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Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Reports for Jury Duty

Holder delivers speech recently in Orlando/ticklethewire.com photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Yes, even the big guys and gals get the call to jury duty some times.

The Christian Science Monitor reports that Atty. General Eric Holder Jr. reported to jury duty on Monday at D.C. Superior Court, the city’s court.

And to no surprise, just like most of the big guys and gals, he was dismissed early on, the newspaper reported.

It was back to work.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

17 Charged With Defrauding Holocaust Fund of $42 Million

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

Authorities say a Holocaust fund that helped victims was victimized itself.

Seventeen people were charged in federal court in Manhattan with a long-running scam that defrauded Holocaust funds for survivors out of $42 million, authorities announced today. Some of the fraudulent claims date back to 1993.

Authorities said employees of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany — also known as the Claims Conference — approved more than 5,500 fraudulent applications, resulting in bogus payouts from the German government through the fund. Workers and those who were part of the conspiracy kept a portion of the payments, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York said.

“If ever there was a cause that you would hope and expect would be immune from base greed and criminal fraud, it would be the Claims Conference, which every day assists thousands of poor and elderly victims of Nazi persecution,” U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said.

To read full story click here.

Ex-U.S. Attorney Chris Christie Routinely Exceeded Hotel Costs at Taxpayer Expense, IG Report Finds

Gov. Chris Christie/state photo By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

As a U.S. Attorney in New Jersey who crusaded against corruption, Chris Christie — now the New Jersey governor —  routinely stayed in expensive hotels at taxpayer expense, far exceeding the government allowance, according to a Justice Department Inspector General report released Monday.

The report, which looked at the travel of all 208 U.S. Attorneys from 2007 to 2008, found that Christie and four others routinely exceeded the government rate for lodging without justification or proper documentation. But it noted that Christie, who was U.S. Attorney from 2002 to 2008, was the biggest violator of the five.

The Inspector General  did not name the U.S. Attorneys, but the website Main Justice identified “U.S. Attorney C” in the report as Christie.

“After reviewing the travel documents and interviewing the U.S. Attorney’s secretary, we found insufficient justification for exceeding the government rate with respect to 14 of the 15 trips,” the report said of Christie.

“These 14 vouchers exceeded the government rate by $19 to $242 per night, for a total of $2,176 (excluding taxes for domestic travel). U.S. Attorney C’s lodging costs exceeded the government rate by more than $100 per night on 9 of the 14 vouchers.”

The report said Christie — considered a rising star in the Republican party —  stayed at the  Nine Zero Hotel in Boston for $449 per night and the $475-per-night Four Seasons Hotel in Washington at a cost of more than double the government rate for those cities.

On Christie, the report said: “The U.S. Attorney’s secretary told us that she routinely called hotels to seek the government rate. However, she also said that the U.S. Attorney selected his hotel if he was familiar with the city and that she would seek a recommendation for a “decent” hotel if he was not.

“The secretary told us that if the recommended hotel did not offer the government rate, she would consider other hotels but also take into account the time of the meeting and the distance from the hotel to the meeting site. The secretary stated that the U.S. Attorney normally stayed at the hotel closest to or at the location of his meetings.”

“The justification for his stay at the Four Seasons Hotel (at a rate of $475 per night) was an early morning speech at the hotel. We do not believe this was a suitable justification for exceeding the government rate, particularly by such a large amount, if lodging at the government rate was available at a hotel within a reasonable distance from that hotel.”

Gov. Chrisite’s press secretary Mike Drewniak did not immediately return a call Tuesday morning to ticklethewire.com for comment.  In a New York Time’s story, he declined comment and a spokesman referred to previous comments he made during his campaign.

”I had to go someplace for part of my job. We tried to get the government rate. We couldn’t. So my only alternative would have been to not go,”  Christie said during the campaign in October 2009, according to the Associated Press.

Read report

Mother of Slain FBI Agent Sam Hicks Wrote Judge to Ask for Justice

Slain FBI Agent Sam Hicks/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The mother of slain Pittsburgh FBI agent Samuel Hicks asked a federal judge for justice before sentencing for drug dealer Robert Korbe, whose wife shot and killed agent Hicks, according to a letter she wrote to a judge in September. The letter was unsealed Monday in U.S. District Court  in Pittsburgh.

