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Archive for January 11th, 2012

50 Indicted in Fraudulent ID Trafficking Scheme in Puerto Rico

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Big goings on in Puerto Rico.

Fifty people have been charged in an indictment unsealed Wednesday in Puerto Rico with conspiracy to commit ID fraud as part of their alleged roles in an ID trafficking scheme. The charges were announced by leaders from the Justice Department, ICE, Homeland Securities Investigations, the US Postal Inspection Service, the State Department and the IRS.

A federal grand jury returned the one-count indictment on Dec. 29. Defendants were arrested Wednesday across Puerto Rico and the United States.

“The indictment unsealed today alleges that from April 2009 to December 2011, the defendants operated an extensive black market, identity fraud ring,” said Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer. “The alleged conspiracy stretched across the United States and Puerto Rico, using suppliers, identity brokers and mail and money runners to fill and deliver orders for the personal identifying information and government-issued identity documents of Puerto Rican U.S. citizens.”

Authorities said brokers solicited and sold ID documents in the US for prices between $700 and $2,500 per set, using coded telephone calls to suppliers in Puerto Rico to place orders for the documents. They used terms like “shirts,” “uniforms” or “clothes,” to refer to the documents. “Specifically, the brokers asked for ‘skirts’ for female customers and ‘pants’ for male customers in various ‘sizes,’ which referred to the ages of the identities sought by the customers,” said the Justice Department.

The defendants 15 year maximum sentences and fines of $250,000.

Woman Bites Nose Off Victim on Indian Reservation, Sentenced to 46 Months

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A Michigan woman got hit with a federal prison sentence of  3 years and 10 months for biting off the tip of a man’s nose and doing other bodily harm in an incident on the Keewenaw Bay Indian Reservation in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula last April,  the FBI said in a statement Monday.

Donalyn Lynette Taisto of Baraga, Michigan will also serve three years of supervised release after serving her sentence, and will also have to pay a $100 special assessment, though a final decision on restitution fees won’t be decided until April 2 of this year. She was sentenced in fed court in Marquette.

Taisto plead guilty on October 21 to the last of three counts she was charged with. The first two–regarding assault with a dangerous weapon–were dismissed at sentencing.

Early on the morning of April 21, , on the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community reservation, Taisto was involved in an altercation, during which she “bit off the tip of the victim’s nose, struck him with a lamp, and cut him with a knife,” according to the FBI statement. The victim was left permanently disfigured.

TSA Agents Sent to Jail for Swiping Cash from Passenger’s Bag

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Two TSA officers based out of John F. Kennedy Airport in New York are trading their jobs for jail sentences, reports the Mail Online.

Coumar Pesad, 44, and Davon Webb, 31, admitted to stealing $40,000 in cash from a single checked bag, the paper reports. Persad saw money in the bag as it passed through a scanning device. He marked the bag with a piece of tape and phoned Webb, at the baggage belt area, to warn him about the bag. Webb grabbed it from the belt and the two later met in a bathroom to divide the cash.

Both were sentenced to six months in jail and five years of probation.

No word on what a passenger was doing traveling with $40,000 in cash or whether that is under investigation.

To read more click here.

Despite Controversial FBI Investigative Tactics, Terror Convictions Remain High

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Amid questions of FBI tactics in pursuing terror suspects, one thing that doesn’t seem to be questioned is the rate of convictions, reports the Tampa Bay Times.

Many critics have voiced concern in the media lately over whether the FBI is catching and preventing terrorists, or nurturing and cultivating people to prosecute, as ticklethewire.com has recently reported on.

Still, about 90 percent of federal terrorism cases end with convictions through trial or plea deals, director of the Center on National Security at Fordham Law in New York told the Tampa Bay Times. “You don’t see acquittals,” she said.

Her group has tracked hundreds of cases since Sept. 11, 2001, and has only found nine acquittals, 13 dismissals and five vacated guilty verdicts, according to the Times.

