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Archive for August 13th, 2009

Maryland Postal Clerk Stole More than $600,000 in Stamps That Were Sold on eBay

A Forever stamp

A Forever stamp

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
WASHINGTON — It’s  part of  human nature to want to make a difference.

Marvin Foster made a difference.

The 55-year-old Foster contributed to the  U.S. Postal Service’s astronomical losses, which are expected to reach $7 billion in fiscal 2009.

Foster, a window clerk at the Elkridge, Md. post office, stole more than $682,000 in stamps from June 2008 to March 2009, authorities charged. The stamps were then sold on eBay by a man named Kyle Mathias, who has also been charged in the case.

On Thursday, Foster, now a former postal employee, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Baltimore to conspiracy to steal from the U.S. Postal Service. He faces up to five years in prison at sentencing, which is set for Nov. 13 before U.S. District Judge Catherine C. Blake.

Authorities charged that Foster stole “bricks” consisting of 2,000 stamps valued at $840, and “coils” consisting of 100 stamps valued at $42.

A criminal complaint that includes an affidavit by U.S. Postal Inspectors, says covert cameras caught Foster entering the stamp stock room at various times after midnight.

Read more »

Documents Say ex-U.S. Atty Christie Was Bush Loyalist; Could Hurt in His Race for N.J. Gov

These days with the economy still in the dumps, with the Justice Department still smarting from the mass U.S. Attorney firings during the Bush era, being a Bush loyalist isn’t something you want on your resume — particularly when your running for governor in a blue state.

Christopher Christie

Christopher Christie

By Claire Heininger and Josh Margolin
Newark Star-Ledger
TRENTON — As early as 2005, the Bush Administration was ranking federal prosecutors by their allegiance to the president as well as their job skills — and then-U.S. attorney Chris Christie was considered one of most loyal, according to newly released documents.

That determination, Democrats say, further cements the political ties between Christie, now the Republican candidate for governor, and former President George W. Bush, an unpopular figure in New Jersey.

The ranking — disclosed for the first time this week as part of a Congressional investigation into the controversial firings of U.S. attorneys in 2006 — places Christie among prosecutors who “produced, managed well and exhibited loyalty to the President and Attorney General.”

U.S. Atty. David Nahamias Appointed to Ga. Supreme Court

David Nahamias/doj photo

David Nahamias/doj photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

U.S. Attorney David Nahamias of Atlanta, a Bush appointee, has been handed a nice parachute.

Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue on Thursday appointed Nahamias to the Supreme Court of Georgia. He had served as U.S. Attorney since December 2004.

“His integrity, commitment to public service and strict adherence to the law as written will make him an excellent Justice,” Perdue said in a prepared statement.

Nahmias graduated second in his class at Duke University and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he served as editor of Harvard Law Review, according to the governor’s press release.

After graduation, he clerked for U.S. Circuit Judge Laurence Silberman and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, the press release said. He later worked at a law firm with John Roberts, now a U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

“I am deeply honored and humbled by Governor Perdue’s selection of me to serve as a Supreme Court Justice, a position that is so important to protecting the rule of law and the democratic system of government in this state,” Nahamias said in a prepared statement.

IN OTHER U.S. ATTORNEY NEWS

*WBZ-tv reported that John Kacavas was set to be sworn in Thursday afternoon as U.S. Attorney for New Hampshire. He replaced Tom Colantuono, who stepped down in March.

U.S. Atty. Greg Lockhart/doj photo

U.S. Atty. Greg Lockhart/doj photo

*The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that Greg Lockhart will step down Aug. 31 as the U.S. Attorney for Southern Ohio. He has held the job since 2001.

*The Denver Post reported that Acting U.S. Attorney David Gaouette of Colorado has been appointed to the job for another 120 days. He has served in that post since Jan. 10, and replaced Troy Eid, who resigned. Gaouette is not expected to get the permanent assignment.

Actor Michael Douglas’ Son Messes Up Again After DEA Bust

Michael Douglas
Michael Douglas

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com
Actor Michael Douglas’ son Cameron, who was busted last month by the DEA on charges of drug trafficking, has messed up again.

The New York Post, attributing reports to law enforcement sources, said that Cameron Douglas, 30, who was under house arrest, was taken on Wednesday “from his posh pad that belongs to his mom, Diandra Douglas, and brought to the Metropolitan Correctional Center” in New York after his girlfriend was busted for bringing him an electric toothbrush stuffed with 19 tiny bags of heroin in the battery compartment.

Wire service reports said that the DEA arrrested the girlfriend Kelly Sott and found heroin, crystal meth and marijuana in her room.

A federal magistrate ordered that she be held without bail and get treatment for heroin addiction.

