Discussion in 'Blazers OT Forum' started by MARIS61, Aug 21, 2018.
Morons Are Governing America
Democrats in Congress feel betrayed by Adam Schiff, Gaetz says
By Victor Garcia | Fox News
Gaetz: Adam Schiff needs to be removed from the Intelligence Committee
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., said Wednesday on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” that there are Democrats in Congress who feel betrayed by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., for saying there is actual evidence of collusion between President Trump and Russia.
“There are Democrats in Congress who feel betrayed, because like the rest of the country... they were told that there was actual evidence of collusion, that this was going to happen, and a lot of those very Democrats went out on a limb in the campaign, right, and promised their voters that this evidence would be turned up,” Gaetz told Tucker Carlson. He did not elaborate on the betrayal claim.
“Now we know the whole deal was fake. It was a lie. And really, I think a lot of the narrative has been a cover-up for the fact that under the Obama administration, our intelligence community got so politicized at the upper levels that they allowed political opposition research to justify something that should never happen in this country. And, you're right, it should never happen from either side.”
Gaetz said he filed a resolution Wednesday to remove Schiff as the chairman of the intelligence committee in reaction to Attorney General William Barr saying that "spying" on the Trump campaign occurred.
“I have filed legislation today sent to the House that Adam Schiff needs to be removed from the intelligence committee because, how are the rest of us supposed to be able to rely on a man who... lied to the American people when he said that there wasn't spying or when he lied and said there was actual evidence of collusion or clear evidence of collusion?” Gaetz asked.
“If Adam Schiff is able to review covert operations and intelligence and if we have to be able to rely on his representations, our whole system is broken.”
Wow, a Republican says Democrats hate Schiff, because <Republican talking points> and therefore needs to be removed. This is a bombshell.
I take it that as soon as a Democrat tells us that some Republicans feel betrayed by Trump, you'll be in favor of Trump's removal?
Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Former State Department Employee Pleads Guilty to Conspiring With Foreign Agents
Defendant Admitted Receiving Tens of Thousands of Dollars in Benefits From Two Chinese Agents in Exchange for Internal State Department Documents
WASHINGTON – Candace Marie Claiborne, a former employee of the U.S. Department of State, pleaded guilty today to a charge of conspiracy to defraud the United States, by lying to law enforcement and background investigators, and hiding her extensive contacts with, and gifts from, agents of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), in exchange for providing them with internal documents from the U.S. State Department.
The announcement was made by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John C. Demers, U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu of the District of Columbia, Assistant Director in Charge Nancy McNamara of the FBI’s Washington Field Office and Deputy Assistant Secretary Ricardo Colón, Domestic Operations, U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service.
The plea took place before the Honorable Randolph D. Moss of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
“Candace Marie Claiborne traded her integrity and non-public information of the United States government in exchange for cash and other gifts from foreign agents she knew worked for the Chinese intelligence service,” said Assistant Attorney General Demers. “She withheld information and lied repeatedly about these contacts. Violations of the public’s trust are an affront to our citizens and to all those who honor their oaths. With this guilty plea we are one step closer to imposing justice for these dishonorable criminal acts.”
“Candace Claiborne broke the public trust when she accepted gifts and money from foreign officials, and then lied about it to State Department background investigators,” said U.S. Attorney Liu. “The United States will continue to seek to hold accountable those who abuse their positions of trust.”
“Candace Claiborne was entrusted with Top Secret information when she purposefully misled federal investigators about her repeated interactions with foreign contacts which violated her oath of office as a State Department employee,” said Assistant Director McNamara. “The FBI will continue to investigate individuals who fail to report foreign contacts, which is a key indicator of potential insider threats posed by those in positions of public trust.”
“Our close working relationship with the FBI and the Department of Justice resulted in the conviction of Candace Claiborne who violated the public trust and damaged our national security,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary Colón. “Diplomatic Security will continue working with our law enforcement partners to vigorously defend the interests and security of the United States of America.”
According to the plea documents, Claiborne, 63, began working as an Office Management Specialist for the Department of State in 1999. She served overseas at a number of posts, including embassies and consulates in Baghdad, Iraq, Khartoum, Sudan, and Beijing and Shanghai, China. As a condition of her employment, Claiborne maintained a TOP SECRET security clearance. Claiborne also was required to report any contacts with persons suspected of affiliation with a foreign intelligence agency as well as any gifts she received from foreign sources over a certain amount.
Despite such a requirement, Claiborne failed to report repeated contacts with two agents of the People’s Republic of China Intelligence Service, even though these agents provided tens of thousands of dollars in gifts and benefits to Claiborne and her family over five years. The gifts and benefits included cash wired to Claiborne’s USAA account, Chinese New Year’s gifts, international travel and vacations, tuition at a Chinese fashion school, a fully furnished apartment, a monthly stipend and numerous cash payments. Some of these gifts and benefits were provided directly to Claiborne, while others were provided to a close family member of Claiborne’s.
In exchange for these gifts and benefits, as stated in the plea documents, Claiborne provided copies of internal documents from the State Department on topics ranging from U.S. economic strategies to visits by dignitaries between the two countries.
