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May 2012


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Archive for May, 2012

Hoover Legacy Recounted on 40th Anniversary of his Death

J. Edgar Hoover/fbi photo

Shoshanna Utchenik

This week marks the 40th anniversary of J. Edgar Hoover’s death, and in his honor the FBI website is running a series of tributes to its controversial former director.

Hoover was the only civil servant to lie in state in the U.S. capitol, at the request of  Congress in 1972. Then-President Richard Nixon eulogized, “Every American, in my opinion, owes J. Edgar Hoover a great debt for building the FBI into the finest law enforcement organization in the entire world.”

Hoover’s epic 48-year tenure as FBI director earned him glory for busting gangsters of the 1930’s and spies of WWII. But he was villified for increasing surveillance, failing to address civil rights crimes, and fixating on the threat of communism.

The FBI websites’ series has the “goal of shedding light on less well known or even caricatured areas of [Hoover’s] actions and broadening the discussion on his complex and enduring legacy”.

To read more click here.

Bin Laden’s Letters Show al Qaeda on the Ropes; Used Viagra and Hair Dye

Osama bin Laden

Shoshanna Utchenik

U.S. Navy SEALS took out the worlds’ foremost terrorist when they killed Osama bin Laden one year ago. But they also scored the largest batch of senior terrorist material in history, and Thursday we saw the release of 17 of those letters, portraying al Qaeda as an organization on the edge.

The total cache of material seized in the SEALS raid includes about 6,000 documents written between 2006 and 2011, recovered from “five computers, dozens of hard drives and more than 100 storage devices” reports CNN, and include the letters just released by the Combating Terrorism Center at the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, New York.

The letters expose bin Laden as “a terrorist on the edge” according to CNN, just another aging leader, dealing with typical organizational and personal problems in extraordinary context.

He mentions using Just for Men hair dye and viagra, worrying about al Qaeda’s media image and the increasing chaos of al Qaeda’s far-flung operations.

He called for increased coordination, self-reviews from al Qaeda leaders, and apologies to fellow Muslims for internal attacks; he felt these had damaged Arab support for al Qaeda and should be addressed publicly.

Bin Laden continued to advocate for airplane attacks, and wanted to target President Obama and General Petraeus, deeming Joe Biden as unfit to lead the U.S.

CNN terrorism analyst Peter Bergen suggested that bin Laden was an “inveterate micromanager but was also someone almost delusional in his belief that his organization could still force a change in American foreign policies in the Muslim world.”

To read more click here.

William Jefferson Reports to Texas Prison

America's Most Famous Freezer where cash was found.

Shoshanna Utchenik

The inevitable has arrived.

Ex-Rep. William Jefferson of cash-in-the-freezer fame is heading off to prison Friday in Beaumont, Tex.  to begin serving his 13-year sentence, Bruce Alpert, star reporter for the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.

He was sentenced 2 1/2 years ago, but stayed out of prison pending his appeal.  In March, the Court of Appeals finally ruled against him.

After he lost the appeal, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III of Alexandria, Va., revoked bail and ordered Jefferson’s 13-year sentence for corruption to begin. Jefferson is still hoping the Supreme Court will take up the appeal.

Jefferson was convicted on 11 of 16 counts for rigging west African business contracts and funneling $470k to his family’s businesses. He potentially stood to make millions.

When less than 10 years of his sentence remain, Jefferson will be eligible for transfer to a fence-free prison camp, with slightly loosened restrictions. Either way, the lack of freedom will take some getting used to for someone apparently very accustomed to filling his own whims.

To read more click here.




Terrorism and the American Dream: Part III


Karim Koubriti/photo Millard Berry-Deadline Detroit

The final of three installments on an immigrant who was wrongly convicted of terrorism in Detroit and how he went on to live the American dream.

In case you missed the first two articles of this series, you can find those here,

By Allan Lengel
Deadline Detroit

DETROIT — Once free, Karim Koubriti tried to reconnect with normalcy.

He’d spent three years behind bars after being wrongly accused of being part of a Detroit terrorist sleeper cell, then another 15 months in a halfway house while prosecutors figured out how to address a charge of insurance fraud.

Authorities eventually dropped the fraud charge, but the clean slate didn’t necessarily mean easy sailing. For a while, he couldn’t find a job. People would say, “Oh, you’re that guy,” a reference to the terrorist accusations.

“I had a hard time getting a job. It was difficult in the beginning until things calmed down,” he said.

To read the full story click here.


3 ICE Agents Shot and Wounded in San Francisco Area

By Allan Lengel

Incidents like this remind us of the dangers of being in law enforcement.

Three Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents were shot and wounded Thursday morning around 4 a.m. while executing a search warrant in Petaluma, outside of San Francisco, reported KABC.

The agents suffered non-life threatening wounds, the station reported.

The agents were executing a federal warrant related to a 2010 gang related triple homicide, the station reported.

The suspect was arrested, the station reported.


ICE Agent Shot to Death: 14-Year-Old Son is Suspect

By Allan Lengel

A California Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent was shot to death in Los Angeles County Wednesday and his 14-year-old was arrested on suspicion of murder, the LA Times reported.

The Times reported that the agent was killed by a single bullet that was fired into their Carson, Calif., home from the father’s ICE-issued handgun.

The name of the agent and son were not disclosed. The agent was around 40.

To read more click here.


Feds Crack Down On Medicare Fraud to the Tune of $452 Million

Shoshanna Utchenik

DETROIT — The Justice Department  on Wednesday announced that it had charged 107 people including nurses, doctors and social workers in a nationwide crackdown on Medicare fraud in seven cities involving a staggering $452 million in false billing.

As part of the crackdown, 22 people were charged in Detroit  with fraud involving about $58 million. The Detroit Free Press wrote that Detroit has become one of the nation’s “new frontiers” for Medicare fraud.

Read the press release.

Football Hangs its Head: FBI Stings 3 Former Pro Football Players in Tax Refund Scam

Shoshanna Utchenik

Football has seen better weeks.

Three former pro football players were among those arrested in a Florida tax ring this week that involved an FBI sting, reported CBS News from Miami yesterday.

The FBI set up an undercover cash checking store in North Miami and the three cashed about $500,000 in fraudulent refund checks.

The players included former Oakland Raiders and New York Giants defensive tackle William Joseph, along with running back Michael Bennett, once a Minnesota Vikings first-round pick, and Louis Gachelin, who played professionally in Europe, seemed to put their team strategizing skills to use long after they left the field.

To read more about the tax ring click here.