharging a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence in the fatal  shooting of FBI agent Sam Hicks in 2008, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

Under the plea agreement, Christina Korbe was sentenced to 15 years and 10 months in prison, the paper reported, adding that she entered her plea before a standing-room-only courtroom.

Korbe shot and killed Hicks, who along with other law enforcement agents, had come to arrest her husband Robert Korbe, a drug dealer, who is now serving a 25-year prison term.

She had claimed that she shot Hicks, 33, after thinking someone was breaking in the home, and that she wanted to protect her family. Hicks was the first to enter the home.

The Post-Gazette reported that Hick’s widow Brooke Hicks spoke after sentencing, saying:

“The most important thing was she stood up in that courtroom and accepted responsibility for shooting Sam.”She added that she was relieved Korbe can’t appeal, though ” everyone in here would have loved to see her do more time.”

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Korbe spoke in court and admitted she was wrong. And her family provided to the media a written statement from Kobe, which said:  “To the Hicks family, I am deeply, deeply sorry, more than you’ll ever know.

Slain FBI Agent Sam Hicks/fbi photo

“There is not a day that goes by that I don’t think about your son, your husband, your father, your brother, your friend, and wish it were me instead of him.”

But she also blamed the FBI tactics for the ordeal.

“I have never denied that I was the one who fired that fateful shot that morning and am taking on that responsibility. I still have not heard the FBI taking any responsibility in all of this because they refuse to accept that their unnecessary actions played an integral part,” she wrote.

She went on to blame the FBI for harassing her family, fabricating evidence and threatening witnesses, the paper reported.

To read more click here.

Az. U.S. Atty. Plans to Try Shooting Case in State

Jared Loughner/pima county sheriff photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Arizona U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke says he wants the prosecution of mass-shooter Jared Loughner to remain in the state.

“For good reason, federal law dictates these offenses be tried in this district,” a Burke spokesman said in a written statement, according to the Arizona Republic “We are moving forward and confident in this course.”

His statement was backed by a Justice Department spokesman in Washington, which contradicted a Washington Post report citing an unnamed federal source as saying it was just a matter of time before it was moved out of state.

U.S. Attorney Dennis Burke

All the federal judges in Arizona recused themselves of the case since Chief U.S. District Judge John Roll was among the six murdered earlier this month.

Loughner is accused of killing six people and wounding 13 including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, whose appears to improving.

Loughner’s shooting and apparent mental instability have set off a fresh debate over gun control.