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Boston Trial Underway to Determine How Much the Gov Owes a Widow Whose Husband Was Murdered by Mobsters Working as FBI Informants

Whitey Bulger

Whitey Bulger

A widow whose husband, a  Boston nightclub owner, was killed by mobsters wants the government to pay for her husband’s death. She says in a lawsuit that the FBI failed to take action against the mobsters, who were working as FBI informants. A federal judge has already ruled in her favor. Now another federal judge is trying to determine in a trial how much the government owes her.

By Shelley Murphy
Boston Globe
BOSTON — Notorious gangsters and longtime FBI informants James “Whitey” Bulger and Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi orchestrated the 1976 slaying of Revere nightclub owner Richard J. Castucci. But his life was not enough; they wanted his money, too.

Taking the stand yesterday in her wrongful death suit against the government, Castucci’s widow described being caught in a terrifying web as her husband’s killers – members of the Winter Hill Gang – and the New England Mafia both vied for control of her husband’s interest in The Squire, a popular and highly profitable strip club.

“I was scared,” said 72-year-old Sandra Castucci, recounting how Flemmi, a stranger to her, showed up unexpectedly at her Revere Beach home after her husband’s killing, asking about her financial interest in the club and suggesting he should handle it for her.

She was frightened by the visit and immediately alerted the businessman who co-owned The Squire with her husband. Then the Mafia got involved.

For Full Story

Big or Small Problem? Key Witness Who Wore FBI Wire Won’t Testify in ex-Rep. Jefferson Trial

The questions that looms large: Will it hurt the prosecution not to have the testimony of key witness Lori Mody, who wore an FBI wire? Some say yes. Sure, the prosecution can still play the FBI tapes, but it would be better if Mody testified. The fact she isn’t obviously means there were some big problems going on behind the scenes.
By Bruce Alpert
New Orleans Times-Picayune

The case gained notoriety after the FBI found $90,000 in Jefferson's freezer

The case gained notoriety after the FBI found $90,000 in Jefferson's freezer

ALEXANDRIA, VA . — Lori Mody, the Virginia businesswoman who was expected to be the government’s star witness in the federal corruption trial of former Rep. William Jefferson, D-New Orleans, will not be called to testify for the prosecution, lawyers said today.

The judge was informed of the government’s decision during a bench conference this morning that was not immediately made public. “We do not intend to call Lori Mody in our case in chief,” lead prosecutor Mark Lytle said without further explanation.

It was Mody who helped spark the investigation of Jefferson after going to the FBI in March 2005 to complain that she was the victim of fraud in African investments being promoted by the congressman. She agreed to wear a wire and the recordings of her meetings with Jefferson are at the heart of much of the government’s case.

For Full Story

A 20-Something Man Dies in Washington area While Taking FBI Physical Stress Test to Become Agent

fbi1By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON – A man in his 20s who worked for the D.C. Inspector General’s Office collapsed and died Wednesday in suburban Virginia while taking a FBI physical stress test to become an agent, according to sources familiar with the incident.

Lloyd Hodge, a special agent with the D.C. Inspector General’s Office, was going through the steps necessary to become an FBI agent, which included the physical test on Wednesday.

The FBI declined to comment on Wednesday.

The incident happened in the  Tysons Corner area  in Fairfax County outside of Washington, according to sources familiar with the incident.

Brian Truchon to Head FBI Kansas City Division

istock_000008771009xsmallBy Allan  Lengel
ticklethewire.com
Brian Truchon,  chief of  the Operational Support Section in the Criminal investigative Division at FBI headquarters, has been named the special agent in charge of the  agency’s Kansas City Division.

Truchon,  a native of Illinois, replaces Monte C. Strait, who is retiring.

Truchon entered the FBI academy in 1987 and was first assigned to the Salt Lake City Division, where he investigated white collar crimes and narcotics, the FBI said. In 1991, he went off to the  Los Angeles office to work on terrorism and gang investigations.

During that time, as part of the Joint Terrorism Task Force, he led the Los Angeles Riots Civil Unrest investigation, the FBI said.

In 1996,  he came to FBI headquarters in  the Criminal Investigative Division’s Safe Streets and Gang Unit and later went on to Phoenix, and then Portland where he was an assistant special agent in charge. He then returned to headquarters as an inspector in charge and was assigned as the director of the MS-13 National Gang Task Force , the FBI said.

In 2007, the FBI said, he was promoted to chief of the Operational Support Section in the Criminal Investigative Division.

Ex-FBI Agent Who Leaked Document to Actress Linda Fiorentino Trying to Rebuild his Life

Mark Rossini (left)/YouTube

Mark Rossini (left)/YouTube

By Rachel Leven
ticklethewire.com
Mark Rossini, the ex- FBI agent who was busted for illegally leaking FBI documents to his lover, actress Linda Fiorentino, is working to rebuild his life in the civilian world, according to federal court documents.

The 47-year-old native New Yorker, who now lives in New Orleans, is building a corporate risk management company that will require overseas travel, court documents show. U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Facciola on June 1 granted him permission to travel overseas with less than 30 days advance notice.

The outgoing Rossini was sentenced  May 14 to one year probation and fined $5,000 after pleading guilty to five counts of computer criminal access of FBI files. As part of the sentence, he was required to give 30-days notice before traveling overseas.

