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Tag: prosecution

‘Whitey’ Bulger Verdict Closes Chapter on Two Decades of Brutal Rule in Boston’s Criminal Underworld

Whitey Bulger/fbi

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Notorious mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger, who seized Boston’s criminal underworld in the 1970s and ’80s, likely will spend the rest of his life behind bars after a jury found him guilty Monday of murder and racketeering.

Wearing a gray shirt, dark pants and sneakers, the 83-year-old who occasionally shouted  in anger during the trial showed little emotional response as the jury read guilty 32 verdicts following five days of deliberations.

Boston’s legendary figure, who spent 16 years on the run, will be sentenced Nov. 13, bringing to an end a brutal chapter in U.S. history.

Victims’ families respond

Bulger’s victims had been waiting for this moment for decades, but not everyone was happy. The jury decided the prosecution only proved its case in 11 of 19 murders.
“My father just got murdered 40 years later, again, today in this courtroom,” William O’Brien, whose father, also named William, was murdered, told the Boston Globe. “That prosecution dropped the ball. . . . That jury should be ashamed of themselves.”

For Patricia Donahue, the verdict provided some closure after Bulger was found guilty of killing her husband, Michael Donahue, 31.

“I couldn’t hold my emotions,” she told the Globe. “I cried for myself. I cried for [the other families], because we are all in the same place.

Her son, Tommy Donahue, felt mixed emotions.

“It’s a good feeling,” he said after the jury found Bulger killed his father. “But my heart also goes out to those families who were searching for that closure.”

Bulger wants Stanley Cup ring back

When feds finally tracked down Bulger in California, they found $822,000, guns, knives and other pricey belongings, such as a Stanley Cup ring.

According to a separate Boston Globe report, Bulger isn’t going to fight for his cash, guns and ammunition, but he wants his ring back.

Whether his wish is granted remains to be seen.

It’s unclear how Bulger acquired the ring, but the Globe reported that the mobster paid for the wedding of NHL player Chris Nilan, a Stanley Cup winner with the Montreal Canadiens.

Defense Begins Monday for FBI Agent in Mississippi

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The defense begins its case Monday in the trial of FBI agent Hal Neilson, who is accused of hiding his interest in a building in Oxford, Miss., that housed the FBI office he headed up, and then lying about it.

The prosecution rested its case, using recordings and documents to show his interest in a company that build and leased the building, according to the Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal.

Neilson has claimed that Michael Turner – the Jackson FBI office’s top lawyer until 2008 told him he could buy into the company so long as he was a passive, silent partner.

The paper reported that Turner denied that, but admitted losing focus on details in his waning years with the FBI.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Fed’s Cases Against Blackwater “Beginning to Fall Apart”, NY Times Reports

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Blackwater Worldwide, the security firm that became a toxic symbol of America in Afghanistan and Iraq, may be getting a bigger break than it ever imagined.

James Risen of the New York Times reports that after nearly four years the federal government’s investigations and prosecutions against the Blackwater Worldwide workers overseas “are beginning to fall apart, burdened by a legal obstacle of the government’s own making.”

The latest example came Monday when the Justice Department announced it would not seek murder charges against Andrew J. Moonen, who is of killing a guard assigned to an Iraqi vice president in 2006, the Times reported.

To read more click here.

Chicago Tribune: Prosecuting Baseball Star Roger Clemens Waste of “Prosecutorial Resources”

*Jan 06 - 00:05*By Steve Chapman
Chicago Tribune Editorial Board

If it were a crime to venture onto Capitol Hill to reveal yourself as a self-absorbed liar with an inability to admit mistakes, there would be tumbleweeds blowing through the vacant halls of Congress. Fortunately for members of the legislative branch, that is not a crime. Unless your name is Roger Clemens.

The eccentric baseball legend is not one to let people disparage him without a forceful response, any more than he was one to let batters crowd the plate without retaliation. A couple of years ago, after being accused of using performance-enhancing drugs, he voluntarily appeared before a House committee to heap scorn on the charge.

His denial was not very convincing, since other witnesses — notably longtime teammate Andy Pettitte — had given statements contradicting him. He was repeatedly reminded by skeptical interrogators that he was under oath. Democratic Chairman Henry Waxman and ranking Republican Tom Davis joined together afterward to advise the Justice Department that “significant questions have been raised about Mr. Clemens’ truthfulness.”

But never mind if anyone believed him, or if his alleged dissembling made any difference on anything. Federal prosecutors got him indicted for perjury, and he faces trial on charges that carry penalties of up to 30 years in prison.

It’s possible to imagine less worthy uses of prosecutorial resources, but not many.

To read more click here.

Fed and State Prosecutors Preparing For Surge of Financial Fraud Cases

We knew mortgage fraud in this country had spun out of control and we certainly remember Enron. But Bernie Madoff was a signal that fraud in this nation was so pervasive that more needed to be done. The public is demanding it and it looks like the fed and state prosecutors are starting to respond.

By DAVID SEGAL
New York Times
NEW YORK — Spurred by rising public anger, federal and state investigators are preparing for a surge of prosecutions of financial fraud.

Across the country, attorneys general have already begun indicting dozens of loan processors, mortgage brokers and bank officers. Last week alone, there were guilty pleas in Minnesota, Delaware, North Carolina and Connecticut and sentences in Florida and Vermont – all stemming from home loan scams.

With the Obama administration focused on stabilizing the banks and restoring confidence in the stock market, it has said little about federal civil or criminal charges. But its proposed budget contains hints that it will add to this weight of litigation, including money for more F.B.I. agents to investigate mortgage fraud and white-collar crime, and a 13 percent raise for the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Officials at the Justice Department have not said much in public about their plans. But people who have met with Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. say he is weighing a range of strategies.

For Full Story

Prosecution Team Replaced in Sen. Stevens Case

This prosecution team had so many screw ups that it seems this was the only logical move. Can this save the government from a mistrial or losing the case all together? Who knows. There’s still the issue of an FBI agent alleging government misconduct in the case.

By Del Quentin Wilber
Washington Post Staff Writer
WASHINGTON — Six Justice Department prosecutors will no longer participate in key legal proceedings involving former senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), who was convicted last year on corruption charges.
The move follows a hearing last week in which U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan held four prosecutors in contempt for failing to give defense attorneys documents concerning allegations of misconduct by members of the government’s legal team.
The Justice Department says the prosecutors will no longer be part of legal proceedings dealing with the allegations. They will continue to play a role in other post-trial legal issues, however.
Laura Sweeney, a Justice Department spokeswoman, said, “It was determined that this was the appropriate action.” She declined to comment further.
For Full Story

Atty. Gen. Worried About Repercussions of “Torture” For Govt. Agents and Lawyers

Atty. Gen. Mukasey/doj photo

Atty. Gen. Mukasey/doj photo

The issue of “torture” could have serious ramifications as the Obama administration comes in. Will some government people be subject to prosecution? Will some pending criminal cases get tossed  as a result? We shall see.

By EVAN PEREZ
Wall Street Journal
WASHINGTON — Attorney General Michael Mukasey raised concerns that government agents and national security lawyers may be at risk for criminal prosecution after his likely successor, Eric Holder, declared that waterboarding of terror detainees is torture.
The 67-year-old former federal judge in New York, who took office 14 months ago, said in an interview that the incoming administration of President-elect Barack Obama faces a “conundrum” as it tries to shut down the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Word that Mr. Obama plans to issue an executive order to close the prison has caused worry among Justice Department lawyers who fear evidence backing the cases against many of the approximately 250 detainees wouldn’t hold up in a conventional court proceeding.
For Full Story