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Archive for October 7th, 2008

Another Plea In The D.C. Tax Scandal

A chapter in the the ugliest scandal in D.C. history is coming to a close. At time when the economy is tanking, the theft of public money hurts even more.

By Henri E. Cauvin
Washington Post Staff Writer
GREENBELT, Md. — The last defendant facing trial in the D.C. tax case pleaded guilty today to mail fraud and  three felony charges, bringing another chapter in the scandal to a close
Jayrece Turbull, who as a key figure in the embezzlement of nearly $50 million from the D.C. Treasury, and who is the niece of the scheme’s admitted mastermind, could face decades in prison when she is sentenced Feb. 4.
Appearing this afternoon before Judge Alexander Williams Jr. at the federal courthouse in Greenbelt, Turnbull, 34, answered the judge’s questions in a firm, clear voice and listened as prosecutors outlined her role in the long-running fraud. She offered no explanations or apologies during the hearing.

For Full Story

Read Plea Agreement

Read Government’s Statement Of Facts

MS-13 Gang Members Sentenced in Nashville

NASHVILLE – Three members of the MS-13 gang have been sentenced for their role in an enterprise that was involved in murder, attempted murder and witness tampering,  the Justice Department said.

Ernesto Isai Mendez-Tovar was sentenced to 13 years in prison;  Eliseo Iglesias was sentenced to 17 years and 6 months; David Alexander Gonzalez got  19 years and 7 months.

AUSAs David Devillers and Kevin Kelly Get Award

COLUMBUS— The National Association of Former U.S. Attorneys has awarded assistant U.S. Attorneys David Devillers and Kevin Kelly the 2008 award for the outstanding single trial in the nation.
The two prosecuted Thomas A. Henderson, who murdered to people who provided information that helped convict him of a 1981 bank robbery in Macon, Ga.
Macon was sentenced to three life terms in prison for the murders this past February.

Prez Of Public Water District Admits Theft

KANSAS CITY – The president of a public water district and his wife, who served as the district’s clerk, pleaded guilty Tuesday to embezzling more than $390,000, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Stephen C. Collier, 62, and his wife, Sharron K. Collier, 62, both of Rich Hill, Mo.,pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Ortrie D. Smith to conspiracy to commit mail fraud from 1999 to 2007, authorities said. They also agreed to pay $390,367 in restitution.

Court Delays White House Confrontation In U.S. Atty Firings

White House catches a break in U.S. Attorney firings.

Harriet E. Miers gets reprieve/white house photo

Harriet E. Miers gets reprieve/white house photo

By Carrie Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court declined yesterday to order current and former White House aides to testify before a House committee about the firings of nine U.S. attorneys, leaving the next Congress to decide how aggressively to pursue the constitutional showdown.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said the dispute over the role of politics in the 2006 dismissals would not be “fully and finally resolved” by the time the 110th Congress gives way.
So the court granted a delay in the case, pending the results of an appeal by former White House counsel Harriet E. Miers and presidential chief of staff Joshua B. Bolten.
The aides are contesting a July ruling by a lower court that ordered them to produce documents and testimony. They had asserted that lawmakers are intruding on President Bush’s executive privilege.

For Full Story

Read Court of Appeals Ruling

Organized Crime Squad Investigating Russians And Hospice Care

It’s not often that organized crime and hospice care are mentioned in the same breath. Now comes a case in  Philadelphia.

By Kitty Caparella
Philadelphia Daily News
PHILADELPHIA — The FBI’s organized-crime squad is investigating a Russian group for alleged Medicare fraud at the Home Care Hospice Inc. in the Northeast.
At stake is $8.5 million in 39 bank accounts spread among 15 financial institutions, according to a temporary restraining order unsealed yesterday. The 39 accounts are held in the names of HCH, the four defendants and six other companies, mostly for real estate.
The FBI searched the facility on Grant Avenue near Ashton Road on Thursday, according to FBI spokeswoman Jerria Williams. What the FBI recovered from the hospice is unknown because the affidavit is sealed.
For Full Story

FBI Finds Human Remains In N.Y. Hunt For Mob Bodies

Several days of digging for mobster bodies may have paid off.

By Robert E. Kessler and Carl Macgowan
Newsday
EAST FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — FBI agents and personnel from the New York City medical examiner’s office believe they found the remains of a human body yesterday at an East Farmingdale location that an informant told them was a mob burial site, according to sources.
The discovery of the remains, which appeared to be a human body wrapped in cloth in a wooded area, came after several days of digging at three sites along Long Island Rail Road tracks near several office buildings.
The informant told FBI agents three bodies were buried there between 1994 and 1999, sources said.
Just before 10 p.m. agents carried out a black body bag and strapped it on to a stretcher but no one at the scene would confirm whether or not the bag contained the remains of one of the three murder victims.

For Full Story

Rep. Jefferson’s Staffers Subpoenaed

Four staffers for Rep. William Jefferson will have to take a field trip to Alexandria, Va., where their boss will stand trial on public corruption charges. It’s a trip, in all likelihood, they’d rather not take.


By Bruce Alpert
New Orleans Times-Picayune
WASHINGTON — Four staffers for Rep. William Jefferson, D-New Orleans, have been subpoenaed to testify at his corruption trial, scheduled to begin Dec. 2.
Word of the subpoenas came as a result of letters sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. House rules require staffers to send written notification when they are summoned to be a witness in a court proceeding. The letters were placed into the Congressional Record late Friday.
The four staffers are Stephanie Butler, Jefferson’s district director; Roberta Hopkins, his acting chief of staff; Angelle Kwemo, his legislative director; and Erica Edwards-Jones, an aide in his West Bank office.
For Full Story