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FBI

Houston Prostitute Runs Car into FBI Agent

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A prostitute trying to escape arrest ran her car into a Houston FBI agent, striking the agent in the left thigh, causing bruises and back pain, according to an FBI affidavit filed in U.S. District Court this week.

The incident took place on Nov. 7 in southwest Houston. The agent was part of the Houston Innocence Lost Task Force that was participating in a nationwide crackdown on pimps and teen prostitutes, according to an affidavit by FBI agent Sherri Rice.

At about 1:10 a.m., task force officer David Nieto met up with a prostitute Shaquita M. Taylor-Felder and followed her to the Budget Garden Suites.  After a “prostitution case” was made in the parking lot, the officer signaled FBI agents to move in for the arrest, the affidavit said.

One agent, Patrick Fransen parked his car behind the prostitute’s car, the affidavit said.  Then agent Chad Nunez and officer Nieto approached the car on foot. Agent Sherri Rice approached the area but stayed in the car.

Agent Fransen, who was wearing a jacket with the words “Police” on the front walked up to the driver’s side of the prostitute’s car and knocked on the window. The prostitute rolled the window down about three inches and Fransen identified himself and said she was under arrest, the affidavit said.

The woman then rolled up the window, put her car in reverse and rammed into Fransen’s car. She then went forward and backward, and repeatedly rammed the car, the affidavit said.

Fansen and officer Nieto tried unsuccessfully to break the window on the driver’s side. At some point, the prostitute’s car struck Fransen in the left thigh, causing injuries.

The prostitute, Taylor-Felder was eventually able to drive off at a high rate of speed. Agent Rice followed her. The prostitute was able to lose the agent.

About 4 hours later, the Taylor-Felder’s car was located and towed.

The following day, task force members went to the place Taylor-Felder bought the car. She happened to be on the phone with the salesman. She told the salesman that she parked the car at her house and it was now missing, the affidavit said.  She said she had filled out a police report.

Authorities then gathered enough info to get an arrest warrant on charges of assaulting and resisting a law enforcement agent. Court records show no court date has been set.

Read FBI affidavit

Ex-LA U.S. Atty. Writes Check After Getting Busted for Ripping Off Taxpayers: He’s 1 of 5 U.S. Attys Cited in IG Report

Thomas O'Brien/gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Former Los Angeles U.S. Atty. Thomas P. O’Brien says he wrote a check this week reimbursing the government in instances where he stayed in hotel rooms that cost more than the government-approved rate, the Los Angeles Times reported.

O’Brien was one of five U.S. Attorneys cited in a Justice Department Inspector General report released Monday who went beyond the government approved rate on different occasions. The report, which covered the years 2007 to 2009, did not identify the U.S. Attorney’s by name.

But two others names identified in media reports included former New Jersey U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, who is now governor of New Jersey,  and former Pittsburgh U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan.

Mary Beth Buchanan

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which identified Buchanan, reported that the violators weren’t required to reimburse taxpayers because rules at the time allowed U.S. Attorney’s to approve their own travel.

The report found that some of O’Brien’s claims for reimbursement were “inappropriate and egregious violations” of the travel policies, the Times reported. It said the total overage amounted to $903.

The Times reported that O’Brien, now in private practice, denied any misconduct, but takes “full responsibility” for any oversights.

The Times reported that O’Brien said all his travel was approved by Washington and that he was not asked to repay for the overages,, he did so on Tuesday, one day after the report was released.

The Pittsburg Post-Gazette wrote that Buchanan had overages of $4,221.

The Post-Gazette reported that in June Buchanan said she had always followed department rules if she had gone over the government rate.

Gov. Chris Christie/state photo

Chris Christie

“I can assure you the process was followed each and every time,” she said, according to the paper.

As for Christie, the report, which identified him only as “U.S. Attorney C”, said :  “These 14 vouchers exceeded the government rate by $19 to $242 per night, for a total of $2,176 (excluding taxes for domestic travel). U.S. Attorney C’s lodging costs exceeded the government rate by more than $100 per night on 9 of the 14 vouchers.”

He has publicly declined to comment on the report.

The report said Christie — considered a rising star in the Republican party – stayed at the Nine Zero Hotel in Boston for $449 per night and the $475-per-night Four Seasons Hotel in Washington at a cost of more than double the government rate for those cities.

The website Main Justice was the first to identify Christie as a violator.

Read report.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Some of Swindler Bernie Madoff’s Possessions Go Up for Auction Saturday

Bernie Madoff/facebook photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The spoils of swindler Bernie Madoff and his wife go up for auction Saturday in New York.

His black velveteen slippers, an emerald cut 10.5-carat diamond ring, other jewelry and furniture are up for grabs, the New York Daily News reports.

Auctioneers at Gaston & Sheehan will handle the sale, which will be online and at the Sheraton Hotel & Towers on Seventh Avenue in Manhattan starting at 10 a.m.

Jennifer Crane of the U.S. Marshals Service asset forfeiture unit, who was inside Madoff’s upper East Side penthouse after his December 2008 arrest, told the Daily News:

“He was extremely meticulous. Everything was folded beautifully, every drawer you opened up was perfectly organized. It wasn’t what I expected.”

