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Tag: racketeering

Rep. Chaka Fattah, Associates Indicted on Racketeering Conspiracy Charges

Rep. Chaka Fattah

Rep. Chaka Fattah

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Rep. Chaka Fattah of Pennsylvania and four associates were indicted by a grand jury Wednesday on racketeering conspiracy charges, accused of misusing hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes and charity and campaign funds.

The 58-year-old Democrat from Philadelphia was charged in a 29-count indictment along with lobbyist Herbert Vederman, 69, of Palm Beach, Florida; Fattah’s Congressional District Director Bonnie Bowser, 59, of Philadelphia; and Robert Brand, 69, of Philadelphia; and Karen Nicholas, 57, of Williamstown, New Jersey, the FBI announced Wednesday.

They are accused of bribery, conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and numerous counts of bank fraud, money laundering, making false statements to a financial institution and falsification of records.

“As charged in the indictment, Congressman Fattah and his associates embarked on a wide-ranging conspiracy involving bribery, concealment of unlawful campaign contributions and theft of charitable and federal funds to advance their own personal interests,” Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell said. “When elected officials betray the trust and confidence placed in them by the public, the department will do everything we can to ensure that they are held accountable. Public corruption takes a particularly heavy toll on our democracy because it undermines people’s basic belief that our elected leaders are committed to serving the public interest, not to lining their own pockets.”

“These crimes and the subsequent elaborate cover-up constitute an egregious breach of public trust,” said Special Agent in Charge Edward J. Hanko of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “It is the duty of the FBI, IRS and Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute those who violate this trust and put personal gain above public service.”

Some of the charges date back to Fattah’s failed 2007 campaign for mayor of Philadelphia. He and his associates are accused of borrowing $1 million from a wealthy supporter and concealing the funds with sham contracts.

Fattah also is accused of trying to pay down a $130,000 campaign debt by attempting to steer federal grants to the consult with whom he owed money by inventing a nonprofit.

FBI: Deputy U.S. Marshal Did Nothing Wrong in Fatal Courtroom Shooting

Siale Maveni Angilau

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has ended its investigation of a courtroom shooting that killed suspected gang member Siale Maveni Angilau, the Desert News reports.

Federal authorities determined no excessive force was used when the deputy U.S. marshall shot Angilau four times after he grabbed a pen and charged after a witness who was testifying.

The feds found no evidence that Angilau was shot while on the ground, as claimed by some family members.

“There is no evidence to suggest Angilau was shot while on the ground,” according to the FBI.

Angilau was one of 16 Tongan Crip Gang members who were charged in federal court under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

Charges included racketeering, carjacking, robbery, assault on a federal officer and weapons violations.

Member of Gambino Organized Crime Family to spend Life in Prison on Racketeering Charges

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A member of the Gambino organized crime family was sentenced to life without parole for racketeering charges that span more than thee decades.

Bartolomeo Vernace was found guilty of all nine racketeering acts, a 1981 double homicide, heroin trafficking, robbery and illegal gambling.

“For more than four decades, the defendant dedicated his life to committing crimes for the mafia. He rose through the ranks to become a powerful Gambino family leader by making money from crime and committing brutal acts of violence, including the 1981 murders of two innocent bar owners over a spilled drink. Though they were taken from their families long ago, Richard Godkin and John D’Agnese—two businessmen who also ran the local Boys’ Club—have not been forgotten,” U.S. Attorney Lynch said. “We hope the victims’ families are able to take some measure of comfort from the fact that, with this life sentence, one of the killers has now been brought to justice.”

“After more than 33 years evading justice, Bartolomeo ‘Bobby Glasses’ Vernace can hide no more. Vernace made a life of being a key player in the Gambino crime family where his activities led to his convictions for heroin trafficking, robbery, loansharking, gambling, and firearms, as well the vicious double murder. Today’s life sentence ensures the rest of Bobby Glasses’s life will only be seen inside of a federal facility,” added FBI Assistant Director in Charge Venizelos.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Documentary about Mobster ‘Whitey’ Bulger Premiered During Sundance Film Festival

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A new documentary that explores the life of recently convicted mobster James “Whitey” Bulger premiered this week to a sold-out audience at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

The New York Times reports that the film, “Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger,” explores Bulger’s life, his crimes and his 2013 murder and racketeering trial.

The filmmaker, Joe Berlinger, is an acclaimed documentarian who also was behind “Brother’s Keeper” (1992) and the “Paradise Lost” trilogy.

“While the movie aims for balance, its contentions are simple and twofold: that the full measure of the FBI’s complicity in Bulger’s reign of violence was not allowed to be brought out in court, and that history and US citizens will not be served until that happens,” The Times wrote.

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Former Governor of Tamaulipas, Mexico Is Indicted on Racketeering Charges

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The former governor of the state of Tamaulipas, Mexico has been indicted on charges that he allowed large-scale drug rings to operate in exchange for large bribes from drug traffickers, the FBI announced Monday.

Tomas Yarrington Ruvalcaba, 56 was charged with the RICO statute and several conspiracy charges.

Ruvalcaba, who served as governor from 1999 to 2004, is accused of helping with the shipment of massive amounts of cocaine, much of which ended up in the U.S.

Yarrington also is charged with collecting bribes from businesses that wanted to do work for the state.

OTHER STORIES OF INTEREST

Alleged Mobster ‘Papa Smurf’ Sentenced Up to 3 Years in Prison in Waste Hauling Scandal

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

They call him Papa Smurf.

The alleged mobster, Carmine Franco, 78, will spend two to three years in prison after he was sentenced Friday to racketeering charges, the New York Daily News reports.

Franco is accused in a multi-crime-family plot to seize control of waste hauling in New York City and New Jersey between 2009 and 2012.

Franco is among 32 alleged mobsters swept up in an FBI sting involving three families.

Interview with FBI Agent Reveals New Details about ‘Whitey’ Bulger, Including His Cheap Socks

Whitey Bulger/fbi

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI agent credited with capturing notorious gangster James ‘Whitey’ Bulger provides new details about the June 2011 arrest, CBS reports.

CBS released a short clip previewing the interview with Scott Garriola that will be aired on 60 Minutes on Sunday.

When FBI agents raided Bulger’s apartment, they found a collection of 64-ounce bottles topped by stretched white sox.

“I said, ‘Hey Whitey, what are these? Are these some kind of Molotov cocktail you’re making?’ He goes, ‘No,’ he said, ‘I buy– tube socks from the 99 Cents Store and– they’re too tight on my calves and that’s the way I stretch ‘em out.’ I said, ‘Why you shopping at the 99 Cents Store? You have half a million dollars under your bed.’ He goes, ‘I had to make the money last.’”

Notorious Mobster ‘Whitey’ Bulger Appeals Convictions Less Than Week After Prison Sentence

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorneys for notorious mobster James “Whitey” Bulger plan to appeal his murder and racketeering conviction less than a week after he was sentenced to two life terms in prison, Reuters reports.

The brief filing in U.S. District Court in Boston does not list specific objections.

But Reuters suggests Bulger’s attorneys may be arguing they were wrongly denied the right to argue that Bulger was granted immunity by the FBI.

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