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Tag: bribery

Former DEA Agent Sentenced to 135 Months in Prison for Taking Bribes from Drug Kingpin

By Steve Neavling

A former DEA agent who accepted bribes from a drug trafficker was sentenced to 135 months in prison on Wednesday. 

Nathan Koen, 45, was charged in November 2019 with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine and one count of bribery of a public official. 

The drug-related charges were dismissed in exchange for a guilty plea to bribery. 

Koen accepted bribes from a large-scale drug trafficker in exchange for providing sensitive law enforcement information that helped the trafficker run his drug organization and avoid detection by authorities. 

“This defendant’s actions are a disgrace to the thousands of dedicated law enforcement officers who work with integrity every day to protect and serve our communities,” U.S. Attorney Jonathan D. Ross said in a statement. “His greed and deception have no place in law enforcement, and we are pleased to see this case come to its rightful conclusion.”

 Koen, who had been working for the DEA since 2002, came under investigation by the FBI in 2018. At the time, he was a group supervisor in the Little Rock DEA office. 

In interviews with the FBI, the drug trafficker said he had paid Koen cash in exchange for information and protection. 

Ex-HSI Agent Convicted of Dozens of Charges for Accepted Bribes Linked to Organized Crime

By Steve Neavling

A federal jury on Tuesday convicted a former special agent with Homeland Security Investigations of dozens of criminal charges for accepting bribes linked to organized crime. 

Felix Cisneros Jr., 48, of Murrieta, Calif., was convicted of 26 counts of money laundering, two counts of filing a false tax return, and one cont each of bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery of a public official, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Between 2015 and 2016, Cisneros accepted more than $100,000 in checks and gifts. 

In exchange for the bribes, Cisneros accessed a DHS database for information about a German national, placing an alert in a law enforcement database for an address associated with an illegal marijuana grow operations, obtaining an official DHS letter to allow the parole of a suspect’s brother-in-law, and collecting information on an associate of the suspect. 

Cisneros also underreported his total income on his federal income tax returns in 2015 and 2016. 

Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 1.

Homeland Security Special Agent Charged with Bribery for Allegedly Helping Organized Crime Figure

By Steve Neavling

A former Homeland Security special agent is accused of accepting at least $122,000 and other gifts to help an organized crime figure evade authorities. 

Felix Cisneros Jr., 46, was arrested Tuesday and charged with conspiracy to commit bribery of a public official, bribery and 26 counts of money laundering. 

Between 2015 and 2016, while he was a special agent with Homeland Security Investigations, Cisneros is accused of accepting cash, checks, private jet travel, luxury hotel stays and meals. In exchange for the bribes, Cisneros used highly restricted law enforcement data bases to keep the crime figure informed about investigations, according to a Justice Department news release.

Cisneros also is accused of removing information about a German citizen with a criminal record from a government database to help him enter the country. In addition, Cisneros allegedly tried to help get a relative of the crime figure into the U.S. from Armenia. 

Cisneros also is accused of warning the crime figure about law enforcement actions. 

The crime figure wasn’t identified in the indictment. 

Cisneros faces up 20 years in prison. 

The FBI, IRS Criminal Investigation and Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General continue to investigate. 

The case is behind handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ruth C. Pinkel of the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section. 

FBI Investigating Texas AG Ken Paxton Over Allegations of Bribery, Other Crimes

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton.

By Steve Neavling

The FBI is investigating Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton on allegations that he used his office to help a wealthy donor.

Former members of Paxton’s staff say he used his office to commit bribery and other crimes to benefit Austin real estate developer Nate Paul in several ways, The Associated Press first reported.

Paxton has been dogged with allegations of wrongdoing since his top deputies, who have since resigned or been fired, tipped off federal authorities about actions they allege are illegal. Four aides have been fired, prompting a whistleblower lawsuit against Paxton, a second-term Republican who has denied wrongdoing.

“After reviewing the claims made by former employees of this office, their allegations are overblown, based upon assumptions, and to a large degree misrepresent the facts,” Paxton said in a statement. “Unfortunately these attorneys chose to air their grievances through the media and through the courts, rather than established and objective internal processes.”

Among the allegations are that Paxton ordered his office to hire an outside lawyer to pursue Paul’s claims about an improper search of his home and office last year. 

FBI Arrests 4 Toledo City Councilmen, Attorney in Sweeping Bribery Scandal

Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested four Toledo City Council members who are accused of public corruption and accepting kickbacks in exchange for favorable votes.