Korbe was sentenced in September to 25 years in prison for drug trafficking and other charges. His wife Christina Korbe has been charged with shooting agent Hicks during a raid  on Nov. 19, 2008 at  the Korbe home in Indiana Township, Pa. Authorities said Robert Korbe was trying to dispose of drugs in the basement at the time.

“You knowingly had possession of illegal substances, and guns in your home the day before you were to appear before a judge on criminal charges, and on November 19, 2008, you chose to run to the basement instead of opening your front door, as law enforcement called for and to you many times,” wrote Hick’s mother Charlotte Hicks Carrabotta in a letter dated Sept. 16. “You, again, were running from the law in an attempt to cover your criminal evidence -the core of who you are.”

“Today, Judge Terrence McVerry, I would like to ask that justice be served in this courtroom for the arrogance and defiance shown repeatedly by Robert Korbe against the laws that protect as well as serve (all) of us. These laws are laws that protect Robert Korbe, but also protect the life of Agent Samuel Hicks.”

“One moment of respect for the law -the simple act of opening a door -and my son would still be alive,” she wrote at the end.

To read full letter click “read more” below.

Read more »

Napolitano Announces Clamp Down on Air Cargo Security

Janet Napolitano/file photo-bill maher show

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The U.S. moved Monday to clamp down on the vulnerable area of cargo shipments from abroad.

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano announced the banning of “high risk” cargo shipments and a ban on shipments from Yemen and Somalia.

“Following the thwarted terrorist plot last week to conceal and ship explosive devices on board aircraft bound for the U.S., the Administration took a number of immediate steps to increase security by tightening existing measures related to cargo bound for the United States,” Napolitano said in a statement.

Read more »

White Supremacist Gets 18 Months for Mailing Noose to Ohio NAACP Official

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A white Supremacist from Oregon is off to prison.

A federal judge in Toledo sentenced Daniel Lee Jones of Portland to 18 months in prison for sending the president of the Lima, Ohio, chapter of the NAACP, a noose by mail. He pleaded guilty in May.

In his plea agreement, Jones admitted to mailing F.M. Jason Upthegrove a hangman’s noose which was delivered on Feb. 14, 2008, the Justice Department said.

Jones said he sent the noose as a threat because Upthegrove was an African-American who publicly advocated for better police services for African-Americans in Lima, the Justice Department said.

Upthegrove also “spoke out in the media against Jones’s white supremacist group’s mailing of hate flyers related to the shooting of an African American woman by a member of the Lima Police Department,” the Justice Department said.

“A noose, an unmistakable symbol of hatred in this nation, was used by this defendant as a threat of violence aimed at silencing a civil rights advocate,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General of the Civil Rights Division. “The Department of Justice will vigorously prosecute those who use threats of violence to attempt to silence proponents of racial equality.”

FBI-led Raids Result in Rescue of 69 Child Hookers and Arrests of 99 Pimps

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Child prostitution continues to be a nationwide problem.

With that in mind, over the past few days, the FBI along with local and state police and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) concluded Operation Cross Country V, in which 69 child prostitutes were “rescued”,  the FBI said Monday.

Additionally, authorities said the operation in 40 cities netted nearly 885 arrests including 99 pimps.

“Child prostitution continues to be a significant problem in our country, as evidenced by the number of children rescued through the continued efforts of our crimes against children task forces,” said Shawn Henry, executive assistant director of the FBI’s Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch. “There is no work more important than protecting America’s children and freeing them from the cycle of victimization.”

The crackdown was part of the  nationwide Innocence Lost National Initiative.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Accused Scammer Allen Stanford Takes Beating in Jail: Gets Transfer to Fed Prison


By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Texas financier R. Allen Stanford, whose alleged scamming is in a league with the king of scammers Bernard Madoff, was granted a transfer from a private Texas jail to a federal prison after getting a major beating from a fellow inmate, Bloomberg News reports.

Bloomberg reported that the transfer allows Stanford to be closer to his lawyer in downtown Houston. He is awaiting trial on charges of defrauding investors of some $7 billion.

On Thursday, Stanford got into a fight and suffered a concussion, two black eyes and a broken nose, his lawyer told Bloomberg.

The beating took place at the Joe Corley detention center in Conroe, north of Houston, Bloomberg reported. The judge, who approved the transfer, did not mention the beating and acknowledged the benefits of Stanford  being closer to his attorney because of the complexity of the case.