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FBI

Back Off New Jersey: Illinois Still Pretty Corrupt and Has 2nd Most FBI Agents Assigned to Corruption

There’s some badge of pride for being the most corrupt state. Illinois doesn’t want to conceded defeat to New Jersey or any other state for that matter. With 42 Illinois FBI agents assigned to public corruption, only D.C. has more, the Sun-Times points out.

illinois-map1

BY NATASHA KORECKI
Chicago Sun-Times
CHICAGO — Hey, back off, New Jersey.

Just as Illinois basks in the shameful glow of its most-corrupt reputation, the Garden State wants to one-up us.

Sure, we’ve had two consecutive governors, an army of alderman and a posse of political fund-raisers under indictment — not to mention two current members of Congress facing ethics inquiries.

But in New Jersey last week, 44 people, including three mayors, two state lawmakers and a slew of rabbis were rounded up in a corruption scheme replete with allegations of organ sales, $97,000 stuffed into a cereal box and plenty of good, old-fashioned bribes.

There were so many arrestees, the FBI had to herd them onto a bus.

For Full Story

FBI Probing D.C.’s Marion Barry’s City Council Contracts

It’s sad how this guy cannot steer clear of the law. As  Roseanne Rosannadanna on Saturday Night Live used to say “It’s always somethin. If it’s not one thing it’s another”.

Gilda Radner''s Quote Applies Here "It's always somethin. If it's not one thing it's another".
Roseanne Rossandanna’s Quote Applies Here. “It’s always somethin. If it’s not one thing it’s another”.

By Bill Myers
Examiner Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors and FBI agents have opened a wide-ranging investigation into whether former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry broke federal laws by lavishing contracts on a girlfriend and on a host of questionable nonprofit groups, The Examiner has learned.

Barry, 73, was arrested by U.S. Park Police earlier this month on stalking charges after a confrontation with estranged girlfriend Donna Watts-Brighthaupt.

It later emerged that Barry had given Watts-Brighthaupt a $5,000-per-month city contract shortly after they began dating. The Watts-Brighthaupt scandal led to further revelations that Barry had steered even more taxpayer dollars into dubious nonprofit groups operating in his stricken Ward 8.

For Full Story

More on The N.J. Corruption: A Made for Hollywood Movie

Well Hollywood, have it. This case has it all —  and then some. I nominate Joe Pesci to play one of the small town mayors.

Hoboken MAyor Cammarano/city photo

Hoboken Mayor Cammarano/city photo

By Ted Sherman and Joe Ryan
The Newark Star-Ledger
NEWARK — The bribes went down in diners, living rooms and parking lots. New Jersey Assemblymen took them, mayors took them, and so did dozens of others.

Orthodox rabbis, acting more like crime bosses than religious leaders, laundered millions through synagogues and yeshivas in Deal, one of the state’s wealthiest towns. And a Realtor tried to sell an informant a black market kidney for $160,000.

Those were some of the allegations federal prosecutors made today (Thurs) in what could prove to be the biggest New Jersey scandal of them all.

The revelations came after hundreds of federal agents swept across the state, arresting public servants and religious leaders as part of a two-year investigation into corruption and international money-laundering that authorities described as unprecedented – even in a state known for its scandals.

It was a sting operation that could have been taken from the pages of an Elmore Leonard novel: the FBI and IRS agents arrested five rabbis, two New Jersey state legislators, three mayors, political operatives, and many others, as part of a probe that spanned from Hoboken to Israel.

For Full Story

U.S. Attorney, FBI hold press conference on corruption arrests

Defense Rests Case in ex-Rep. William Jefferson Trial: Closing Arguments Set for Tues.

William J. Jefferson

William J. Jefferson

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire

Next Stop: Closing Arguments.

The defense for ex-Rep. William Jefferson rested its case Thursday, opening the door for closing arguments, which are scheduled for Tuesday, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reported.

The defense and prosecution will each have  2 1/2 hours to argue before the jury of eight women and four men at the trial in Alexandria, Va., the Picayune reported.

Jefferson, 62,  who did not take the stand on his own behalf, faces 16 counts including bribery.

The case gained national notoriety after FBI agents raided the Congressman’s Capitol Hill condo and found $90,000 in marked FBI bills in his freezer. The FBI probe began in March 2005.

Oye: Feds Arrest 44 Including 3 N.J. Mayors, 2 Lawmakers and Rabbis in Scandal

Well, just when you thought the state of Illinois and Louisiana had New Jersey beat as the most crooked state…Now we have mayors and assemblyman and rabbis involved in a major league scandal. Oye.

new-jersey

By Joe Ryan
Newark Star-Ledger
NEWARK –– Federal authorities arrested 44 people in New Jersey and New York today in a broad-ranging corruption and international money laundering investigation that led to charges against two N.J. assemblyman and the mayors of Hoboken, Secaucus and Ridgefield.

