Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category

‘Downton Abbey’ Ex-Congressman Indicted on 24 Counts

November 16, 2016

'Downton Abbey' Ex-Congressman Indicted on 24 Counts

A federal grand jury has indicted former Congressman Aaron Schock on 24 criminal counts that include theft of government funds, wire fraud, making false statements, and filing false tax returns. Once a Republican star, he used federal and campaign funds to support a lifestyle of personal trainers and personal photographers, a stylish wardrobe, charter plane and helicopter trips for Hawaiian surfing, tango-dancing in Bueno Aires, glacier jumping in Patagonia and a plush Downton Abbey-themed Capitol Hill office with a $5,000 chandelier.

The Washington Post ran a feature on the office, and questions were raised. Mr. Schock resigned from Congress during an ensuing ethics inquiry, but an FBI investigation followed, and the Bureau’s findings were sent to the grand jury which has now returned the indictments. Looks like media coverage of Aaron Schock will be resuming shortly. Hope he’s still got the wardrobe for it.

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Chris Christie: Unindicted Co-Conspirator?

November 10, 2016

Chris Christie: Unindicted Co-Conspirator?

With the conviction of two former aides in the “Bridgegate” trial last week, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has been cast in an “unflattering light,” to quote the Wall Street Journal. The governor denies prior knowledge of the politically motivated plan that tied up traffic on the George Washington Bridge for four days, but the conviction of his former aides validates the existence of a conspiracy, and another aide took a plea deal. Gov. Christie cancelled weekend campaign appearances with GOP candidate Donald Trump after the verdict.

Governor Christie now heads President-elect Trump’s transition team. Maybe he’ll be named Secretary of Transportation since he knows so much about bridgesbuses, highways, rail transit, and tunnels.

More:

“After the Bridgegate Verdict, Chris Christie Comes Off As the Guiltiest of All,” Andrew Rice, New York Magazine

“Reminder: Trump Believes Own Transition Chairman Was Involved in Bridgegate, Which Is Now Officially a Felony Conspiracy,” Ben Mathis-Lilley, Slate

Update:

“Pence Replaces Christie as Head of Trump Transition Team,” Jennifer Jacobs, Bloomberg Politics

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

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This Is How It Happens

November 7, 2016

This Is How It Happens
This is how it happens.

It’s election season and you’re a candidate. You mobilize armed supporters and tell them to watch polling places in minority neighborhoods because ethnic minorities are rigging the election against you. That’s how it works in the Third World, where elections are violent. In the U.S., voter intimidation is against the law, but one presidential candidate thinks that’s the way to “Make America Great.”

“You’ve gotta go out, and you’ve gotta get your friends, and you’ve gotta get everyone you know and you’ve gotta watch your polling booths, because I hear too many stories about Pennsylvania, certain areas. I hear too many bad stories, and we can’t lose an election because of you know what I’m talking about. So, go and vote and then go check out areas because a lot of bad things happen, and we don’t want to lose for that reason. We don’t wanna lose, but we especially don’t wanna lose for that reason. So go over and watch, and watch carefully. Because we’re gonna win the state of Pennsylvania, and if we win Pennsylvania, we take back the White House.”
Donald Trump, Manheim PA, October 1, 2016

“So important that you get out and vote. So important that you watch other communities, because we don’t want this election stolen from us.”
Donald Trump, Ambridge PA, October 10, 2016

More:

“Militia group calls on members to patrol polls on Election Day,” Kevin Sullivan, Washington Post

“Oath Keepers Founder Rallies Members To Watch Polls On Election Day,” Allegra Kirkland, TPM Livewire

“Specter of election day violence looms as Trump spurs vigilante poll watchers,” Lois Beckett and Oliver Laughland, The Guardian

“Roger Stone Group Planned To Send Out Poll Watchers With Fake Credentials,” Allegra Kirkland, TPM Livewire

“What Causes Some Elections to Go Violent?” Olga Khazan, The Atlantic

“Voting under the gun: elections and conflict around the world,” Thomas Flores, SIPRI

(more…)

