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FBI

Feds Charge Colombo Crime Family Members in Kickback Scheme at Ground Zero

mafia33By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn continues to chip away at the Colombo crime family.

On Tuesday, the office announced the indictment of eight people tied to the notorious crime family on charges including fraud and extortion linked to the World Trade Center.

The indictment alleges that the Colombo-controlled trucking company All Around Trucking paid kickbacks to win a subcontract with a demolition company working at Ground Zero.

Authorities also alleged that the defendants threatened employees with the demolition company when it failed to pay on time.

Consensual recordings captured one of the defendants saying that the demolition company employees were ” “shakin’ in their boots over us” when threats were made, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“La Cosa Nostra continues to profit illegally in numerous sectors of our economy, allegedly including the World Trade Center construction site,” U.S. Attorney Benton Campbell said in a statement. “Our office is dedicated to eliminating these crime families, which take a significant economic toll.” U.S. Attorney Campbell praised the outstanding investigative efforts by special agents of the FBI and DOL/OIG.

The defendants included Theodore Persico, Jr., Michael Persico, Thomas Petrizzo, Edward Garofalo, Jr., James Bombino, Louis Romeo, Alicia Dimichelle and Mike LNU.

Read Press Release

Retired FBI Agent Pleads in Las Vegas to Income Tax Evasion

las-vegas-mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A 67-year-old retired FBI agent in Nevada has pleaded guilty to evading about $109,000 in income taxes, authorities said.

Jan Lindsey of Henderson, Nevada, pleaded guilty Friday in Las Vegas to one count of felony tax evasion. Sentencing is set for July 9.

The 26-year-veteran of the FBI retired in 1995 and then went on to work for the next 10 years as a contractor for the FBI performing background investigations, authorities said.

Authorities charged that he failed to timely file or pay federal income tax from 1999 to 2006 and “committed various acts that were designed to hide his income and assets from the IRS, including placing assets in nominee names, presenting or recording fraudulent documents in an attempt to obtain lien and levy releases on his property, filing false returns after liabilities were assessed in an attempt to reduce or eliminate his unpaid liability, and presenting frivolous financial or negotiable instruments to the Department of the Treasury in claimed payment of his outstanding tax liability.”

Read Plea Agreement

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST



White House Tries Again to Get Someone to Head TSA

Airport crowdBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

After the first nominee went down in flames, President Obama is once again trying to fill the top spot at the Transportation Security Administration, which watches over our airports.

The White House on Tuesday nominated Robert A. Harding, saying he has spent more than 35 years working in the intelligence community.

Most recently, he served as CEO of Harding Security Associates (HSA), which he founded in 2003 and sold in July 2009, the White House said.

The White House initially nominated former FBI agent Erroll Southers, but his nomination got embroiled in controversy on Capital Hill. He January he withdrew his name.

In a press release on Harding, the White House said: “Before entering the private sector, General Harding completed 33 years in the US Army, where he served in progressively challenging command and staff assignments. He retired as the Army’s Deputy G2 (Intelligence) in 2001.”

Read more »

Daughter of Missing Retired FBI Agent Robert Levinson Pleads for Help in Open Letter

Robert Levinson

Robert Levinson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The engaged daughter of an ex-FBI agent who vanished in 2007 while visiting an island off Iran, issued an open letter to the U.S. and Iran pleading for help.

“As you know, my father, Robert “Bob” Levinson, has been missing in Iran since March 9th, 2007, when he disappeared from Kish Island while investigating cigarette smuggling,” Sarah Levinson  wrote in a letter posted on a website dedicated to her father. “I am writing to remind you that my family and I need him home now, and we are pleading for you to do whatever is in your power to make that happen, as we know you can.”

Later in the letter, she writes: “Today, I beg of you to help bring him home as I personally need him more than ever. Last month, my boyfriend of 4 1/2 years asked my mother and brother for my hand in marriage, and as should be every daughter’s right, I need my father to give me away at my wedding.

Sarah Levinson with fiance Ryan/father's website
Sarah Levinson with fiance Ryan/father’s website

“In almost every culture around the world, the father of the bride is a critical role in the wedding ceremony, coming second only to that of the bride and groom themselves. A father walking his daughter down the aisle and giving her away to her new husband is a tradition as old as marriage, symbolizing a daughter leaving her family to start a new life with her spouse.”

To read full letter click here.

FBI Impersonator Picks the Wrong Home (Gets ticklethewire.com Hot Dog Award)

hot dogBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In the spirit of the Academy Awards comes the Hot Dog Award — and it goes to Santiago Contreras.

Authorities say he impersonated an FBI agent with a search warrant and tried to talk his way into a home in Middletown, N.Y., according to a police press release.

Problem was it was the home of the Middletown Police Chief Ramon Bethencourt, according to the Times Herald-Record.

Santiago Contreras/police photo

Santiago Contreras/police photo

The paper says Contreras  knocked on the door at 9:18 a.m., said he was with the FBI, flashed ID and a sheet of paper and said he had a search warrant to search the house.

The paper said the chief asked to see the ID again and Contreras left. He was arrested nearby with plastic gloves and a homemade plastic shank.

Authorities said he picked the house at random, the paper reported.

Ex-U.S. Army Ranger Gets 20 Years For Trying to Murder Fed Prosecutor in Seattle

seattle-map1By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Former U.S. Army Ranger Luke Sommer should have done the math before he committed the crime.

A federal judge in Seattle handed Sommer a 20-year sentence on Monday for offering an undercover FBI task force officer up to  $20,000 in a prison visitors’ area to kill the assistant U.S. Attorney in his bank robbery case. He was also fined $25,000.

Sommer’s offer to pay the agent came just months after he was sentenced to 24 years for bank robbery. Now he’ll serve 44 years. Authorities said the additional 20-year-sentence was not only for the attempted murder but for also using a knife in prison to attack a co-defendant in his bank robbery case.

Read more »

Ooops – Wrong al Qaeda Guy

Adam Gadahn/fbi photo

Adam Gadahn/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It seems after all that authorities did not capture California native Adam Gadahn, an al Qaeda spokesman listed on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist list.

The initial reports in recent days was that Pakistani authorities had captured him. But instead American and Pakistani authorities identified the man who was captured in Karachi as Abu Yahya Mujahdeen al-Adam, the New York Times reported.

The paper reported that he was born in Pennsylvania and linked to Al Qaeda operations involved in fighting in Afghanistan.

Adam Gadahn, a California native, has become known as an al Qaeda spokesman who has called for military strikes against the U.S., the Times reported.

For Full Story

Column: Justice Dept. & Law Enforcement Should Decide on 9/11 Trial Venue — Not Politicians

Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and in total  worked as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for 28 in that office.

Ross Parker

Ross Parker

By Ross Parker

The decision of where and in what forum—civilian court or military commission—to prosecute Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his four co-defendants has sparked a political firestorm of debate.

“Conservative” politicians and pundits have managed to cast the debate in terms of rights of enemy combatants versus the legitimate security needs of the United States. In other words, which is more important, the lives of Americans or the rights of terrorists? When put that way, it is easy to tell which hand has the chocolate.

The administration has been dithering and straddling on the issue. Reports have it that the President’s advisers are recommending a shift to the predominant or even exclusive use of military commissions and that his Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is discussing a deal with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham.

All of this partisan posturing obscures and politicizes a question which should be decided by law enforcement and Justice Department professionals according to the needs and circumstances of a particular case. Why should we eliminate as an option the criminal justice system which has so successfully resulted in hundreds of double digit prison terms for those convicted of terrorism-related violations?

Read more »