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FBI

Recorded Talk In Violent Brooklyn Case Echo the Sopranos

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
In a case out of the Sopranos, the FBI used tape recordings and informants to bust five guys for “conspiring to obstruct” a federal civil lawsuit in Brooklyn.
A criminal complaint, unsealed last week, said the civil lawsuit forced Keystone Renovations Corp. to pay a prevailing wage to employees. The company tried to retaliate against the workers who filed the suit, the government alleged.
In 2006, some of the defendants paid $15,000 to have someone throw acid on a female companion of one of the people who filed the the lawsuit, the charging papers alleged. She suffered first and second-degree burns.
Later the defendants agreed to pay $25,000 for each victim that was beaten, the U.S. Attorney’s Office alleged.
“Just give them a f— beating, legs…whatever they can, it would be the best thing,” one defendant told an informant who was recording the conversation. “It would be the best punishment, right?”
(For more on the recorded conversations and allegations,  read the criminal complaint, FBI affidavit and the prosecutions’ letter to the judge.)

Read Criminal Complaint/FBI Affidavit

Read Prosecutor’s Letter To Judge

FBI Looking At Detroit Star In Mortgage Scam

Detroit Pistons star guard Lindsey Hunter could end up in court soon — and not the basketball court. A suburban Detroit man alleges that the  hard-working guard was involved in a mortgage scam.

Lindsey Hunter/pistons photo

Lindsey Hunter/pistons photo

Paul Egan
The Detroit News
DETROIT — A Waterford Township man who alleges veteran Detroit Pistons guard Lindsey Hunter involved him in mortgage fraud says the FBI is now investigating forgery in connection with the removal of his name as a joint holder of a Hunter bank account.
Bruce McClellan said the FBI recently contacted him about bank documents on which his signature was forged and his name was spelled wrong. Michael J. Smith of Sterling Heights, McClellan’s attorney, confirmed what his client said.
McClellan said his signature was forged on documents that removed him as a joint holder of a Hunter account at the Bank of America, formerly LaSalle Bank.
For Full Story

Feds Hunting N.Y. Mob Informant

It’s nice to feel wanted. But Kenny “The Rat” O’Donnell’s can’t feel that way. He was accidently released from prison last month. Now he’s wanted by the feds.


By Kati Cornell
New York Post
NEW YORK — The feds are hunting for a former mob informant and lifelong con artist who was mistakenly released on bail last month.
Kenny “The Rat” O’Donnell is believed hiding out in The Bronx since a federal magistrate judge in Brooklyn freed him on $50,000 bail for an old probation violation – not knowing he also faced a 60-year sentence in New Jersey.
It’s the latest twist in a bizarre saga that began when O’Donnell was a major mob witness in the 1980s, helping the feds prosecute scores of wiseguys before he was booted out of the witness-protection program for committing new crimes.
For Full Story

Prosecution Suffers A Blow In Sen. Stevens Trial

Sen. Stevens attorneys failed to get the judge to toss out the charges or declare a mistrial, but they did score a victory in the high-profile trial.

By Richard Mauer and Erika Bolstad
Anchorage Daily News
WASHINGTON – The corruption case against Sen. Ted Stevens suffered a blow to its credibility this afternoon when a federal judge ruled that prosecutors erred and jurors won’t be able to consider crucial evidence about the time two workers spent renovating his house.
Jurors will be told to disregard evidence they’ve seen concerning how much time two Veco Corp. workers, Robert “Rocky” Williams and Dave Anderson, spent remodeling Stevens’ home in Girdwood in 2000 and 2001.
They’ll also be told that prosecutors knew the hours Anderson said he worked could be inaccurate and yet still presented it to the jury as part of the $188,000 total that Veco accounting records show the oil field services company spent on the Stevens remodel.
“It’s very troubling that the government would utilize records the government knows were false,” said Judge Emmet Sullivan said. “And there’s just no excuse for that whatsoever.”
For Full Story

Update (10/9) – Judge Bends And Lets Prosecution Call Another Witness (Anchorage Daily News)

See All Government Trial Exhibits

Read Government’s Request For Judge To Reconsider His Ruling- Oct. 8

Death: Retired FBI Agent Curtis Allen Fitzgerald

By The Washington Post

Curtis Allen Fitzgerald, 65, a retired assistant chief in the FBI’s criminal investigations division, died of cancer Sept. 23 at his home in Alexandria.

Mr. Fitzgerald, a native of Ripley, Tenn., worked for three years at the Memphis FBI office as a clerk while going to the University of Memphis.

On April 4, 1968, he was working alone in the office on the 4 p.m. to midnight shift when the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot at the city’s Lorraine Motel.
For Full Story

FBI Finds Buried Colombo Underboss in N.Y.

For once, a tip about a buried mobster panned out. The FBI has been looking for three bodies.

Dead Mobster William Cutolo/cbs photo

Dead Mobster William Cutolo/cbs photo

By Robert E. Kessler
Newsday
EAST FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – A forensic dentist has confirmed that the body whose remains were found by FBI agents excavating an apparent mob burial site is that of former Colombo family underboss William Cutolo, according to Robert Nardoza, a spokesman for U.S. Attorney Benton Campbell.
A team of doctors and dentists has been working at the Suffolk medical examiner’s office in Hauppauge since Monday to identify the body through dental records and DNA tests.
Cutolo disappeared in 1999 and was believed to have been a victim in a war for control of the Colombo family in the 1990s, which resulted in more than a dozen murders.
For Full Story

Mobster Was a Dapper Guy (N.Y. Times)

Steven’s Atty Goes After Key Government Witness

The prosecution and defense in the Sen. Ted Stevens trial continued to slug it out Tuesday. Meanwhile, the judge has set a hearing later today to address a defense motion to dismiss the charges based on allegations of  government misconduct. The government has called the allegations baseless.

Sen. Stevens/official photo

Sen. Stevens/official photo

Neil A. Lewis
New York Times
WASHINGTON – Senator Ted Stevens’s defense lawyer bore in on the prosecution’s chief witness on Tuesday, portraying him to a jury as someone who betrayed a longtime friend to protect his fortune.
Brendan Sullivan, the defense lawyer, suggested in his brisk questioning of Bill Allen, an Alaska oil services tycoon, that Mr. Allen had agreed to cooperate with prosecutors for an explicit promise by the government not to interfere with a pending sale of his company, Veco, for $380 million.
For Full Story

See All Government Trial Exhibits

Read Defense’s Latest Allegations Against Govt- Oct. 8

Listen to FBI Recorded Phone Calls

Story On Secretly Recorded FBI Conversations (Washington Post)

Organized Crime Squad Investigating Russians And Hospice Care

It’s not often that organized crime and hospice care are mentioned in the same breath. Now comes a case in  Philadelphia.

By Kitty Caparella
Philadelphia Daily News
PHILADELPHIA — The FBI’s organized-crime squad is investigating a Russian group for alleged Medicare fraud at the Home Care Hospice Inc. in the Northeast.
At stake is $8.5 million in 39 bank accounts spread among 15 financial institutions, according to a temporary restraining order unsealed yesterday. The 39 accounts are held in the names of HCH, the four defendants and six other companies, mostly for real estate.
The FBI searched the facility on Grant Avenue near Ashton Road on Thursday, according to FBI spokeswoman Jerria Williams. What the FBI recovered from the hospice is unknown because the affidavit is sealed.
For Full Story