Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

June 2021
S M T W T F S
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



FBI

Head of FBI Agents Association Says Agents Should Take Controversial Test Over; Also Wants to Have Input in Pick of Next FBI Director

Konrad Motyka/ticklethewire.com photo

Konrad Motyka/ticklethewire.com photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The head of the FBI’s Agents Association said Wednesday that he’d prefer to see all agents retake a controversial open-book test– and that no one be punished.

“Given the publicity, anyone taking the test the next time, there shouldn’t be any confusion as to the procedure,” Association President Konrad Motyka said in an interview Wednesday with ticklethewire.com.  He said the instructions for taking the first test were unclear for some.

The Justice Department’s Inspector General report recently found that a number of FBI agents cheated on the test that was on bureau policies for conducting surveillance on Americans called the Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (DIOG).

The internal investigation, which focused on four FBI offices, found 22 people cheated, some of whom worked together or got the answers. The FBI is currently reviewing the matter, and is in fact considering having agents retake the test, much to the dismay of the many agents who did not cheat. The test is taken on a computer.

Motyka said of the cheating scandal potentially involves only a minuscule number of the 13,500 agents.

“I don’t think this is a commentary on the integrity of the FBI agents population in any way at all,” said Motyka, an FBI agent based in New York.

But he added: “Any time there’s negative publicity about the FBI, it’s harmful.”

Motyka, speaking in the D.C. law firm of Bracewell & Giuliani, which serves as general counsel for the association, also said the association hopes to have an input in the replacement for  Director Robert S. Mueller III, who finishes up his 10- year term next September.

While he declined to discuss names of potential successors, he said the Association would prefer a law enforcement person, but would not necessarily object to a judge or federal prosecutor. Mueller was a former prosecutor.

“We plan to make our point of view known,” he said.

Some of the names that have surfaced in the media include Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, John Pistol, the former number two FBI agent who now heads up the Transportation Security Administration, Frances Fragos Townsend, President Bush’s counterterrorism adviser and former Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton.

Motyka said the Association also plans to press next year for a Merit System Protection Board right, which would allow agents to appeal disciplinary decisions to an independent board.  Currently, agents can appeal a disciplinary decision, but most must do through the FBI’s internal process.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Justice Dept. Clears FBI in Fatally Shooting of Detroit Imam

Luqman Ameen Abdullah

Luqman Ameen Abdullah

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department announced Wednesday that the FBI agents who shot and killed Detroit imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah last October during a raid did not violate federal civil rights laws and did not “warrant further federal criminal investigation.”

The announcement came nearly two weeks after the Michigan Attorney General concluded the FBI violated no state laws when it fatally shot a  the Detroit mosque leader during a raid of a suburban warehouse.

A Justice Department press release issued Wednesday said “the department conducted a complete, thorough, and independent review of this matter. The review included examining all documents witness accounts, forensic evidence and reports, and operational plans and procedures that were generated by an FBI Inspection Division inquiry, a Dearborn Police Department investigation, and the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s office.”

Read more »

Feds Indict 73 in Armenian-American Organ. Crime Ring Involving $163 Million in Healthcare Fraud

Scams in the WWWBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

More than 70 people including members and associates of an Armenian-American organized crime enterprise were charged in a nationwide scam involving $163 million in fraudulent Medicare and insurance billing, federal authorities announced Wednesday.

Authorities alleged that 73 people were involved in the operation of at least 118 different phony clinics in 25 states.

The scam involved submitting fraudulent bills “for medically unnecessary treatments or treatments that were never performed,” the Justice Department said, adding the defendants allegedly stole identities of doctors and Medicare beneficiaries.

“The emergence of international organized crime in domestic health care fraud schemes signals a dangerous expansion that poses a serious threat to consumers as these syndicates are willing to exploit almost any program, business or individual to earn an illegal profit,” Acting Deputy Attorney General Gary G. Grinder said in a statement.

“The Department of Justice is confronting this evolving threat here and abroad through a number of initiatives including a strengthened Attorney General’s Organized Crime Council and the creation of the International Organized Crime Intelligence and Operations Center (IOC-2) to ensure that we are focused and coordinated in our efforts to combat international organized crime.”

Kevin Perkins, FBI Assistant Director of the Criminal Investigative Division, said in a statement:

“The international organized crime enterprise known as the Mirzoyan-Terdjanian, fleeced the health care system through a wide-range of money making criminal fraud schemes.

” The members and associates located throughout the United States and in Armenia, perpetrated a large-scale, nationwide Medicare scam that fraudulently billed Medicare for more than $100 million of unnecessary medical treatments using a series of phantom clinics.”

Ex-FBI Agent Groman May See His Book Made Into a Movie

Herman Groman

Herman Groman

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Herman Groman,  a retired FBI agent in Las Vegas, may be going Hollywood.

