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No Surprise Here: Auditors and Regulators Failed to Double-Check Madoff’s Bogus Info

The bottom line was: the government was lax, and consequently people lost millions. Maybe if there were consequences for those lax people– like a big fat fine — others might not be so lax in the future.

Bernie Madoff

Bernie Madoff

By Greg Farrell and Brooke Masters
The Financial Times

Bernard Madoff’s $65bn Ponzi scheme was able to evade detection for years partly because auditors and regulators failed to double-check the information his firm gave them, court documents filed in the case of Madoff lieutenant Frank DiPascali suggest.

Mr DiPascali, 52, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to 10 criminal charges and is co-operating with prosecutors and the Securities and Exchange Commission. Based partly on his information, US authorities filed documents alleging how

Mr Madoff repeatedly deceived regulators and auditors with fake documents and false explanations that they apparently never questioned.

For Full Story

Justice and Homeland Officials Look At Mich. to House Guantanamo Inmates

michigan11In a state where the economy just plain old sucks, this will help out a little. And besides, these prisoners have to be held somewhere.

By JOHN FLESHER
Associated Press Writer
STANDISH, Mich. — Federal and state officials visited a maximum-security prison in rural Michigan on Thursday to begin assessing its suitability to house Guantanamo Bay detainees.

About a dozen state officials were joined by 18 representatives from the Defense, Justice and Homeland Security departments and the Bureau of Prisons on the tour of the lockup in Standish, said Russ Marlan, a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Corrections.

The prison in Standish, 145 miles north of Detroit, and a military penitentiary at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., are being considered to house the 229 suspected al-Qaida, Taliban and foreign fighters currently at the Guantanamo Bay prison, if it is closed by 2010 as President Barack Obama has ordered.

For Full Story

FBI Investigating Possibility of Conspiracy in Murder of Abortion Doctor

Scott Roeder

Scott Roeder

The FBI has been talking to some Pro-Life folks who happen to be Pro-Death — at least when it comes to abortion doctors.  Were there more people involved in this slaying?

By Judy L. Thomas
McClatchy/Tribune News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – — The list of those visiting and communicating with the man accused of killing abortion doctor George Tiller includes two convicted clinic bombers and several activists who once signed a declaration that defended the killing of abortion doctors.

And federal agents have now talked to many of them.

As Scott Roeder sits in Kansas’ Sedgwick County Jail awaiting trial on murder charges, a federal investigation is under way to determine whether there was a conspiracy involved in Tiller’s death.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Maryland Postal Clerk Stole More than $600,000 in Stamps That Were Sold on eBay

A Forever stamp

A Forever stamp

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — It’s  part of  human nature to want to make a difference.

Marvin Foster made a difference.

The 55-year-old Foster contributed to the  U.S. Postal Service’s astronomical losses, which are expected to reach $7 billion in fiscal 2009.

Foster, a window clerk at the Elkridge, Md. post office, stole more than $682,000 in stamps from June 2008 to March 2009, authorities charged. The stamps were then sold on eBay by a man named Kyle Mathias, who has also been charged in the case.

On Thursday, Foster, now a former postal employee, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Baltimore to conspiracy to steal from the U.S. Postal Service. He faces up to five years in prison at sentencing, which is set for Nov. 13 before U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake.

Authorities charged that Foster stole “bricks” consisting of 2,000 stamps valued at $840, and “coils” consisting of 100 stamps valued at $42.

A criminal complaint that includes an affidavit by U.S. Postal Inspectors, says covert cameras caught Foster entering the stamp stock room at various times after midnight.

Read more »

Documents Say ex-U.S. Atty Christie Was Bush Loyalist; Could Hurt in His Race for N.J. Gov

These days with the economy still in the dumps, with the Justice Department still smarting from the mass U.S. Attorney firings during the Bush era, being a Bush loyalist isn’t something you want on your resume — particularly when your running for governor in a blue state.

Christopher Christie

Christopher Christie

By Claire Heininger and Josh Margolin
Newark Star-Ledger
TRENTON — As early as 2005, the Bush Administration was ranking federal prosecutors by their allegiance to the president as well as their job skills — and then-U.S. attorney Chris Christie was considered one of most loyal, according to newly released documents.

