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Archive for December 14th, 2011

FBI Dir. Mueller Has Concerns Over Detainee Provision

Robert Mueller/file fbi photo

By EVAN PEREZ
The Wall Street Journal
WASHINGTON—FBI Director Robert Mueller on Wednesday said a Pentagon-funding bill that increases military authority over terrorism detainees injects new uncertainty into sensitive national-security investigations.

Mr. Mueller’s comments are the first indicating that the joint House-Senate conference bill failed to resolve concerns that had prompted the Obama administration to threaten to veto the legislation.

The legislation requires military custody of terrorism suspects who are members of al Qaeda and affiliated groups. In response to White House concerns, lawmakers included a provision to give the president broad discretion over whether the military or the civilian justice system takes the lead in terrorism investigations.

To read more click here.

Five Arrested in Foreclosure Bidding Conspiracy

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Creativity is one thing that never seems to be lacking when it comes to housing fraud, a pervasive problem.

The latest: Five men have been charged in an FBI probe into bid rigging on foreclosed homes at public auction in northern California, a local ABC affiliate reported on Tuesday.

A federal grand jury returned indictments on the men with charges including bid rigging and conspiracy to commit mail fraud on December 7th.

The indictment alleges that between September 2008 and October 2009 the men “entered into and engaged in a combination and conspiracy to suppress and restrain competition by rigging bids to obtain selected properties offered at public auctions in San Joaquin County,” according to the report.

More specifically, the station reported that the “men agreed not to publicly bid against each other then held private auctions amongst themselves and divided the profits, according to Assistant United States Attorney Russell Carlberg.”

To read more click here.

FBI Makes Arrest in Hacking of Gene Simmons Website

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The FBI arrested a  Connecticut man  Tuesday in connection with a cyberattack on the website of KISS frontman Gene Simmons, NewsCore reports. Kevin George Poe is believed to be a part of the computer hacking collective Anonymous.

Poe was released on a $10,000 bond after being taken into custody without incident, according to the report. Poe took part in a distributed denial of service (DDos) attack in October of 2010 against the rock group frontman’s website GeneSimmons.com, which caused it to crash.

“Our legal team and the FBI have been on the case and we have found a few, shall we say ‘adventurous’ young people, who feel they are above the law,” Simmons wrote on his website.

To read more click here.

Lebanese Man Charged With Supplying Mexican Cartel in U.S.; Allegedly Has Ties to Hezbollah

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A Lebanese man indicted by a federal grand jury in Alexandria, Va. in November was charged on Tuesday with coordinating a multi-ton shipment of cocaine to the Los Zetas Mexican drug cartel in the United States, along with laundering hundreds of millions of dollars back to Colombian suppliers, reports local NBC affiliate KETK.

CNN reported that the man has ties to Hezbollah, the Lebanese organization the U.S. has labeled as a terrorist group.

The DEA and the US Attorneys Office for the Eastern District of Virginia announced the charges against Ayman Joumaa, a.k.a. “Junior.”  That and money laundering charges means Joumaa faces a possible life sentence.

KETK reports that for at least eight years Joumaa and others conspired to bring tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine to the Los Zetas drug cartel in the US through Columbia and Central America.

To read more click here.

 

Appellate Judges Skeptical of Ex-Congressman Jefferson’s Appeal

file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

It’s been six years since FBI agents raided ex-Congressman William Jefferson’s Capitol Hill home and found $90,000 in his freezer, and more than two years since he was sentenced to 13 years in prison for bribery and other public corruption charges.

Still, the 64-year-old New Orleans politician, who lost Jefferson a re-election bid in 2008, hasn’t served one day in prison. He’s out awaiting the outcome of his appeal on a sentence that was the harshest ever given to a member of Congress for a public corruption conviction.

Last week, Appellate judges expressed skepticism about his appeal, according to New Orleans Times-Picayune star reporter Bruce Alpert. Jefferson was convicted in August 2009 of 11 of 16 counts.

Alpert writes that legal experts say Jefferson could get some of the 11 counts overturned.

But the question, according to the Times-Picayune, is whether getting some overturned will make a difference and prompt the stoic federal judge in Alexandria, Va. T.S. Ellis III to lower his sentence.

“He really needs a home run in his appeal, a triple or double might not help him,” Dane Ciolino, a law professor at Loyola University told the Picayune.

To read more click here.

 

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