Politicians accused of taking bribes include Assemblyman L. Harvey Smith (D-Hudson), Assemblyman Daniel Van Pelt (R-Ocean), Ridgefield Mayor Anthony Suarez, Hoboken Mayor Peter Cammarano, Secaucus Mayor Dennis Elwell. The FBI and IRS investigation also ensnared rabbis from the Syrian Jewish communities in Deal and Brooklyn.

The wide-ranging investigation also charged Levy Izhak Rosenbaum, of Brooklyn, with “conspiring to broker the sale of a human kidney for a transplant, at a cost of $160,000 to the transplant recipient,” according to federal authorities. The connection of they kidney sale to the other aspects of the investigation, however, has not been made clear.

Rosenbaum began meeting with the FBI informant and a female undercover agent in 2008. The pair– who were posing as a businessman and his secretary– told Rosenbaum they were willing to pay to find a donor for the woman’s fictitious critically ill uncle.

For Full Story

Read 12-Page Press Release

Second Press Release

Some of the Criminal Complaints

Rosenbaum Complaint

Fish, Schwartz, Pollock, Weber Complaint


75 Years Later FBI Still Trying to Debunk Myths About John Dillinger

John Dillinger/fbi photo

John Dillinger/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON –-Seventy years after FBI agents gunned down the infamous bank robber John Dillinger in Chicago, the publicity conscious agency is still working to debunk what it considers the many myths surrounding Dillinger.

The FBI press office has now posted on its website a page entitled “The Top 10 Dillinger Myths”.

Here is one.

Myth #10: Dillinger was a “Robin Hood” type criminal, a romantic outlaw.

Dillinger certainly had charm and charisma, but he was no champion of the poor or harmless thief—he was a hardened and vicious criminal. Dillinger stormed police stations in search of weapons and bulletproof vests. He robbed banks and stole cars. He shot at police officers (and may have killed one) and regularly used innocent bystanders as human shields to escape the law. Worse yet, he stood by as his ruthless gang members shot and killed people, including law enforcement officials. And what of his ill-gotten gains? They were used to line his own pockets and those of his partners in crime, not those of impoverished Americans in the midst of the Great Depression.

To Read the Rest click here.

Also Read Rex Tomb’s Column on the Movie “Public Enemies”

Dillinger's Partners in Crime: These are some of the men who worked with Dillinger at various points in his criminal career. Scroll over their pictures to learn more.

Fed Judge Questions Why FBI Interview With Cheney Shouldn’t Be Released

We could use some more info to figure out exactly what happened in the Valerie Plame case. The Justice Department wants to keep some things under wraps. In this case, the right thing to do is to be transparent.

Dick Cheney/meet the press

Dick Cheney/meet the press

By Ben Conery
Washington Times
WASHINGTON — A federal judge questioned Tuesday whether the Justice Department’s request to not release notes from an FBI interview with former Vice President Dick Cheney essentially would require the judge to create new law, something he said he couldn’t do.

The government asked Judge Emmett Sullivan to keep the notes from being made public because, officials say, revealing them may discourage top White House officials from cooperating with future investigations.

Judge Sullivan, however, said adopting the government’s reasoning would essentially create new limits for freedom of information laws.

“What the government is asking this court to do is to create another exemption, to legislate, something judges cannot do,” he said in federal court in Washington. “Why isn’t this a job for Congress? Why aren’t you before Congress asking them to carve out this additional category that you want me to create?”

For Full Story

Head of the Baltimore FBI Amy Jo Lyons Named Assist. Dir. of Inspection Div.

Amy Jo Lyons/fbi photo
Amy Jo Lyons/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Amy Jo Lyons, a New Jersey native who headed up the Baltimore FBI, has been named Assistant Director of the FBI Inspection Division.

She replaces Kevin Perkins, who is now assistant director of the Criminal Investigative Division at headquarters.

“In her new role, Amy will be responsible for oversight of internal investigations and the evaluation of FBI programs to ensure their effectiveness and compliance with FBI objectives, governing laws, rules, regulations, and policies,” FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said in a prepared statement. “Her previous experience in the Inspection Division, coupled with her years of operational work in the field, makes her an excellent fit for this position.”

Lyons joined the FBI in 1990 and was first assigned to the New Haven Division. Six years later, she went to the International Training and Assistance Program at the FBI Academy. After that, she was assigned to the Latin American Unit in the Criminal Investigative Division’s Organized Crime/Drug Section at FBI Headquarters, according to the FBI.

In February 1999, she went to New York where she headed up a squad focusing on the Columbo crime family. She eventually became an assistant special agent in charge in the Special Operations Branch and in April 2008 was named  special agent in charge of the Baltimore Division.

Before joining the FBI, she was a DEA agent in Newark.

Read Press Release