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Archive for July 20th, 2010

Sen. Judiciary Gives Nod to Deputy Atty. Gen. Nominee James Cole

James Cole/law firm

James Cole/law firm

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Deputy Attorney General nominee James Cole cleared a major hurdle Tuesday and got the nod from the Senate Judiciary Committee, the website Main Justice reported. The vote now goes before the full Senate.

The website reported that the vote was 12-7, along party lines.

Main Justice reported that GOP members had expressed concern about Cole’s support of terrorism trials in civilian court and his tenure as an independent monitor for insurance giant AIG, which was rescued by a Federal Reserve bail out.

“I’m concerned about Mr. Cole’s ability because in his position as Deputy Attorney General, he would be in a position to influence future compliance monitors appointed under settlements between Justice Department, [Securities and Exchange Commission] and other corporations that have violated the law,” said Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), according to Main Justice.

EX-IRS Agents Pleads to Failing to File Tax Returns; Owed $789,629 in Back Taxes

irs
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The irony is never lost when a former IRS agent gets busted for cheating on taxes.

Ex-agent John Venuti,62, of Harwood, Md., pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore to failing to file federal income tax returns from 2001 to 2006. He owed $789,629 in back taxes.

Authorities said Venuti’s was a tax consultant and principal at the accounting firm of KPMG, LLP from 2002 to 2010.

He worked for the IRS from 1974 to 1983, and for three years was Division Chief of the Tax Treaty and Technical Services Division.

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ATF and FBI Investigate Fire Involving Fed Prosecutor’s Mailbox

mailboxBy Allan lengel
ticklethewire.com

There are mailboxes. And then there are mailboxes that belong to federal prosecutors.

As for the latter, those mailboxes get special attention.

The Palm Beach Post reports that the FBI, ATF and U.S. Postal Service are investigating a firework on Sunday that triggered a fire in the mailbox of an assistant U.S. Attorney in Caloosa, Fla., just north of Palm Beach Gardens.

The paper reported that Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department sent out a bomb squad to investigate and the FBI and ATF have now joined in.

Still, it may be nothing more than a prank.

“It looks more like malicious mischief at this time,” ATF spokesman Carlos Baixauli told the paper. “We don’t know if the people knew she was a U.S. Attorney, or if it was somebody having fun trying to blow up a mailbox. Right now we have nothing to believe it was intended for her.”

Mobster Snitch Testifies He was “Honorably Discharged” From High School Because “I Baseball Batted Somebody”

brooklyn-sign1By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Back in 2008, Colombo mobster Michael “Mickey” Souza had had enough, according to the New York Daily News.

He was facing up to 30 years in prison on drug charges. He wanted to start singing to the feds.

” ‘Hello, John,’ ” he wrote to John Buretta, the chief of the Brooklyn U.S. attorney’s organized-crime section,the Daily News reported. He wanted to help “seal up” some fed cases.

“P.S. I am so ready to go to [the witness protection program] . . . can’t do this anymore,” Souza wrote.

Last week, Souza, 42, testified as a government witness in the racketeering trial of Genovese mobster Anthony Antico in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn.

The Daily News reports that Souza was a little bit of a goof.

He once shot himself while tucking a gun in his sweatpants, got arrested for boating while drunk and injured a fellow mobster while they busted up a funeral parlor.

He testified in court that he was “honorably discharged” from high school because “I baseball-batted somebody on school property.”

And oh yes, at one point, the paper reported, “he was marked for death by his mobster father-in-law” after assaulting his wife.

To read more click here.

Lance Armstrong’s Lawyer Complains of Leaks in L.A. Fed Grand Jury Probe

lance armstrongBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The lawyer for seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong has sent off a letter to a Los Angeles federal prosecutor complaining about leaks in a grand jury probe into possible doping conspiracies involving Armstrong’s team, the Associated Press reported.

Lawyer Tim Herman wrote federal prosecutor Doug Miller of the L.A. Major Frauds Section, who is overseeing a grand jury probe, that it is “especially unfair to subject Mr. Armstrong to this continuing media blitz when he is in the middle of his final Tour de France”, according to the Associated Press.

“It is egregiously unfair and frustrating for New York reporters to have far more knowledge about this matter than Mr. Armstrong or his attorney,” Herman wrote, according to The AP.

The New York Daily News reported that the probe picked up in April when a former teammate of Armstrong admitted to doping and accused Armstrong and other riders and cycling officials of “complicity in performance-enhancing drug use and illegal blood transfusions.”

To read more click here.

FBI and Uganda Authorities Release Photos of Suspected Suicide Bombers

A suspected suicide bombers

A suspected suicide bomber/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON –– In hopes of learning their identities, the FBI and and Uganda authorities  have released photos of two suspected suicide bombers who helped kill more than 70 people on July 11 in the Uganda capital of Kampala.

The Somali terrorist group Al-Shabaab has taken responsibility for the attacks at different places where people had gathered to watch the World Cup soccer matches.

Authorities said photos of two suicide bombers were reconstructed from real photos.

At the request of the Uganda government, the FBI New York Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) deployed a team of agents, analysts, and forensic experts to help in the probe. FBI employees from other parts of the country were also deployed.

2nd suspected suicide bomber/fbi photo

2nd suspected suicide bomber/fbi photo

Major General Kale Kayihura, Inspector General of Uganda police said in a statement:

“This was a horrific event for the people of Uganda and we are dedicated to tracking down those responsible for this heinous crime.

“Terrorist activity must be stopped and the police force will do everything possible to keep our citizens and visitors safe. We thank the U.S. Embassy for arranging for the FBI to travel to Uganda and assist us with our critical investigation. I thank the FBI, the British High Commission, New Scotland Yard, and Interpol among the many others nations and agencies that are assisting us at this time. Our teams are working exceptionally well together in all facets of the investigation.”

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