Claiborne noted in her journal that she could “Generate 20k in 1 year” working with one of the PRC agents. That same agent at one point tasked her with providing internal U.S. Government analyses on a U.S.-Sino Strategic Economic Dialogue that had just concluded.
Claiborne, who confided to a co-conspirator that the PRC agents were “spies,” willfully misled State Department background investigators and FBI investigators about her contacts with those agents, the plea documents state. After the State Department and FBI investigators contacted her, Claiborne also instructed her co-conspirators to delete evidence connecting her to the PRC agents. She was arrested on March 28, 2017, following a law enforcement investigation.
Judge Moss scheduled sentencing for July 9, 2019. Claiborne, of Washington, D.C., was ordered detained pending sentencing, but will self-surrender for said detention on June 5, 2019. The statutory maximum penalty for a person convicted of conspiracy to defraud the United States is five years in prison. The maximum statutory sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes. The sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court after considering the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The FBI’s Washington Field Office is leading the investigation into this matter. The case was prosecuted by Thomas A. Gillice and investigated by John L. Hill, both Assistant U.S. Attorneys in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia, and Deputy Chief Julie A. Edelstein and Trial Attorney Evan N. Turgeon of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section.
National Security Division (NSD)
USAO - District of Columbia
Press Release Number:
Updated April 24, 2019
Quit talking about it and indict him.
Top Democrat's wife may have gained 'illegal private benefit' from his committee activities
by Alana Goodman
| May 20, 2019 03:49 PM
A charity run by the wife of Rep. Elijah Cummings received millions from special interest groups and corporations that had business before her husband’s committee and could have been used illegally, according to an IRS complaint filed by an ethics watchdog group.
Cummings, 68, a Maryland Democrat, is chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. His wife, Maya Rockeymoore, 48, is the chairman of the Maryland Democratic Party and briefly ran in the state's gubernatorial race last year. The couple married in 2008. Cummings was once heavily in debt — in part due to hefty child support payments to his first wife and two other women he had children with — but his financial situation has improved considerably over the past decade.
Rockeymoore runs two entities, a nonprofit group called the Center for Global Policy Solutions and a for-profit consulting firm called Global Policy Solutions, LLC, whose operations appear to have overlapped, according to the IRS complaint filed by watchdog group the National Legal and Policy Center on Monday. The complaint states that the arrangement may have been used to derive "illegal private benefit."
Global Policy Solutions received more than $6.2 million in grants between 2013 and 2016, according to tax records. Several of the nonprofit group’s financial backers — which included Google, J.P Morgan, and Prudential — have business interests before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Cummings has served as Democratic chairman of the committee since January and previously served as ranking member.
The largest contributor to the nonprofit organization was the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, a company that is regulated by Cummings’ committee. The foundation, which gave a total of $5.5 million to Rockeymoore’s consulting firm and $5.2 million to her nonprofit group, ceased supporting her groups in 2017.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation was established by Johnson & Johnson founder Robert Wood Johnson but is not officially affiliated with the pharmaceutical company. The foundation owns 13 million shares of Johnson & Johnson stock worth over $1.7 billion, making it one of the company’s largest shareholders. Currently, five board members of the foundation are former senior executives at the pharmaceutical giant, including the foundation’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees Roger Fine, who previously served as corporate vice president and as general counsel of Johnson & Johnson.
In recent months, Cummings has been a vocal opponent of Johnson & Johnson, targeting the company as part of the House Oversight Committee’s probe of drug price inflation.
Under Cummings, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has wide authority to regulate business industries, including pharmaceuticals, banking, mortgage brokers, and technology. In recent years, Prudential, JP Morgan, and Johnson & Johnson have had business interests before the committee.
Tom Anderson, director of the National Legal and Policy Center’s Government Integrity Project, which has been investigating the nonprofit arrangement and provided research to the Washington Examiner, said the potential for corruption is “off the charts.” He said Rockeymoore declined to let his organization view her nonprofit organization’s most recent public financial records as required by the IRS.
“When a powerful chairman of a committee of the House of Representatives has a wife that is bringing in money from entities with interests before his Committee and she is not providing the transparency mandated by the IRS, there's a serious problem,” said Anderson. “The potential for corruption in this situation is simply off the charts and can't be understated. We hope Chairman Cummings works with his wife to end the stonewalling and provide the public with what's legally mandated all charities provide.”
Both Cummings and Rockeymoore refused to discuss the allegations with the Washington Examiner. Cummings did not answer questions about the overlap between companies with interests before his committee and donors to his wife’s foundation. Rockeymoore did not respond to request for comment.
The complaint asked the IRS to investigate the “shared leadership,” “integrated operations,” and “shared address and physical facilities” of her two companies. Rockeymoore’s nonprofit and the LLC have mutual clients, donors and projects, and were located at the same address and share a phone number.
According to its website, the Center for Global Policy Solutions is a nonprofit group that seeks to “create healthier communities, strengthen Social Security, and close racial wealth disparities." The for-profit consulting firm, Global Policy Solutions LLC, describes itself as “a social change strategy firm dedicated to making policy work for people and their environments.” The complaint states that they “appear to operate almost as a single entity, allowing for an illegal private benefit for Maya Rockeymoore Cummings and her husband."
