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Archive for March 22nd, 2010

More Thieves Aren’t Turning to Bank Robbery in Bad Enconomy, FBI Stats Show

bank-robberyBy Allan Lengel
For AOL News

WASHINGTON — The economy may still suck, but thieves haven’t been turning to banks in greater numbers to score cash, according to the FBI.

FBI statistics released Monday show that the number of bank robberies and larcenies, burglaries and extortions of banks dropped by more than 11 percent last year, going from 6,857 in 2008 to 6,065 in 2009.

The drop in robberies translated into a dip in stolen cash. Robbers in 2009 scooped up $45.9 million from banks, compared with $61.6 million in 2008, the FBI said. Of the 2009 total, more than $8 million was returned to the institutions.

"Geezer Bandit"/fbi photo

"Geezer Bandit"/fbi photo

Notable bank robbers in 2009 included the “Geezer Bandit,” a man believed to be in his 60 or 70s who has frustrated authorities in San Diego.

Rail thin and clad in a baseball cap, he discreetly walks into banks, quietly produces a gun and a demand note and walks off with an undisclosed amount of cash. He has robbed six banks — five in 2009 and one in 2010 — and remains at large.

To read more click here.

FBI Says Bank Robberies Dropped in 2009 Despite Bad Economy

bank-robberyBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — The economy may still suck, but more thieves are not turning to banks for financial relief, according to the FBI.

The FBI bank robbery stats released Monday showed that the number of bank robberies, larcenies, burglaries and extortions dropped by a little over 11 percent in 2009 from 6,065 to 6,857 in 2008, the FBI said.

The agency said in 2009 there were 5,943 robberies, 100 burglaries, 19 larcenies, and three extortions of financial institutions.

To read the FBI press release click here.

Two High-Ranking D.C. FBI Officials Accused of Cheating On Test Temporarily Assigned to Headquarters

D.C. Field Office/gov photo

D.C. Field Office/gov photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON – Two high ranking officials at the FBI Washington field office, who were accused of cheating on an open-book FBI test,  have been temporarily assigned to headquarters.

The Office of Professional Responsibility, an internal investigative arm of the Justice Department, had recommended discipline against Keith Bryars, special agent in charge of administration at the Washington field office, and Andrew Castor, special agent in charge of the criminal division, according to those familiar with case.  The two appealed that decision.

A third person,  Joseph Persichini Jr.,  who headed the Washington field office, had also faced internal allegations that he cheated on the test, but he retired Christmas Day before the disciplinary process had run its course.

Agent Kate Schweit, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s Washington field office, would say only that “they’re on temporary assignment at FBI headquarters.”

The allegations surfaced last November that the three high ranking FBI officials may have received help on the FBI exam from an FBI lawyer, and may have some how worked together, a clear violation of agency rules.

At the center of the controversy is a test on the bureau’s guidelines for conducting investigations called the Domestic Investigation and Operations Guide (DIOG).

FBI agents and some support staff take a 16-hour training course, then take an open book exam on a computer. They are allowed to use reference materials, but must take the test and find the answers on their own. The FBI Director Robert Mueller III is even required to take the test.

ICE & Marshals International Manhunt Nets Man Who Posed as Attorney for Detained Missionaries in Haiti

Jorge Torres-Puello/govt photo

Jorge Torres-Puello/govt photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

An international manhunt resulted in the capture late last week of Jorge Torres-Puello aka Jorge Torres Orellana, who posed as an attorney for the Idaho  church missionaries, who were detained in Haiti on kidnapping and abduction charges.

He was wanted in El Salvador, the U.S. and Canada for crimes against children, sexual exploitation of minors for pornography, organized crime and human trafficking, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said.

Authorities say that Torres-Puello contacted the church in Idaho shortly after the arrest of the missionaries and said he had legal authority in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.  He then received a retainer from the family of the missionaries and represented himself to the court and media as an attorney and spokesman for the group. He has no legal training as a lawyer.

ICE, the U.S. Marshals and other law enforcement agencies tracked Torres-Puello down on Thursday in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, authorities said.

“The location and arrest of this fugitive, wanted by three countries on some of the most egregious charges that ICE investigates, is an example of top-notch cooperation among law enforcement agencies in all these countries and our colleagues at INTERPOL,” John Morton, assistant secretary of Homeland Security for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said in a statement. “Hiding behind fake names or using phony identifications and passports will not protect those who prey on the most vulnerable in our societies. Together we will find you and bring you to justice.”

People Allegedly Paid Tens of Thousands of Dollars to Father of Detroit Ex-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick to Land City Contracts

Bernard Kilpatrick/wxyz tv

Bernard Kilpatrick/wxyz tv

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

At least nine people have testified in a federal grand jury in Detroit that they paid the the father of ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick tens of thousands of dollars to try and land city contracts, the Detroit Free Press reported.

The paper reported that the father, Bernard Kilpatrick, ran a consulting firm called Maestro Associates. But the FBI believes he did no consulting and was really just paid for access to his son.

The paper reported that the FBI has been digging into the father’s finances and tapping his phone. Kwame Kilpatrick, who had been ousted on state charges after pleading guilty to obstruction of justice in connection with a phone text message scandal, is also being looked at by the FBI in connection with bribery.

For Full Story

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