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FBI

Fla. City Commissioner Was FBI Informant for 4 Years

It’s an interesting tale how the commissioner in this little community outside of Ft. Lauderdale kept her status as an FBI informant secret for four years.  Or at least that’s what she says. Some say she didn’t really keep it secret. Either way,  it’s not a giant leap to believe that she would cooperate with law enforcement considering that she’s also a state prosecutor.

Sheila Alu/city photo

Sheila Alu/city photo

By Susannah Bryan and Tonya Alanez
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
SUNRISE, Fla. – She is the first to admit that secrets have a short shelf-life around her.

Yet Sheila Alu, a Sunrise commissioner and state prosecutor, managed to keep her role as an FBI informant secret from her family for four years, not even confiding in her mother or boyfriend.

“It was stressful,” Alu, a prosecutor with the Broward State Attorney’s Office, said in an interview with the Sun Sentinel. “I kept secrets from my family and the people I love.”

Some debate whether her work with the FBI was a closely guarded secret. More than a few folks at the courthouse say Alu confided – even boasted of – her collaboration with the feds.

Alu, 47, scoffed at the claim. “Are you kidding me? How effective would I have been if I’d told everyone?”

For Full Story

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder and FBI Dir. Mueller Make List of Washington’s 50 Most Powerful

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — In this town of ego-excess, where power is the true currency, not money, its tough to be number one — even if you think you are.

GQ magazine has weighed in with the “The 50 Most Powerful People in D.C.” Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. is ranked 13 and FBI Director Robert Mueller III gets the number 19 spot.  Sorry,  Homeland Secretary Janet Napolitano didn’t make the cut.

Had J. Edgar Hoover been around, we wonder where he would have ranked. By the way, number one person was Rahm Emanuel, the White House Chief of Staff. We assume the president wasn’t in the running.

Here’s what the magazine said about Holder and Mueller.

Holder on the left in Denver at the International Chiefs of Police Conference/ticklethewire.com photo

Holder on the left in Denver at the International Chiefs of Police Conference/ticklethewire.com photo

13. Eric Holder
Attorney General

Is this how an independent-minded attorney general operates? It’s been so long, it’s hard to know. Nonetheless, Holder has pushed back against the wishes of his own team, fighting CIA director Leon Panetta’s attempts to quash the release of the interrogation records and going forward with an investigation, against Obama’s wishes, into the alleged torture that took place during the Bush years. While critics on the left say he’s not going far enough, it’s nice to have a DOJ paying attention to the rule of law again.”

Robert Mueller III in Denver/fbi photo

Robert Mueller III in Denver/fbi photo

19. Robert Mueller
Director, FBI

You never really hear much about Mueller. “He stays out of the headlines,” says Michael Chertoff, former secretary of homeland security. Since coming into office seven days before September 11, he has quietly tried to build a more nimble intelligence division, which is now in the process of taking over much of the CIA’s role in detainee interrogations. And after the economic meltdown, he has expanded the bureau’s ability to tackle white-collar crime. “He’s making sure the FBI can retool itself,” says Chertoff.

Former Bush White House Official Gets 1 Year For Lying About Ties to Disgraced Lobbyist Jack Abramoff

David Safavian/ gov photo

David Safavian/ gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — The taint of lobbyist Jack Abramoff  surfaced again when a federal judge on Friday sentenced a former Bush White House official to one year in prison for lying about his ties to Abramhoff.

U.S. District Judge Paul L. Friedman sentenced David H. Safavian, former General Services Administration (GSA) Chief of Staff, and admonished him for not recognizing right from wrong. Safavian eventually left GSA to become the  Bush White House chief procurement officer.

To date, 20 people including lobbyists and public officials have pleaded guilty, been convicted or are awaiting trial in connection with the probe into crooked lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who is serving a four year prison term for corruption related charges on top of the 22 months he had already served prior to sentencing, according to a U.S. Attorney press release.

Read more »

Interesting Twist: Sammy the Bull Might Testify on Behalf of Mobster Gotti Jr

sammy-the-bullBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Salvatore “Sammy Bull” Gravano, the legendary mob snitch who helped convict his boss John Gotti, may get an opportunity to help  John Gotti Jr. who is on trial in N.Y., according to the website Gang Land News.

