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Australian Man Indicted on Charges of Exporting Military Related Equipment to Iran

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

At a time when Iran is not a very popular nation around the world, the feds have indicted an Australian man and his company on charges of conspiring to export sensitive military technology from the U.S. to Iran.

Fed authorities in D.C. on Wednesday indicted David Levick, 50, an Australian national, and his company ICM Components in Thorleigh, Australia, for trying to export components with applications in missiles, drones, torpedoes, and helicopters.

Levick, who is the general manager of ICM Components, remains at large and is believed to be in Australia, authorities said.

Authorities said that from March 2007 to about March 15, 2009, Levick and ICM solicited purchase orders from a representative of a trading company in Iran for U.S.-origin aircraft parts and other goods.

The person in Iran also operated and controlled companies in Malaysia that acted as intermediaries for the Iranian trading company.

Operation Smoke Screen Nets Over 100 Charges

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

More than 100 people were busted for a host of gun, drug and burglary charges in an operation run by ATF and local Macon, Ga.  authorities known as “Operation Smoke Screen”, reports reports WJBF.

The federal indictments charged  24 individuals with firearms offenses and another 85 defendants with with burglary, theft, firearm and drug charges.   The indictment capped a seven month operation.

The operation, which began in August of 2011 , resulted in the seizure of about $500,000 in property and the identification of individuals related to 104 burglaries, 12 car break-ins and 16 thefts.

“Operation Smoke Screen is a great example of the successes that can be accomplished through the collaborative efforts of federal and local law enforcement agencies working together to protect the public.  This operation serves as notice to the criminal element that if you traffic in stolen guns and other stolen items, law enforcement is watching and you will be prosecuted,” said US Attorney Edward J. Tarver.

To read more click here.

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Rules on Terror Suspects Change for FBI

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

New rules have been outlined by the Obama administration regarding when the FBI, as opposed to the military, can retain custody of al-Qaida terrorism suspects who are not U.S. citizens but are arrested by federal law enforcement agents, reports the Associated Press.

The new rules from the White House came about from a December agreement amongst congressmen and the Obama administration seeking broader military control and reduced civilian court rule for terrorism suspects, according to the AP.

Non-US citizen members of al-Qaida involved in planning or attempting to target US or coalition forces require military custody, according to the new law. The president maintains the ability to waive that provision, however.

To read more click here.

FBI Continues Insider Trading Investigations Using Stable of Informants

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com
 There’s apparently no shortage of snitches on Wall Street.

The FBI said Monday that it plans to continue investigating alleged insider trading using its current “stable of informants” for the next five years,  reports ValueWalk.com.

The FBI has been running “Perfect Hedge” since 2009,  an operation that has resulted in charges against numerous traders, executives and research consultants.

David Chaves, a FBI supervisory special agent, securities and commodities fraud investigations, said on Monday, ‘We have cooperators set up for years to come,” FBI agent David Chaves said Monday, according to the news website.

He said some of the witnesses included traders who were busted and are looking to get reduced sentences.

To date, 59  of the 64 people arrested have been convicted or pleaded guilty ,  according to ValueWalk.com.

To read more click here.

Motions Alleging ATF Racism Given More Time

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A Wichita federal judge has granted more time for  motions related to charges that a federal firearms sting was racially motivated,  reports LJWorld.com.

Defense lawyers are seeking to drop charges against black defendants charged in the ATF investigation, claiming the charges were racially motivated. At least 43 of 51 defendants in the case are black.

The government claims the race arguments against the suspects are bogus.

FBI Changes Mind; Will Keep La Crosse, Wisc. Office Open

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has backed off a little on its plans and will keep open its La Crosse, Wisc. office, U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl announced Tuesday.

Kohl had been fighting to get the FBI’s plan to close half of its office in the western district of Wisconsin.

The original plan called for the closure of Kenosha, Wausau and La Crosse offices to save money.

“Local law enforcement officials convinced us that having an FBI presence in western Wisconsin is a crucial layer in their efforts to fight drug trafficking, gang violence and other serious criminal enterprises,” Kohl said in a statement. “While I support streamlining operations, we have to consider whether distance challenges in our state would compromise the FBI’s mission and risk neglecting some of our rural communities. I’m gratified that Director Mueller and Attorney General Holder kept an open mind to our concerns and reevaluated their plans.”

 

Atty. Gen. Holder Defends the Way he Handled ATF’s Fast and Furious

Ex-Detroit Treasurer Indicted for Taking Bribes in Case that Cost Pension Funds $84 Million

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT — In this cash-strapped city on the brink of financial collapse, seeing public corruption run wild is tough.

On Tuesday, the feds struck back, indicting the city’s former treasurer Jeffrey Beasley for taking bribes and kickbacks in return for approving more than $200 million in investments for two city of Detroit pension funds that lost $84 million from investments associated with the bribes.

Interestingly, Beasley is the former appointee and frat brother of ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, who is already under indictment for public corruption.

The indictment against Beasley alleges that he conspired with others to personally enrich himself and his co-conspirators between 2006 and 2008 by accepting bribes in the form of cash, travel, meals, golf clubs, drinks, gambling money, hotel stays, entertainment, Las Vegas concert tickets, massages, limousine service, private plane flights, and other things of value.

Authorities said that the bribes came from people who had  business before the General Retirement System and the Police and Fire Retirement.

The indictment alleges that Beasley personally received more than $100,000 in cash from people having business before the two pension funds. Another part of the scheme included demands by Beasley and others that individuals having business before the pension funds contribute tens of thousands of dollars to the Kilpatrick Civic Fund in order to receive approval for their investment requests.

“Employees of the City of Detroit are entitled to honest services from the trustees of their pension funds. We will prosecute public officials who abuse their positions of trust to personally enrich themselves at the expense of the people they were intended to serve,” said U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said in a statement.

Detroit’s top FBI agent Andrew Arena added:  “This is another example of a once trusted public official abusing their power for personal gain. The FBI remains dedicated to rooting out this type of corruption and reminding public officials they serve the citizens not themselves.”