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Ex-Fed Prosecutor Remembers James K. Robinson as “One of the Finest Lawyers of His Generation”

Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office.

Ross Parker

Ross Parker

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

Every young lawyer remembers the guy who gave him his first real job. For me and some others, it was a mark of distinction that that guy was Jim Robinson.

His death last Friday from cancer evokes a painful loss but also many happy memories about a man who was one of the finest lawyers of his generation.

Although Jim’s long and successful career as a litigator, public servant, author and teacher included many of the highest achievements available in the legal profession, it was for many of us his term as a 34-year-old U.S. Attorney in Detroit which we remember most fondly.

James K. Robinson

James K. Robinson

During his three-year term from 1977 to 1980, he set a framework for the modern federal prosecutor’s office and inspired dozens of young lawyers along the way.

Jim re-organized and modernized the U.S. Attorney’s Office in ways that are still followed today in this and other districts around the country.

He convinced the Justice Department to let him hire several dozen new lawyers and support staff, and he filled the positions with a diverse group, including women, African Americans and former defense counsel, three groups which had been greatly under-represented.

Read more »

Former Detroit U.S. Atty and Justice Dept. Official James K. Robinson Dead at Age 66

James K. Robinson

James K. Robinson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

James K. Robinson, who became the Detroit U.S. Attorney in the late 1970s at age 34, and later became a high-ranking Justice Department official, died Friday at age 66, the Grand Rapids Press reported.

The Grand Rapids native died at his vacation home in Park City, Utah, the Grand Rapids Press reported. He had suffered from gastrointestinal cancer.

Up until the time of his death, he was a partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft in Washington, the paper reported.

Robinson was dean and a professor at Wayne State University School of Law from  1993 to 1998, the paper reported. He went on to serve as an assistant attorney general in charge of the criminal division during the Clinton administration and later returned to private practice.

To read more click here.

Acting Head of N.Y. FBI Enjoyed the Wild Ride

Acting Head Venizelos at gang arrests in Newburgh, N.Y./fbi photo

Acting Head Venizelos at gang arrests in Newburgh, N.Y./fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

His title may be “acting,” but there’s no pretending that things haven’t been outright wild, abuzz, atwitter, downright explosive since George Venizelos took over in March on a temporary basis as head of the New York FBI office, the largest in the country.

There was the high-anxiety Times Square car bombing case. The Russian spy case. Key indictments of mobsters. And the roundup of 78 gang members from the Latin Kings and Bloods. And that’s just to name a few. In fact, since March, his agents have had a hand in the indictment of about 330 people.

“It all happened at once. It was definitely the experience of my life. It happened so fast,” he told AOL News. “Acting can be a thankless job, but acting in New York is still a tremendous responsibility.”

Monday, Venizelos loses the “acting” title and returns to his old role as special agent in charge of administration for the New York FBI Office. The permanent boss is arriving: Janice Fedarcyk, a friend of his who’s been running the Philadelphia FBI Office.

“For me personally it was exciting,” Venizelos, 50, said. “It seemed like every week something was happening. This was just kind of the perfect storm.”

To read more click here.

WEEKEND STORIES OF INTEREST

2 Cops Shot and Man Killed in Harlem Gunfight (NY Daily News)

FBI Impersonator Who Hired Assistant Gets Sentenced

fbi-badgeBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The fun is over for Brenna Marie Reilly.

The Washington Examiner reports she was sentenced Friday in federal court in Alexandra, Va., to 30 days in prison and four months of house arrest for impersonating an FBI agent and hiring an assistant  to work for her as a fake agent.

U.S. District Judge Anthony Trenga said she could serve her home confinement intermittently — on evenings and weekends — so she can work and go to school, the Examiner reported.

Authorities alleged that Reilly told neighbors, starting in August 2009, that she was a director of the FBI’s Forensic Division and an assistant director of the FBI., according to an affidavit from FBI agent Kari Alexa Parker.

Read more »

Weekend Series on Crime History: The 20-Year-Old $400 Million-Plus Boston Art Heist

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0HbBrIv-RY

Feds Go After $5.1 Million in Assets of Madoff Employee

Bernie Madoff/facebook photo

Bernie Madoff/facebook photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The feds are continuing to hunt for the riches from the Bernard L. Madoff Ponzi scandal.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan filed an amended complaint seeking the forfeiture of $5.1 million in assets from Annette Bongiorno, a 40-year employee of Madoff’s.

The original complaint sought less, but authorities said they had located an additional $2 million in assets including houses in Florida and New York.

The assets the government said it is going after include:

  • A house in Manhasset, N.Y., Bongiorno paid about $1.4 million.
  • A house in Boca Raton, Fla. she paid about $862,000.
  • Approximately $1.1 million currently or formerly held in accounts at Citibank, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, and HSBC;
  • A 2005 Bentley Continental she paid about $182,605;
  • A 2007 Mercedes Benz she paid about $90,000.
  • A second 2007 Mercedes Benz she paid approximately $66,000.
  • About $1.3 million she paid towards a luxury condominium.

Lobbyist Indictment Reminder of the Ugly Side of Washington

Tony Soprano

Tony Soprano

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — It was TV mobster Tony Soprano who once muttered: “‘I dunno about morals, but I do got rules.’

Certainly the same could be said for some of the politicians and lobbyists on the Capitol Hill, who never seem to let us down when it comes to perpetuating the unsavory stereotypes of official Washington.

The latest reminder of all of this came Thursday when the feds in Alexandria, Va., indicted Paul J. Magliocchetti, a powerful ex-lobbyist, who is accused of funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars in “laundered campaign contributions to lawmakers, using straw donors and other illicit means to disguise the source of the money,” the New York Times reported. He ran the now defunct PMA Group.

The Times said the indictment of Magliocchetti, a protege of the late Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.), could open the door for the ex-lobbyist to provide evidence against crooked members of Congress.

Could this be the makings of another Jack Abramoff scandal?

Rep. John Conyer’s Wife Trying to Avoid Prison

Monica Conyers/facebook

Monica Conyers/facebook

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Former Detroit City Councilwoman Monica Conyers, the wife of Rep. John Conyers (D-Mi.) , chair of the House Judiciary Committee, is trying to pull out all the stops to avoid reporting to prison to begin serving her 37 month sentence for bribery.

The Detroit News reports that she has filed a motion to remain free pending her appeal before the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. She is set to report to prison on Sept. 10.

The paper reports that her appeal centers around U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn’s refusal to allow her to withdraw her plea on the day she was sentenced.

Her attorney Douglas Mullkoff says she’s not a flight risk and should be allowed to remain free, the News reported.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST