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Archive for November 28th, 2011

On Cyber Monday, Feds Shut Down Websites that Peddle Counterfeit Goods

Atty. Gen. Holder/ file photo doj

 By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

On Cyber Monday, the big Internet shopping day, the Justice Department announced it had shut down 150 domain names of websites that were peddling counterfeit goods that included professional sports jerseys, golf equipment, DVD sets, footwear, handbags and sunglasses.

“Through this operation we are aggressively targeting those who are selling counterfeit goods for their own personal gain while costing our economy much-needed revenue and jobs,” said Attorney General Eric Holder ina statement.

The crackdown, part of a running investigation dubbed Operation in Our Sites, was executed by the Department of Justice, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the ICE-led National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center (IPR Center), and the FBI Washington Field Office.

Authorities said the 150 seized domains are in the custody of the federal government, and that visitors that go to the sites will find a seizure banner that notifies them that the domain name has been seized by federal authorities. It also provides education that willful copyright infringement is a federal crime.

 

Beyond Crime Fighting, FBI Reaches Out to Victims

By Carrie Johnson
NPR

WASHINGTON — When FBI agents arrive at the scene of a shooting or a terrorist attack, there’s often someone else standing in the background. It’s a representative from the FBI’s Office for Victim Assistance, there to help people suffering in the aftermath of a disaster.

The planning for those unfortunate days starts here, in a windowless conference room in the J. Edgar Hoover FBI building, where seven serious-looking people are sitting around a table.

They’re talking about how to pick volunteers to serve on five elite teams of victim specialists they deploy when something really bad happens: what they call a mass casualty event. That means a bombing, a massacre or a terrorist attack.

To read the full story click here.

European Art Thieves: FBI Made Us Do It

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The perpetrators of a European art heist are accusing the FBI of encouraging them to carry out the plan to steal a Monet, a Sisley and two Breughels., according to the British Daily Mail.

Pierre-Noel Dumarais, the 64-year-old leader of the gang, insists the FBI persuaded them to steal the art, valued at 20 million pounds or more than $31 million in U.S. dollars.

Dumaris had a Colt 45 pistol and hand-grenades when going through with the plan.

FBI agent Robert K. Wittman of Miami, the defense is arguing, worked undercover as a corrupt art dealer and “ordered”  the theft in an attempt to infiltrate French art crime gangs responsible for the theft of American-owned paintings.

“My client’s modus operandi did not start from the premise: let’s steal some paintings then find a buyer. They were a bunch of amateurish stooges some of whom only met on the day of the heist,”  defense attorney Ludovic Depatureaux said, according to the paper. “These canvasses disappeared in order to recover two key paintings belonging to U.S. heritage. I’m not sure that the U.S. would appreciate it if French agents acted likewise.”

Wittman denies the charges. “I don’t think anything I did ‘encouraged’ anyone to obtain Chechen hand grenades and semi automatic pistols in order to commit armed robbery. It is a fanciful defence at best, at worst, it is a defense of desperation used only when criminals are caught,” he said, according to the paper.

To read more click here.

Craigslist Job Ads End in Murder

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Timothy Kern responded to a Craigslist ad in Ohio offering $300 a week to tend more than 680 acres of farm land. He was trying to provide for his three sons. His body was found on Friday, buried near a shopping mall in Akron, Ohio, the Associated Press reported. He was shot in the head.

He’s not the only Craigslist related murder.

According to the Associated Press, Norfolk, Va., resident David Pauley, 51, was lured to Ohio,  also with a Craigslist ad. Pauley was found dead in a rural area 90 miles south of Akron earlier this month. And on Nov. 6, a South Carolina man was shot before escaping after responding to a Craigslist ad.

Two suspects are in custody: a high school student charged with attempted murder and Richard Beasley, a 52-year-old in jail on separate charges.

To read more click here.

Four Arrested in AT&T Hacking; Group Allegedly Paid by Saudi Terrorist Group

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The FBI, with the help of local law enforcement, arrested four people in the Philippines last week allegedly hacking into AT&T’s computer system.

CNET News reports that the four were allegedly paid by the same Saudi Arabian terrorist group that funded the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

While AT&T said their systems were not breached, the hacking cost the company $2 million in losses. Money stolen from the hacks was sent to the bank accounts of the terrorists, who payed the Filipinos on commission.

To read more click here.

 

Another Job for Ex-FBI Director Louie Freeh

Louis Freeh

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Louis Freeh is a busy man these days.

After being tapped to look into the unfolding scandal at Penn State, the former FBI director is now taking part in MF Global’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, reports the Associated Press.  He has been appointed trustee for the company. Media reports  say up to $1.2 billion in customer accounts is missing from the firm.

Freeh headed the bureau from 1993 through 2001 and is now chairman of Freeh Group International Solutions LLC, a global risk-management firm. MF Global filed for bankruptcy protection after placing bad bets on European debt and is currently being investigated by the FBI over actions that may have violated securities and criminal law. The financial firm asked Freeh to act as its trustee in seeking bankruptcy protection.

To read more click here.

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