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News Story

Secret Services Investigating Fraud Ring Targeting Unemployment Offices

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service is investigating a well-organized, international crime ring that is targeting states’ unemployment systems.

The fraudsters appear to be using stolen identities to file for unemployment benefits on behalf of people who are still working, The New York Times reports.

The cyber attacks are exploiting states that are inundated with claims to process.

A memo obtained by The New York Times suggests a sophisticated Nigerian fraud ring is behind the attacks, which could result in “potential losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars.”

“We are actively running down every lead we are getting,” Roy Dotson, a special agent who specializes in financial fraud at the Secret Service, told NYT.

According to the memo, Washington State appears to be the primary target, but evidence also points to attacks in Florida, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Wyoming.

Weekend Series on Crime History: The Assassination Attempt of George Wallace

Border Patrol Agents Nominated for Awards After Saving Life of Car Crash Victim

Photo via Border Patrol

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Three Border Patrol agents have been nominated for coveted awards after saving the life of a passenger in a car that had burst into flames.

Agents F. Gonzales, K. Carrol, and S. Roe were car-pooling home in southern California when they spotted flames from a car that had crashed into a center divider.

While one of the agents called 911, the others broke a car window to pull a passenger to safety. The driver was dead.

Carrol, who is a certified emergency medical technician, treated the passenger while awaiting for medics to arrive. Roe helped occupants of another vehicle involved in the crash.

“I am extremely proud of the heroism displayed by these agents during this catastrophic accident,” Chief Patrol Agent Aaron Heitke said in a news release. “If not for the quick action of these three agents, another life would have almost certainly been lost in this tragic accident.”

Gonzalez and Carrol were nominated for the Newton-Azrak Award, Border Patrol’s highest honor. Roe has been nominated for another notable award, the U.S. Border Patrol Commendation Award.

Sen. Burr Stepping Down as Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Amid Federal Probe of Stock Sell-Off

Sen. Richard Burr

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Sen. Richard Burr is stepping down as the Senate Intelligence Committee chairman after FBI agents seized his cell phone as part of a federal investigation of his mass sell-off of stocks.

Justice Department and SEC investigators are investigating whether Bur violated a law that bars members of Congress from trading on insider information obtained from their privileged position.

“This is a distraction to the hard work of the committee and the members, and I think the security of the country’s too important to have a distraction,” Burr told reporters at the Capitol in an interview recorded by C-SPAN.

It’s not yet clear who would replace Burr, a Republican from North Carolina.

Burr sold a significant chunk of his stock portfolio on Feb. 13, when his committee was receiving daily updates on the coronavirus.

A week later, the stock market declined sharply.

Judge in Flynn Case Appoints Ex-Judge to Look Into Case After DOJ Moves to Drop It

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan/court photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In a case riddled with unusual twists, the federal judge in Washington overseeing the case against President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn has appointed a former prosecutor and judge to oversee and oppose the Justice Department’s effort to drop the case, the New York Times reports.

U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan of Washington appointed former judge, John Gleeson, who is also a former federal prosecutor. Flynn pleaded guilty twice to lying to investigators as part of a larger probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. He later tried to withdraw his plea.

Last week, in what many considered a highly unusual move, the Justice Department moved to drop the charges. Subsequently, critics including former federal prosecutors, accused Attorney General William Barr of undermining the rule of law.
Sullivan’s appointment complicates the DOJ’s move to dismiss the case.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders Rips ex-FBI Director James Comey

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Sarah Huckabee Sanders

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, former press secretary for President Donald Trump, ripped into ex-FBI Director James Comey in a tweet on Thursday.


Sanders has been active in fundraising for Trump for the 2020 election. Since his firing, Comey has been very anti-Trump and made it clear he’ll vote against him.

FBI Serves Search Warrant on Sen. Burr Over Stock Sell-Off Amid Coronavirus

Sen. Richard Burr

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

FBI agents served a search warrant and seized Sen. Richard Burr’s cell phone as part of an investigation of his mass sell-off of stocks, a law enforcement official told The Los Angeles Times.

Burr, a Republican from North Carolina who also serves as the Senate Intelligence Committee chairman, has been under a Justice Department investigation after selling a significant chunk of his stock portfolio on Feb. 13, when his committee was receiving daily updates on the coronavirus.

A week later, the stock market declined sharply.

The Justice Department is investigating whether Bur violated a law that bars members of Congress from trading on insider information obtained from their privileged position.

Barr sold off between $628,000 and $1.7 million of his portfolio, ProPublica first reported.

FBI Arrests Cleveland Man Accused of Plotting to Kidnap, Kill And Steal Weapons from Law Enforcement

Christian Stanley Ferguson, via Summit County Jail.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested a 20-year-old Cleveland man accused of plotting to ambush law enforcement, kill them and steal their weapons to begin an uprising, the bureau announced Tuesday.

Christian Stanley Ferguson was taken into custody at Cuyahoa Valley National Park without incident Friday and charged with attempted kidnapping.

Ferguson caught the attention of law enforcement by posting violent and extremist posts on the Discord app, according to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday.

“Over several weeks, Ferguson discussed his desire to call police to report a false crime was in progress to prompt a response by law enforcement,” the FBI said in a statement. “Specifically, he expressed an interest in a response by federal law enforcement because he believed they had better quality firearms and body armor to steal. He made statements about tactical options for killing multiple targets and the disposal of their bodies. He reaffirmed his plan to ambush law enforcement, kill them, rob them of their weapons, and start an uprising.”

Ferguson conducted practice drills with an AR-15 and even made a distress call at the national park “to gauge response time by park rangers.”

“Ferguson believed four federal officers arrived and indicated that if that many officers respond to the real event, they would likely have to kill them all,” the bureau said. “The FBI was able to successfully monitor these meetings.”