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Tag: Indictments

Attorneys in Trump-Russia Probe Believe Mueller Could Indict Trump

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

At least two lawyers representing key Donald Trump associates believe special counsel Robert Mueller may be leading the probe to a historic first – indicting a sitting president.

Legal experts have debated whether Robert Mueller has the authority to bring criminal charges against Trump, who has repeatedly been accused of obstructing justice by interfering with the investigation and those overseeing it.

But two attorneys whose clients were targeted by the widening investigation told Politico they believe Mueller may indict the president of obstruction of Justice. 

The lawyers emphasized they’re unaware of specific plans to charge Trump, but based on their legal experience, they think an obstruction of justice case wend its way through criminal court.

“If I were a betting man, I’d bet against the president,” one of the lawyers told the publication.

Even though the legal standards for indicting a president are limited, a second lawyer representing a senior Trump official said Mueller could show how seriously he’s taking the case with an indictment against the sitting president, which has ever happened in the U.S.

“It’s entirely possible that Mueller may go that route on the theory that, as an open question, it should be for the courts to decide,” the lawyer told Politico.

“Even if the indictment is dismissed, it puts maximum pressure on Congress to treat this with the independence and intellectual honesty that it will never, ever get,” the lawyer continued.

Other lawyers are skeptical that Mueller can bring charges to Trump because it likely would create major constitutional questions.

A boastful and confident Trump said last week he wanted to sit down for a face-to-face interview with Mueller’s team, but his attorneys quickly tried to prevent that encounter from happening.

Trump aides have privately expressed fears that Trump, who is often loose with the facts to fit his narratives, will perjure himself under pressure.

The special counsel investigation has so far produced indictments against four former Trump associates, two of whom have agreed to plead guilty in exchange for helping prosecutors with the case.

FBI Busts ‘Largest-known Computer Hacking’ of Its Kind with 9 Arrests

Data securityBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Calling it the “largest-known computer hacking security fraud scheme,” the FBI charged nine people in indictments unsealed Tuesday that allege nine people managed to break into three newswires to access yet-to-be press release about financial information.

The FBI reports that the international scheme netted its participants $30 million in illegal profits.

The suspects are accused of stealing confidential information about companies traded on the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ.

The FBI said the group stole about 150,000 confidential press releases from the servers of newswires.

“The defendants were a well-organized group that allegedly robbed the newswire companies and their clients and cheated the securities markets and the investing public by engaging in an unprecedented hacking and trading scheme,” U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman, District of New Jersey, said in a press release. “The defendants launched a series of sophisticated and relentless cyber attacks against three major newswire companies, stole highly confidential information and used to enrich themselves at the expense of public companies and their shareholders.”

The suspects hail from around the globe, including in the U.S.

Other Stories of Interest

Drug Trafficking Rings Exploited Commercial Airlines

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

Details of Thursdays’ massive drug bust reveal an ongoing game of whack-a-mole between the DEA and drug smugglers working the commercial airline systems.

In this recent bust the DEA and FBI, in concert with Puerto Rican and local authorities, disabled two rings trafficking cocaine into the U.S., primarily through Puerto Rico Muniz International Airport.

ABC reports that one ring was allegedly led by Maribel Rodriguez Fragoso, known as La Flaca or “the Skinny Woman.” Between 2010 and 2012, La Flaca’s ring used airport baggage handlers to load cocaine-stuffed luggage onto commercial flights headed to cities all along the East Coast.

The second ring’s nine year run ended with the 2009 DEA operation Heavy Cargo. Allegedly led by American Airlines worker Wilfredo Rodriguez Rosado, fellow American Airlines employees smuggled more than 9000 kilos of cocaine into the U.S. mainland, says ABC. Heavy Cargo saw 23 people, including 9 American Airlines employees, indicted. Rodriguez and 21 others pleaded guilty.

Wednesday the DEA announced 20 more indictments related to Rosado’s American Airlines ring.

DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Caribbean Division, Pedro Janer said of the repeated and ongoing incidences of drug smugglers exploiting holes in airport security, the “DEA will continue to dismantle these organizations that think they can blatantly use legitimate entities to carry out their smuggling operations.”

This weeks’ 45 indictments and 36 arrests are a good start.

To read more click here.

Federal Indictments for Massive Online Drug Ring are First of a Kind

Shoshanna Utchenik
ticklethewire.com

In a brave new high-tech world, the federal indictment of eight online drug traffickers is the first of its kind.

The BBC reports that the feds busted up a $1million-plus illegal drug operation online on a marketplace called “The Farmer’s Market” using the TOR network, which allows emails and websites to hide IP addresses and protect users from detection.

The operation served about 3,0000 customers in every U.S. state and  34 countries , selling LSD, ecstasy, marijuana and other illegal drugs. The Justice Department contends the ring provided order forms, customer service and accepted payments through PayPal, Western Union and other means.

“Operation Adam Bomb,” a 2 year investigation led by the DEA’s L.A. Field Division, resulted in arrests in the  the U.S., Colombia, and the Netherlands, according to a Justice Department press release. The L.A. DEA collaborated with the Hague office, international agencies and the U.S. Post Office.

“The drug trafficking organization targeted in Operation Adam Bomb was distributing dangerous and addictive drugs to every corner of the world, and trying to hide their activities through the use of advanced anonymizing on-line technology,” said Briane M. Grey, DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge.

To read more click here.

 

Scores Charged in Cybertheft of Millions from U.S. Banks

computer1By Allan Lengel
AOL News

More than than 60 people were indicted today on charges of stealing millions of dollars from U.S. bank accounts through mischievous computer attacks.

In announcing the local and federal indictments, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of New York said that modern high-tech bank heists no longer require “a gun, a mask, a note or a getaway car. … It requires only the Internet and ingenuity. And it can be accomplished in the blink of an eye, with just a click of the mouse.”

Authorities said the cyberattacks began in Eastern Europe with the e-mailing of a malware known as “Zeus Trojan.”

The e-mails were sent to municipalities and small businesses in the United States, and once they were opened, the malware embedded itself in the computers, recording keystrokes of account numbers and passwords when users logged into bank accounts, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

To read more click here.

Feds Probe Shenanigans at Baltimore Docks

There’s a lot of commerce that flows through the bustling docks of Baltimore. And there’s a lot of shenanigans as well. Baltimore City Paper investigative reporter Van Smith takes a look at some of the questionable activity the feds are probing.

docks2

By Van Smith
Baltimore City Paper

BALTIMORE — The International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA), the nation’s largest union of maritime workers with some 43,500 members stationed along U.S. and Canadian coasts, has deep roots in Baltimore.

Baltimore native Richard Hughes Jr. has been its president since 2007, and he is also the business agent for ILA Local 953, based in Locust Point. Del. Brian McHale (D-46th District), who represents Baltimore’s waterfront in the state House of Delegates, is on Local 953’s roster as a steamship clerk. One of the ILA’s vice presidents, Horace Alston, heads the union’s Baltimore District Council. He and former ILA general vice president John Shade are trustees of Baltimore’s ILA Local 333.

But amid the well-connected ILA members in Baltimore, one longshoreman in particular raised the union’s profile recently: Milton Tillman Jr.

A politically connected ex-con and real-estate investor who is the dominant force in Baltimore’s bailbonds industry, Tillman Jr. is also a member of ILA Local 333. On March 17, a federal indictment charging Tillman Jr. and his son, Milton “Moe” Tillman III, with tax fraud, wire fraud, and unlawful bailbonds practices, was unsealed (“Milton Tillman and Son Indicted in Bailbonds Conspiracy,” The News Hole, March 17). It includes charges that Tillman Jr. was paid for unloading ships at Baltimore’s docks on shifts when he was in Brazil, Argentina, Spain, and Las Vegas, among other places.

To read full story click here.