In court papers, his attorney Adam S. Hoffinger said Rossini needed the flexibility “in order to be able to work and support himself and continue to meet his financial obligations to pay child support and alimony.”

The court documents did not disclose the name of Rossini’s company, but someone familiar with it said it was MTR Associates – the initials standing for: Mark Thomas Rossini. As an FBI agent, Rossini had traveled overseas to do consulting for law enforcement.

He ended his 17-year FBI career in December after pleading guilty. Court documents show that he leaked a document to Linda Fiorentinto, who was trying to help her friend, rogue detective Anthony Pellicano, who was eventually convicted of illegally spying on some of Hollywood’s biggest names.

Since leaving the FBI, Rossini has been working with  ex-New Orleans FBI special agent in charge Jim Bernazzani, who is president of the non-profit agency, Youth Rescue Initiative Office in New Orleans.

The office manager Jessica Cook said Rossini was a manager at the agency and is currently working on a book drive. Rossini and his attorney could not be reached for comment.

Prosecutors Suggest Bribes Helped Pay for ex-Rep. Jefferson’s Childrens’ Top-Notch Education

William Jefferson

William Jefferson

Jury selection began Tuesday and could wrap up Wednesday, with opening statements slated for Thursday. If not, opening statements will begin Tuesday. Win or lose, Jefferson isn’t likely to get a Boy Scout badge at the end of the  trial with all the allegations and the unflattering FBI wiretaps.

By Jonathan Tilove
New Orleans Times-Picayune
WASHINGTON — There is no doubt about what former U.S. Rep. William Jefferson, D-New Orleans, considers his greatest accomplishment: his five daughters and their academic achievements.

“The most important thing in life is for your children to have success; if you have that, nothing else matters, ” Jefferson said in an interview last month. “The most heart-warming thing for me in my life is my children have been able to have these outstanding educations.”

But even as Jefferson was joined by his wife and five daughters Tuesday at the opening day of jury selection for his corruption trial at the federal District Court in Alexandria, Va., prosecutors released a 152-page list of trial exhibits that is dotted with the names of his daughters and the elite colleges and universities they attended.

For Full Story

FBI Dir. Mueller Honors Actor Efrem Zimbalist Jr., 90, Who Portrayed Ideal Agent in Show “The FBI”

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
More than three decades ago,  actor Efrem Zimbalist Jr. graced America’s tv sets with his collective cool, his slick dark hair and finely tailored suits.  In living rooms everywhere,  he was known as the beloved fictional agent Insp. Louis Erskine on a show simply named “The FBI”.

Dir. Mueller Honors Efrem Zimbalist Jr./fbi photo
Dir. Mueller Honors Efrem Zimbalist Jr./fbi photo

The show, which ran from 1965-74, was a public relations bonanza for an agency that has always taken public relations seriously .  It was also a great recruiting tool for some future FBI agents. Zimbalist was always fighting evil, always portraying the ideal FBI agent.

On Monday morning, in a ceremony at the Los Angeles FBI field office, FBI Dir. Robert Mueller III honored Zimbalist with an honorary FBI special agent  badge. He still looked fit at age 90, but the slick dark hair associated with the fictional character Insp. Erskine had gone the way of the black and white tv, only to be replaced with a shock of white hair.

“Inspector Erskine became a classic TV character, and a household name,” Mueller said during the presentation. ” For many Americans, the show was their first glimpse into the work of the FBI, and their first encounter with an FBI special agent.

“We could not have asked for a better character, or a better man to play his role,” Mueller  said. ” Over the years, many actors have played FBI agents. But thanks to Efrem’s fine work, Inspector Erskine will always remain the icon of an FBI special agent.”

A press release from FBI headquarters said that “Mr. Zimbalist has been a steadfast supporter of the FBI for nearly four decades.

“After the show ended, Mr. Zimbalist continued his relationship with the FBI, participating in charity events that helped raise money for families of agents killed in the line of duty, lending his well-known voice to help narrate FBI recruiting videos, and appearing at various FBI functions around the country,” the press release said.

FBI Busts Actor Anthony Borgese of Sopranos and Goodfellas Fame on Extortion Charge

Anthony Borgese/photo from friends of ours website

Anthony Borgese/photo from friends of ours website

The fine line between acting and reality sometimes vanishes as it seems to have in this case. Apparently there was a reason Anthony Borgese was such a good actor on tv and in the movies: The roles came naturally.

BY John Marzulli
New York DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
NEW YORK — A veteran actor with roles in “The Sopranos” and “GoodFellas” played a tough guy in real life, too, prosecutors say.

Anthony Borgese – along with a reputed Gambino crime family soldier – was charged with trying to strong-arm cash from an unlucky soul who owed money to a loanshark.

Borgese pleaded not guilty Friday to charges he tried to extort the unidentified man in upstate Monticello in 2004.

The longtime character actor, who grew up in Brooklyn, uses the stage name Tony Darrow and calls himself the “Goodfella of Comedy” on his Web site.

He was busted by FBI agents at LaGuardia Aiport as he arrived home from a film shoot late Thursday, sources said.

The 70-year-old actor looked haggard in court Friday after spending the night at the federal lockup in Brooklyn.

For Full Story