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The FBI’s Top Ten Stories of the Week

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — Bernie Madoff’s accountant was charged
Madoff's accountant charged

Madoff's accountant charged

with securities fraud. An Albany on-line organ transplant broker was charged with defrauding desperately ill patients. And an ex-FBI agent was convicted in California in a home invasion robbery scheme.

These were just some of the stories that made the FBI’s Top Ten Stories For The Week, ending March 20.

To look at the list of  top 10 FBI stories of the week  click here.

Atty. Gen. Holder Announces More Openess With Freedom of Informaton Act

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON –  This announcement comes under the category of: “I’m skeptical”.

Some federal law enforcement agencies have been reluctant to give up information, even the simplest of information. So this is very welcome. But still, I’m  attaching  a  wait-and-see caveat to this.

Attorney Gen. Eric Holder on Thursday announced “comprehensive new Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) guidelines… that direct  all executive branch departments and agencies to apply a presumption of openness when administering the FOIA.”

“By restoring the presumption of disclosure that is at the heart of the Freedom of Information Act, we are making a critical change that will restore the public’s ability to access information in a timely manner,” Holder said in a prepared statement. “The American people have the right to information about their government’s activities, and these new guidelines will ensure they are able to obtain that information under principles of openness and transparency.”

We shall see.

Read Press Release

Philly FBI Agent Shows a little Courtroom Theatrics in Corruption Probe

philly-mapThere was little doubt that there wasn’t more corruption beyond the probe into crooked ex-state Sen. Vincent Fumo. And an FBI agent proved that point with a little courtroom theatrics. It will be interesting to see how deep this goes and whether Fumo, just convicted, will cooperate and point fingers.

By Craig R. McCoy and Emilie Lounsberry
Philadelphia Inquirer
PHILADELPHIA — With brutal directness, the FBI revealed yesterday that its long-running investigation into “Fumo World” isn’t over.

After a post-conviction hearing in U.S. District Court for former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo, an FBI agent stood up, crossed the courtroom toward Fumo friend Mitchell Rubin, and handed him a “target letter” warning him that he could face criminal charges.

Rubin, chairman of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, was sitting in the audience in support of his wife, Ruth Arnao, the former Fumo aide convicted Monday, alongside Fumo, on corruption charges.

After FBI Special Agent Vicki Humphreys handed Rubin an envelope with the letter, Rubin read it, and then slumped in his front-row bench. He was the picture of shock and despair.

The federal jury that convicted Fumo found as part of its sweeping 137-count tally of guilty verdicts that he had defrauded the Senate by handing Rubin a “no-work” contract.
For Full Story

OTHER STORIES Of INTEREST

N.Y. Man Gets Probation For Using Fake U.S. Marshal Badge

us-marshalBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Newsday is reporting that a Port Jefferson Station, N.Y., man was sentenced Thursday to 18 months probation in federal court for possession of a counterfeit U.S. Marshal’s badge.

The paper said that Richard Kudlik, 46, created a website in which he posed as a federeal marshal to lure woman.

Kudlik could have gotten up to six months in prison, the paper said.

Senate Judiciary Gives the Nod to Dawn Johnsen for DOJ Office of Legal Counsel

Dawn Johnsen

Dawn Johnsen

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON –If you’re looking for any inkling of bipartisanship in Washington, don’t count on  the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The committee voted 11-7  Thursday to confirm the nomination of  Dawn E. Johnsen as Office of Legal Counsel for the Justice Department.

All the Republicans voted against her except for Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), who passed on the vote. He said he was reserving judgment until he got a better sense of her views.

Johnsen,  an Indiana University law professor has been a big critic of the Bush administration’s policies. Johnsen still faces a confirmation by the full Senate.

Woman Accused of Killing Pittsburgh FBI Agent Faces More Charges

FBI Agent Sam Hicks

FBI Agent Sam Hicks

Prosecutors are piling up charges against the woman accused of killing FBI agent Sam Hicks. Could there still be more?

By Torten Ove
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
PITTSBURGH — An Indiana Township woman charged with killing an FBI agent in November has been charged again in federal court with drug violations and firearms offenses.

Christina Korbe, 40, was already charged with shooting Agent Samuel Hicks on Nov. 19, when he and a team of agents and police officers arrived at her house to serve a warrant on her and her husband, Robert, as part of a drug investigation. In a nine-count superseding indictment filed today, federal prosecutors charged Mrs. Korbe with new drug and gun offenses.

Ms. Korbe is charged with conspiring with others to distribute cocaine from 1990 until the day she was arrested. She is also charged with possession of cocaine base and powder cocaine with intent to distribute on that day.

In addition, the indictment charges her with possession of a weapon during a drug crime and of “aiding and abetting” the possession of that gun by a convicted felon — her husband.

Fed Prosecutors Ask that Judge Balk at Jail in Case of Shortstop Miguel Tejada

Miguel Tejada/webchannel4.com

Miguel Tejada/webchannel4.com

It’s not every day the government recommends probation. In this case, it seems reasonable and it shows some compassion on the part of the government.

By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors yesterday told a judge that former Baltimore Orioles shortstop Miguel Tejada should be sentenced to probation for lying to Congress about his knowledge of performance-enhancing drug use in baseball.

Tejada, 34, pleaded guilty last month to making a misrepresentation to Congress, admitting that he lied to congressional staffers during an interview in a Baltimore hotel room in 2005 that focused on the prevalence of steroids in the game.

Federal guidelines call for a sentence of probation to six months in jail. Under Tejada’s plea deal, prosecutors agreed not to oppose a sentence at the low end of the guideline range. In recommending a sentence of probation and community service for the Houston Astros infielder, prosecutors wrote in court papers filed yesterday that Tejada has no criminal record, has a steady job and “has expressed appropriate remorse and contrition for this offense.”

For Full Story

Read Government Sentencing Memorandum

“Goodfellas” Mobster is No-Show in Calif Court on Public Drunkenness Charges

goodfellas

By PAUL LAROCCO
The Press-Enterprise
SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. –“Henry Hill.”

San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge Kyle Brodie matter-of-factly read the name Wednesday in a roll call of small-time suspects: the unlicensed driver; the work-release probationer.

“No answer,” yelled the bailiff.

With that, the mobster-turned-FBI informant — whose life inspired the movie epic “Goodfellas” — was facing two $25,000 arrest warrants.

Once linked to an NCAA point-shaving scandal and a $5 million airport heist, Hill at age 65 is wanted for failing to appear on tickets alleging that he was drunk in public in San Bernardino.

“I would have been asking for his autograph,” said Desiree Gallegos, 27, who was in the courtroom for a suspension of house arrest terms.

Reached by phone later in the day, Hill said he was unaware he needed to be present. He said he had visited the downtown court on Monday to advise the clerks that he would be having hernia surgery later this week and wanted a new date.
For Full Story