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FBI Agent Predicted Doomsday In Mortgage Biz

   A high ranking FBI agent looked into his crystal ball and warned that authorities needed to take action to head off a disaster in the mortgage industry. Could we have been saved from this doomsday scenario we now have?
 
By Richard Schmitt
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Long before the mortgage crisis began rocking Main Street and Wall Street, a top FBI official made a chilling, if little-noticed, prediction: The booming mortgage business, fueled by low interest rates and soaring home values, was starting to attract shady operators and billions in losses were possible.

“It has the potential to be an epidemic,” Chris Swecker, the FBI official in charge of criminal investigations, told reporters in September 2004. But, he added reassuringly, the FBI was on the case. “We think we can prevent a problem that could have as much impact as the S&L crisis,” he said.

 For more

FBI Subpoenas Fly in Oakland City Hall

Trouble is brewing in Oakland City Hall. Word is  former City Administrator Deborah Edgerly who was fired amid allegations of nepotism is at the center of it all.

By Chip Johnson
San Francisco Chronicle
OAKLAND, Calif. — Barely a month after former City Administrator Deborah Edgerly was fired amid allegations of nepotism, federal criminal authorities are circling over Oakland City Hall.
   And based on a subpoena sent to the city and whose contents I confirmed Thursday, it’s clear which people the FBI is looking at: Edgerly and three of her relatives who work for the city, as well as Edgerly’s former assistant and her son, who also is a city employee.

In a federal grand jury subpoena dated Aug. 6 and issued to the Oakland city attorney’s office, federal authorities asked for “timesheets, leave slips for sick leave, vacation, executive management or any other type leaves and pay stubs” for Oakland’s top nonelected official and the five others from January 2004 to the present.

   for more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2008/08/22/MNGC12GDIE.DTL

Justice Delayed by Justice In Terrorism Matters

    The Justice Department has agreed to hold off on implementing new rules on terrorism. Question is: Will it hurt in the fight against terrorism? 

By LARA JAKES JORDAN
The Associated Press

  WASHINGTON — The Justice Department has agreed to delay new rules giving the FBI greater leeway in investigations of suspected terrorists, deferring to concerns by senators that innocent Americans might be targeted.

In a letter to Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy released Thursday, the department said it will postpone the rules until after FBI Director Robert Mueller appears before the panel on Sept. 17.

However, the department still wants to have the rules in place by Oct. 1 to help the FBI more nimbly investigate national security cases, wrote Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Keith D. Nelson.

For more, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/21/AR2008082102136.html

Former NY Worker Admits To Kickbacks And Bribes

NEW YORK — A former New York Power Authority (NYPA) employee pleaded guilty Tuesday to accepting about $167,000 in kickbacks and bribes from a vendor while working in the agency’s purchasing department, the Justice Department said.

Authorities said Edward P. Goldblatt of Melville, N.Y., the former purchasing warehouse assistant at the NYPA, conspired to defraud the NYPA in a bribery scheme that involved accepting kickbacks The case was investigated by the IRS and FBI.