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Archive for November 29th, 2011

Washington Post Editorial: Questions Remain About the Ted Stevens Prosecution

Ted Stevens

By The Washington Post
Editorial Page

WASHINGTON — IN THE SPRING of 2009, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. took the extraordinary step of asking a federal judge to dismiss corruption charges against former senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska). This was no easy decision.

Mr. Stevens had been prosecuted by the Justice Department’s vaunted Public Integrity Section and convicted of failing to report hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of gifts from an Alaskan oil services firm and its former chief executive.

Yet Mr. Holder rightly sought a reversal of the conviction and vowed not to relaunch the prosecution after learning that his lawyers had failed to turn over information to the defense that could have called the government’s case into question.

To read more click here.

Feds to Pay Widow of Anthrax Victim $2.5 Million

One of the real anthrax letters in 2001/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The feds are getting out the check book to cover an anthrax lawsuit filed by the wife whose husband — a Florida tabloid photo editor — was killed in 2001 by an anthrax letter.

The Associated Press reports that the U.S. government has agreed to pay widow Maureen Stevens $2.5 million to settle a lawsuit she filed.

The suit claimed the government failed to set in place security measures to assure that no one at the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick, Md. got a hold of a the deadly anthrax strain  that was used to kill her husband and four others.

As part of the agreement, the wife has agreed to drop all other claims relating to the death of her husband Robert Stevens.

For years, some at the FBI were convinced that Ft. Detrick scientist Steven Hatfill was the culprit. But eventually investigators turned their attention toward Bruce Ivins, a scientist in the lab who committed suicide in July 2008, shortly before the feds planned to charge him in the deadly mailings that killed 5 and sickened 17 others.

 

Is the Calif. “Geezer Bandit” Really Much Younger? The FBI Says That’s a Possibility

"Geezer Bandit"/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It’s not the first time this theory has emerged. But it seems to be gaining some traction.

CBS in Los Angeles is reporting that the FBI again is saying that the elderly looking bank robber dubbed the “Geezer Bandit” — he’s robbed 15 banks in the San Diego area — may actually be a younger person wearing an elaborate latex mask from a special effects company.

CBS reports that a bank teller who saw the bandit up close agrees that it may be a mask.

“Something didn’t look normal, it wasn’t a normal face,” said the witness, according to CBS. “He came in, requested money and passed a note and said ‘If you don’t, I will murder you and everyone else in the bank.'”

The man appears to be in at least in his 70s, according to FBI photos.

 

U.S. Atty and Secret Service Take Lead in Sex Scandal Involving Syracuse Basketball Coach

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The feds are taking the lead in the high-profile probe into child sex allegations involving Syracuse University associate men’s basketball coach Bernie Fine, who was fired Sunday, the Post Standard reported.

The paper reported that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Syracuse and the U.S. Secret Service are taking the lead in the case against the 65-year-old coach.

The paper attributed the information to Onondaga County District Attorney William Fitzpatrick, who is involved in the probe as well.

“I’ve been in close contact with the U.S. Attorney,” Fitzpatrick said, according to the Post Stardard. “All of last week, we discussed the case. The lead agency in investigating is the Secret Service under the direction of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, assisted by the Syracuse Police Department.”

“We’re acting in conjunction with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. I’m not doing anything without checking with them,” he added.

Investigators are looking into allegations that Fine sexually abused several boys.

 

FBI Agent Said He Was Naive About How Big Enron Case Would Become

By TOM FOWLER
HOUSTON CHRONICLE

When Mike Anderson launched the FBI’s investigation of Enron’s collapse in early December 2001, he thought assigning a couple of agents to the case would be a good start.

“I knew it was going to be a big case,” said Anderson, assistant special agent in charge of the white-collar crime group in Houston. “But I think I was a little naïve about how big.”

Within a few weeks, the investigation had exploded into a national task force with dozens of agents, prosecutors and other specialists working on it from coast to coast.

“It was the biggest FBI investigation at the time and remains one of the most complex in the history of the bureau,” Anderson said.

To read full story click here.

FBI Dir. Mueller Fires Off Letter Opposing Mandatory Military Custody for Terrorist Suspects

 

Robert Mueller/file fbi photo

 
By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It’s not everyday that FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III jumps into the political fray.

But the Associated Press reports that Mueller on Monday fired off a letter to lawmakers raising concerns about a proposed defense bill that would require military custody for someone captured who is suspected of being a member of al Qaeda or its affiliate and is involved in plotting or carrying out terrorist acts against the U.S.

“Because the proposed legislation applies to certain persons detained in the United States, the legislation may adversely impact our ability to continue ongoing international terrorism investigations before or after arrest, derive intelligence from those investigations and may raise extraneous issues in any future prosecution of a person covered” by the provision, Mueller wrote, according to AP.

Mueller also wrote, according to AP, that the provision could prevent the FBI from using a grand jury to gather records or subpoenaing witnesses.

“The legislation … will inhibit our ability to convince covered arrestees to cooperate immediately, and provide critical intelligence,” Mueller said.

To read more click here.

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