The center has tracked hundreds of terrorism-related arrests since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks but logged only nine acquittals, 13 complete dismissals and five vacated guilty verdicts.

To read more click here.

 

 

 

Largest Child Porn Collection Ill. Judge, FBI Agent Have Ever Seen Calls for Max Sentence

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

A man with a collection of child pornography twice as large as anything an FBI investigator had ever seen was handed  the maximum 20-year sentence on Tuesday in federal court in Peoria, Ill.

The size of the stash, and the 30 years Richard J. Jimenez spent collecting it, called for a high sentence from Senior U.S. District Judge Michael Mihm, who said it was the largest collection he remembers seeing in nearly 30 years as a judge, reports the Journal Star.

Jimenez had nearly a terabyte of images and movies, which FBI agents stopped counting after 1,000. Jimenez had told police in an earlier filing that it would take 30 years to go through it all.

The volume of the collection was so great that it boosted the sentencing range to at least 30 years, but because distribution of child porn carries a maximum of only 20 years Mihm could not go over it, though he noted he would consider going higher if he could.

To read more click here.

93-Page FBI File on Rapper Ol’ Dirty Bastard Released; Allegations Include Violent Crimes

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

It appears some detectives in New York have been paying attention to their hip hop.

Newly released files on Wu-Tang Clan rapper Ol’ Dirty Bastard reveal a thick FBI profile of the Staten Island, New York MC. ‎”The detectives have documented, in their case files, that the [Wu Tang Clan] is heavily involved in the sale of drugs, illegal guns, weapons possession, murder, car jackings, and other types of violent crimes,” the files say. All of which might more or less be gleaned from listening to a Wu-Tang Clan album or two.

The 93-page file shows more than 15 arrests for the rapper, legally named Russell Tyrone Jones, with charges ranging from resisting arrest to assault, attempted police murder, refusal to pay child support and the illegal possession of body armor, the Guardian newspaper reports. The files connect Jones to at least two specific murders and an involvement with the Bloods street gang.

Rich Jones of the website Gun.io filed a FOIA request for the files, which was responded to within a week.

To read more click here. To read the file click here.

Pastor Ain’t Going to Heaven Any Time Soon; Gets 15 Years in Medicare Fraud Scam

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Pastor Christopher Iruke, 61, is going to anywhere but heaven — at least for the time being.

The feds announced on Monday that the pastor of a now defunct Los Angeles church who owned and operated several fraudulent durable medical equipment (DME) supply companies was sentenced to 15 years in prison for his role in a $14.2 million Medicare fraud scheme. He was also ordered to pay $6.7 million in restitution.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles said a jury last August found Iruke and his wife, Connie Ikpoh, 49, and one of their employees, Aura Marroquin, guilty of conspiracy and health care fraud offenses following a two-week trial in Los Angeles.

Authorities said that Iruke and Ikpoh were pastors at Arms of Grace Christian Center, a church that operated from 5700 Crenshaw Boulevard in Los Angeles.

They also operated from the property Pascon Medical Supply, a fraudulent DME supply company and hired hired several of their parishioners.

The group used fraudulent prescriptions and documents to bill Medicare for expensive, high-end power wheelchairs and orthotics that were medically unnecessary or never provided, authorities said.

The power wheelchairs cost about $900 per wheelchair wholesale, but were billed to Medicare at a rate of approximately $6,000 per wheelchair.

 

15 Indicted in Major Detroit Drug Bust

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

The Feds have been busy in Detroit, where a major drug bust ended with 15 people indicted for peddling a “massive amount” of cocaine and marijuana across the metro Detroit area, reports the Detroit Free Press. All were charged with running the operation from 2008 to 2011, while three were also charged with gun crimes.

Multiple agencies, including the FBI, DEA, ATF and IRS, were involved in the case.

“The dismantling of this organization has halted the flow of hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of illegal drugs into metropolitan Detroit,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Robert L. Corso, and “exemplifies the strong collaborative effort that exists between DEA and our federal, state and local law enforcement partners.”

To read more click here.

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