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News Story

Better to Give Than Receive? Tell That to This Gun-Toting Santa

Santa robber/metro nashville police photo

Santa robber/metro nashville police photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Ho Ho Ho?

What’s a Christmas season without some guy dressing up just like Santa and robbing a bank?

On Tuesday, a Santa with gun in tow, robbed the SunTrust Bank at 4809 Old Hickory Boulevard in Hermitage, Tenn., according to the Tennessean newspaper.

The paper reported that the guy then fled in a gray mid-sized car that had been parked in a nearby church parking lot.

Ex-Gov Blago’s Brother Wants FBI Intercepted Conversations Kept Private

Ex-Gov. Blago while in office/official photo

Ex-Gov. Blago while in office/official photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The brother of ex-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich isn’t happy –not at all.

Brother Robert Blagojevich, who faces criminal charges himself in connection with the public corruption case against his brother, is asking a Chicago federal judge to keep private 208 phone calls he claims the FBI wrongly intercepted, according to a report in the Chicago Sun-Times.

A court filing shows the FBI captured more than five hours of onversations between Robert Blagojevich and his wife or son, the Sun-Times reported.

His attorney Michael Ettinger told the Sun-Times those conversations shouldn’t have been recorded.

“To the extent that they did it, my client is extremely upset as is his wife,” Ettinger said, and added that there’s nothing illicit about those conversation. “It’s wrong, they violated the statute. And it’s the principle of it. They can’t break the law and get away with it,” Ettinger said.

Robert Blagojevich, who lives in Nashville, Tenn., ran his brothers campaign fund.

For more click here.

Dead Military Mexican Man’s Family Murdered — Possibly by Drug Traffickers

mexico-border-signBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The ugly — and only getting uglier — side of the drug war in Mexico reared its head Tuesday.

The Los Angeles Times reported that gunmen killed at least three relatives of a Mexican special forces sailor,  Melquisedec Angulo Córdova. The sailor died in a raid last week that resulted in the death of one of Mexico’s top drug lords, Arturo Beltran Leyva.

The death of the drug lord had been hailed as a major victory by both Mexican and American authorities.

The paper, attributing the information to the Mexican station Televisa, said gunmen burst into the sailor’s family’s home in Tabasco shortly after midnight and killed his mother and two cousins. Other media reported that a sister was also killed.

The paper said authorities suspect drug traffickers might have been trying to send a message to the Mexican military.

For Full Story

Withholding Autopsy Report of Imam Killed by FBI in Michigan Raises Suspicions

dearbornBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The Muslim community in the Detroit area is raising questions about a delay in the release of a medical examiner’s report on the death of an Imam, who was shot and killed by the FBI on Oct. 28, the Detroit News is reporting.

“The unfortunate and perhaps unintended consequence is that the failure to release the autopsy report and the very exorbitant amount for the pictures is raising in the minds of some people in the community that there’s a potential cover-up,” Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on Islamic-American Relations of Michigan told the Detroit News.

The FBI shot and killed Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah , 53, during a raid at a Dearborn warehouse that was part of a probe into a fencing operation. Authorities alleged that the Imam shot and killed an FBI dog before he was shot and killed.

The News reported that Dennis Niemiec, a spokesman for the county, said Monday that the report is complete, but the Dearborn police chief does not want to release it until his department’s investigation into the matter is complete.

FBI spokeswoman Sandra Berchtold told the News it’s not up to the FBI whether to release the report, but evidence is often not made public during an investigation.

For Full story

FBI Investigated Michael Jackson in 2 Child Molestation Cases, New Files Show

Michael Jackson file/fbi art

Michael Jackson file/fbi art

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

By Larry McShane
New York Daily News

The FBI investigated Michael Jackson in a pair of child molestation cases 11 years apart – with neither ever going to trial, according to explosive new documents made public Tuesday.

The first case dated to September 1993, when the FBI’s Los Angeles field office was notified by the Los Angeles Police Department that Jackson was under investigation in a molestation case.

An FBI document at the time said there was a probe involving “Jackson concerning the transportation of a minor across state lines.”