Rockeymoore’s consulting firm was selected for a $1 million federal contract with the General Services Administration in 2017 for work on the “Leadership for Healthy Communities” project to combat childhood obesity, according to federal records. At the same time, Rockeymoore’s nonprofit group “served as the national program office for Leadership for Healthy Communities,” according to its website.
If both groups were involved in managing the project, “the arrangement is ‘self-dealing’ and cannot be ‘arms length’” as required by IRS law and “prompt the question of whether its organizers are getting fat off the grants,” according to the watchdog group’s complaint. Rockeymoore did not respond to multiple requests from the Washington Examiner for her nonprofit group’s most recent public financial records. Peter Flaherty, the chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, said she hung up the phone on him when he asked her for a copy.
When the Washington Examiner visited the listed business address for Rockeymoore’s consulting firm and nonprofit, a doorman said she had moved out of the office building over a year ago, did not leave a forwarding address, and the building has continued to get her companies’ mail. As committee chairman, Cummings, is embroiled in a legal battle to obtain President Trump’s tax returns.
Cummings recently subpoenaed Trump’s financial records, prompting the president to sue him in an effort to block the subpoena. Cummings struggled with serious financial problems after joining Congress over 20 years ago. His house was placed in foreclosure, at one point; he owed $30,000 in unpaid taxes to the IRS; and he was taken to court multiple times for thousands in unpaid debts. Cummings said his financial difficulties were due to his hefty child support payments.
Since marrying Rockeymoore 11 years ago, Cummings’ financial outlook has improved considerably, according to financial disclosure reports and property records. The couple currently owns two rental properties in Baltimore worth between $250,000 and $500,000 each, and last year, they sold their three-bedroom Victorian row house in northwest Washington, D.C. for $896,000.
Cummings disclosed in his financial reports that his wife earns an unspecified salary from Global Policy Solutions LLC; he did not disclose that she receives a salary from her nonprofit organization, which was $152,000 in 2016, according to the group’s tax records from that year.
Ilhan Omar violated campaign finance rules, investigation finds, as more questions about tax filings arise
By Gregg Re | Fox News
Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., repeatedly violated state rules when she used campaign funds to pay for personal out-of-state travel as well as help on her tax returns and must reimburse her former campaign committee nearly $3,500, Minnesota campaign finance officials ruled Thursday.
The Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board said the first-term congresswoman also must pay the state a $500 civil penalty for using campaign money to travel to Florida, where she accepted an honorarium.
"Rep. Omar must personally reimburse the Omar committee $3,469.23," the report concludes. "This reimbursement payment is the total amount of campaign funds that were used for purposes not permitted by statute in 2016 and 2017. Rep. Omar must provide documentation within 30 days from the date of this order showing the deposit of the reimbursement into the Omar committee’s account."
Additionally, conservative commentators pointed out that the Board's report revealed Omar and her current husband, Ahmed Hirsi, filed joint tax returns in 2014 and 2015, when Omar was reportedly married to another man. Omar engaged in a civil marriage with Ahmed Nur Said Elmi in 2009, and the couple separated in 2011 without formally petitioning for divorce until 2017.
Prior to her marriage with Elmi, Omar had reportedly wed Hirsi in the Muslim "faith tradition," but the couple separated shortly afterwards. Omar did not officially marry Hirsi until 2018, after reconciling with him and splitting with Elmi.
Tax experts say the IRS only permits joint filings if a couple is in a state that legally recognizes the couple as married.
"Time to get federal IRS officials involved?" asked conservative blogger Michelle Malkin. "What say you all?"
"A sitting congresswoman may have filed EIGHT YEARS of fraudulent, felonious, tax returns," added writer David Steinberg, who authored a Twitter thread flagging the issue.
'The crisis committee had Frederick & Rosen prepare releases for Rep. Omar and Mr. Hirsi to sign in order for Frederick & Rosen to obtain Rep. Omar’s and Mr. Hirsi’s filed joint tax returns for 2014 and 2015," the report notes. "Frederick & Rosen then reviewed the documents obtained from the Internal Revenue Service on behalf of the Omar committee. However, there is no substantive evidence in the record to show that the services benefitted the Omar committee, and the Omar committee has failed to prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the services from Frederick & Rosen were a permitted noncampaign disbursement under Minnesota Statutes section 211B.12. Rep. Omar must reimburse the committee the $1,500 that was paid to the Kjellberg Law Firm for the services from Frederick & Rosen, Ltd."
That reference to Omar and Hirsi's joint filing, however, was not investigated or addressed further in the report.
The board found that Omar's campaign bought her a plane ticket to Boston, where she spoke at a political rally; paid for a hotel in Washington, D.C., where Omar participated in an interview for the United Nations Foundation's Girl UP conference; and covered her travel to Chicago to accept an award and attend a fundraising luncheon.
Under Minnesota law, campaign trips must be related to serving in office. Omar was a state representative from Minneapolis at the time of the violations. She was elected to the U.S. House last November.
