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FBI

FBI And Military Failing To Pay Parking Tickets

Maybe they’ve got a good excuse. Whatever the case,  a Congressional report says the FBI and the military should pay their parking fines.

By David Nakamura
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — The FBI and U.S. Armed Forces are institutions in which following the rules is supposed to be a given.
Except when it comes to paying their parking tickets.
According to a congressional report scheduled to be released today, federal workers in the District and New York City failed to pay $176,000 in fines for 1,147 tickets issued last year to their U.S. government vehicles.
For Full Story

Secret Service Busts Ky Father And Daughter For Counterfeiting

Corbin Bingo Parlor In Kentucky

Corbin Bingo Parlor In Kentucky

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
It’s always good for a father and daughter to bond.
But David Vincent  Peace, 45, and his daughter Amanda Jo Lowrance, 25, may have taken the concept a little too far.
The two were indicted this week in Kentucky on charges of  manufacturing and passing off fake $20 bills.
What’s worse, they tried passing off some of the bills at the Corbin Bingo Parlor in Corbin, Ky., according to the indictment.
If convicted, the two face up to a 20 year sentence.
Maybe next time, they should just bond over lunch or a frappuccino at Starbucks.
Read Indictment
Other Stories In The News

FBI Seeks Public Help In Threatening Letter Case

Part of Threatening Letter/fbi photo
Text of Threatening Letter/fbi photo
Envelope Of A Threatening Letter/fbi photo
One Of  The Envelopes/fbi photo

The letters are a little too reminiscent of 2001. The FBI is turning to the public for help.

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Government agents turned to the public Thursday to help find whoever sent more than 50 threatening letters, many of which declared “it’s payback time,” to banks and government financial institutions.
The FBI released photographs of one of the letters on its website Thursday asking people to “see if you recognize the phrasing of the letter, the envelope label or any other clue you think might help investigators.”
The letter contained a suspicious powder like most of the others. It warned, “What you just breathed in will kill you in 10 days.”
The powder in the letters has tested negative for toxins and appears harmless, according to the FBI.
The letters have been sent to Chase bank branches in 11 states since Monday and to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., an independent federal agency, and the U.S. Office of Thrift Supervision, which regulates all federal and many state thrift institutions.
For Full Story

See FBI Page On Letters

Ex-FBI Agent Says Mob Informants Were Outliving Usefulness

Like milk, informants have a limited shelf life — at least that seem to be gist of the testimony earlier this week.

Mobster "Whitey" Bulger/fbi photo

Mobster "Whitey" Bulger/fbi photo

By Shelley Murphy
Boston Globe Staff
MIAMI – The FBI dropped James “Whitey” Bulger and Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi as informants in 1990 because their handler, agent John J. Connolly Jr., was retiring and told his bosses that the notorious Boston gangsters were themselves retiring from their criminal activities, according to testimony yesterday at Connolly’s murder trial.
“My impression was they were living on a reputation more than on current events,” said Edward M. Quinn, a retired FBI supervisor. He added that Bulger and Flemmi were dropped as informants because it would have been difficult to get another agent to handle them and, more important, Connolly said they were in “semiretirement mode.”
At the time, the Massachusetts State Police and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration were targeting Bulger and Flemmi in an investigation that would later be merged with an FBI probe and result in a sweeping federal racketeering indictment against the gangsters.
For Full Story

Ruling In 1964 Crime Could Undermine Civil Rights-Era Probes

Can time run out on justice? Federal authorities says they are investigating 22 civil rights-era crimes, but a court ruling invoking the statute of limitations could undermine their efforts.

By HOLBROOK MOHR
Associated Press
JACKSON, Miss. – Federal prosecutors have identified 22 current investigations into civil rights-era crimes that could be impacted by a federal appeals court’s decision to overturn a conviction in a 1964 kidnapping case.
The Justice Department wants the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider the ruling that acquitted a reputed Klansman in the abductions of two black teenagers found slain. A three-judge panel said the statute of limitations had passed from the time the crime was committed in 1964 and James Ford Seale’s conviction in 2007.
The Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division said Tuesday in a letter to the court that the FBI is investigating 22 cases from that era that could result in kidnapping charges. The crimes are being investigated in the judicial jurisdiction that includes Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. The letter, a response to a question by the appeals court, stated that seven of the cases are “particularly promising.”
Like the Seale case, all 22 of the investigations focus on events that occurred before 1972, the letter said. A Mississippi law professor said the ruling could have a chilling effect on the cases.
“I think that the implication is that there are meritous kidnapping cases from the civil rights era that will go unprosecuted if this ruling stands,” said Mississippi College School of Law Professor Matt Steffey. “I think it’s likely that this would eliminate a whole category of potential prosecutions.”
For Full Story

Read Justice Department Petition For Reconsideration

Law Enforcement Issues Missing In Spirited Presidential Race This Time Around

“There may be trouble ahead” the lyric goes in the first line of Irving Berlin’s famous song, “Let’s Face the Music and Dance”. That seems apropos when we contemplate the state of Federal law enforcement in this pre-presidential election season. Tellingly absent from the candidates’ daily dialogue in this presidential election is any mention of law enforcement issues. In election times past, the promise of safer streets, crackdowns on drugs and gun trafficking, or what have you, was a staple of campaign rhetoric on the stump.

