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Archive for July 7th, 2009

Jurors See Video of Informant Handing Rep. William Jefferson $100,000

Nearly everyone has heard about the marked $90,000 in FBI money FBI agents found in Jefferson’s home freezer on Aug. 3, 2005. On Tuesday, jurors saw an FBI video of a government informant handing $100,000 to Jefferson in a brief case. When agents raided the freezer, $10,000 of that payoff was missing. The prosecution hopes the video leaves an impression with jurors. It’s also interesting to note how careful Jefferson was during the conversation with the informant, Lori Mody.

The case gained notoriety after the FBI found $90,000 in Jefferson's freezer

The case gained notoriety after the FBI found $90,000 in Jefferson's freezer

By Jonathan Tilove and Bruce Alpert
New Orleans Times-Picayune
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Jurors in the corruption trial of former Rep. William Jefferson saw a videotape Tuesday of the congressman accepting a briefcase packed with $100,000 in cash that prosecutors say was intended as the down payment on a bribe to the vice president of Nigeria.

Four days later, on Aug. 3, 2005, FBI agents found $90,000 of the marked bills stashed in the freezer at Jefferson’s Washington home.

Four times, from four different camera angles, the prosecution played the July 30, 2005, videotape of Jefferson receiving the briefcase from Lori Mody, the Virginia businesswoman who was his partner in a Nigerian telecommunications venture. Mody had brought the briefcase to their rendezvous in the parking lot of a Ritz Carlton Hotel in suburban Virginia.

“Would you like to take a peek at it, or whatever?” Mody asked as Jefferson removed the briefcase from the car trunk.

“I would not, ” replied Jefferson.

For Full Story

Karl Rove Deposed in U.S. Attorney Firing Probe

Karl Rove

Karl Rove

If anyone can shine light on the matter, it’s Karl Rove. He loves to talk as a regular on Fox News. Let’s see if he was as talkative during this deposition.

By JOHN BRESNAHAN & JOSH GERSTEIN
The Politico
WASHINGTON — Former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Karl Rove was deposed Tuesday by attorneys for the House Judiciary Committee, according to Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), the panel’s chairman.

Rove’s deposition began at 10 a.m. and ended around 6:30 p.m, with several breaks, Conyers said.

Conyers would not comment on what Rove told congressional investigators, what the next step in the long-running Judiciary Committee investigation would be or whether Rove would face additional questioning.

For Full Story

Ex-Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales Finds Some Love in Lubbock: University Hires Him

Ex-Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzalez

Ex-Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales

Well, it’s still good to loved. And apparently former Atty. Gen. Alberto Gonzales, who is still the subject of an investigation into the controversial firings of Bush appointed U.S. Attorneys, has found love in Lubbock. They may not have hired the best ex-Atty. General, but he’s likely to be loyal if his time in the Bush administration is any indication.

The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
LUBBOCK, Tex. — Controversial former U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales will be a political science professor and diversity recruiter at Texas Tech, the university’s chancellor told The Avalanche-Journal.

Gonzales, 53, will begin his full-time duties at the university on Aug. 1, Chancellor Kent Hance said.

“Anytime, I can get a former cabinet member to work for the university, I will,” Hance said. “He can teach (students) about government, about goals, about diversity. Here’s a guy whose parents were migrant workers, and he went on to one of the highest offices in the land.”

For Full Story

FBI Report Says Mortgage Fraud Problem Continues to Grow

istock_000007759741xsmall1By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON – The mortgage fraud problem is growing and continues to plague the crippled real estate market.

The FBI on Tuesday released the 2008 Mortgage Fraud Report which showed that mortgage fraud Suspicious Activity Reports increased 36 percent to 63,713 during fiscal year 2008, compared to 46,717 during the same period the year before.

“Mortgage fraud hurts borrowers, financial institutions, and legitimate homeowners,” Assistant Director Kevin Perkins of the FBI Criminal Investigative Division said in a prepared statement.
“The FBI, in conjunction with our law enforcement, regulatory, and industry partners, continues to diligently pursue perpetrators of mortgage fraud schemes.”

According to an FBI press release, other key findings in the report include:
•As of FY 2008, the western region of the United States had the most pending FBI mortgage fraud-related investigations.
•The top 10 mortgage fraud states for 2008 were California, Illinois, Texas, Georgia, Ohio, Colorado, Maryland, Florida, Missouri, and New York.
•Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia were newly identified as having significant mortgage fraud problems.
•Criminals continued using old schemes, including property flipping, builder-bailouts, short sales, and foreclosure rescues. Additionally, in response to tighter lending practices, they facilitated new schemes, such as reverse mortgage fraud, credit enhancements, condo conversion, loan modifications, and pump and pay.

Read Full Report

FBI Investigating Inglewood, Calif. Police Shooting

The Justice Department Civil Rights Division is already looking into the department. And the Los Angeles Times found last year that 5 of 11 people shot and killed by the department since 2003 were unarmed. Something needs to change there.

inglewood-police1

By Ari B. Bloomekatz
Los Angeles Times

The FBI has opened a criminal investigation into the Inglewood Police Department’s fatal shooting of 31-year-old Marcus Smith in May.

The criminal probe, which was announced by the city in late June, is at least the third ongoing investigation into the department’s use of deadly force. The FBI confirmed that it had opened the investigation, but would not discuss it.

The civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington is already looking into the department’s patterns and practices. The Los Angeles County Office of Independent Review, which monitors the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, is also looking at the Inglewood department’s training, supervision, policies and protocol at the city’s request.

For Full Story

Senators Taking Applications to Replace Pitts. U.S. Atty Mary Beth Buchanan

Sen. Dick Durbin/official photo
Sen. Dick Durbin/official photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Things aren’t looking so good for Bush loyalist Mary Beth Buchanan, who has expressed interest in remaining the U.S. Attorney in Pittsburgh.

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review is reporting that Pennsylvania Democratic Sens. Bob Casey and Arlen Specter are taking the applications for the Pittsburgh job as well as the one in Philadelphia held by interim U.S. Attorney Michael L. Levy.

In Illinois, Sen. Dick Durbin has recommended Springfield assistant U.S. Attorneys Gregory Harris or James Lewis — for the U.S. Attorney post in the state’s central district, according to the State Journal-Register.

In the southern district of Illinois, he recommended retaining U.S. Attorney A. Courtney Cox. Durbin had already recommended that U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald of Chicago stay on, which he is.

Durbin also recommended three names for the U.S. Marshal job in the central district of Illinois, the Illinois paper said. They include: Kenneth Bohac, a deputy U.S. Marshal in Kentucky; Adams County Sheriff Brent Fischer and Robert Moore, a former U.S. Marshal.