Republican state Rep. Steve Drazkowski initially raised the complaints against Omar, suggesting that she used $2,250 in campaign funds to pay a lawyer for her divorce proceedings. Omar has said those payments to her attorney were campaign-related fees.
The board found the payment was actually reimbursement to two other law firms for work related to immigration and tax documents. The board also determined that $1,500 spent to correct an issue on Omar's tax return was not a campaign-related expense and must be returned.
According to the board, evidence indicates that the $2,250 was not payment for Omar's marital dissolution. The board directed Omar to file an amended report with more information about the law firm payments.
Omar had called the claims politically motivated. In a statement, her congressional campaign said she is "glad this process is complete" and that she intends to comply with the board's findings.
Drazkowski said in a statement that the results provide "no reassurance to Minnesotans," and the report "raises even more troubling questions."
Fox News' Sam Dorman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Quit bellyaching and produce an indictment, then you can get back to me.
It's kinda funny how the newbie is in trouble over 3500 bucks posted right behind Cummings wife's multimillion dollar scam.
Omar needs to step up her game.
How about 4 years in prison for Jackson A. Cosko, former aide to Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.)?
Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 19, 2019
District Man Sentenced to Four Years for Stealing Senate Information and Illegally Posting Restricted Information of U.S. Senators on Wikipedia
Defendant Engaged in “Doxxing” Activity
WASHINGTON – Jackson A. Cosko, 27, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced today to four years in prison for stealing Senate information and posting illegal restricted information of five U.S. Senators on the Wikipedia website.
The announcement was made by Alessio Evangelista, the Acting U.S. Attorney in this case, and Steven A. Sund, Chief of the U.S. Capitol Police.
Cosko, a former staff member of a United States Senator, pled guilty in April 2019, to five federal offenses: two counts of making public personal information; one count of computer fraud; one count of witness tampering, and one count of obstruction of justice, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. In addition to his sentence term, Cosko had to forfeit computers, cellphones, and other equipment used in the crimes, which was part of his plea agreement. He was sentenced by the Honorable Senior District Judge Thomas F. Hogan.
According to the government’s evidence, the U.S. Capitol Police began an investigation on Sept. 27, 2018, after it was determined that the Wikipedia pages of three U.S. Senators had been edited to include restricted personal information without their knowledge or permission. This information included home addresses and personal telephone numbers. These edits took place roughly contemporaneously with public – and highly publicized – Senate proceedings related to a nomination for the U.S. Supreme Court. On Oct. 1, 2018, similar information was posted on the Wikipedia pages of two additional Senators.
“Doxxing” is the act of gathering, by licit and illicit means, and posting on the Internet personal identifying information (“PII”) and other sensitive information about an individual.
Cosko admitted that he was angry about his termination in May 2018 from his employment as a computer systems administrator in the office of another U.S. Senator (described in court documents as Senator #1). As a result, from July 2018 to October 2018, he engaged in an extensive computer fraud and data theft scheme. Cosko admitted that he carried out the scheme by breaking into Senator # 1’s office on at least four occasions and accessing Senate-owned computers for the express purpose of stealing proprietary electronic information, including the personal contact information for numerous other Senators. He then published the contact information for five U.S. Senators (identified as Senators #2, 3, 4, 5, and 6) using Wikipedia and Twitter, with the intent to threaten and intimidate these five Senators and their families.
On the night of Oct. 2, 2018, according to the affidavit, a witness saw Cosko at a computer in Senator # 1’s office. The witness confronted Cosko, who left the office. Later that evening, according to the statement of offense, Cosko sent a threatening e-mail to the witness, titling it, “I own EVERYTHING” and warning that, “If you tell anyone I will leak it all.” Additionally, that evening Cosko attempted to delete electronic evidence from items including a laptop computer that he used to obtain and download the stolen data.
This case was investigated by the U.S. Capitol Police. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Demian S. Ahn, Tejpal S. Chawla, and Youli Lee. Assistance was provided by Paralegal Specialists Diane Brashears and Matthew Ruggierio and Victim/Witness Advocate Yvonne Bryant, all of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia.
OMG, I wonder if any Trump people have been sentenced to prison.
Top Government Media Network Official, Author of “Vying for Allah’s Vote,” Guilty of Stealing $40,000
JULY 09, 2019
In the latest scandal to rock the U.S. government’s international media networks, the Obama-appointed chief’s right hand man has pleaded guilty to stealing tens of thousands of dollars from the government. The disgraced senior government official at the U.S. Agency for Global Media (USAGM), Haroon K. Ullah, admitted that he fraudulently obtained $40,000 in government funds by falsifying hotel invoices, fake taxi receipts and by billing Uncle Sam for personal travel. “Additionally, Ullah admitted that he created a falsified letter from a real medical doctor purportedly claiming that Ullah needed to fly in business class at government expense because of a sore knee,” according to a Justice Department statement. “By submitting the forged letter from the doctor, Ullah fraudulently obtained costly business class upgrades at government expense, including on lengthy international flights. Ullah admitted to creating many of the false documents on his government-issued laptop computer.”
Ullah, who is described as an educator, scholar and diplomat, was handpicked by USAGM Chief John F. Lansing in 2017 to be the agency’s chief strategic officer. The author of a book called “Vying for Allah’s Vote,” Ullah oversaw several divisions at USAGM and was the key liaison charged with positioning the media networks within the broader U.S. government. As Lansing’s top assistant, “Ullah’s main responsibility was to lead USAGM to become a more strategically relevant agency within the national security, foreign affairs, internet censorship and global media spheres,” according to his biography on the agency’s website. Before getting recruited by Lansing, Ullah, a Harvard graduate, worked at the State Department. He recently pleaded guilty to theft of government money and faces up to a decade in prison, though it is unlikely he’ll serve that much time. Ullah is scheduled to be sentenced in October.
The senior USAGM official’s crimes mark the latest embarrassment for the taxpayer-funded media conglomerate which is comprised of five international networks—Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB), Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), Radio Free Asia and Middle East Broadcasting. The media outlets get about $685 million a year from American taxpayers and reportedly reach 345 million people worldwide in 59 languages. The global media agency was created to counter disinformation spread by oppressive regimes abroad. The USAGM website states that its mission is “to inform, engage and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy.”
Under Lansing’s tenure USAGM has deviated from that mission repeatedly, making it difficult to understand why the Trump administration has not replaced him. Earlier this year Lansing utilized Stalinist techniques to retaliate against journalists behind a broadcast critical of leftwing billionaire George Soros. The Spanish-language segment aired in May 2018 on Television Martí and was available for months online. A scandal-plagued Democratic senator tried for bribery and corruption eventually heard about it and ordered Lansing to punish the employees responsible for the Soros broadcast. In an October 31, 2018 letter to Lansing, New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez ordered an immediate investigation into the Soros broadcast as well as a broader audit and Lansing quickly obliged. A few years ago, Menendez was charged with federal bribery and corruption stemming from his relationship with a crooked south Florida eye doctor that lavished him with cash, gifts and trips in exchange for political favors.
At Menendez’s request Lansing took action, firing eight reporters and editors and ordering a review of all content to address “patterns of unethical, unprofessional, biased, or sub-standard journalism.” Ironically, a few weeks later Lansing proclaimed his support for “press freedom” as part of World Press Freedom Day. In a dramatic and widely distributed statement, Lansing assured the world that his agency “will continue to report the truth,” though it cost USAGM journalists their jobs weeks earlier. The USAGM Soros broadcast accurately focused on his efforts to cripple sovereign governments in Latin America. Judicial Watch was cited as a source because it investigated State Department funding of Soros groups in Colombia and published a report on Soros’ initiatives to advance a radical globalist agenda in Guatemala.
Is Alexander Costa the next in a long list of Trump appointees to get the old ax? Seems like Trump has a lot of new swamp to drain.
Italian police and FBI raid Mafia in Sicily with ties to Gambino family
By Fox News Staff | Fox News
A mafia ‘super fugitive’ was arrested in Italy after spending 14 years on the run.
Italian police working with the FBI cracked down on a Palermo-area Mafia clan with ties to the U.S.-based Gambino organized crime family in New York.
Authorities said that around 200 officers - including FBI agents - swept across Sicily and the New York area Wednesday, arresting 18 suspects in Italy and one in the United States.
SUSPECT IN MOB BOSS SLAYING COULD FACE LETHAL MAFIA JUSTICE
Suspect Rosario Gambino, center, is taken into custody during an anti-mafia operation lead by the Italian Police and the FBI in Palermo, Southern Italy, Wednesday, July 17, 2019. Italian police and the FBI arrested 19 suspected Mafiosi in a joint operation Wednesday following an investigation which revealed alleged ties between Sicily's Cosa Nostra Mafia and New York's Gambino crime family. (Igor Petix/ANSA Via AP)
Palermo Police Chief Renato Cortese said that members of the Sicilian Passo di Rigano crime society had settled in the U.S. in the 1980s after surviving a turf war with the Corleone crime clan, which emerged victorious over the Inzerillo crime family in the Palermo area.
Some survivors apparently returned to Italy after the weakening of the long-dominant Corleone crime family. Salvatore “Toto” Riina, the Corleone clan chieftain, died in an Italian prison in 2017.
NYPD QUESTIONS SUSPECT IN KILLING OF REPUTED MAFIA BOSS
Suspect Thomas Gambino, right, is taken into custody during an anti-mafia operation lead by the Italian Police and the FBI in Palermo, Southern Italy, Wednesday, July 17, 2019. Italian police and the FBI arrested 19 suspected Mafiosi in a joint operation Wednesday following an investigation which revealed alleged ties between Sicily's Cosa Nostra Mafia and New York's Gambino crime family. (Igor Petix/ANSA Via AP)
Officials fear the Mafia is planning to revert to its notorious past as the exiled mobsters who fled Sicily returned in the early 2000s in order to revitalize their clan. Italian reports suggest that Francesco Inzerillo, 63, returned to Sicily by Mafia leaders after being forced to leave the U.S.