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI’s Mark Giuliano Named Assistant Dir. for Counterterrorism at HQ

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON –– Mark F. Giuliano becomes the new assistant director for the Counterterrorism Division at FBI Headquarters, replacing James W. McJunkin who will take over as head of the bureau’s Washington Field Office.

“Mark’s experience and leadership have prepared him well to lead the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division during these important times,” Director Robert S. Mueller III said in a statement.

Giuliano, who is the deputy assistant director for Operations Branch II, Counterterrorism Division, at headquarters, oversaw all domestic terrorism operations in the U.S., as well as the National Joint Terrorism Task Force, the Lone Offender Task Force, the Yemen fusion cell, the Pakistan threat group, human intelligence and strategic terrorism operations, communications exploitation and terrorist financing for FBI counterterrorism operations worldwide, the FBI said.

Prior to that, he served as section chief of the Domestic Terrorism and Strategic Operation Section.

Before joining the Counterterrorism Division, he served as assistant special agent in charge of national security for the Atlanta Division.

He also served as the FBI’s on-scene commander in Afghanistan.

He started his career at the Washington Field Office’s Safe Streets and Gang Task Force.

Baseball’s New Blackeye: Feds Indict Ex-Chicago White Sox Executive and 2 Former Scouts in Kickback Scheme


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Baseball has periodically gotten a black eye from one scandal or another. Here comes another.

A federal grand jury in Chicago  on Wednesday indicted a former professional baseball player scouting executive for the Chicago White Sox and two former scouts for the team in Latin America for allegedly accepting kickbacks totaling about $400,000 from signing bonuses and contract buyouts to secure 23 prospective players between December 2004 and February 2008.

Authorities alleged in a seven-count indictment that the White Sox team was defrauded of money and honest services from the defendants, who concealed the kickbacks from the team and its more senior officials.

Those charged included: David S. Wilder, the White Sox farm system director from late 2003 to 2006, who went on to become the team’s senior director of player personnel until May 2008; Jorge L. Oquendo Rivera, the White Sox Latin American scout between November 2004 and October 2007 and Victor Mateo, a White Sox scout in the Dominican Republic between November 2006 and May 2008.

Read more »

FBI’s James McJunkin to Head Washington Field Office

James McJunkin/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — As expected, James McJunkin, assistant director of the Counterterrorism Division at FBI headquarters, will head up the FBI Washington Field Office.

The office is currently being run by acting head John G. Perren. The vacancy popped up after Shawn Henry, the head of the FBI Washington field office, was named to the number four spot at headquarters. McJunkin is expected to assume the new post next month.

John Perren

McJunkin started out with the FBI in 1987 and worked in the San Antonio, Atlanta, and Washington D.C. field offices, the FBI said.

In 2005, he became an assistant special agent in charge of the Washington Field Office and led the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF).

In August 2006, Mr. McJunkin became the acting special agent in charge of the Washington Field Office Counterterrorism Division and after a couple more moves, he was named deputy assistant director for Counterterrorism Operations — Branch I in January 2008.

In February, he was named to his current post at headquarters.

Justice Won’t File Charges in Burning of CIA Videotapes

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department announced Tuesday that it won’t file criminal charges over the destruction by CIA workers of 92 videotapes showing harsh interrogation techniques of terrorism suspects.

“In January 2008, Attorney General Michael Mukasey appointed Assistant United States Attorney John Durham to investigate the destruction by CIA personnel of videotapes of detainee interrogations,” Justice Department spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement.

“Since that time, a team of prosecutors and FBI agents led by Mr. Durham has conducted an exhaustive investigation into the matter. As a result of that investigation, Mr. Durham has concluded that he will not pursue criminal charges for the destruction of the interrogation videotapes.”

The tapes were burned in November 2005 at the direction of a CIA official.

The Washington Post reported that authorities had not ruled out the possibility of filing criminal charges against officials who may have misled investigators during the probe.

Imprisoned CIA Officer Pleads Guilty to Espionage for 2nd Time in 13 Years

Harold James Nicholson/cia photo

By Glynnesha Taylor
ticklethewire.com

Father and sons have different ways of bonding. Some go camping or fishing. Ex-CIA officer Harold J. Nicholson and his son chose a more novel way: they worked together in the espionage world with the Russians.

On Monday, Nicholson, 59, who is already serving a 23 year-plus year sentence after pleading guilty in 1997,  pleaded guilty again on Monday in Portland, Or., to espionage charges in a case involving his son and the Russians.  Authorities alleged that his son helped his imprisoned father collect some back payments from the Russians while passing on information.

Nicholson worked for the CIA for 16 years. Between June 1994 and November 16, 1996, authorities said he provided the Russian Federation documents, photographic negatives and information relating to the national defense of the United States,  according to Nicholson’s indictment.  He was arrested in November 1996 at Dulles Airport in Virginia while trying to board a plane to Zurich, Switzerland with classified documents.

In return, Nicholson received cash payments he used to pay credit car bills and other expenses, according to court papers. In 1997, he pleaded guilty and agreed to have no direct contact with any foreign government or through another party. His youngest son Nathaniel was 12 at the time.

Authorities say that agreement was broken when around June 2006 Nicholson’s  son Nathaniel J. Nicholson began communicating with the  Russian Federation on behalf of his father.

Read more »