Lochte Wins Olympic Gold In Frat Boy Moves

August 22, 2016

Lochte Wins Olympic Gold In Frat Boy Moves

Ryan Lochte, champion Olympic swimmer and America’s Sexiest Douchbag, is in the news, but not for winning his 12th Olympic medal in Rio. He went to a party at Rio’s Casa França with swim team pals Jimmy Feigen, Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger and they got drunk. On their way back to the Olympic Village in the wee hours of August 14th, they had their cab driver stop at a gas station in Rio’s Barra da Tijuca neighborhood so they could take a pee. The restroom door was locked, but boys will be boys and nature abhors a full bladder, so they broke down the door and trashed a soap holder, a mirror, and a “Please Do Not Enter” sign. Two impatient athletes peed against a wall. In other words, just another boys night out for privileged American jocks.

But this didn’t go over so well in upscale Barra da Tijuca. An armed security guard appeared, and the drunken bros paid about $51 toward the damages before their taxi was allowed to pull away.

Ryan Lochte (“So Sexy, So Dumb“) had a short-lived reality TV show called What Would Ryan Lochte Do? In this case what he did was lie, as any spoiled frat boy would. When the teammates got back to the Olympic Village, they claimed they were robbed of $400 at gunpoint by crooks masquerading as police, and Ryan Lochte even told that lie to his mother.

This all fell apart when security video surfaced showing that the four had their wallets when they passed through metal detectors on their return to the athletes village. Surveillance footage from the gas station even showed them breaking down that door.

Swimmers Jack Conger and Gunnar Bentz were pulled off a US-bound plane in Rio on August 17th and questioned by police. Teammate Jimmy Feigen was forced to pay $11,000 to a Brazilian charity before he was allowed to leave the country. And Ryan Lochte, in the true spirit of “I’m-a-celebrity-get-me-outta-here,” left Rio on August 16th, before any of that happened.

So after the 2016 Olympic Games observed their closing ceremonies, the people of Rio remember how America’s spoiled millionaire athletes trashed their city and its reputation and taxed its already overburdened justice system. And total bro Ryan Lochte went back to his 130 pairs of shoeship-hop-tropical-frat-boy wardrobe, and a T-shirt that says “I am Ryan Lochte. Google Me.” Only now when you Google “Ryan Lochte,” you’ll get the word “liar.” That’s one Lochte Olympic record that will never be broken.

(more…)

New York Plagued by Ice Cream Rustlers

August 16, 2016

New York Plagued by Ice Cream Rustlers
New York City was once known as “A Summer Festival” but this year, with Climate Change, the the Big Apple’s summer is big, hot, sweaty mess. And now there are ice cream thieves.

Shoplifting swarms have been emptying retail freezers at Manhattan CVS, Duane Reade, and Gristedes chain stores. Thieves steal the $6.00 containers of Häagen-Dazs, Ben and Jerry’s, and Talenti ice cream and sell them cheaply to corner stores, which retail them for $5.00.

Things are so bad this summer that John Catsimatidis, billionaire owner of the Gristedes grocery chain, is offering a $5,000 bounty for the arrest of ice cream rustlers. So get your posse together, ride them varmints down, and get the reward. Quick, before it melts.

More:

“Ice cream bandits are wreaking havoc on NYC supermarkets,” Reuven Fenton and Linda Massarella, New York Post

“So Maybe Don’t Buy Ice Cream At A Bodega,” Nell Casey,  Gothamist

Update:

“Stolen, Sold and Savored: Ice Cream Is a Hot Commodity in Manhattan,” Michael Wilson, New York Times

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Florida’s Big Business: Medicare Fraud

July 28, 2016

Florida's Big Business: Medicare Fraud

The U.S. Department of Justice nabbed three conspirators and accused them of defrauding taxpayers of $1 billion through nursing services and assisted-living facilities in the Miami-Dade area. “The magnitude of alleged false claims in this scheme is staggering and outrageous, even by South Florida healthcare fraud standards,” said U.S. attorney Wifredo Ferrer, alluding to the Sunshine State’s major industry, Medicare fraud. The three were charged with conspiracy, money laundering and health care fraud, and two were also charged with obstructing justice.