The website, written by mob-beat  reporter Jerry Capeci, reports that the defense may call Sammy the Bull as a witness to refute allegations that Gotti Jr. supervised the 1990 murder of a Gambino wise guy Louis DiBono who poppa Gotti wanted dead.

“In interviews with the FBI, and from the witness stand at several trials, Sammy Bull testified that he oversaw the October 4, 1990 murder of Louis DiBono,” Gangland news reports. ” At no time did he ever include Junior as a participant in the slaying, one of three murders included in the current case, and that could be of crucial help for the defense in Gotti IV.”

Gotti Jr. is accused of racketeering and murder and all things mobsters do to run an enterprise. It is his fourth trial in five years. The other three trials ended in a mistrial.

FBI Busts Ex-Ford Engineer For Stealing Trade Secrets

Xiang Dong Yu/u.s. marshals service photo

Xiang Dong Yu/u.s. marshals service photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Back in the day, Ford ran a commercial that said: “Ford Has a Better Idea”. Chinese National Xiang Dong Yu figured that was still the case.

The former product engineer for the Ford Motor Co. was indicted in the Motor City on charges that he stole trade secrets from the automaker just before he took a job in the China branch of a U.S. company.

Turns out Ford may have had a better idea, but Xiang Dong Yu didn’t.

Xiang Dong Yu,47, of Beijing, China, was arrested Wednesday at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport after deplaning from China, authorities announced.

He is charged with theft of trade secrets, attempted theft of trade secrets and unauthorized access to a protected computer.

Read more »

Terror Suspect Zazi Had ties to bin Laden’s Afghan Lt.

bin Laden/fbi photo

bin Laden/fbi photo

The more that comes out, the scarier this sounds.

By Brett J. Blackledge
Associated Press

The airport shuttle driver accused of plotting a bombing in New York had contacts with al-Qaeda that went nearly to the top, to an Osama bin Laden confidant believed to be the terrorist group’s leader in Afghanistan, according to U.S. intelligence officials.

Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, an Egyptian reputed to be one of the founders of the terrorist network, used a middleman to contact Najibullah Zazi, the Afghan immigrant charged in the plot, two intelligence officials said. Officials declined to say whether al-Yazid offered Zazi mere encouragement or substantive help with the alleged plot.

Ex-Flint, Mi. Police Chief Pleads Guilty in Fed Court to Fraud

David Dick/ nbc25 photo

David Dick/ nbc25 photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

There’s little good news that comes out of the hard scrabbled town of Flint, a failing industrial city about an hour north of Detroit that General Motors once dominated.

Now comes more bad news. The ex-Flint interim Police Chief David Dicks, 42, pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Detroit to illegally receiving public money through a no-show job at a security company run by his father, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Dicks, who had once vowed to fight the charges, got his 15 minutes of fame last year “when he urged officers to file disorderly conduct or indecent exposure charges against those whose saggy pants allowed too much underwear or their bottoms to show on city streets. The policy eventually died,” the Free Press wrote.

He could go off to prison for up to a year and will pay $46,000 in restitution, the paper reported.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Six Members of Bonanno Crime Family Plead Guilty in the Sunshine State

The sun may shine bright in Florida, but these mobsters aren’t going to be around to enjoy it.

mobster-drawing2

By CURT ANDERSON
AP Legal Affairs Writer
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — One by one, members of a South Florida crew of the New York-based Bonanno crime family stood before a federal judge Wednesday to plead guilty to racketeering charges, including one enforcer who said it was impossible to escape the Mafia life.

Six of the 11 purported crew members indicted in May pleaded guilty to charges that carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. All 11 are charged under the federal Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, or RICO law, which the FBI has used frequently to break up major criminal enterprises.

The enforcer, 43-year-old Pasquale Rubbo, told U.S. District Judge William Zloch that he’d already done prison time for his underworld ties and that he had some debts to pay after his release a few years ago

For Full Story