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Archive for August, 2011

Hollywood Hacker Anthony Pellicano Breaks His Silence

Anthony Pellicano/youtube

By Christine Pelisek
Newsweek

Inmate No. 21568-112 settles into a blue plastic chair inside the gymnasium-size visitor center at Big Spring Federal Correctional Institution, clad in a beige jumpsuit that matches the color of the dead grass surrounding the prison.

Beyond the barbed wire lies the town of Big Spring, Texas (population: 25,000), a dusty, godforsaken former Air Force town pockmarked with shuttered businesses, fast-food joints, and four other detention and correctional facilities. The town’s biggest claim to fame was its supporting role in the 1969 best picture, Midnight Cowboy: this is the place Jon Voight’s character calls home, until he heads off to Manhattan to become a hustler.

And now it’s home to the hustler named Anthony Pellicano, self-styled Detective to the Stars, whose Soprano persona and win-at-any-cost tactics made him the No. 1 guy that Hollywood actors, suits, and their attorneys turned to whenever they had a problem. A big problem. The kind of problem where big bucks and bigger egos were at stake. With a Louisville Slugger in the trunk of his car and a computerized phone-hacking system in his Sunset Boulevard office, Pellicano dug up dirt on his clients’ enemies and helped make those problems go away—whether it was the embittered spouse of a mogul, an inconvenient gay lover, or a nosy journalist. That is, until he allegedly hired someone to intimidate the wrong nosy journalist—Anita Busch of the Los Angeles Times—and the FBI got involved, blowing the lid off the biggest wiretapping operation this side of Watergate.

To read full story click here.

Underwear Bomber Wants Change of Venue

Suspect Abdulmutallab/u.s. marshals photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The man known as the “underwear bomber” isn’t going down without a fight — despite the overwhelming evidence against him.

The Detroit News reports that  Nigerian Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is asking a federal judge to change his trial to another state, saying he can’t get a fair trial in Michigan because the media coverage created an “inflamed commuity atmosphere.”

Attorney Anthony Chambers, who is assisting Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab  with his defense, also asked a judge on Friday to suppress statements made Abdulmutallab when he was in the hospital on painkillers, the Detroit News reported. Trial is set for Oct. 4.

Abdulmutallab, 24, is accused of trying to detonate a bomb in his underwear during a Christmas day flight from Amsterdam to Detroit in 2009.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Offers Child ID App for Parents

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

There’s apps for everything from shopping to games like Angry Bird. Now the FBI has an iPhone App for parents called Child ID.

The app allows parents to store photos and vital information about their children. That way parents can immediately share the info with police or security, for instance, at a mall, the FBI said. The information can also be emailed immediately.

The app also includes tips on keeping children safe as well as specific guidance on what to do in those first few crucial hours after a child goes missing, the FBI said.

The app is currently only available on iPhones, but the FBI said it expects to expand the offerings for other mobile phones.

Weekend Series on Crime History: Son of Sam 35 Years Later

http://youtu.be/MxQrWzZewH4

Fed Jury Convicts 5 Current and Former New Orleans Cops in Danziger Bridge Shootings

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A federal jury on Friday convicted five current and former New Orleans cops in the case involving the cover-up and shooting of six unarmed civilians on Danziger Bridge days after Katrina devastated the area, WWL TV reported. Two of the people died.

The station reported that defendants Kenneth Bowen, Robert Gisevius, Robert Faulcon and Anthony Villavaso were found guilty of the shooting of civilians and participation in the cover-up. Sgt. Arthur Kaufman was found guilty of the cover-up.

The case had been a serious blemish on a police department that had already been suffering from a less than ideal reputation.

To read the full story click here.

To read the charges click here.

Ex-ATF Agent Testifies in Tulsa About His Corrupt Ways

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A former ATF agent, who is awaiting sentencing on corruption charges, testified Thursday in a federal corruption trial that he stole drugs and money from crime scenes with several Tulsa police officers, the Tulsa World reported.

Brandon McFadden, 34, testified as a government witness about his criminal activity along with Officers Jeff Henderson, Officers Frank Khalil and Sean Larkin, the Tulsa World reported. He also testified that Henderson made up information to obtain search warrants.

McFadden was arrested in April 2010 and started working with federal investigators, he testified, the paper reported. He pleaded guilty to drug distribution and is awaiting sentencing.

“I knew what I had done and been involved with, with the Tulsa Police Department, and knew the investigation was bigger than Brandon McFadden,” he testified, according to the paper.

“The indictment saved my life. I could sit back and tell my story and be openly blunt about it and tell the citizens of Tulsa. I’ve made mistakes in Tulsa, and I take full responsibility.”

To read more click here.

Buffalo Judge Questions Conduct of FBI Agent and Fed Prosecutor in Biker Case

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A federal magistrate judge in Buffalo this week expressed concern about the conduct of a federal prosecutor and FBI agent, saying the two may have crossed the line while seeking racketeering charges against members and associates of the Chosen Few motorcycle club, the Buffalo News reported.

The paper reported that U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy stopped short in a decision released Wednesday of accusing the prosecutor and FBI agent of “deliberately and intentionally” taking part in false testimony to a grand jury.

But he said in his decision “the evidence submitted to me thus far is troubling, to say the least.”

The paper reported that allegations center around a key government witness.

The paper reported defense lawyers suggested that FBI agent Kenneth Jensen Jr. and assistant U.S. Attorney Anthony Bruce tried to mislead the grand jury during testimony by Jensen by suggesting that the key government witness was not involved in an attack on a rival biker. The defense raised issue with not only the FBI agent’s testimony but the form of  the  questioning by the prosecutor.

“I suspect that . . . Bruce was motivated more by zeal for the government’s position than by malice toward defendants,” the judge said. “However, there are some lines which not even the most zealous prosecutor may cross.”

Spam King Busted for Sending 27 Million Spam Email to Facebook

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

America knows one thing: Don’t mess with the sacred Facebook.

Sanford Wallace, the self-described spam king, surrendered Friday to the FBI after being indicted in San Jose on allegations that he broke into Facebook and sent 27 million spam emails, CBS reported.

Authorities allege that Wallace compromised approximately 500,000 Facebook accounts during three separate attacks on the social-networking giant between November 2008 and March 2009, CBS reported.

For Wallace, it was not his first problem with Facebook. He also was involved in other questionable mass marketing methods over the years.

In the late 1990s, his company, Cyber Promotions, was widely blacklisted as a source of unsolicited email. Prior to that, he gained a reputation for junk fax marketing.

To read full story click here.