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January 2012


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

FBI: $10 Million Payed Back to Victims

By Danny Fenster

The victims of one of New York’s largest public corruption schemes can breathe a sigh of relief today.

The US Attorney in Rochester, New York, announced on Wednesday that more than $10 million in forfeited property has been returned to the victims of property tax appraisal and assessment schemes orchestrated by property appraiser John Nicolo.

Nicolo and others schemed victims out of millions in 2005 by falsely inflating tax assessments on their properties.  John Nicolo then got the victims — many of them companies — to hire him to reduce the tax assessments,  according to the FBI.

The victims of the scheme include the Eastman Kodak Company, the Town of Greece, IBM, ITT Industries, Inc., RG&E, and Global Crossing.


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Comment from msfreeh
Time January 19, 2012 at 9:05 pm

see link for full story
FBI informant in Hutaree case was arrested for firing gun during argument
Posted: Thu, Jan 19, 2012

A man wanted on federal gun and drug charges stemming from an investigation in Ypsilanti Township’s West Willow neighborhood was arrested Wednesday by Washtenaw County sheriff’s deputies after a high-speed chase. Roman Whitfield, 34, of …
Also tagged FBI: Defense attorneys seek information on FBI informants in Hutaree case
Also tagged Hutaree: Ahead of Hutaree militia trial, jury pool gets quizzed

A key confidential informant in the FBI’s case against the Hutaree militia whom federal prosecutors intend to call as a witness at trial, was arrested while the investigation was ongoing for firing a gun near his wife during an argument, has found.

The informant pleaded no contest to discharging a firearm in a building and is serving three years of probation.


The Hutaree patch

He is expected to take the stand next month as seven Hutaree members go on trial in federal court in Detroit on charges including seditious conspiracy and attempting to use weapons of mass destruction.

Prosecutors allege the group – which sometimes trained in Washtenaw County, where a few members live – discussed killing a law enforcement officer and attacking the funeral procession motorcade with homemade bombs.

Defense attorneys have said it’s simply a case of hateful speech. Nine of the group’s members were arrested in March 2010 as the FBI conducted raids in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.

Records show the informant initially faced additional charges of felonious assault and possessing a firearm during the commission of a crime after being arrested Feb. 26, 2010 at his private home. In a written statement to police, he admitted to firing the gun near his wife.

“I pointed the 9 mm weapon 8’ to her right and shot…” the police report says. “In no way did I intend to harm or shoot her – I just wanted the argument to end.”

Using numerous sources, was able to identify the informant and filed a Freedom of Information Act request last month to obtain the police report on his arrest. However, is not revealing his identity, age or hometown because he is a confidential informant. He could not be reached for comment.

The FBI relied on the informant when agents asked in September 2008 to open a formal investigation into Hutaree. Defense attorneys have said in court filings that the informant made audio and video recordings of several Hutaree trainings over a 19-month period, and his work ended around February 2010.

He was arrested roughly a month before the FBI raids on Hutaree. Many Hutaree members were arrested March 27 at an Ann Arbor warehouse, where an undercover FBI agent held a phony memorial service for the informant after telling people he died.

The police report doesn’t mention that the informant was doing work for the FBI or had any involvement with Hutaree or the militia movement.

Officers responded to the informant’s home at 12:30 a.m. Feb. 26, 2010, after his wife called 911, telling dispatchers she was having a dispute with her husband and he “just shot a gun at me.”

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