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Senate Judiciary Gives the Nod to U.S. Attorney Nominees for Calif, D.C., NY

D.C. nominee Ronald Machen

D.C. nominee Ronald Machen

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The Senate Judiciary Committee gave a unanimous nod Thursday to three U.S. Attorney nominees.

The nominees include Andre Birotte, Jr. for the Central District of California; Richard Hartunian for the Northern District of New York and Ronald Machen for Washington D.C.

The three must now be confirmed by the full Senate.

Ex-Cong. Jefferson’s Brother Mose Jefferson Sentenced to 10 Years in New Orleans

Mose Jefferson/wdsu tv

Mose Jefferson/wdsu tv

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A sad reminder of the crumbling political dynasty of the Jefferson family in Louisiana surfaced  Thursday in federal court in New Orleans.

Mose Jefferson, the political operative for the dynasty and the brother of convicted ex-Rep. William Jefferson, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for bribing school board president Ellenese Brooks-Simms  and then trying to cover it all up.

U. S. District Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon also ordered him to pay a $175,000 fine and $913,000 in restitution to Orleans Parish School Board, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.

The paper reported that Jefferson can remain free until his next public corruption trial is completed. He is scheduled to go to trial in March with other relatives on charges of ripping off non-profits.

Ex-Congressman Jefferson was sentenced to 13 years in prison in Alexandria, Va., in November. However, the judge has allowed him to remain free pending the completion of  his appeal, which could easily take two years.

To read more click here.

TSA Reports Big Drop in Guns Seized at Airports: Could the Christmas Day Incident Have Helped?

tsa photo

tsa photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Could it be that the Christmas Day underwear bombing incident may have raised the consciousness of the everyday traveler — at least when it comes to bringing guns to the airport?

We may never know for sure.

What we do know is that normally on any given week the Transportation Security Administration finds 25 to 30 guns or more at airport passenger checkpoints in the U.S.

TSA figures  posted for the week of Jan. 11-17 show there were only 8 guns found, an unusually low number.

The TSA did not immediately return a phone call to see if it had any explanation.

NY Mayor Bloomberg Joins Chorus of People Who Want 9/11 Terror Trial to be Held Outside City

new york 2By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has always tried to be a good host to the countless visitors who come to the Big Apple each year.

But he seems to be changing his tune about playing host to suspected mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and four others, who are supposed to go on trial in Manhattan sometime in the next two years or so.

“It would be great if the federal government could find a site that didn’t cost a billion dollars, which using downtown will,” he told reporters on Wednesday, according to the New York Times.

“It’s going to cost an awful lot of money and disturb an awful lot of people,” he said. “Can we provide security? Yes. Could you provide security elsewhere? Yeah, and I mean — the suggestion of a military base is probably a reasonably good one. Relatively easy to supply — to provide security. They tend to be outside of cities so that they don’t disrupt other people.”

The Times noted that it was an about face from the Bloomberg of two months ago, who said: ”It is fitting that 9/11 suspects face justice near the World Trade Center site where so many New Yorkers were murdered.”

No Shocker: Madoff’s Brother Peter Under Criminal Investigation

Bernie Madoff/facebook photo

Bernie Madoff/facebook photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It may come as little shock to most that ripoff king Bernie Madoff’s brother Peter Madoff is in trouble.

Bloomberg news service is reporting that Peter Madoff, the chief compliance officer at Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, is the subject of a criminal investigation. The news came out in a civil suit.

The United States Attorney’s Office “has informed us that Peter Madoff is a subject of its criminal investigation,’’ attorney Charles Spada wrote to U.S. Magistrate Judge Madeline Cox Arleo in Newark, according to Bloomberg.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

N.Y. Fed Prosecutors Not Shy About Pursuing Foreign Cases

It’s good that the long arm of the U.S. can stretch far beyond its borders when pursuing crime in this global world of ours. On the downside, at least in some cases, the U.S. Attorney’s Office could probably put resources to better use and let the country of origin charge and prosecute the cases. For example,  U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of  New York just indicted the  ex-President of Guatemala Alfonso Portillo on embezzling money and laundering it through American and European banks. He’s also facing corruption charges in his own country.  The question is: Was it necessary to pour those resources into that case?  It’s certainly a point of debate.

U.S. Atty. Preet Bharara/doj photo

U.S. Atty. Preet Bharara/doj photo

By Carrie Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors in New York are ratcheting up an aggressive strategy to pursue terrorists, drug traffickers and corrupt public officials who operate on foreign soil.

The expansion of traditional crime-fighting boundaries, which has its roots in an approach begun by the office in the 1990s, has been controversial among experts, with some questioning whether the effort is the best use of the U.S. government’s limited resources. But advocates say that using the long arm of American law to apprehend international figures whose crimes involve the United States might be the only way to attack an increasingly sophisticated global criminal threat.

Former Guatemalan president Alfonso Portillo became the latest target when he was arrested this week by police in Guatemala after money-laundering charges were unsealed in New York.

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Suburban Detroit Mayor Pleads Guilty to Bribery Charges

money-photoBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The mayor of Ecorse, a Detroit suburb of about 11,000 people, pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to bribery charges linked to a scheme involving a company that provided municipal works for the city, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Mayor Herbert Worthy admitted that between November 2007 and December 2008 he received more than $30,000 in bribes to make sure Michigan Municipal Services got the city contract. The company billed the city $3.1 million during that period. Two company officials have already pleaded guilty in the case.

Additionally, Erwin Hollenquest, the Controller of the city faces charges of accepting cash and a Lexus car in exchange for making sure the company was paid in full on its invoices “which contained hundreds of thousands of dollars in false and fraudulent charges,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

“Today’s conviction marks a decisive turning point in the federal investigation into municipal corruption in the City of Ecorse,” U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade said in a statement. “For the past several years the citizens of that city have suffered under the leadership of individuals who put their own personal gains above their sworn public duties.”

FBI Critical Incident Response Group Gets Lease at Richmond, Va. Airport

richmond airportBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The FBI’s Critical Incident Response Group is leasing part of the former Air National Guard base at Richmond International Airport for aviation operations, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

“We’re very excited to have the FBI as a tenant of the Richmond International Airport,” Jon Mathiasen, the airport’s president and CEO, told the paper. “They’ll bring commerce to the field by buying fuel and other services.”

The Capital Region Airport Commission signed a five-year lease with the FBI for the 8-acre site, with options to extend for up to another 15 years, the paper reported. The cost of the lease is $1 million a year.

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