The suspects are being investigated for fraud and involvement in businesses ranging from wholesale foods, gambling and online betting, according to the BBC. They face allegations including mafia membership, extortion and unfair competition.
Authorities stated officers followed the two families constantly, keeping eyes on them day and night.
Suspect Tommaso Inzerillo, right, is taken into custody during an anti-mafia operation lead by the Italian Police and the FBI in Palermo, Southern Italy, Wednesday, July 17, 2019. Italian police and the FBI arrested 19 suspected Mafiosi in a joint operation Wednesday following an investigation which revealed alleged ties between Sicily's Cosa Nostra Mafia and New York's Gambino crime family. (Igor Petix/ANSA Via AP)
The Gambino family in New York is considered to be one of the five historic Italian-U.S. clans, and was run by John Gotti before he was jailed in 1992. After his incarceration, the Gambino family went into decline.
Fox News' Morgan Cheung and the Associated Press contributed to this report.
Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, Sinaloa Cartel Leader, Sentenced to Life in Prison Plus 30 Years
Joaquin Archivaldo Guzman Loera, known by various aliases, including “El Chapo” and “El Rapido,” was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Brian M. Cogan to a life term of imprisonment plus 30 years to run consecutive to the life sentence for being a principal leader of a continuing criminal enterprise – the Mexican organized crime syndicate known as the Sinaloa Cartel – a charge that includes 26 drug-related violations and one murder conspiracy. The Court also ordered Guzman Loera to pay $12.6 billion in forfeiture.
Guzman Loera was convicted by a federal jury on Feb. 12, 2019, following a three-month trial, of all 10 counts of the superseding indictment, including narcotics trafficking, using a firearm in furtherance of his drug crimes and participating in a money laundering conspiracy.
The sentence was announced by Attorney General William P. Barr, Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue for the Eastern District of New York (EDNY), U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan for the Southern District of Florida (SDFL), Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Director Christopher A. Wray of the FBI, Acting Secretary Kevin McAleenan of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Executive Associate Director Derek Benner of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Acting U.S. Marshal Bryan T. Mullee of the Eastern District of New York, New York City Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner James P. O’Neill and New York State Police Superintendent Keith M. Corlett.
The evidence at trial established that Guzman Loera was a principal leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, a Mexico-based international drug trafficking organization responsible for importing and distributing more than a million kilograms of cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine and heroin in the United States. The evidence included testimony from 14 cooperating witnesses, including Sinaloa Cartel members Rey and Vicente Zambada, Miguel Martinez, Tirso Martinez, Damaso Lopez and Alex Cifuentes; narcotics seizures totaling over 130,000 kilograms of cocaine and heroin; weapons, including AK-47s and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher; ledgers; text messages; videos; photographs and intercepted recordings that detailed the drug trafficking activity of Guzman Loera and his co-conspirators over a 25-year period from January 1989 until December 2014.
From the mid-1980s until his arrest in Mexico in 1993, Guzman Loera was a mid-level operative of the Sinaloa Cartel, earning a name for himself and the nickname “El Rapido” for how quickly he transported drugs from Mexico to the United States for the Colombian cartels. After he escaped from a Mexican prison in 2001 by hiding in a laundry cart, Guzman Loera formed an alliance with fugitive co-defendant Ismael Zambada Garcia and, together, they became the preeminent leaders of the Sinaloa Cartel. Guzman Loera enforced his will and maintained control of his drug empire through an army of lethal bodyguards and a sophisticated communications network.
The trial highlighted the methods Guzman Loera and his organization used to transport the cartel’s multi-ton shipments of narcotics into the United States, including fishing boats, submarines, carbon fiber airplanes, trains with secret compartments and transnational underground tunnels. Once the narcotics were in the United States, they were sold to wholesale distributors in New York, Miami, Atlanta, Chicago, Arizona, Los Angeles and elsewhere. Guzman Loera then used various methods to launder billions of dollars of drug proceeds, including bulk cash smuggling from the United States to Mexico, U.S.-based insurance companies, reloadable debit cards and numerous shell companies, including a juice company and a fish flour company.
Guzman Loera and his organization relied upon violence to maintain its power throughout the region and beyond. Numerous co-conspirators testified that Guzman Loera directed his hitmen to kidnap, interrogate, torture and slaughter members of rival drug organizations, at times carrying out acts of violence himself. As part of its arsenal, the Sinaloa Cartel had access to weapons, including grenades and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher. Guzman Loera’s personal arsenal included a gold plated AK-47 and three diamond-encrusted .38 caliber handguns, one emblazoned with his initials, “JGL.”
Guzman Loera and his organization also relied on a vast network of corrupt government officials and employees to protect and further the interests of the Sinaloa Cartel. They included local law enforcement officers, prison guards, high-ranking members of the armed forces and elected office holders. In exchange, the Cartel paid these individuals millions of dollars in bribes.
