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FBI Informant at Center of New York City Bribery Case Has Own Big Troubles

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI informant who provided vital information about an alleged bribe to get a state senator on the New York City mayoral ballot has his own troubles, NBC 4 New York reports.

NBC 4 identified the informant as real estate developer Moses Stern, 40, who is accused of orchestrating a fraudulent real estate deal totaling more than $100 million. 

Authorities allege Stern owes most of the money to Citigroup, NBC 4 reported.

“We’re gratified to hear the Mr. Stern is cooperating with law enforcement on this important corruption investigation and hope that as part of his deal, the government will insist that he come clean about the 2007 real estate fraud as well,” said Craig Missakian, general counsel for Amusement Industry, which is allegedly owed $13 million.

Stern helped the FBI uncover a bribery plot by State Sen. Malcolm Smith.

FBI Takes Over Embezzlement Investigation of Catholic Priest in Suburban Detroit

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

The FBI is investigating a Catholic priest in suburban Detroit accused of embezzling more than $400,000 from his church, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Troy police handed over the investigation of Rev. Edward Belczak, 67, a former pastor at St. Thomas More Parish in Troy for three decades, the Free Press wrote.

The Archdiocese of Detroit removed Belczak from his position after nearly three decades as allegations of financial improprieties surfaced.

Belczak is accused of padding his pay and bankrolling a ghost employee.

FBI Uses Special Mobile Unit to Track Down Criminals

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI in Orange County has a special weapon against crime. 

It’s called the Regional Mobile Computer Forensic Laboratory, and it recently helped catch ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner, NBC 4 in Southern California reports.

“It’s a self-enclosed mobile laboratory,” said Supervising Special Agent Jason Weiss of the Los Angeles-area Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The mobile unit, nicknamed the “M-Lab,” is one of only six on the country.

 

Federal Agencies Rely More on Inaccurate Polygraphs During Criminal Probes

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Federal agencies are increasingly relying on polygraphs for suspects despite concerns about the tests’ reliability, reports Center for Investigative Reporting. 

Although Congress banned the exam in most of the private sector 25 years ago, 17 federal agencies, including CBP, use polygraph tests, CIR wrote.

The National Center for Credibility Assessment trains polygraphers, an overwhelming majority of whom are for federal agencies, CIR reported.

The tests are most accurate during criminal probes, CIR reported.

“The further you get away from the ‘did you do it’ question, the weaker the polygraph is going to be. It’s easier to get errors,” said Charles Honts, a Boise State University psychology professor and polygrapher.

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FBI Agents Investigating Sen. Menendez Are Accused of Brow-Beating Two Maids for Information

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents investigating claims that U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez was attending sex parties with prostitutes in the Dominican Republic are accused of brow-beating two maids for information, the Miami Herald reports.

The maids are asking the Dominican National Police to investigate the FBI’s handling of them, saying they were illegally detained and felt threatened, the Herald wrote.

The maids are employees of Dr. Salomon Melgen, a Florida doctor who is accused of hiring prostitutes for Menendez, a Democrat, at the vacation home in the Dominican.

The maids said they felt pressured to make false claims that the senator was having sex at the house.

Former Head of FBI’s Office in Buffalo Is Expected to Enter Mayoral Race in Buffalo

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Bernard Tolbert, the former head of the FBI office in Buffalo, is entering the mayoral race as a Democrat and will take incumbent Byron Brown, the Buffalo News reports.

Tolbert, 64, is expected to soon file his paperwork for a campaign finance committee.

A Buffalo native and FBI veteran, Tolbert has been quiet about his intentions.

Brown, however, is considered the favorite as he seeks a third term.

New Head of FBI Office in Philadelphia Finds Inspiration from Old Photo of His Dad

Ed Hanko

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When Ed Hanko took over as special agent in charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia office, he prominently displayed a photo of his father standing with about 60 other helmeted coal miners at a plant in Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The weathered black-and-white photo on his bookshelf reminds Hanko of how hard is father worked without making it to high school. 

The Inquirer wrote that Hanko was 12 when he and his father toured the mine. When they re-emerged, his father told Hanko to stay in school and get a good job.

“Whenever I feel like I’m having a bad day,” Hanko, now 52, said, “I look at the picture of my father.”