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Tag: hotel

Attorney General William Barr Books Holiday Party at Trump Hotel in D.C.

AG William Barr

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Right or wrong, the optics look bad.

Last month, Attorney General William Barr booked a “Family Holiday Party” in President Trump’s D.C. hotel on Dec. 8 that is likely to deliver Trump’s business more than $30,000 in revenue, Jonathan O’Connell and David Fahrenthold of the Washington Post write.

 The party will include a buffet and an open bar for about 200 people.

The Justice Department says Barr is paying for the party and chose Trump’s hotel only after finding that other hotels were booked.

“Career ethics officials were consulted and they determined that ethics rules did not prohibit him from hosting his annual party at the Trump hotel,” an unnamed Justice official told the Post.

Judge: FBI Had No Right to Pose As Internet Repairmen to Get Evidence

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents crossed the line when they posed as Internet repairmen to get access to computers in a Las Vegas Strip hotel last summer during an investigation into online gambling, a federal judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Gordon in Las Vegas dismissed the evidence collected during the sting, leaving federal prosecutors with a potentially dead investigation, the Associated Press reports. 

The evidence won’t convict Malaysian businessman Wei Seng “Paul” Phua, defense attorneys David Chesnoff and Thomas Goldstein said.

“There’s no more evidence from anywhere,” said Chesnoff, who has alleged investigative and prosecutorial misconduct and cast the case as a fight for people in their homes to be free from prying eyes of the government.

U.S. attorneys declined to comment.

It’s not yet whether the case will survive without the evidence .

Gambling Case Postponed While Judge Decides Wether FBI Overstepped Authority

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A federal judge has postponed an illegal Internet gambling trial to determine whether FBI agents went beyond the law when they entered Las Vegas hotel suites without a warrant and obtained information from the computers of the suspects, the Associated Press reports.

The Jan. 12 trial date was vacated pending a ruling on the warrantless search.

U.S. Magistrate Juge Peggy Leen said she expects to decide soon whether the rights of Wei Seng Phua and his son Darren Kit Phua were violated.

Defense attorneys argued the case she be tossed out because agents had no right to pose as repairman to fix bogus Internet problems.

Navy Veteran Fired for Posting Photos of Homeland Security Cars on Facebook

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Navy veteran who posted photos to Facebook of Homeland Security vehicles arriving near Ferguson was fired from his job and accused of being a terrorist, CNN reports.

Mark Paffrath worked for the Drury hotel chain where the federal vehicles were amassing in a parking lot when he snapped the photos.

Paffrath said his boss was furious.

“The head of security for Drury was in there, and he pretty much called me a terrorist, saying that I dishonorably served my country for posting those pictures and videos on Facebook,” Paffrath said.

Paffrath said he can’t understand what he did wrong.

“You know, it surprised me, and I was rather shocked that they were there. So I took a short video and a picture of the vehicles. I didn’t give any location out,” he said.

Paffrath, who was born and raised in Ferguson, posted along with the images: “Why are all these vehicles here, I wonder if it has anything to do with Ferguson? #Ferguson, #No justice, no peace.”

He was fired on Saturday, two days after posting the photos.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Agents Impersonated Repairmen to Gain Access to Computers in Las Vegas Hotel

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents acted against the recommendation of an assistant U.S. attorney and impersonated repair technicians at a Las Vegas hotel to investigate online sports betting, the Associated Press reports.

The agents shut off the Internet at a Las Vegas hotel to make it appears as though the computer and hardware needed to be repaired.

Now defense attorneys representing some of the suspects are asking a federal judge to throw out the case because agents didn’t receive consent to examine the equipment being used by the suspects.

The hotel tipped off the FBI of a possible illegal gambling operation.

By gaining access to the computers, agents were able to get valuable evidence of an illegal online gambling operation.

 

FBI Busts Man Who Secretly Filmed Nude Videos of ESPN Reporter Erin Andrews in Hotel

It’s these little things in life — like this — that make you lose just a little more faith in mankind. Defendant Michael David Barrett may have saw this as a game, but ESPN and the FBI didn’t.  The FBI arrested him Friday at O’Hare Airport.

Erin Andrews/ espn photo
Erin Andrews/ espn photo

By CAROLINE KYUNGAE SMITH, DAVE NEWBART AND DAN ROZEK
CHICAGO SUN-Times
CHICAGO — Before secretly taking nude videos of ESPN reporter Erin Andrews in at least two cities, Michael David Barrett allegedly called several hotels to find out where Andrews was staying and in one case, reserved the room next door to hers.

The 47-year-old Westmont man then altered the peepholes to Andrews’ room, so he could record videos of her as she undressed, the Federal Bureau of Investigation says.

Today, Barrett appeared in federal court and was ordered transferred to California, where interstate stalking charges were filed against him.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Arlander Keys scheduled a hearing Monday to determine whether Barrett would be freed on bond, as his attorney requested, or taken to California in custody.

For Full Story