Groman, who heads up security at the Orleans Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas,  recently authored his first novel, a suspense thriller called “Pigeon Spring”.

Now, he says  producer-director Joseph Merhi read the book and wants to make a movie out of it. Interestingly, the boook features a  key character Matt Steel, who happens to be  an ex-FBI agent who is also a director of security at a Las Vegas hotel.

Groman said he has spoken to  Merhi a couple times and has another meeting scheduled Thursday in Las Vegas to talk about the film.

groman book

“I’m excited about it,” Groman told ticklethewire.com. , saying that the Merhi told him he was confident it was all going to happen.

He said the producer’s “vision is that he’d like to make a feature film and he envisions a spin off TV series based on the book.”  Merhi has produced a number of movies including “The Whole Ten Yards”  with Bruce Willis and Matthew Perry.

Groman retired from the FBI in 2005.

Ronald T. Hosko Named Head of Criminal Division at FBI Wash. Field Office

fbi logo largeBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Ronald T. Hosko, who served as acting special agent in charge of the St. Louis division, has been named special agent in charge of the Criminal Division for the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

Hosko joined the FBI in July 1984, and was first assigned to the Jackson, Miss., division where he investigated white-collar crime, organized crime and drug case. He also served on the Jackson Division SWAT team.

In August 1988, he went off to the Chicago Division and spent several months undercover in the “Sourmash” investigation, which targeted fraudulent commodities trading at the Chicago Board of Trade, the FBI said.

In September 1995, he became the term supervisor of the Chicago Violent Crimes Task Force and one year later the stationary supervisor of the same squad.

Read more »

Justice Dept. Wants to Bar Indicted Miss. FBI Agent From Alleging U.S. Attorney Had a Vendetta

Mississippi Road SignBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department is asking a federal judge in Mississippi to stop defense attorneys for an indicted FBI agent from alleging that the charges stem from a vendetta from the former U.S. Attorney, the Associated Press reported.

The agent, Hal Neilson, was indicted in January for allegedly failing to disclose his ownership of an Oxford, Miss. office which he headed up, and then lying about it. Trial is set for Nov. 8 in Aberdeen, Miss.

AP reports that the government in a motion asked that the judge bar Neilson from alleging that the indictment is the result of a vendetta by Jim Greenlee, who was U.S. attorney at the time the charges were filed.

Prosecutors argued Neilson should bring that claim up with the judge, not the jury, AP reported.

Neilson has alleged that the the U.S. Attorney came after him after he criticized investigations into nearly 150 north Mississippi residents of Middle Eastern origin and questioned a probe of a beef plant.

Column: Ex-FBI Agent Says U.S. Must Close Case on USS Cole

uss-cole-crest-234x300Ali H. Soufan was an F.B.I. special agent from 1997 to 2005.

By ALI H. SOUFAN
New York Times Op-Ed

TEN years ago, Qaeda terrorists blew a hole in the side of the Navy destroyer Cole in Yemen, killing 17 sailors. Yet the attack’s mastermind still hasn’t been prosecuted, and many of the men tried and imprisoned for the bombing are again free.

As Washington debates whether to increase aid to Yemen, it should first remember its duty to seek justice for those sailors — and to heed the broader national-security lessons from the attack.

As soon as the F.B.I. received news of the Oct. 12 bombing, I flew to Yemen with a team to investigate. The bodies of sailors draped in flags on a blood-stained deck, guarded by teary-eyed survivors, formed a heartbreaking image that motivated us during the following months.

Our investigation faced difficulties from the beginning. Yemen’s weak central government’s on-again, off-again relationship with extremists meant that Al Qaeda had influential sympathizers in positions of authority, as well as among powerful tribes in the country’s vast desert. As a consequence, we regularly faced death threats, smokescreens and bureaucratic obstructions.

To read more click here.

It’s Official: DiCaprio to Play Hoover in Clint Eastwood Film

Leonardo DiCaprio/photo from his website

Leonardo DiCaprio/photo from his website

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It’s official: Actor Leonardo DiCaprio will play J. Edgar Hoover in director Clint Eastwood’s upcoming film on the legendary FBI director.

Eastwood told Reuters news service that “it’s a great role for” DiCaprio and that he was in the process of signing a contract with the popular actor.

Eastwood Monday shot down rumors that actor Joaquin Phoenix would be in the film and play Clyde Tolson, Hoover’s right hand man.

J. Edgar Hoover/fbi photo

J. Edgar Hoover/fbi photo

Commenting on Hoover, Eastwood told Reuters:

“He was a very complex person. The homosexual aspect is just one of many. I would say that’s the least of his problems. But he was also very clever, whether rightfully or wrongfully, he was very clever about keeping himself in a certain position in life, so it is an interesting study.”

Should be interesting– and controversial.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST