Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category

The Sins of Hobby Lobby

September 29, 2021

The Sins of Hobby Lobby

The 5,000 year old Gilgamesh Dream Tablet, an ancient clay artifact looted from Iraq and owned by Steve Green, the evangelical entrepreneur who heads Hobby Lobby craft stores and the so-called Museum of the Bible, has been returned to the Baghdad museum it was stolen from.

Uber-evangelical Mr. Green runs a $5 billion, 932-store retail chain which claims to be “Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles.” He was caught buying 11,500 looted artifacts (“Thou Shalt Not Steal”), and smuggling them into the country with forged invoices (“Thou Shalt not Bear False Witness”) because he really, really wanted them for his Museum of the Bible (“Thou Shalt Not Covet”). Money paid for many of Iraq’s looted antiquities was used to fund terrorism (“Thou Shalt Not Kill”).

Hobby Lobby closes on Sundays, so that sabbath-observing thing is covered, anyway.

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Felony Failure to Return VHS Rental Tape

April 28, 2021

Felony Failure to Return VHS Rental Tape

“It was an honest mistake from a bygone era, but neglecting to return a Sabrina the Teenage Witch VHS tape rented 22 years ago earned an Oklahoma woman a criminal record for felony embezzlement.

Caron McBride, 52, discovered the charges earlier this month after she got married and applied for a driver’s license under her new last name in Texas.

She was told to call the Cleveland county district attorney’s office in Oklahoma, which told her there was a warrant for her arrest for failing to return the video of the children’s show that records indicate she rented in 1999.

‘I have never watched that show in my entire life, just not my cup of tea,’ McBride told Fox25. ‘Meanwhile, I’m a wanted felon for a VHS tape.’”

— “Unreturned Sabrina the Teenage Witch VHS leads to US woman’s arrest warrant,” Richard Luscombe, The Guardian

More: 

“Overdue VHS Tape From 1999 Leads to Warrant for Embezzlement,” Neil Vigdor, New York Times

“She never returned a VHS copy of ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch,’ DA’s office said. 20 years later, she faced a felony.” Jaclyn Peiser, Washington Post

“Overdue Sabrina the Teenage Witch VHS Rental Leads to Felony Charge 21 Years Later,” Brian Cronin, CBR

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Image by Mike Licht (who knows the shop in question wasn’t a Blockbuster). Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

 Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Dr. Trump’s Last Prescription: Pardon Florida Healthcare Fraudsters

January 22, 2021

Dr. Trump's Last Prescriptions: Pardon Florida Healthcare Fraudsters

On January 20th, before fleeing to Palm Beach (where his neighbors don’t want him) lame duck grifter Donald Trump granted clemency to fellow Floridians convicted of engaging in the Sunshine State’s flourishing industry, Medicare and Medicaid fraud:

Philip Esformes, a nursing home system operator convicted of a $1.3 Billion Medicare fraud, largest in the the nation’s history, won comutation of his 20-year prison sentence.

South Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen was serving a 17-year sentence for a $73 million Medicare fraud conviction, was pardoned by Mr. Trump, a Florida neighbor.

Also pardoned: Todd Farha, Thaddeus Bereday, William Kale, Paul Behrens, and Peter Clay, former executives of Florida’s WellCare Health Plans, were convicted of defrauding the state’s Medicaid program of over $35 million.

This should make him welcome in his new retirement home, a state represented by a Republican senator once involved in a $1.7 billion Medicare fraud.

More:

“The doctors Trump pardoned for defrauding the government,” Anjalee Khemlani, Yahoo Finance

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Trump Insurrection Selfies: Sedition Self-Incrimination

January 11, 2021

Trump Insurrection Selfies: Sedition Self-Incrimination

The seditious MAGA insurgents who broke into the U.S. Capitol at the bidding of Donald Trump and killed a police officer are being sought by law enforcement. Photos of the red-hatted terrorists have been posted by the FBI and DC Metropolitan Police, and the public is being asked to identify them. The FBI has even posted wanted photos at bus shelters in the DC metro area.

While a few brave press photographers provided some serious documentation of the domestic terrorists, many more pix were taken and posted by the Trump supporters themselves, bragging on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, DLive, and other social media platforms about their illegal occupation of the Capitol in answer to the president’s call.

The FBI and DC police aren’t the only ones preserving and scrutinizing the Capitol mob social selfies. Activists around the world, digital sleuths, have archived the MAGA-brag trophy pix before they could be taken down, and have been scrutinizing them since last Wednesday. One of the bigger finds so far was retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Larry Rendall Brock, Jr., identified by John Scott-Railton at The Citizen Lab and outed by The New Yorker

Insurrectionists have scattered, but arrests on Federal and District charges are mounting. Before Instagramming the boys back home, those White Supremicist Christian warriors should have recalled Proverbs 16:18, “‘Hold my beer’ goeth before a fall,” and suchlike.

More:

“Thanks For the Evidence, You Seditious Dweebs,” Whitney Kimball and Tom McKay, Gizmodo

“The Pro-Trump Mob Was Doing It For The ’Gram,” Elamin Abdelmahmoud, BuzzFeed News

“The Instagram Insurrection,” Brian Kahn, Gizmodo

“More Capitol rioters in viral posts arrested, senator urges social media providers to keep data,” Rich McKay, Reuters

“The Capitol rioters put themselves all over social media. Now they’re getting arrested.” Sara Morrison, Vox

“Local Police Departments Investigate Whether Their Officers Took Part in Capitol Riot,” Andrea Noble, Route Fifty

“Off-duty police, firefighters under investigation in connection with U.S. Capitol riot,” Maria Caspan, Reuters

“At least 25 domestic terrorism cases opened as result of assault on Capitol: lawmaker,” Andrea Shalal and David Shepardson, Reuters

Updates:

“Anne Arundel police officer suspended while department investigates possible involvement in Capitol insurrection,” Lilly Price, Capital Gazette

“US Capitol Building Riot: Justice Dept. Pursues at Least 150 Suspects,” Katie Benner and Adam Goldman, New York Times

“Who were they? Records reveal Trump fans who stormed Capitol,” Michael Biesecker,
Michael Kunzelman, Gillian Flaccus, and Jim Mustian, Associated Press

“Archivists Are Mining Parler Metadata to Pinpoint Crimes at the Capitol,” Jason Koebler and Joseph Cox, Motherboard

“MAGA Civil War shirts, a Camp Auschwitz hoodie, and other extremist merchandise was on full display at the Capitol riot,” Hilary George-Parkin, Vox

“‘Trump said I could’: One possible legal defense for accused rioters,” Teri Kanefield and Mark Reichel, Washington Post

“Capitol Riot Suspect Arrested in DC Airport After Bizarre Series of Events,” Andrew Beaujon, Washingtonian

“This Site Published Every Face From Parler’s Capitol Riot Videos,” Wired

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Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Trump’s Capitol Mob Waved Pro-Police Flags, Killed Cop

January 11, 2021

Trump's Capitol Mob Waved Pro-Police Flags, Killed Cop

The raging mob that Donald Trump set loose on the U.S. Capitol waved “thin blue line” flags and wore “Blue Lives Matter” T-shirts. They attacked police with lead pipes and mace, injured 60 police officers, and killed Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick.

Reminder: Donald John Trump ran as the Law & Order candidate; instead, he’s unleashed the “American Carnage” he swore to protect us from.

More:

“MAGA Mob Kills Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, Iraq War Veteran Defending Congress From Trump Rioters,” Pilar Melendez, Ana Lucia Murillo, Will Lennon, and Matt Taylor, BuzzFeed News

“Capitol Police Officer Dies From Injuries in Pro-Trump Rampage,” Marc Santora, Megan Specia and Mike Baker, New York Times

“Capitol Police officer’s death investigated as homicide; Trump’s legal exposure questioned,” Kristine Phillips and Kevin Johnson, USA Today

“Bleeding Capitol cop screams for help as he is crushed against a metal door by MAGA mob that stormed police lines and bludgeoned officers with stolen shields,” Snejana Farberov, Daily Mail

“The Mob at the Capitol Proves That Blue Lives Have Never Mattered to Trump Supporters,” Nathalie Baptiste, Mother Jones

“Rioters breached the Capitol as they waved pro-police flags. Police support on the right may be eroding, experts warn.” Marissa J. Lang and Peter Jamison, Washington Post

Updates:

“‘They Got a Officer!’: How a Mob Dragged and Beat Police at the Capitol,” Evan Hill, Arielle Ray and Dahlia Kozlowsky, New York Times

“FBI, NYPD told Capitol Police about possibility of violence before riot, senior officials say,” Ken Dilanian, Tom Winter, Jonathan Dienst and Andrew Blankstein, NBC News

“Video shows Capitol mob dragging police officer down stairs. One rioter beat the officer with a pole flying the U.S. flag.” Katie Shepherd, Washington Post

“New Video Shows Officer Beaten by Trump Insurrectionists,” TMZ

“Guns, Brass Knuckles, Homemade Napalm: Read Some of the Documents From Arrests After the Capitol Riot,” Andrew Beaujon, Washingtonian

“MAGA Mob Assaulted at Least 139 Cops at Capitol: Prosecutors,” Jamie Ross, Daily Beast

Related:

“Decoding the flags and banners seen at the Capitol Hill insurrection,” By Anne Quito and Amanda Shendruk, Quartz

“Decoding the Far-Right Symbols at the Capitol Riot,” Matthew Rosenberg and Ainara Tiefenthäler, New York Times

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Trump Springs Convicted Felon Roger Stone From Prison

July 14, 2020

Trump Springs Convicted Felon Roger Stone From Prison

Odious operative Roger Stone, convicted of 7 felony counts of perjury, obstruction, and witness tampering, has been spared a prison sentence by President Donald Trump in his latest abuse of executive power. After receiving the grant of clemency, Mr. Stone vowed to campaign for the president’s re-election, probably among his fellow reptiles in the Central Florida Herpetarium near his home.

