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FBI

No Laughing Matter: Ex-National Lampoon CEO Pleads Guilty in Stock Fraud Scheme

national-lampoon

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Under the category of “no laughing matter” comes Daniel Laikin, 47, the former CEO of National Lampoon.

Laikin,  a resident of both Indianapolis and Los Angeles, pleaded guilty on Wednesday in Philadelphia to conspiracy to manipulate the humor company’s stock price from March through June 2008 by artificially increasing the price, according to a Justice Department press release . Yes, this is no laughing matter.

He faces up to five years in prison when sentenced Jan. 13. The case was handled out of   Philadelphia and investigated by the FBI and Securities Exchange Commission.

The press release laid out the crime as follows:

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FBI Pays Egyptian Man $250,000 For Arrest Linked to Pilot Radio

fbi-logoBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

As federal authorities certainly know by now, 2+2 doesn’t always equal 4 in the investigative world.

The FBI learned that the hard way in the case of Abdallah Higazy, 38. The FBI this week paid $250,000 to the Egyptian man who was detained after a pilot’s aviation radio was found in his New York hotel safe near the World Trade Center after Sept. 11, 2001, according to the Associated Press.

He was imprisoned four 34 days and treated harshly, according to his lawsuit. He was let go after a pilot came forward and said the radio belonged  to him.  Higazy now lives in Cairo.

“I think this is still a traumatic memory that will never leave him completely,” his lawyer Jonathan S. Abady said, according to the AP. “He still hesitates to return to the United States.”

Feds Bust D.C. Council Chief of Staff on Bribery Charges Related to Taxi Industry

Councilman Jim Graham
Councilman Jim Graham

It doesn’t sound like the guy got enough money to risk career and go to jail. But who can always understand human nature? The FBI used an informant in this case who wore a wire. After taking a $500 bribe in July, council aide Ted Loza explained why he took it: “You know I need it. That’s why I take it, you know.” Simple enough explanation.

By Del Quentin Wilber and Tim Craig
Washington Post Staff Writers
WASHINGTON — The chief of staff to D.C. Council member Jim Graham was arrested on bribery charges Thursday, accused of taking trips and $1,500 in payoffs in exchange for pushing legislation that would reward some in the taxicab industry.

Ted G. Loza, 44, was taken into custody at his home on Columbia Road NW a little before 7 a.m., just hours before federal agents descended on his office at city hall to search records and computers.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI Says Terror Suspect Shopped For Beauty Products to Make Bombs

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Fed Judge: Good Chance Billionaire Kirk Kerkorian Was “Complicit” in Dirty Detective’s Illegal Conduct

msnbc photo

msnbc photo

The Anthony Pellicano case ruined a lot of people it touched including FBI agent Mark Rossini, who leaked an FBI document in the case (see special reports). Billionaire Kerkorian, like other high-profile people, may have gotten his hands dirty in the whole mess, but nothing will happen to him.

By JOHN R. EMSHWILLER
Wall Street Journal
LOS ANGELES — The federal judge in the high-profile wiretapping case of Hollywood private eye Anthony Pellicano said there was “reasonable cause to believe” that billionaire Kirk Kerkorian was “complicit” in some of the investigator’s illegal conduct.

The statements are part of a 2008 order issued by U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer. Mr. Kerkorian, 92 years old, a prominent businessman and investor, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and hasn’t been charged with a crime.

The U.S. Attorney’s office here, which handled the Pellicano case, declined to comment on Judge Fischer’s 2008 order, which was unsealed recently and surfaced Wednesday in connection with a lawsuit in Los Angeles state court. There aren’t any indications that federal prosecutors are looking at taking any action against Mr. Kerkorian.

For Full Story

FBI Investigating Whether Census Worker’s Hanging Involved Anti-Govt Sentiments

It’s scary when a census worker might be the target of anti-government sentiment. There’s pockets in America where the hatred for the government runs deep, from farmers to militia members.

kentucky-map

DEVLIN BARRETT and JEFFREY McMURRAY
Associated Press

When Bill Sparkman told retired trooper Gilbert Acciardo that he was going door-to-door collecting census data in rural Kentucky, the former cop drew on years of experience for a warning: “Be careful.”

The 51-year-old Sparkman was found this month hanged from a tree near a Kentucky cemetery with the word “fed” scrawled on his chest, a law enforcement official said Wednesday, and the FBI is investigating whether he was a victim of anti-government sentiment.

“Even though he was with the Census Bureau, sometimes people can view someone with any government agency as ‘the government.’ I just was afraid that he might meet the wrong character along the way up there,” said Acciardo, who directs an after-school program at an elementary school where Sparkman was a frequent substitute teacher.

For Full Story

FBI Says Corrupt Border Guards Expose U.S. to Terrorist Risk

When people feel they’re not earning enough, or they simply get greedy, you’ve got a problem. There’s a problem along the Mexican border with corrupt border guards and the U.S. needs to address it in a big way.

border-fence-photo4

By PIERRE THOMAS
ABC NEWS

The Federal Bureau of Investigation worries that corrupt U.S. officials at the nation’s border crossings are exposing Americans to serious risk, and are stepping up efforts to root those officials out.

With evidence of corrupt U.S. border officials allowing illegal immigrants to enter the country in exchange for bribes, the FBI is concerned terrorists or materials that could be used in a terrorist attack might also slip through.

“If you’re a corrupt border official, and you’re allowing illegal immigrants to come into the country, you’re not going to know who you’re letting in,” Kevin L. Perkins, assistant director of the Criminal Investigative Division for the FBI, told ABC News.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Therapist’s Request that Married FBI Agent List His Affairs Results in his Downfall

fbi-logoBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A married FBI agent, at the center of sexual scandal that surfaced this week, had written down a list of sexual affairs with female FBI agents and a key informant in the Congressman William Jefferson case because his therapist had asked him to, according to a person familiar with situation.

The writing exercise, which became  FBI agent John Guadolo’s  undoing,  was supposed to help him realize the damage the affairs had done to his marriage, according to the source.

Instead, the affairs damaged his career after someone discovered his very personal document and showed it to his supervisors at the FBI Washington field office.

The Office of Professional Responsibility launched an internal probe into matter and he resigned in December 2008, several months before Jefferson went on trial and was convicted on 11 of 16 public corruption counts, according to government court documents.

The whole matter came to light this week when U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III refused to grant a new trial to the defense team of ex-Rep. William Jefferson.

The defense had raised the sexual affair with the informant as part of its push for a new trial.

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