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Archive for November, 2011

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.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

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.