The bribery charges against Democrats Tyrone Riley, Yvonne Harper, Larry Sykes, and Garrick “Gary” Johnson carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. Harper also was charged with interstate communications with intent to extort.

The council members were arrested without incident early Tuesday.

A private Toledo attorney, Keith Mitchell, is accused of soliciting and funneling bribes to Harper and has been charged with bribery and extortion. The FBI is “actively seeking the whereabouts of Keith Mitchell,” FBI Special Agent Eric Smith said during a news conference, The Toledo Blade reports.

Smith said the council members committed a “fundamental breach” of their public oath.
The scandal involves nearly $35,000 in bribes.

“The residents of Toledo should know, as should every other resident of the Northern District of Ohio, that where there are allegations of public corruption and kickbacks, we and our federal partners will be there every time,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said in a statement.

The council has 12 members.

“I am shocked and heartbroken by today’s arrests,” Toledo Wade Kapszukiewicz said in a written statement. “This is a terrible day for Toledo — and for everyone who believes in the good that can be accomplished through public service.”

Retired FBI Agent Arrested on Bribery Allegations Involving Lawyer with Ties to Armenian Organized Crime

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

A retired FBI agent in Lafayette, Calif., has been arrested on allegations of providing sensitive law enforcement information to a lawyer with ties to Armenian organized crime in exchange for more than $200,000 in cash bribes and gifts, the Justice Department announced.

Babak Broumand, 53, who retired from the FBI last year after serving 20 years as a special agent, is expected to make his first appearance Monday morning in a federal court in San Francisco.

From early 2015 to most of 2017, Broumand is accused of accepting bribes averaging $10,000 a month by a man who became a licensed lawyer in 2016. In the complaint, the lawyer is identified as CW1, or cooperating witness 1.

“Broumand and CW1 conspired and agreed that Broumand would perform official acts and omit to do acts, query law enforcement databases, provide CW1 with non- public law enforcement sensitive information and protection, and assist CW1 in CW1’s efforts to evade detection by law enforcement,” according to the affidavit in support of the complaint.

“Our nation is based on the premise that public officials – especially federal law enforcement officials – place the country and her people above their own self-interest, U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna says in a news release. “This former FBI agent stands accused of violating this sacred trust by providing help to criminals simply to fund his lavish lifestyle. The complaint outlines a long-running and multi-faceted scheme that tarnished the badge that was the symbol of his oath to uphold the law.”

Added Paul Delacourt, the assistant director in charge of the FBI Los Angeles Field Office, “The FBI takes allegations of misconduct or criminal activity by its personnel very seriously. While these are disturbing allegations, we found no evidence to suggest this went beyond an isolated incident. The agents who investigated this case did so with professionalism and objectivity.”

Michigan Republican Indicted on Charges of Attempted Extortion, Bribery, Lying to FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A federal grand jury has indicted Michigan state Rep. Larry Inman on charges of attempted extortion, bribery and lying to an FBI agent.

The Republican from Traverse City faces up to 15 years in prison after authorities said Wednesday that he solicited money via text messages from the Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters and Millwrights.

In one of the text messages, the third-term Republican wrote, “We never had this discussion.”

In exchange for the money in June, Inman pledged to vote “no” on repealing the state’s prevailing wage law, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Offie for the Western District of Michigan.

“We will get a ton of pressure on this vote,” Inman is accused of texting to a union representative, asking for a larger increase in donations to his campaign. “Its not worth losing assignments and staff for $5,000. . . . My suggestion is you need to get people maxed out.”

House Speaker Lee Chatfield, a Republican, called for Inman to resign.

“Everyone in the House is surprised and disappointed by this news,” Chatfield said in a statement. “The indictment just came to my attention this morning, and I am still gathering more information. There’ll be more to say once we’ve been able to have a longer conversation with Rep. Inman. Until then, I have directed the House Business Office to take control of the representative’s office to ensure consistent services are available for the people of Grand Traverse County. Additionally, Rep. Inman has been removed from his committee assignments effective immediately.”

Inman also is accused of lying to the FBI, denying he solicited bribes.

FBI Targets Ex-Ohio House Speaker in Bribery, Kickback Probe

Former Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Former Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger is the target of an FBI investigation into potential bribes and kickbacks.

Agents, armed with subpoenas and a search warrant Monday, seized records as part of an investigation that led to the Republican’s sudden resignation in April, the Associated Press reports

The FBI is searching for evidence of extortion, bribery and conspiracy to commit bribery and extortion.

Agents seized hundreds of pages of documents and other records.

Rosenberger’s attorney, David Axelrod, said his client “has nothing to hide” and is cooperating with investigators.