“The long road that brought ‘El Chapo’ Guzman Loera to a United States courtroom is lined with drugs, death, and destruction, but ends today with justice,” said Assistant Attorney General Benczkowski. “Thanks to the unflagging efforts of the Department of Justice and the law enforcement community over the past 25 years, this notorious leader of one of the largest drug trafficking organizations in the Western hemisphere, the Sinaloa Cartel, will spend the rest of his life behind bars.”
“Guzman Loera’s day of reckoning has finally come,” said EDNY U.S. Attorney Donoghue. “Never again will he pour poison into our country, or make millions as innocent lives are lost. We cannot undo the violence, misery and devastation inflicted on countless individuals and communities as result of his organization’s sale of tons of illegal drugs for more than two decades, but we can ensure that he spends every minute of every day in prison. The same fate awaits those who would take his place. I thank the brave members of law enforcement, here and abroad, for their tireless efforts that have finally secured justice in this case.”
“The life sentence imposed today is the only just result for someone who spent a lifetime spreading his poison throughout our country,” said SDFL U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan. “The impact of keeping former Sinaloa Cartel leader Joaquin Guzman Loera behind bars, for the rest of his life, cannot be overstated: the world will now be shielded from his brutality. Thanks to the unyielding efforts of this team, the public was finally able to see how Guzman Loera used any means necessary to control his ruthless empire, including kidnapping, corruption, torture, and murder. Our U.S. Attorney’s Offices continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with our domestic and foreign law enforcement partners to protect our citizens from the scourge of illicit drugs.”
“This sentencing shows the world that no matter how protected or powerful you are, DEA will ensure that you face justice,” said DEA Acting Administrator Dhillon. “This result would not have been possible without the dedication and determination of so many brave men and women of the DEA, who worked tirelessly to see the world’s most dangerous, prolific drug trafficker behind bars in the United States. This is a huge victory for the rule of law, for thousands of current and retired DEA agents and analysts worldwide, and for all of our law enforcement partners here, in Mexico, and across the globe.”
“Today’s sentencing is the culmination of years of effort from numerous local, state, federal, and international partners,” said FBI Director Wray. “It highlights the dedication and determination of men and women in law enforcement to bring one of the world’s most notorious drug traffickers to justice. The FBI has no tolerance for those who endanger our communities and destroy lives through drugs and violence. We’ll continue to work day and night to find and stop those who distribute illegal substances and commit unimaginable violence.”
“On behalf of the Department of Homeland Security, I want to express my gratitude to our HSI agents and diligent law enforcement partners for their work in this monumental conviction,” said Acting Secretary of Homeland Security McAleenan. “This sentence will send a resounding message that transnational criminal organizations all over the world are being continuously investigated and their leaders will be brought to justice.”
“After a decade long investigation, Joaquin Archivaldo Guzman Loera’s reign over the Sinaloa Cartel is over,” said HSI Executive Associate Director Benner. “Because of the initiative and expertise of HSI special agents in New York and Phoenix working together with our law enforcement partners, ‘El Chapo’ will no longer be able to inflict violence or traffic vast amounts of illegal drugs into our communities.”
“The U.S. Marshals Service was tasked with ensuring the integrity of the judicial process in this case,” said Acting U.S. Marshal Mullee. “It was paramount that all participants in the case could operate without undue influence or fear in a secure environment, and we accomplished that. On behalf of the U.S. Marshals Service in the Eastern District of New York, I would like to express my gratitude to all of our law enforcement partners who worked tirelessly in support of our mission, most notably, the incredibly talented men and women of the NYPD, The Federal Protective Service (FPS), The 24th Civil Support Team of the New York National Guard and the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP).”
“Let today’s sentencing show the world that Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman has not escaped the American justice system and, now, will finally be held accountable for his many years of criminal behavior,” said NYPD Commissioner O’Neill. “I want to thank the members of the DEA, the FBI, the U.S. Marshals Service, HSI, the New York State Police and the NYPD detectives on the Drug Enforcement Task Force for their hard work on this investigation and trial.”
“With this sentencing, justice has been served,” said NYSP Superintendent Corlett. “For two decades, this individual used extreme violence, bribes, and any means necessary to bring dangerous and deadly drugs into our country and state. This sentence should serve as a reminder that no one is above the law. I applaud our partners in law enforcement for their tireless work on this case, bringing an end to the destruction this man, and this enterprise caused for decades.”
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Gina Parlovecchio, Michael Robotti, Patricia Notopoulos and Hiral Mehta from the Eastern District of New York; Assistant U.S. Attorneys Adam Fels, Andrea Goldbarg and Lynn Kirkpatrick from the Southern District of Florida; and Trial Attorneys Amanda Liskamm, Anthony Nardozzi, Brett Reynolds and Michael Lang of the U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Division’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section.