That determination, Democrats say, further cements the political ties between Christie, now the Republican candidate for governor, and former President George W. Bush, an unpopular figure in New Jersey.

The ranking — disclosed for the first time this week as part of a Congressional investigation into the controversial firings of U.S. attorneys in 2006 — places Christie among prosecutors who “produced, managed well and exhibited loyalty to the President and Attorney General.”

U.S. Atty. David Nahamias Appointed to Ga. Supreme Court

David Nahamias/doj photo

David Nahamias/doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

U.S. Attorney David Nahamias of Atlanta, a Bush appointee, has been handed a nice parachute.

Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue on Thursday appointed Nahamias to the Supreme Court of Georgia. He had served as U.S. Attorney since December 2004.

“His integrity, commitment to public service and strict adherence to the law as written will make him an excellent Justice,” Perdue said in a prepared statement.

Nahmias graduated second in his class at Duke University and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he served as editor of Harvard Law Review, according to the governor’s press release.

After graduation, he clerked for U.S. Circuit Judge Laurence Silberman and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the press release said. He later worked at a law firm with John Roberts, now a U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

“I am deeply honored and humbled by Governor Perdue’s selection of me to serve as a Supreme Court Justice, a position that is so important to protecting the rule of law and the democratic system of government in this state,” Nahamias said in a prepared statement.

IN OTHER U.S. ATTORNEY NEWS

*WBZ-tv reported that John Kacavas was set to be sworn in Thursday afternoon as U.S. Attorney for New Hampshire. He replaced Tom Colantuono, who stepped down in March.

U.S. Atty. Greg Lockhart/doj photo

U.S. Atty. Greg Lockhart/doj photo

*The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that Greg Lockhart will step down Aug. 31 as the U.S. Attorney for Southern Ohio. He has held the job since 2001.

*The Denver Post reported that Acting U.S. Attorney David Gaouette of Colorado has been appointed to the job for another 120 days. He has served in that post since Jan. 10, and replaced Troy Eid, who resigned. Gaouette is not expected to get the permanent assignment.

Actor Michael Douglas’ Son Messes Up Again After DEA Bust

Michael Douglas
Michael Douglas

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
Actor Michael Douglas’ son Cameron, who was busted last month by the DEA on charges of drug trafficking, has messed up again.

The New York Post, attributing reports to law enforcement sources, said that Cameron Douglas, 30, who was under house arrest, was taken on Wednesday “from his posh pad that belongs to his mom, Diandra Douglas, and brought to the Metropolitan Correctional Center” in New York after his girlfriend was busted for bringing him an electric toothbrush stuffed with 19 tiny bags of heroin in the battery compartment.

Wire service reports said that the DEA arrrested the girlfriend Kelly Sott and found heroin, crystal meth and marijuana in her room.

A federal magistrate ordered that she be held without bail and get treatment for heroin addiction.

The New York Post reported that Michael Douglas issued a statement saying “the family is devastated and very disappointed.”

Court records show his criminal complaint remains under seal.

Suspected Terrorist Convicted in Atlanta in Trial That Explored Youthful Extremists and the Internet

The Internet has become a staple for terrorists. This  trial illustrated that.  Federal authorities have been working to monitor the terrorists activities on the Internet and have actually shut down sites. But it’s a daunting task considering there’s so much activity out there. How do you catch it all — or most?

computer1

By Sebastian Rotella
Los Angeles Times
An Atlanta jury on Wednesday found a 23-year-old man guilty of aiding terrorist groups after a trial that explored a subculture of youthful extremists who used the Internet to plot attacks and form a loose network connecting North America, Europe and South Asia.

Ehsanul Sadequee, the U.S.-born son of Bangladeshi immigrants, faces up to 60 years in prison after being convicted of conspiracy to materially support terrorists. The jury found that he had discussed attacks with accused militants in Toronto and Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Along with another Georgia man convicted in June, Sadequee drove to Washington in 2005 to film the Pentagon and other potential targets, then e-mailed the scouting videos to British citizens who since have been convicted of terrorism charges.

“It’s a good example of how these Islamic extremists across the world connect up and start to organize using the Internet,” David Nahmias, the U.S. attorney in Atlanta, said in a telephone interview. “The Internet is very hard to control, and it is exploited by the bad guys.”

For Full Story