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Appeals Court Upholds Verdict in 4 Men Framed by FBI in 1965 Mob Murder

It’s hard to put a price on a wrongful conviction and a wrongful jailing.

boston

By Jonathan Saltzman
Boston Globe Staff
BOSTON—  A federal appeals court upheld yesterday a landmark verdict for four men framed by the FBI in a gangland slaying, although the appellate judges said the $101.7 million damage judgment awarded by a lower court was “at the outer edge of the universe of permissible awards.”

The US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit said the 2007 damage judgment to the families of Peter J. Limone, Joseph Salvati, Louis Greco, and Henry Tameleo, believed to be the largest of its kind nationally, was considerably higher than any of the three appellate judges would have ordered.

For Full Story

Read Court Opinion

Feds Won’t Charge N.M. Gov Bill Richardson in “Pay to Play” Probe

Gov. Richardson
Gov. Richardson

This probe not only knocked him out of the presidential race, but certainly gave him plenty of heartburn. Being under federal investigation in a high-profile case has got to be pretty pretty stressful.

By Associated Press
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and former high-ranking members of his administration won’t be criminally charged in a yearlong federal investigation into pay-to-play allegations involving one of the Democratic governor’s large political donors, someone familiar with the case said.

The decision not to pursue indictments was made by top Justice Department officials, according to a person familiar with the investigation, who asked not to be identified because federal officials had not disclosed results of the probe.

For Full Story

Gunmen Kill Aide to Mexican Fed Agent Probing Death of Crime Reporter

mexico-map-istock

This murder is just another sign of just how out of control things are south of the border. The first agent assigned to this case was killed last month.

By Associated Press
CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico— Gunmen killed the aide of a Mexican federal agent investigating the death of a crime reporter — a month after the first agent assigned to the case was shot dead, authorities said Thursday.

The bullet-riddled body of Pablo Pasillas, 33, was found Wednesday next to a car in the northern border city of Ciudad Juarez, said Ángel Torres, a spokesman for the federal attorney general’s office.

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Showing Some Independence From White House

Whether you agree or not with the decision to name a prosecutor to look into torture methods, it’s heartening to see  Atty. Gen. Eric Holder exercise some independence from the White House. Some folks in Washington had expressed concern that he may not be capable of showing independence.

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder

By Carrie Johnson and Anne E. Kornblut
Washington Post Staff Writers
WASHINGTON — About five weeks ago, faced with a crucial decision on how to react to brutal CIA interrogation practices, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. concluded that it would be all but impossible to follow President Obama’s mandate to move forward, rather than investigate divisive episodes from the Bush “war on terror.”
This Story

Holder notified the White House that he was reluctantly leaning toward naming a prosecutor to review whether laws had been broken during interrogations — the very thing Obama had said he wanted to avoid. And the word Holder got back, according to people familiar with the conversations, was that the decision was up to him.

The back story to Monday’s appointment of a career prosecutor to review CIA interrogation methods illustrates Holder’s influence in the new administration and sheds light on the emerging and delicate relationship between the White House and the Justice Department.

FBI Credits Task Force With Decline in D.C. Carjackings

This is one decline in crime worth cheering about.

FBI's Joseph Persichin Jr./ticklethewire.com photo

FBI's Joseph Persichini Jr./ticklethewire.com photo

By Freeman Klopott
Examiner Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Carjackings are on the decline in the District, running at about 200 this year compared with the approximately 600 in all of 2008, the FBI said, crediting a joint police FBI task force for the success.

The task force has been a “tremendous asset in fighting violent crime across the region,” said Joseph Persichini Jr., FBI assistant director for the Washington field office.

For Full Story

FBI Accuses Miami Officer of Scamming Crime Stoppers Program

We always hope members of law enforcement can be innovative and industrious. But not in this way.

miami-crime-stoppers

BY JENNIFER LEBOVICH AND JAY WEAVER
Miami Herald
MIAMI — Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers doles out cash for tipsters who turn in criminals.

But one of their own — a Miami officer taking tips — used the inside information to rip off thousands of dollars in reward money, authorities said.

Officer Wayne Fortella, an 11-year Miami police veteran, was charged Wednesday with wire fraud and conspiracy in Miami federal court. Two of his friends, who allegedly collected the Crime Stoppers payments at Wachovia banks, were also charged. One is at large.

Cellphone calls and text messages between Fortella and each of the two other men — with details for picking up the rewards — helped authorities track the trio.

For Full Story

Identity Theft Hits Chairman Bernanke in Secret Service-Postal Probe

Apparently while the chairman of the Federal Reserve was trying to watch our money, someone was trying to take his. As the story points out: no one is immune from these crimes.

Ben Bernake/fed reserve photo

Ben Bernanke/fed reserve photo

By Michael Isikoff
Newsweek
WASHINGTON — If ever there were living proof that identity theft can strike the mighty and powerful as well as hapless consumers, look no further than the nation’s chief banker: Ben Bernanke.

The Federal Reserve Board chairman was one of hundreds of victims of an elaborate identity-fraud ring, headed by a convicted scam artist known as “Big Head,” that stole more than $2.1 million from unsuspecting consumers and at least 10 financial institutions around the country, according to recently filed court records reviewed by NEWSWEEK.

For Full Story

Column: Department of Homeland Security Still Misunderstood

Chris Battle

Chris Battle

By Chris Battle
Security DeBrief
WASHINGTON — I am still a bit surprised when I hear this question: How many terrorists has the Department of Homeland Security caught? Probably for most employees at DHS, it’s an odd question. Which is why it’s a critical public relations matter. Most Americans still don’t understand the mission of DHS.

Why is it an odd question? It’s not DHS’s job to catch terrorists, per se.

Yes, DHS has as its mission the goal of preventing another terrorist attack on American soil. So catching terrorists would seem like an obvious part of that.

Except it’s not. Prevention is the key word. The job of the folks at DHS is not so much to catch terrorists but to prevent them from successfully implementing a terrorist operation. Catching and preventing may at times overlap, but more often than not, for the majority of cases, they do not.

The FBI is the primary agency responsible for investigating and bringing individual terrorists to justice.

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