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Tag: Fraud

FBI: Polygamist Leader Lyle Jeffs Escaped Using Slippery Substance

Lyle Jeffs' mugshot

Lyle Jeffs’ mugshot

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Fundamentalist LDS Church leader Lyle Jeffs was able to escape custody using what likely is a readily available product.

“He used a substance which may have been olive oil to lubricate the GPS tracking band and slip it off his ankle,” Eric Barnhart, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the Salt Lake City field office of the FBI, said in an interview with FOX 13. “The damage to the bracelet was not such to trigger the full array of alarms that law enforcement or the U.S. Marshal’s Service would have responded to.”

Jeff, whose trial on food stamp fraud and money laundering charges was delayed, was released from jail and told to wear a a GPS monitoring device as part of a home arrest.

At some point on June 18, Jeffs appeared to lather himself in oil and slide the ankle bracelet off.

“Checks were done with Mr. Jeffs and at some point, on the 18th, to a satisfactory level the bracelet was still intact where it was supposed to be,” he told FOX 13. “The evening hours, though, that changed. Attempts were made to contact him to no avail. The next day he was found to be missing.”

Senate Report Cites ‘Inferior’ Whistleblower Protections for FBI Agents

whistleBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has a habit of punishing its own whistleblowers.

That may change soon under the proposed FBI Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act, the Washington Post reports. 

“Whistleblowers play a critical role in keeping our government efficient and honest, yet they also risk retaliation from their employers, sometimes being demoted, reassigned, or fired as a result of their actions,” says a report issued in support of the FBI Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act.

The legislation would strengthen protections for whistleblowers who expose fraud, waste and abuse.

It also would allow employees to report abuses to their own supervisors.

“This has left protections for FBI whistleblowers inferior to those of other Executive Branch employees …” the report said. “Unlike all other Executive Branch employees, including employees in the intelligence community. … FBI employees enjoy no legal protection for making reports of wrongdoing to supervisors or others in their chain of command.”

FBI Investigates Connecticut City to Determine Whether Superstorm Sandy Funds Were Misused

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 8.41.51 AMBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating whether Milford, Conn., officials misused millions of federal dollars to help clean up the damage from Superstorm Sandy, NBC Connecticut reports. 

Chairman of the Milford Republic Town Committee Paul Beckwith said the FBI Public Corruption Task Force interviewed several city employees.

“They shared with us they had been questioned about funding issues within the City of Milford concerning FEMA grants,” Beckwith said.

Agents are concerned that millions of dollars in federal funds may have been misused.

School Administrator Who Defrauded Chicago Public Schools Accused of Similar Crimes in Detroit

Detroit-Public-Schools-DPS--jpgBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

DETROIT –– A former Detroit Public Schools official who pleaded guilty last month to defrauding schools in Chicago is accused of illegally steering a $40 million book deal to DPS, according to court records obtained by the Detroit Free Press. 

The records show that Barbara Byrd-Bennett, who was the accountability officer for DPS from May 2009 to June 2011, had a conflict of interest and lied about her relationship with the book publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

While she worked later at Chicago Public Schools, Byrd-Bennett helped steer $23 million in no-bid contracts in return for $2.3 million in kickbacks and bribes.

She pleaded guilty last month in the Chicago Public Schools case.

A search warrant for her AOL account uncovered the new allegations.

The FBI believes there is “probable cause” that Byrd-Bennett committed theft, fraud and conspiracy while working for DPS.

DPS officials said they are cooperating.

“Detroit Public Schools takes seriously any allegations of misconduct against its employees and/or vendors,” DPS spokeswoman Michelle Zdrodowski wrote in an e-mail. “As with any matter where there are allegations of misconduct, DPS investigates internally and works cooperatively with the law enforcement agency handling such matters.

FBI Agent Admits He Tipped Off Media About Raid on Chaka Fattah Jr.’s Home

fbi badgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An FBI agent admitted from the witness stand Wednesday that he leaked information on the raid on Chaka Fattah Jr.’s home in Philadelphia, Philly.com reports. 

Fattah, the son of U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah Sr., said he’s considering seeking a mistrial in a federal case involving bank- and wire-fraud charges.

FBI Special Agent Richard Haag acknowledged during testimony that he contacted a Philadelphia Inquirer reporter to ask questions about the case.

The agent said he tipped off the reporter about the raid at Fattahs home in exchange for information on contracts obtained by for-profit companies from school districts.

“I knew that someone had leaked it,” Fattah said. “But I didn’t know who.”

Fattah, who has been indicted on 23 counts of bank and wire fraud, said he lost $1 million in contracts because of the media.

My business has been ruined,” Fattah said. “My life is ruined.”

FBI Gives Bad Advice on How to Avoid Fraud with New Microchip Credit Cards

credit_cardsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When it comes to new technology to crack down on fraud, law enforcement sometimes offers the wrong advice.

That happened recently when the FBI told consumers last week to use their PINs with their new microchip-installed credit cards because “these cards are still targeted by fraud.”

Trouble is, most of the new chip cards don’t have PINs, McClatchy reports. 

The new chip is designed to better detect credit card fraud.

For example, a hacker would have a hard time replicating a counterfeit card.

Bentley-Driving Preacher Convicted of Using Day Care Grants to Fuel Lavish Lifestyle

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A federal jury on Wednesday convicted a Bentley-driving preacher on 13 counts of wire fraud, mail fraud and lying to the FBI, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Herman Jackson, who once warned a federal judge about the “wrath of God,” was taken into immediate custody because of his previous behavior while out on bond.

The jury also convicted his wife, Janetta Faria, of all five fraud counts against her.

As the leader of the Ark of Safety Apostolic Faith Temple, Jackson, 39, submitted false documents to obtain state Child Care Assistance Program subsidy payments for three Chicago-area child care centers.

Jackson used the money to subsidize his lavish lifestyle.

DEA Agent Sentenced to 2 Years for Using Fraudulently Issued Government Credit Cards

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A DEA agent was sentenced to two years in prison Monday after using fraudulently issued government credit cards to steal more than $113,000 from JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Keenya Meshell Banks, 41, of Maryland, was earlier convicted of wire fraud.

Banks was a program manager for the DEA and was responsible for approving and issuing government credit cards to DEA employees, the North Dallas Gazette reports.

Banks admitted submitting fake credit card applications using fictitious DEA employees and then using those cards for her person benefit.

In all, Banks said she obtained at least 32 fraudulent credit cards.