Federal prosecutors opted not to prosecute Jackson under the Mann Act and even declined to attend a meeting about the allegation, according to the documents.

For Full NY Daily News Story

NEW YORK POST

By JANON FISHER, JEANE MacINTOSH and KATE SHEEHY
New York Post

NEW YORK — An explosive dossier that the FBI kept on Michael Jackson and released today show he had once been allegedly accused of molesting two Mexico boys in the mid-1980s but that the case was supposedly covered up.

An unnamed source told the FBI that while researching a book he was writing about Jackson, he was informed that the agency had investigated the charge in 1985 or 1986.

But the case wasn’t pursued because “Jackson was to receive an honor at the White House from the president,” the person said he was told. He added that his source insisted to him, “The investigation was covered up.”

To Read More of the NY Post Story

FBI files from 1992-1993 (PDF, 196 pages)

FBI files from Sept. 1993 to Aug. 1994 (PDF, 56 pages)

FBI files from Sept. 1993 to Oct. 1993 (PDF, 9 pages)

FBI files from Oct. 1995 to Jan. 1997 (PDF, 8 pages)

FBI files from Jan. 2004 to April 2004 (PDF, 41 pages)

FBI files from Sept. 2004 to Dec. 2004 (PDF, 5 pages)

FBI files from March 2004 to June 2005 (PDF, 18 pages)

Oye: Rabbi Off to Fed Prison for A Not So Kosher Tax Fraud Scheme

grand rabbi
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Simply put, it wasn’t kosher — not even close.

Naftali Tzi Weisz, 61, the grand rabbi of Spinka, a religious Jewish orthodox group, was sentenced Monday in Los Angeles to two years in prison for orchestrating a tax-cheat scheme prosecutors called “an astonishingly complex and sinister enterprise.”

Authorities say the Brooklyn rabbi and his assistant Gabbai Moshe E. Zingerman, 62,  solicited millions of dollars in donations and then refunded up to 95 percent of the money, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Donors were then able to claim tax deductions for the entire amount while only actually donating five percent of the money, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. The assistant also received a two year sentence.

To date, authorities said, seven people have been sentenced in the case and the investigation is ongoing.

Judge Rules Detroit Fed Prosecutor’s Emails Are Private

Ex-Prosecutor Convertino
Ex-Prosecutor Convertino

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — A Detroit assistant U.S. Attorney doesn’t have to provide his emails in a controversial lawsuit involving a former colleague who is suing the Justice Department over leaks to the Detroit Free Press.

U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth of Washington ruled earlier this month that former federal prosecutor Richard Convertino can’t see any of assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Tukel’s emails to his private attorney or those involving Justice Department work.

Convertino has indicated that he thinks Tukel was the one who may have leaked information about an Office of Professional Responsibility investigation targeting him.

“We need to encourage candid communications among government officials allowing officials to deliberate honestly with each other, without fear that they discussions will be exposed to the public,” Judge Lamberth wrote in a ruling favoring Tukel, who had opposed the release.

He added that “Mr. Tukel reasonably expected that his emails with his personal attorney to remain confidential.”

Convertino, an aggressive prosecutor who became a controversial figure in the office, resigned in 2005 while under investigation for a 2003 terrorism case he prosecuted and won.

The convictions were later overturned and he was indicted on obstruction of justice charges, which alleged that he withheld exculpatory evidence from the defense and allowed false testimony during trial. He was eventually acquitted.

The emails included communications with his attorney and on Justice Department cases. The judge ruled that both were privileged and protected from being released.

Read the Judge’s Ruling

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

FBI About to Release Michael Jackson Files: Tabloids Salivating

michael-jackson
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — You can already hear the tabloids salivating over the anticipated release of FBI files on legendary singer Michael Jackson.

The Daily Mail in London was among many media outlets to report that the FBI plans to declassify and release more than 300 documents on Jackson within the next two days.

The London publication reported that the files will include info on Jackson’s child molestation allegations in 1993 and 2004.

The paper reported that the FBI had a 679-page file, but only about half will be released.