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FBI

NY FBI Sending Agents to Uganda to Help Probe Bombing

ugandaBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI in New York plans to send agents to Uganda to help investigate the deadly bombing that reportedly was carried out by a group aligned with al Qaeda, news sources reported.

“The New York Joint Terrorism Task Force is in the process of deploying a team of agents and forensic experts to assist Ugandan authorities in their investigation,” FBI spokesman James Margolin told Bloomberg.

The bomb killed at least 74 people.

AOL News reported that the radical Islamist movement al-Shabab claimed responsibility, saying the attacks were revenge for Ugandan soldiers being in the Somali capital. It reported that the group is aligned al Qaeda.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Blagojevich Hated His Job (Washington Post)
NM Gunman Shoots Girlfriend and Kills 2 at Plant (AP)
Mich. Woman Gets Prison For Having Sex With Teen Son (AP)
Fire Ruins Martha’s Vineyard Coast Guard Station (AP)
Prosecutors Say Ark. Doctor Masterminded Bomb Attack (AP)
2 Chicago Area Men Sentenced in Ohio Soldier Plot (AP)
Opposition to Airport Body Scanners Growing (USA Today)

Ex-Detroit Mayor Kilpatrick Set to Appear in Court on Fed Charges

Ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick/official photo

Ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick/official photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The drama and embarrassment in the Motown continues Tuesday when ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick — once dubbed the “Hip Hop Mayor” — steps into a downtown federal courtroom to face arraignment on 19 felony fraud and income tax counts, the Detroit News reports.

Kilpatrick is already in prison. He served 99 days in jail for perjury charges relating to a civil lawsuit and a text message scandal involving a top staff member he was having an affair with.

In May, he was sent back to jail for concealing assets that were supposed to go toward $1 million in restitution in the text message case.

The FBI continues to probe corruption in city hall — something there seems to be no shortage of. And the Detroit News reports Kilpatrick could end up getting tagged with more federal charges.

Kilpatrick had showed some promise when he became mayor. But many say his arrogance and his immaturity did him in.  Fair to say, the Hip Hop Mayor is no longer hip and no longer hopping… at least for now.

To read more click here.

Hundreds of FBI, DEA and ICE Agents Fall Victim to Ponzi Scheme

thief

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

WASHINGTON — FBI agents are supposed to unearth scams, not become victims of them. This time is different.

Some 300 retired and current federal agents — representing the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration and Immigration and Customs Enforcement — collectively invested tens of millions of dollars of retirement money in what turned out to be a Ponzi scheme allegedly run by a Florida man who committed suicide last month, an attorney in the case said.

The FBI and the Securities and Exchange Commission are now investigating and trying to recover funds.

“There are definitely [agents] who have lost their life savings,” Fort Lauderdale attorney Michael Goldberg, who is representing the victims, told AOL News.

The reaction of the agents? “Pretty much what you expect,” Goldberg said. “Shock and anger.”

Behind it all, authorities said, was a self-described retirement investment adviser named Kenneth Wayne McLeod, 48. For years McLeod served as a trusted adviser to federal agents around the country, making free financial projections for retirement and in some cases offering high-yield returns of 8 to 10 percent on certain investments, according to an SEC filing in the case.

On June 22, McLeod was found dead in Jacksonville, Fla., of a gunshot wound.

His Florida-based companies, Federal Employee Benefits Group Inc. and F&S Asset Management Group Inc., appear to have been shut down and all assets frozen, authorities said. Calls to both numbers went unanswered this afternoon and the voice mails were full.

McLeod allegedly mentioned to prospective clients the names of many federal agents he knew, including straitlaced FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, according to the website Gang Land News, which reported on the story today.

“[McLeod] would tell people that Bob Mueller was a friend of his,” a retired FBI agent told Gang Land News. “The guy was a real charmer. He would say that he and Bob were best of friends and that Bob and his wife used to stay at his place all the time. The worst thing about this is that this creep scammed hard-working GS-13s and GS-14s [federal employees].”

Mueller did in fact rent vacation properties in Amelia Island, Fla., for several years, Gang Land News reported. But Michael Kortan, the chief FBI spokesman, said in a statement that even if McLeod had owned one of those properties, Mueller had no idea who he was renting from.

“The director had no personal or professional relationship with Mr. McLeod, nor did he engage in any financial dealings of any kind with him,” Kortan stated.

According to the SEC, McLeod for years put on retirement seminars that federal agencies paid as much as $15,000 for. He offered some investments with such companies as Fidelity, which the FBI said appeared to be safe. But others investments appeared to be fraudulent.

In many instances, he offered high returns — 8 to 10 percent — through bonds.

“The security of the government bonds was a key element of McLeod’s deception but he never purchased any bonds,” the SEC said in a statement on June 25. “Instead, he used the investors’ retirement savings to conduct a Ponzi scheme, to pay himself and to pay for lavish entertainment, including annual trips to the Super Bowl for himself and 40 friends.”

FBI special agent Jeff Westcott of the Jacksonville, Fla., office, which is investigating the matter, told AOL News that McLeod had “an air of credibility.”

The irony and embarrassment of the case are clear to many agents around the country. And at the SEC, the unusual set of circumstances is not lost on officials.

Glenn Gordon, SEC associate regional director for the Miami Regional Office, said, “I am not aware personally of another case where this was the target audience.”

FBI Warns: Beware of Fake Viruses Known as “Scareware”

scareware.jpg fbi
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The FBI has issued a warning to the public to beware of “scareware”, bogus pop-up messages that warn that your computer is infected with a virus when it really is not.  The pop ups then recommend buying a certain antivirus software.

“Most of these pop-ups are scams, and it’s one of the fastest-growing types of Internet fraud today,” the FBI said in a warning published on its webpage.

The FBI warned that if you try to buy the antivirus software “it will either do nothing…or it could compromise your computer by installing malicious software onto your system. And in some instances, you don’t even have to click on the pop-up box…the software downloads automatically.”

The FBI said majority of these scammers operate outside the U.S. But it said it has had some success in prosecuting some people.

Last May, for example, three people were charged in Illinois in with scamming users in more than 60 countries, including the U.S., to buy more than $100 million worth of bogus “scareware” software, the FBI said.

According to the FBI webpage, here’s how to spot a scareware scam:

  • Does the pop-up use “non-clickable” icons? To build authenticity into their software, scareware will show a list of reputable icons—like those of software companies or security publications. However, the user can’t click through to the sites to see the actual reviews or recommendations.
  • Is the pop-up ad hard to close? Scareware pop-ups employ aggressive techniques and will not close easily after clicking the “close” or “X” button.
  • Have you heard of the software before? Cyber criminals use easy-to-remember names like Virus Shield, Antivirus, or VirusRemover.

The FBI said a good way to protect yourself against the scareware is to have up-to-date antivirus software.

Hundreds of FBI, DEA, ICE Agents Stung in Ponzi Scheme

thiefBy Allan Lengel
For AOL News

WASHINGTON — FBI agents are supposed to unearth scams, not become victims of them. This time is different.

Up to 300 or so retired and current federal agents from the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), invested collectively tens of millions of dollars of retirement money in what has turned out to be a Ponzi scheme run by a Florida man who just committed suicide. The FBI and the Security Exchange Commission are investigating and trying recover funds.

“There’s definitely ones who have lost their life savings,” Ft. Lauderdale Attorney Michael Goldberg, who is representing victims, told AOL News.

The reaction of the agents? “Pretty much what you expect,” he said. “Shock and anger.”

Behind it all is a suspected con artist, a self-described retirement investment adviser Kenneth Wayne McLeod, 48, who for years became a trusted adviser to federal agents around the country, offering free financial projections for retirement and offering, in some cases, high-yield returns of 8 to 10 percent on certain investments, according to an SEC filing in the case.

To read full story click here.

Column: I Can’t Get Too Excited About Russian Spies

Allan Lengel

Allan Lengel

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON – In the end, it left me scratching my head.

Russian spies. Huh. So 60s. So Sputnik-era like.

Forgive me, but some how, with al Qaeda and every other hell-bent-to-destroy-America group out there, Russian spies don’t seem all that threatening.

Nonetheless, the FBI arrested 10 last week. And on Thursday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the spies pleaded guilty to conspiring to serve as unlawful agents of the Russian Federation.

In exchange, Russia agreed to release four imprisoned people who had contact with Western intelligence agencies. Not a bad trade, I guess.

But I would have held out for a good borscht recipe, too. At this junction, good cold borscht certainly makes far more sense than a warmed over Cold War.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

As Expected, Tim Murphy Becomes 2nd in Command at FBI

Timothy Murphy/fbi photo

Timothy Murphy/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — As expected, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III  tapped Timothy P. Murphy to become the second in command at the FBI.

“Tim has consistently shown exceptional leadership and met tough challenges head-on,” Mueller said in a statement issued Thursday. “I have every expectation that he will do the same as deputy director, and I look forward to working closely with him in his new position.”

Murphy, the number three person in the FBI, replaces John Pistole, who was just confirmed as the head of the Transportation Security Administration.

Since 2008, Murphy has served as associate deputy director, overseeing personnel, budget, administration, and infrastructure, the FBI said.

From the onset, when Pistole was nominated to head up TSA, there appeared to be little doubt within the FBI that anyone other than Murphy would  assume the post.

FBI’s Pete Cullen Who Ran Blago Wiretaps Retires at 61 as Most Senior Agent in the Nation

FBI agent Pete Cullen should have retired in 2006 when he reached the mandatory retirement age of 57. But the FBI wanted to keep him around for his expertise.  He ended up running the wire taps on ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is currently on trial. Last week, after getting extensions to stay, he finally retired at age 61, which made him the most senior FBI agent in the country.

fbi logo largeBy Natasha Korecki
Chicago Sun-Times

It was a historic day on Dec. 9, 2008; Illinois’ sitting governor had just been arrested and FBI supervisor Pete Cullen found himself keeping watch over Rod Blagojevich.

“He was in his running suit. He was stretching, running in place, animated. I couldn’t believe it. He couldn’t sit still,” Cullen said. “He kept combing back his hair.

“It was almost like he’s awaiting going on camera. But we were just here [in the FBI office] — no one was going to see him.”

For more than two months preceding the arrest, Cullen spent every night coordinating more than 100 agents who, in shifts, monitored at least nine different phone lines belonging to Blagojevich and those in his inner circle.

By FBI rules, Cullen shouldn’t have even been there. He reached the FBI’s mandatory retirement age of 57 in 2006.

But again and again, Chicago’s FBI chief Robert Grant had something else in mind for the longtime agent and supervisor.

To read the full story click here.