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Archive for April 27th, 2010

70-Year-Old Art Dealer Admits Selling Fake Picasso For $2 Million and Lying to FBI

government photo

government photo

By Allan Lengel
For AOL News

About three years ago, Los Angeles art dealer Tatiana Khan sold a 1902 pastel by Pablo Picasso for $2 million. She told the buyer it had come from the family of famed publisher Malcolm Forbes and was in fact worth far more.

Only problem was the painting was a fake. In fact, federal authorities say Khan paid an art restorer $1,000 to paint a copy of the painting called “La Femme au Chapeau Bleu,” or “The Woman in the Blue Hat.”

Now, the 70-year-old from West Hollywood could be off to prison.

Khan agreed Tuesday to plead guilty to making false statements to the FBI and witness tampering, according to a guilty plea agreement filed in U.S. District Court. The plea agreement calls for a prison sentence of no more than 21 months. She is scheduled to enter a plea on May 6.

Under the agreement, Khan will make full restitution to the buyer in question and forfeit to the government a $725,000 artwork by abstract expressionist Willem de Kooning, which she purchased with some money from the fake Picasso sale.

To read more click here.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Ex-CIA Spy is Arrested Aftering Failing to Appear in Fed Court in D.C.

cia-logoBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A former CIA station chief in Algiers was arrested Monday at a Norfolk, Va. hotel after failing to show up for a hearing last week in U.S. District Court in Washington where he faces charges of sexually assaulting a woman while stationed overseas, the website Spy Talk reported.

U.S. Marshals, Diplomatic Security Service Special agents and Norfolk police arrested Andrew Warren, 42. Spy Talk said a Virginia TV station reported that the ex-spy had been exposing himself to neighbors in recent weeks.

Authorities have accused Warren of drugging a woman at his CIA residence in Algiers and sexually assaulting her, Spy Talk reported.

Spy Talk said Warren’s attorney, Mark David Hunter said in March that his client was innocent and would contest the charges.

To read more click here.

Former Associate Says bin Laden Was Surprised By Tough U.S. Response to Sept. 11

bin Laden said getting weapons of mass destruction was a "religious duty"

bin Laden said getting weapons of mass destruction was a "religious duty"

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON – A former Osama bin Laden associate is saying that bin Laden had no clue the U.S. would strike back as ferociously as it has since Sept. 11, 2001, WTOP radio  in Washington reported.

In what was billed as an exclusive interview, the radio station reported that Noman Benotman, who was the head of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group in the summer of 2000 said that al Qaeda thought the U.S. was a “paper tiger.”

“I’m 100 percent sure they had no clue about what was going to happen. What happened after the 11th of September was beyond their imagination, ” Benotman told WTOP.

To read more click here.

A Philly Cop on FBI Drug Task Force Gets 2 Years for Tipping Off Kingpin About Raid

philadelphia-police-badge
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

A Philly police detective working an FBI drug task force was sentenced Monday to two years in prison for tipping off  a drug kingpin about a raid in 2005, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Savage in Philadelphia sentenced ex-officer Rickie Durham, 44, to the two years, rejecting suggestions by federal prosecutors that he get a minimum of 15 years.

The judge called Durham’s actions “reckless” and said he “exposed fellow officers to great risk”, the Inquirer reported. But the judge said it was an isolated incident in what had been an exemplary career.

Read more »

Former Idaho U.S. Atty Sidney Smith Dies at Age 95

idaho map
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire

Sidney Smith, a World War II vet and Nixon-appointed U.S. Attorney in Idaho, died on April 23 at the age of 95, The Associated Press reported.

Born in the Midwest, he graduated from the University of Colorado law school, AP reported. In 1970, President Nixon appointed him deputy general counsel for the General Services Administration before appointing him U.S. Attorney in Idaho.

He served in that post from 1971 to 1975.