The New York Post reported that Michael Douglas issued a statement saying “the family is devastated and very disappointed.”

Court records show his criminal complaint remains under seal.

Suspected Terrorist Convicted in Atlanta in Trial That Explored Youthful Extremists and the Internet

The Internet has become a staple for terrorists. This  trial illustrated that.  Federal authorities have been working to monitor the terrorists activities on the Internet and have actually shut down sites. But it’s a daunting task considering there’s so much activity out there. How do you catch it all — or most?

computer1

By Sebastian Rotella
Los Angeles Times
An Atlanta jury on Wednesday found a 23-year-old man guilty of aiding terrorist groups after a trial that explored a subculture of youthful extremists who used the Internet to plot attacks and form a loose network connecting North America, Europe and South Asia.

Ehsanul Sadequee, the U.S.-born son of Bangladeshi immigrants, faces up to 60 years in prison after being convicted of conspiracy to materially support terrorists. The jury found that he had discussed attacks with accused militants in Toronto and Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Along with another Georgia man convicted in June, Sadequee drove to Washington in 2005 to film the Pentagon and other potential targets, then e-mailed the scouting videos to British citizens who since have been convicted of terrorism charges.

“It’s a good example of how these Islamic extremists across the world connect up and start to organize using the Internet,” David Nahmias, the U.S. attorney in Atlanta, said in a telephone interview. “The Internet is very hard to control, and it is exploited by the bad guys.”

For Full Story

Philly Prosecutors Files Papers to Try and Get Big-Time Politician Vincent Fumo More Prison Time

If ever there was a sentence that irked the Philly feds in recent times, this is it. Prosecutors and agents alike were appalled by what they considered a lenient sentence. They want this big-time politician who was well known as a shakedown artist, to serve more time.

Ex-Sen. Vincent Fumo

Ex-Sen. Vincent Fumo

By Emilie Lounsberry
Philadelphia Inquirer
PHILADELPHIA — Federal prosecutors took a first step yesterday toward appealing the 55-month prison sentence given to former State Sen. Vincent J. Fumo, who is scheduled to report to prison this month.

In a one-sentence court filing, Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert A. Zauzmer and John J. Pease submitted a “notice of appeal” of the sentence imposed last month by U.S. District Judge Ronald L. Buckwalter.

The prosecutors had sought a prison sentence of more than 15 years.

They already have called the prison term “unduly lenient” and said the sentence, which triggered widespread public criticism, had done “grave damage to the public’s respect for the law and expectation of justice.”

For Full Story

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Jefferson II: Ex-Congressman’s Brother Mose Goes on Trial in New Orleans in Bribery Case Involving Secret FBI Recordings

The older brother Mose Jefferson now takes center stage in a federal courtroom after his brother ex-Rep. William Jefferson. The trial not only does not speak well for New Orleans, but for the Jefferson family, which has been the subject of years of FBI investigations.  Mose Jefferson  is accused of bribing a school board member.

 new-orleans-map-istock By Laura Maggi
New Orleans Times-Picayune
NEW ORLEANS — Wearing a microphone hidden on her by two FBI agents, former Orleans Parish School Board member Ellenese Brooks-Simms tried to wheedle information out of Mose Jefferson as they walked around aisles of a Home Depot on the West Bank.

In a recording from the store meeting played Wednesday in federal court, Jefferson was reserved, barely mentioning the names of people he and Brooks-Simms were talking about, liberally using pronouns instead.

Throughout an afternoon court session, Brooks-Simms often translated Jefferson’s opaque sentences in response to questions from Assistant U.S. Attorney Sal Perricone, filling in names and expounding on what he meant.

For Full Story

Ex-New Orleans Resident and Lebanese Man Claim FBI in Afghanistan Treated Them Like Terrorists for White Collar Crime

The FBI has generally avoided charges of impropriety when it comes to arrests overseas in Afghanistan and Iraq. But this former New Orleans resident and a Lebanese man claim they were subjected to cold temperatures in holding areas and put in tight bindings and a hood while being transported for 18 hours –all for a white collar crime.

 afghanistan
By Mark Schleifstein
New Orleans Times-Picayune
Dinorah Cobos, a former New Orleans resident and Tulane business school graduate, is scheduled to appear before a federal judge in Alexandria, Va., on Tuesday to change her plea to charges she conspired to bribe federal officials to win construction contracts in Afghanistan worth millions of dollars.

The plea change comes just weeks after Cobos and co-defendant Raymond Azar, a Lebanese citizen, charged in federal court papers that they were treated like terrorists during their April 7 arrest in a cafeteria at Camp Eggers in Afghanistan by FBI agents, and during interrogations and transport to the United States.

For Full Story

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