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Archive for June 14th, 2009

FBI Probing Foreclosure Scam That Involves Bogus Rental Units

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Some Legal Observers Say Ex-Rep. William Jefferson Trial No Sure Thing

Some legal observers are starting to raise questions about the Rep. William Jefferson case. Some say there’s no guarantee of victory for the prosecution. Jefferson has some top notch defense attorneys. Even so, with the former Congressman facing 16 counts, there’s a good chance, even if the jury is conflicted, it might strike up a compromise and convict on only a few counts, thinking its giving Jefferson a break, not realizing it will only take one felony conviction to send him off to prison. Whatever the case, we’ll soon know the answer. Opening statements begin Tuesday.

By Bruce Alpert
New Orleans Times-Picayune
Rep. Jefferson/official photo

Rep. Jefferson/official photo

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — When Peter Zeidenberg, a Washington lawyer and former prosecutor, read about the 2007 indictment of then-Congressman William Jefferson, he figured the Justice Department had a pretty strong case.

Now, he and some other prominent legal experts believe that the Jefferson corruption trial, although unlikely to end in acquittal, could produce a hung jury. A guilty verdict requires all 12 jurors to agree.

After three days of jury selection last week, the trial begins in earnest Tuesday with opening statements from the prosecution and defense.

When the government filed its 16-count corruption indictment in June 2007, alleging that the New Orleans Democrat had demanded and, in some cases, received bribes in return for his help promoting projects in Western Africa, Jefferson’s prospects looked grim.

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Weekend History Series: J. Edgar Hoover Testifies About Communism

U.S. and Italian Authorities Bust Hackers Who Stole To Fund Terrorism

Hacking isn’t just for kids or just for kicks.  It can be dangerous and for  deadly purposes.hacker-art

By SIOBHAN GORMAN and EVAN PEREZ
The Wall Street Journal

U.S. and Italian authorities said Friday they arrested a group of hackers and conspirators who allegedly stole from phone companies around the world. The illegal profits funded terrorist activities, Italian officials alleged.

A federal grand jury in New Jersey indicted three people Friday, including one man who has been linked to al Qaeda. The three suspects, who live in the Philippines, are accused of providing Pakistani nationals in Italy with access to stolen phone lines.

The same company that was used to pay the three hackers also financed the communications of terrorists in last year’s Mumbai attacks, in which a small group killed more than 170 people, people familiar with the matter alleged.

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