More:

“Roger Stone remains a convicted felon, and rightly so,” Robert Mueller, Washington Post

“Trump’s clemency for Roger Stone also commuted his 2-year probation and $20,000 fine, order shows,” Kevin Breuninger, CNBC

“Trump Adds Roger Stone to His List of Pardons and Commutations,” Katie Rogers, Derrick Bryson Taylor and Heather Murphy, New York Times

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NY Prosecutors Get to See Trump’s Taxes

July 13, 2020

NY Prosecutors Get to See Trump's Taxes

In the last day of the session, the Supreme Court ruled that President Donald Trump cannot block New York State prosecutors from examining his tax documents and presenting their findings to a grand jury. Grand jury proceedings are confidential, so don’t expect to see details in the news before election day. Nevertheless, Mr. Trump Twitter-screamed in all caps about “PROSECUTORIAL MISCONDUCT!

More:

“Supreme Court Rules Trump Cannot Block Release of Financial Records,” Adam Liptak, New York Times

“Supreme Court Gives Trump Legal Loss, Tactical Win in Tax Cases,” Ed Kilgore, New York Magazine

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Blagojevich Jailbreak!

February 19, 2020

Blagojevich Jailbreak!

President Donald Trump has commuted the prison sentence of one-time Celebrity Apprentice contestant and disgraced former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, the Chicago Democrat who tried to sell Barack Obama’s vacant senate seat after the 2004 election. Mr. Blagojevich was also convicted of shaking down a childrens’ hospital to try to get a $50,000 contribution from the hospital CEO, and extorting a $100,000 bribe from a racetrack owner. He was convicted of the schemes on the evidence of his phone calls, so the president can surely relate.

“Blago,” a devoted Elvis fan, had been scheduled to do the Jailhouse Rock until May 2024.

More:

“Who Is Rod Blagojevich? And Why Did President Trump Commute His Sentence?” Monica Davey and Mitch Smith, New York Times

“The Rod Blagojevich scandal and Trump’s commutation of his sentence, explained,” Andrew Prokop, Vox

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Trump Family Foundation Fraudsters Fined, Get Schooled

November 13, 2019

Trump Family Foundation Fraudsters Fined, Get Schooled

Donald Trump will pay $2 million in fines for misusing Trump Foundation charity funds to futher his own political ends, pay business debts, and buy a 6-foot-tall portrait of himself for $10,000. New York County Supreme Court Justice Saliann Scarpulla ordered that the fine and the remaining assets of the defunct foundation, $1.7 million, will be disbursed to legitimate charities: the Army Emergency Relief, the Children’s Aid Society, Citymeals-on-Wheels, Give an Hour, Martha’s Table, United Negro College Fund, United Way of National Capital Area, and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Foundation directors Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, and Ivanka Trump have been sentenced to re-education camp, and will take classes in how honest board members govern a legitimate nonprofit organization. Papa Trump is exempt from education, either because he’s president, too old to learn, or possibly due to bone spurs.

More:

“Trump Ordered to Pay $2 Million to Charities for Misuse of Foundation,” Alan Feuer, New York Times

“Trump learns that fake charities are tons of fun until you get caught,” Kathleen Parker, Washington Post

Update:

“Trump Pays $2 Million Fine for Abusing His Own Charity,” Adam K. Raymond, New York Magazine

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

GOP-Boosting NRA Member Maria Butina Deported to Siberia

October 28, 2019

GOP-Boosting NRA Member Maria Butina Deported to Siberia

After spending 15 months at Florida’a least-luxurious resort, Trump Doral Tallahassee Federal Correctional Institution, the NRA Lifetime Member, unregistered Russian foreign agent, AU grad student, and GOP sexy-time associate Maria Butina was deported to Russia, landing at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport en route to her hometown, Siberia’s Barnaul. At this time we cannot confirm the deportation and Siberian exile of Butina’s US pals, who include GOP operative Paul Erickson, Trump campaign aide J.D. Gordon, NRA officials David Keene and Peter Brownell, and Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne.

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Top image (“Maria ‘Natasha Fatale’ Butina, after Jay Ward and Alex Anderson“) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.