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Archive for December 29th, 2008

Former NYPD’s Bernie Kerik Pleads Not Guilty to Added Charges

Bernie Kerik has gone from super crime fighter to accused criminal. Not an enviable spot to be in.

By ABBY LUBY
DAILY NEWS WRITER
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Former NYPD top cop Bernard Kerik pleaded not guilty Monday to new charges of falsifying income tax records and not declaring a BMW luxury car he got as payment for consulting services.
The added charges involve falsifying statements on loan applications and his role in preparing false tax returns for 2002 and 2005. He was initially charged with falsifying tax returns for the year 2000.
Kerik, 53, wore a charcoal gray suit and a red and silver-striped tie. He stood with lawyer Eric Tirschwell as White Plains Federal Court Judge Stephen Robinson asked a series of questions about his state of mind before accepting the plea.
For Full Story

Read Superseding Indictment

Number of Officers Fatally Shot in Line of Duty Expected to Hit 50 Year Low

FBI Agent Sam Hicks was fatally shot Nov. 19

FBI Agent Sam Hicks was fatally shot Nov. 19

By Allan Lengel
Ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — The number of U.S. law enforcement officers killed by gunfire this year is expected to hit a 50 year low, according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial fund.
The Washington-based organization said Monday an analysis of preliminary data showed that 41 officers were fatally shot this year, a 40 percent dip from 68 in 2007. This year’s figure was the lowest since 1956 when 35 deaths were recorded. In contrast, 156 law enforcement officers were killed in 1973.
Overall, in the line of duty deaths dropped from 181 in 2007 to 140 this year, the law enforcement organization said. Just over half of the overall deaths in 2008  were traffic related.
“2007 was a wake-up call for law enforcement in our country, and law enforcement executives, officers, associations and trainers clearly heeded the call, with a renewed emphasis on officer safety training, equipment and procedures,” said NLEOMF Chairman and CEO Craig W. Floyd in a statement. “The reduction in firearms-related deaths is especially stunning, given the tremendous firepower possessed by so many criminals today. The fact that law enforcement has been able to drive down the crime rate, and do so with increased efficiency and safety, is a testament to the hard work and professionalism of our officers.”
Specifically, the organization said Texas recorded the most law enforcement officer fatalities with 14 followed by California with 12 and Florida and Pennsylvania, both with eight. Half of Pennsylvania’s deaths were in the Philiadelphia Police Department.
Eight federal law enforcement officers were killed this year including Samuel Hicks, an FBI agent in the Pittsburgh office who was fatally shot on Nov. 19 while serving a drug-related search warrant. Last year, 17 federal officers were killed.

FBI Joins Probe of Woman Missing from Cruise Ship

Granted, an endless numbers of people go on cruises every year. But it just takes one of these incidents to make them sound so dangerous.


By Sofia Santana
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
MIAMI – Cruise ship surveillance images show a woman falling overboard hours before her husband reported her missing from the Miami-based Norwegian Pearl last week, U. S. Coast Guard officials said Sunday.
The FBI began an investigation into the woman’s disappearance when the 15-deck vessel returned to the Port of Miami on Sunday morning.
“We’re looking to see if a crime was committed on the high seas,” said FBI Special Agent Michael Leverock.
For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Ex-FBI Agent Robert Hart Named President of Manhattan-based Consulting Firm

Robert Hart was named president of Pathfinder Consultants International LLC, a Manhattan-based investigative, security and consulting firm, Newsday reported. Hart of  Garden City resident was senior agent in charge of the Long Island office of the Federal Bureau of Investigations.

Chinese Women Made It Into FBI Academy Before Getting Busted For a Sham Marriage to Get Citizenship

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
A 26-year-old Chinese woman made it into the FBI academy to train as an agent before authorities busted her for entering into a sham marriage to obtain U.S. citizenship.
Yue Cheng of Williamsburg, Va. pleaded guilty last week in Norfolk, Va., to naturalization fraud and false claims. She faces up to 26 months in prison at her April 19 sentencing.
According to authorities, Cheng entered the U.S. in 1999 to attend college. Two years later, at age 19, she married a 57-year-old California man in Las Vegas to obtain citizenship, according to an FBI affidavit. She then joined the U.S. Navy and was stationed in Norfolk. She collected extra pay because of her marriage.
On Sept. 28, 2004, she became a naturalized citizen, authorities said.
In March 2007, she applied to the FBI in Norfolk to become a special agent and in September she reported to the FBI Academy for training,  the affidavit said.
Earlier this year, while in special training at the FBI academy in Quantico, “she admitted to entering into a fraudulent marriage for the purpose of obtaining United States citizenship.”
During an interview with two FBI agents, Cheng told agents that she first suspected there would be a financial obligation to her sham husband, but that she suspected he ultimately “benefitied from the marriage through sexual favors”, the affidavit said.
She told agents that “her intent was to create better educational and career opportunities in the United States rather than to cause harm to the United States or help the Chinese government.”
Read FBI Affidavit

FBI Kept Tabs on Politician Thomas Eagleton

It didn’t take much to tick off J. Edgar Hoover. The reams of FBI records on Thomas Eagleton was just another example of Hoover’s long reach.

Thomas Eagleton

Thomas Eagleton

By Phillip O’Connor
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
ST. LOUIS — Sitting in the coffee shop of the Las Vegas Desert Inn one morning in February 1958, Thomas Eagleton, one of the youngest prosecutors in the country and already a rising political star, regaled colleagues from Denver and Philadelphia with a story.
The 28-year-old St. Louis circuit attorney told how an FBI fingerprint examiner’s stilted way of speaking while testifying in a robbery trial in St. Louis had blown the prosecution’s case. Unknown to Eagleton, a fourth man at the table worked for the FBI.
Word of the slight made it all the way to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, the bureau’s longtime leader who fiercely defended the image of the agency he helped create. Hoover was a feared Washington figure, capable of wrecking careers.
For Full Story

Two More U.S. Attorneys Calling it Quits

McGregor Scott/official photo

McGregor Scott/official photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

With the less than a month to go in the Bush administration, the latest U.S. Attorneys to hit the exit are Steven Biskupic of Milwaukee and McGregor W. Scott of Sacramento.
Biskuptic, 47,  plans to step down Jan. 9. He was appointed in 2002. His name popped up during the probe into the U.S. Attorney firings in documents questioning his job performance and loyalty to Bush.
In a statement to the Milwauekee Journal Sentinel on April 14, 2007, he said: “It is my understanding that my name appears on a list, which was a ranking of United States Attorneys. My name appeared in a category questioning my performance and loyalty to the President. That same list characterized esteemed Chicago United States Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald as “mediocre.” I believe the list has no credibility.”
He plans to join the Wisconsin law firm of Michael Best & Friedrich as a partner in the litigation practice group.
Scott, 45, will step down Jan. 4 and take a job at the Sacramento law firm of law firm of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe as a law partner.