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FBI

Here We Go: FBI Begins Looking into Charitable Scams Linked to Haiti

Money BaitBy Allan Lengel
For Sphere.com (A New AOL news site)

WASHINGTON — It didn’t take long. Less than 48 hours after the Haiti earthquake, the FBI is probing suspected charitable scams.

Paul E. Bresson, an FBI spokesman, said investigators have begun looking into a “small number at this point, predominantly unsolicited e-mails” masquerading as legitimate charities seeking donations.

The earthquake may have come as a shock, but the the lightning-quick appearance of possible scams in its aftermath was not.

“In the past with 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the tsunami, we’ve seen these types of frauds that have popped up,” Bresson said, adding that many have come in the form of unsolicited e-mails or bogus Web sites.

On Wednesday, in anticipation of the scammers, the FBI issued a public advisory urging people to carefully scrutinize charitable organizations before donating. It warned against responding to unsolicited e-mails and urged Americans to be “skeptical of individuals representing themselves as surviving victims.”

For Full Story

FBI-State Dept. Release Digitally Aged Osama bin Laden Photos

fbi/state dept.

fbi/state dept.

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Could life in the cave, life on the run, be aging America’s most wanted fugitive Osama bin Laden?

The FBI and State Department released digitally aged photos of bin Laden with and without a headdress.

“These new images are powerful examples of how advances in technology and science can be used to help find and bring to justice wanted persons,” Louis E. Grever, Executive Assistant Director for the FBI’s Science and Technology Branch said in a statement.

“The FBI has and will continue to apply cutting-edge forensic, biometric, and technical capabilities to our most challenging cases,” he said. ”  Together with our many partners, both here and abroad, we now call on the public to help us locate and take into custody those who threaten us.”

Miss. FBI Agent Indicted For Failing to Disclose Hidden Financial Interest in FBI Building

miss mapBy Allan Lengel
ticklethwire.com

A Mississippi FBI agent was indicted Thursday on charges of making  false statements and failing to disclose a conflict of interest in an FBI building he had a financial interest in.

The indictment alleges that FBI agent Philip Halbert Neilson, 49, of Oxford, Miss.,  beginning in 2001 took an active role in the construction and lease of the Oxford FBI Building and failed to disclose that he had a financial interest in the building since 2004.

The indictment also charged that in 2004 and 2005, as the supervisory senior resident agent in charge of the Oxford office, “he was required to truthfully complete an annual report of his assets and income, liabilities, and positions with organizations outside of his FBI employment,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Authorities also charged that NEILSON submitted false financial disclosure reports and in October 2008 lied to an agent of the Dept. of Justice Office of the Inspector General during an interview.

If convicted, he faces up to 25 years in prison and a $1.5 million fine, though the guidelines would call for a far lesser sentence.

Deborah Madden, an FBI spokeswoman in Mississippi, said Neilson “is still employed by the FBI” but declined to say whether he was on leave or on the job.

The case is being investigated by Special Agent Susan Howell of the Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General, and Assistant United States Attorneys René Salomon and Rich Bourgeois of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana.

Feds Bust 3 Men on Charges of Illegal Export of Technology to Iran

iran_flagBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The feds in Los Angeles have busted three men in a suspected scheme to smuggle industrial components into Iran that could have been used to develop nuclear weapons, authorities announced Wednesday.

Iran’s development of nuclear weapons has been an ongoing concern of the U.S., Israel and many European nations. This latest bust seemed to highlight suspicions that the Iranians are still intent on developing these weapons.

The three men charged in the scheme included an Iranian born chemical engineer living in Glendale, Calif., according to the Los Angeles Times. The two other men were listed as Iranian residents, authorities said.

The men were working to ship “high-dollar vacuum pumps and pump related equipment to Iran” that could have been used for nuclear weapon development, authorities said.

Assistant Secretary John Morton of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) issued a statement Wednesday saying: “One of ICE’s top enforcement priorities is preventing sensitive technology from falling into the hands of those who might seek to harm America or its interests. This illicit trade of this kind of equipment to Iran or other countries that have repeatedly violated our export laws must be controlled.”

The case was investigated by the FBI, ICE and IRS.

To read more click here.

Read Indictment

To Read press release click  “read more” below.

Read more »

Washington Post Reports that Suspended NBA Star Gilbert Arenas in Talks With U.S. Atty Office Over Gun Scandal

nba-logo_1By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Is suspended Washington Wizards hoop star Gilbert Arenas ready to roll over and cop a gun-related plea?

The Washington Post reports that that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in D.C. and Arenas’ attorneys, who include former U.S. Attorney Kenneth Wainstein, have been in plea talks, and that Arenas could be in D.C. Superior Court as early as Thursday.

The Post, attributing information to two sources, said the negotiations could collapse.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Warns About Crooked Charitable Organizations Seeking Help for Haiti

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The FBI issued a warning Wednesday about charitable organizations seeking donations for relief efforts, saying “apply a critical eye”.

“Past tragedies and natural disasters have prompted individuals with criminal intent to solicit contributions purportedly for a charitable organization and/or a good cause,” the FBI said in a statement.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CyqBmVS064

“Therefore, before making a donation of any kind,” the FBI said, “consumers should adhere to certain guidelines, to include the following:

* Do not respond to any unsolicited (spam) incoming e-mails, including clicking links contained within those messages.

* Be skeptical of individuals representing themselves as surviving victims or officials asking for donations via e-mail or social networking sites.

Read more »

U.S. Atty Office in Wash. State Drops Rape Investigation into Magician David Copperfield

David Copperfield/photo from website
David Copperfield/photo from website

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Nearly three years after a former Miss Washington USA claimed she was raped by magician David Copperfield, the case is vanishing, People magazine is reporting.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington state indicated in court papers, without explanation, that it had terminated the grand jury probe into the allegations of rape on Copperfield’s private island in the Bahamas,  the magazine reported.

Emily Langlie, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office told ticklethewire.com that papers were filed to indicate that the criminal probe had ended so that the lawsuit the woman filed against Copperfield could proceed.

Copperfield’s representative had claimed all along the woman, who was 21 at the time, was lying about the allegations.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Police Say 3 Men in Ala. Posed as FBI Agents and Talked Way Into Home