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Tag: Fraud

Federal Judge Suspects ATF Attorneys of Fraud in Lawsuit Involving Ex-Agent Jay Dobyns

Jay Dobyns/his website

By Paul Giblin
The Republic

A federal judge suspects that seven attorneys representing the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives committed fraud in the case of a retired federal agent who infiltrated the Hells Angels motorcycle gang in Arizona.

Court of Federal Claims Judge Francis Allegra banned the attorneys from filing documents in his court, and he ordered additional hearings to investigate the attorneys’ actions, essentially creating a trial within a trial.

The accusations are spelled out in newly unsealed court documents in the case involving former federal agent Jay Dobyns, a onetime University of Arizona football star who sued the ATF for improperly handling threats against him following his undercover stint with the Hells Angels.

The judge previously ruled in Dobyns’ favor, but withdrew his own decision after learning about the ATF attorneys’ conduct.

To read more click here. 

President Obama’s Close Friend Considered a “Hostile Witness” by Justice Department

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

One of President Obama’s closest friends is not cooperating in a federal investigation, prompting the Justice Department to seek Dr. Eric E. Whitaker as a “hostile witness,” the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

Prosecutors filed the motion Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Springfield, where a Chicago businessman, Leon Dingle Jr., is on trial on charges of stealing more than $3 million in tax dollars from state grants.

Prosecutors said Whitaker, who has not been charged, benefited at least three times from the state grant money.

Whitaker incensed prosecutors when he backed off a deal to cooperate with investigators.

The cooperation ended, prosecutors said, when Whitaker was asked about his relationship with Quinshaunta R. Golden, the former state official who oversaw the grants.

Whitaker was asked whether he had a “sexual relationship” with Golden and refused to cooperate.

Prosecutors said he is “a witness clearly hostile to the government.”

Justice Department Concerned About Amount of Fraud in Military

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Justice Department isn’t exactly having trouble finding fraud in the military, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

Take Fabian Barrera, who made $181,000 by claiming he recruited 119 people into the military. Barrera, who was sentenced to at least three years in prison lat month, never referred any of the recruits.

With multiple conflicts worldwide, the military has a lot of money that is being questionably spent, the Justice Department has found. Cases include bribery and steering contracts to select businesses.

“The schemes we see really run the gamut from relatively small bribes paid to somebody in Afghanistan to hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of contracts being steered in the direction of a favored company who’s paying bribes,” Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell, head of the Justice Department’s criminal division, said in an interview.

Over the past few months, four retired and one active-duty Army National Guard officials have been charged in connection with bribery and kickback schemes.

Retired FBI Agent Pleads Guilty to Fraud, Obstruction in Case of $54M Military Contract

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A retired FBI agent pleaded guilty to 11 federal charges of fraud, conspiracy and obstruction of justice after prosecutors say he tried to derail an investigation into a $54 million military contract, the Associated Press reports.

Robert Lustyik Jr. was expected to start trail Monday in federal court but decided to please guilty at the last moment.

The 52-year-old, however, declined a plea bargain because he doesn’t want to implicate anyone.

Federal prosecutors say Lustyik was helping a company started by former soldiers. They are accused of using insider information to win a $54 million contract with the U.S. government.

Lustyik agreed to take a cut of the contract in exchange for disrupting the investigation by fabricating interviews.

New Special Agent in Charge of FBI’s San Antonio’s Office Busy with Immigration Issues

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Special Agent Chris Combs has been busy since taking over the FBI’s San Antonio office in April.

Combs, who opened the San Antonio office for a media tour on Monday, covers a large area of South Texas and also works out of offices in Austin, Waco and along the border, KSAT 12 reports.

With a immigration crisis brewing at the border, the FBI has been investigating a scheme in which people masquerading as U.S. officials are asking for thousands of dollars from families to reunite with their children.

“It was a fraud, the United States government does not ask for money to bring these children back to their family members,” Combs said. “It’s hard to believe that somebody would take advantage of children and their families that have been separated to make a couple hundred bucks, so we take that very seriously and we have a nationwide investigation going now.”

Combs said his office is working closely with Border Patrol.

“We work very closely with them, as they’re in charge of protecting the border,” Combs said. “As they gather people who have come across illegally, there’s a good information flow there. If there are people they are concerned about, they contact the FBI and we work with them.”

Before coming to San Antonio, Combs was the lead agent to respond to shootings across the country.

FBI: Scams Target Families of Central American Children Captured Along U.S. Border

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating two scams that target some of the families of the tens of thousands of Central American children who have been captured recently trying to sneak into the U.S., Al Jazeera America reports.

The telephone scams involve asking families for money for phony travel costs.

“One fraud scheme involved individuals who claimed to be representing a charitable or non-profit organization, which they claimed assists in processing and reuniting the children with their families,” Special Agent Michelle Lee told Reuters.

The scam has bilked families out of hundreds and even thousands of dollars, the FBI said.

The FBI is warning Texans to be skeptical of people claiming to be nonprofit workers.

FBI Launches Criminal Investigation of Veterans Affairs Department As Scandal Deepens

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has opened a criminal investigation into widespread problems at the Veterans Affairs Department, CNN reports.

Among other things, agents are examining the long wait lines and whether paperwork was falsified to make delays appear shorter.

“At the department’s direction, the FBI has instructed agents in its Phoenix office to conduct an investigation into the allegations related to the VA. Federal prosecutors will be working with these investigators to determine whether there is a basis for criminal charges.”

The scandal has already led to the resignation of VA Secretary Eric Shinseki last month.

Managers in Phoenix are accused of using secret waiting lists to disguise the length of time it took to get appointments, CNN wrote.

Charges Against U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm Put Spotlight on His 11-Year FBI Career

Rep. Michael Grimm

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm, who was indicted on fraud and other charges this week, served as an FBI agent for 11 years, spending about half of that time investigating financial corruption, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Grimm’s congressional biography states that he worked in the New York FBI office from 1995 to 2006.

About five of those years were spent “deep undercover” with the bureau’s Financial Fraud Squad.

Grimm helped lead an investigation that netted charges against nearly four dozen traders in a currency trading scheme.

Grimm also investigated organized-crime fires and corrupt public officials.

Now the FBI said it will review his handling of the cases following the charges filed against him, including perjury.

“That’s something we definitely will look at. No doubt about it,” George Venizelos, assistant-director-in-charge of the FBI’s New York office, said.