There is a reason for this, and why there really may be “trouble ahead” for Federal law enforcement. Both candidates understand that the economic crisis facing the country with the ensuing $700 Billion bailout, coupled with the black hole of the Federal deficit, the burgeoning costs of the two foreign wars, and the looming fiscal nightmare of the long range financial health of Medicare and Social Security, doesn’t leave much change in the Federal piggy bank for any bold or sweeping improvements to Federal law enforcement initiatives or to buttress existing programs.

The front page of the Sunday New York Times (October 19, 2008) carried an above-the-fold story, “FBI STRUGGLING TO HANDLE WAVE OF FINANCIAL CASES”, reporting how the FBI has too few financial investigations resources to cover the plethora of criminal fraud matters dropping out of the financial entities involved in the evolving economic crisis. The article reported that the ranks of the FBI’s white collar crimes experts have been winnowed away by the shift of emphasis within the Bureau to counter-terrorism missions. Hopefully, prudent decisions will prevail within FBI Headquarters. We need to keep our eye on the fight against terrorism, but we still need to enforce the integrity of our financial system. Needless to say, while there have been some widely publicized law enforcement anti-terrorism prosecutorial miscues since September 11, 2001, on balance, we have to believe that Federal law enforcement is doing a better job protecting the homeland, as the absence of further attacks will attest.

In any case, huge new law enforcement responsibilities will confront the already over-burdened Federal law enforcement entities with the arrival of the new President’s administration. These challenges will present themselves with no budget dollars to fund their solution. What can we do? We all need to pay attention to what will happen. Through our legislative representatives we will need to reward Federal law enforcement agency heads who jettison out-dated enforcement programs and played-out missions.

These actions will require innovative and vigorous leadership to find these economies-of-scale. Simply put: There needs to be change in the way Federal law enforcement does business. If even some of this can happen maybe some of that “trouble ahead” can be avoided.

(Jim Huse is the CEO of IntegriGuard, LLC, a program integrity, payment accuracy company in Omaha, NE. You can learn more about him and his company at www.integriguard.org).

South Carolina Councilman Busted For Computer Spying

Tony Trout/official photo

Tony Trout/official photo

Some people are computer illiterate. Not Councilman Tony Trout, unfortunately.

By Ben Szobody
The Greenville News
GREENVILLE, S.C. — County Councilman Tony Trout was charged in a five-count indictment Wednesday with unlawfully accessing computers used by the county administrator and Yahoo, destroying records and intercepting and disclosing electronic communication, charges that could bring a maximum of 36 years in prison and $1.1 million in fines if he is convicted.
Gov. Mark Sanford intends to suspend Trout from office Thursday and will explore appointing Joe Baldwin, the man who defeated Trout in the Republican primary, to the seat early, said spokesman Joel Sawyer.
U.S. Magistrate William Catoe appointed public defender Benjamin Stepp as a “standby counsel” Wednesday to advise Trout on legal and procedural issues. Stepp told The Greenville News that usually means a defendant wants to do all the talking in court.
Stepp declined to comment about the indictment because he said he technically isn’t Trout’s lawyer. Attempts to reach Trout were unsuccessful. Trout’s previous attorney, Ernest Hamilton, was terminated Wednesday, according to court documents.
For Full Story

Read FBI Affidavit For Search Warrant

Read Search Warrant Return

Illinois Couple Killed After Agreeing To Cooperate With FBI

East St. Louis/city photo

East St. Louis/city photo

Coincidence or Not? A couple was shot to death after agreeing to cooperate in an FBI probe of a farmer.

By Jim Suhr
The Associated Press
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — A couple who helped a farmer hide a tractor from his creditors were found shot to death at their rural home just two days after they had agreed to talk to FBI agents investigating his bankruptcy, federal prosecutors say.
No one has been charged in the April 2007 deaths of George and Linda Weedon, whose bodies were found by firefighters responding to a fire at their home near Keyesport, a lakeside resort village about 60 miles east of St. Louis.
George Weedon had told an FBI agent he would cooperate with their investigation of farmer Joseph Diekemper, but feared Diekemper would burn down his house if he found out, according to documents filed in the case Monday.
Diekemper and his wife were charged in June with bankruptcy fraud. Prosecutors allege they hid valuable farm equipment at various places, including a tractor found behind a fake wall of a barn on the Weedons’ property.
For Full Story