Thank Florida’s governor, Tea Party Republican Rick Scott, for the expansion of the medical fraud industry. The state is so dirty-business-friendly it has attracted foreign investors from Russia and Nigeria.

More:

“Justice Department Charges Three in $1 Billion Medicare Fraud Scheme in Florida,” Kate O’Keeffe, Wall Street Journal

Related:

“Medicare Fraud Is Sweetest Crime in South Florida,” Chris Parker, New Times Broward/Palm Beach

“What’s the matter with Florida? Healthcare fraud flourishes despite enforcement efforts,” Lisa Schencker, Modern Healthcare

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Who Moved My Cheese?

July 12, 2016

food cheese wedge

Thieves stole 20,000 pounds of cheese from a truck parked at a business in Oak Creek Wisconsin last week.

“Police say the semi driver was transporting the load from Green Bay to the New York City area and unhitched the trailer to run an errand. When he returned, the trailer and $46,000 worth of cheese was gone.

It’s not the first such heist of the legacy commodity in a state where sports fans like to wear foam wedges on their heads. A semitrailer carrying $70,000 worth of cheese was stolen from Germantown, another Milwaukee suburb, in January.”

— “Thieves at large, with 20,000 pounds of cheese, in Wisconsin,” Chicago Tribune

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You have the right to this birthday. Do you understand this birthday?

June 13, 2016

You have the right to this birthday. Do you understand this birthday?
On June 13, 1966, fifty years ago, the Supreme Court ruled in Miranda v. Arizona and established guidelines safeguarding the rights of suspects in criminal cases, embodied in the “Miranda Warning.”

More:

“The Miranda warning is born 50 years ago today,” National Constitution Center

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Orlando: American Shoots Other Americans

June 12, 2016

Orlando: American Shoots Other Americans
A heavily armed native-born American walked into an Orlando gay bar Sunday morning and killed at least 49 other Americans before he was shot by police. Actually, some people may say the perpetrator was not a real American because he was born in New York.

50 49 victims are known dead and about an equal number have been hospitalized, many in critical condition. At this time investigators have not established and reported other facts, but this has not kept commentators and politicians from recklessly flapping their gums. We await the NRA’s inevitable pronouncements that the shooter was mentally ill and that the bar patrons should have been armed.

More:

“The gun used in the Orlando shooting is becoming mass shooters’ weapon of choice,” Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post

“Ex-CIA Chief: It’s Way Past Time for an Assault Weapons Ban,” John McLaughlin, OZY

“Orlando nightclub shooting suspect bought guns within week of attack,” Mary Shanklin, Orlando Sentinel

“Assault weapons remain legal and easy to purchase in US,” Ryan J. Foley, Associated Press

“Ban on Weapon Used in Orlando More Distant Than Ever, Even If Clinton Wins,” Ed Kilgore, New York Magazine

“Florida Nightclub Attack Just the Latest US Mass Shooting,” AP via NBC News

“Orlando shooting: The key things to know about about guns and mass shootings in America,” Max Ehrenfreund, Washington Post

“Orlando Shooting, 16 Front Pages From Newspapers Around The World,” Helene Snyder, Worldcrunch

Related:

“U.S. Gun Policy: Global Comparisons,” Jonathan Masters, Council on Foreign Relations

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Robbers Hit a French McDonald’s While the SWaT Team Eats Dinner

June 10, 2016

Robbers Hit a French McDonald's While the SWaT Team Eats Dinner

A couple of guys walked into a McDonald’s in Besançon, France on Sunday evening, but they didn’t come for the Boeuf Ranch Moutarde or Croque McDo. They robbed the joint at gunpoint. Among the 40 diners, however, were 11 off-duty members of Groupe d’Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale or GIGN (these guys), crack anti-terrorism police. As the desperadoes made off with about $2,000 in cash, one of them tripped and was disarmed by GIGN, who shot the other guy outside McDo’s when he didn’t drop his weapon. No diners or pommes frites were harmed during the take-down, and the injured burger bandit will recover.

More:

“Armed robbers thwarted trying to hold up McDonald’s where 11 special forces officers happened to be eating dinner,” Henry Samuel, The Telegraph

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