The case was investigated by the DEA, ICE HSI and the FBI, in cooperation with Mexican, Ecuadorian, Netherlands, Dominican and Colombian law enforcement authorities. Substantial assistance was provided by the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in the Northern District of Illinois, Western District of Texas, Southern District of New York, Southern District of California, District of New Hampshire, District of Arizona and Eastern District of Virginia. The Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs of the Criminal Division played an integral role in securing the extradition of Guzman Loera to the United States, in cooperation with authorities of the Mexican government, without which his prosecution would not have been possible. The Department of Justice’s Office of Enforcement Operations assisted with the use of critical investigative and prosecution tools, including wiretaps, Special Administrative Measures, and other sensitive investigative techniques that proved essential to facilitating Guzman’s capture and successful prosecution. The investigative efforts in this case were coordinated with the Department of Justice Special Operations Division, comprising agents, analysts and attorneys from the Criminal Division’s Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section; DEA New York; DEA Miami; FBI Washington Field Office; FBI New York Field Office; FBI Miami Field Office; HSI New York; HSI Nogales; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; U.S. Marshals Service; IRS Criminal Investigation; U.S. Bureau of Prisons; NYPD and New York State Police.
This case is the result of the ongoing efforts by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF), a partnership that brings together the combined expertise and unique abilities of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, dismantle and prosecute high level members of drug trafficking, weapons trafficking and money laundering organizations and enterprises.
Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Former District Government Employee Sentenced to 84 Months in Prison for Scheme Involving Over $1.4 Million in Fraudulently Issued Benefits
Accepted Cash Kickbacks and Sexual Favors from Female Beneficiaries in Exchange for Authorizing Fraudulent Underpayments
WASHINGTON – Demetrius McMillan, 48, a former employee of the District of Columbia Department of Human Services (DHS), was sentenced today to 84 months in prison for his involvement in a scheme in which he defrauded the agency of more than $1.4 million by steering inflated food stamp and temporary assistance benefits to people who were entitled to receive them.
The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Criminal Division, Washington Field Office Charles A. Dayoub, District of Columbia Inspector General Daniel W. Lucas, and Special Agent in Charge Maureen R. Dixon of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), for the region that includes Washington, D.C.
McMillan, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in March 2019. He was sentenced by the Honorable Senior Judge Paul L. Friedman. The judge also ordered McMillan to pay $1,456,985 in restitution and pay an additional $150,000 forfeiture money judgement. Upon completion of his prison term, McMillan will be place on three years of supervised release.
McMillan’s scheme targeted and defrauded the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the food stamps program, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), which consists of cash benefits. Benefits in both programs were provided to clients via electronic benefit cards.
According to the government’s evidence, McMillan worked as a social service representative at a DHS service center in Southeast Washington. Social service representatives reviewed and processed applications for SNAP and TANF payments, as well as “underpayments.” Underpayments occurred when DHS clients did not receive the SNAP or TANF payments for which they were eligible. These could be caused by errors by DHS or by the clients. Social service representatives were permitted to authorize up to $2,000 in underpayments at a time without supervisory approval. As part of his work, McMillan also had access to the computer system used by DHS to manage services, including the creation of underpayments.
Between April 25, 2018, and July 25, 2018, McMillan used his access to the computer system to authorize approximately 779 fraudulent SNAP and TANF underpayments for approximately 305 beneficiaries, totaling approximately $1,456,985. According to the plea documents, he authorized these underpayments knowing that the beneficiaries were not entitled to them. In exchange for authorizing these fraudulent underpayments, he solicited more than $380,000 in cash kickbacks from the beneficiaries, and accepted at least $150,000 in cash kickbacks. McMillan also solicited and accepted sexual favors from some of the beneficiaries in exchange for issuing fraudulent underpayments.
In order to avoid detection, McMillan intentionally ensured that each fraudulent underpayment transaction fell below the $2,000 threshold for which supervisory approval was required. The average fraudulent SNAP underpayment he created was approximately $1,757, and the average fraudulent TANF underpayment was $1,986.
McMillan recruited beneficiaries to the scheme by soliciting D.C. DHS clients who were eligible for SNAP and TANF benefits and with whom he had a previous working relationship. He also used third parties to recruit beneficiaries to the scheme. For the most part, the agreement was that in exchange for authorizing fraudulent SNAP and TANF underpayments in a particular beneficiary’s name, McMillan would get approximately $1,000 out of each fraudulent TANF underpayment he authorized for that beneficiary.
All told, 296 of the 305 beneficiaries for whom Defendant McMillan authorized fraudulent underpayments were women. In addition to soliciting and accepting cash kickbacks from these female beneficiaries, McMillan engaged in texting of a sexual nature with at least 50 of them, frequently soliciting sexual favors in exchange for authorizing fraudulent underpayments. In his guilty plea, McMillan admitted that he accepted sexual favors from 10 to 20 female beneficiaries in exchange for authorizing fraudulent underpayments.
In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Liu, Acting Special Agent in Charge Dayoub, District of Columbia Inspector General Lucas, and Special Agent in Charge Dixon of U.S. HHS-OIG, commended the work of those who investigated the case from the FBI’s Washington Field Office, the District of Columbia Office of the Inspector General, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. They also expressed appreciation for the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily A. Miller who prosecuted the case and Paralegal Specialist Aisha Keys who assisted.
A lie? Trump hasn't even been cleared of any possible collusion (conspiracy) by the Mueller report.
Is that the same judge that issued the judgment that says that Trump can not insert a question regarding citizenship on the census questionnaire?
How does this relate to draining the swamp?
Separate names with a comma.