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Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin has been convicted on 20 of 21 counts of bribery, money laundering, fraud and filing false tax returns.
A juror said afterward they thought the defense should have put on more evidence to refute the charges.
A recap of events is here.
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Gov. Chris Christie sent this email in response to the media flap caused by a letter written by the lawyer for David Wildstein, the former Port Authority official involved in the lane closure scandal who has been seeking an immunity deal and payment of his legal fees.
I had written a long post with a lot of links on this yesterday but it got eaten by the computer when I accidentally closed the tab before publishing it. I don't have time to rewrite it all, so I'll just say it made many of the same points Christie does about the letter.
The lawyer's letter, which was carefully and ambiguously worded, didn't prove anything, let alone that what Christie said at the news conference was false. Here's the transcript of Christie's Jan. 9 press conference. [More...]
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Former New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin goes on trial tomorrow on 21 charges of bribery, honest services wire fraud, money laundering conspiracy and filing false tax returns. Essentially, he's charged with accepting bribes and kickbacks in exchange for granting lucrative city contracts,
As is typical in these cases, the Government's witnesses include plenty of wrongdoers singing for their supper.
NOLA.com's live trial coverage page is here.
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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments Friday in the appeal of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.
Blagojevich's attorneys had to be happy that the panel raised questions about the heart of their defense that the attempted sale of a U.S. Senate seat was political horse-trading and that prosecutors had unfairly made it into a crime.
Does that bode well for Blago? Impossible to know. Predicting how an appeals court will rule is usually a futile exercise.
While Blago could not attend the hearing, his wife Patti did and addressed the media afterwards: [More...]
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Here is Kim Dotcom's lawyers' new White paper on why the charges against him are untenable:
The U.S. government’s case against Megaupload is grounded in a theory of criminal secondary copyright infringement. In other words, the prosecution seeks to hold Megaupload and its executives criminally responsible for alleged infringement by the company’s third-party cloud storage users.
The problem with the theory, however, is that secondary copyright infringement is not – nor has it ever been – a crime in the United States. The federal courts lack any power to criminalize secondary copyright infringement; the U.S. Congress alone has such authority, and it has not done so.
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Former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick gets sentenced today. He's expecting to get hammered with a double digit sentence.
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The Texas 3rd Court of Appeals has reversed the conviction of Former Congressman Tom DeLay for money laundering and conspiracy, finding the evidence insufficient to convict him. The reversal is an acquittal which means he cannot be retried. Nor will he have to serve his three year prison sentence.
Dick DeGuerin always predicted DeLay would never spend a night in jail. [More...]
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Back in 2010, the feds brought an 89 count indictment against former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and others, concerning the awarding of contracts in the city's Department of Water and Sewerage. The charges included racketeering, extortion, bribery, mail and wire fraud, tax evasion and filing false tax returns.
His father, Bernard Kilpatrick, was charged with racketeering, extortion, and two counts of filing false tax returns.
The trial lasted five months. The Government called 80 witnesses. A brief history of the trial is here.
Today the jury returned guilty verdicts against Kwame on 24 counts. His father, Bernard Kilpatrick, was convicted of one tax count, and contractor Bobby Ferguson was convicted on 9 counts.
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The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld 10 of the 11 counts of bribery, money laundering, wire fraud and RICO (organized crime) on which former LA Congressman William Jefferson. Jefferson was convicted. Jefferson is serving a 13 year sentence. The Court vacated a wire fraud count but that will not affect his sentence. The Court said Virginia was not the appropriate place for a count involving a phone call between Kentucky and Africa. More on today's decision here.
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The media circus surrounding Rod Blagojevich continued today as he flew commerically to Denver and made his way to FCI Englewood.
Followed by helicopters and television news crews on the road that brought to mind the low speed chase of O.J. Simpson, Blagojevich arrived at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. A mob of travelers took photographs on their cellphones as Blagojevich, his arms raised, stood in a body scanner before heading to down the concourse.[More..]
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I intended to live-blog his speech but it was too compelling to type through. I had to just watch. A summary is below: [More...]
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Rod Blagojevich begins his 14 year prison sentence on Thursday. At 5 pm CST today, he will hold a press conference at his home. The next morning he will fly to Colorado with his attorney, and surrender at FCI Englewood, a low security level prison outside of Denver.
There will be many saying Blagojevich got his due. I think the sentence is too harsh. He's neither violent nor a safety threat, the conviction ended his public career and ostracized him. He's broke. His daughters will grow up without a father. One day he's here, next day he's not.
FCI Englewood is pretty decent for a prison. But it's still a prison and I doubt anything can prepare him for the lack of privacy, boredom and the strict regimentation he's about to experience.[More...]
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The judge presiding over Rod Blagojevich's criminal case has agreed to recommend the Bureau of Prisons admit him to RDAP -- the residential drug and alcohol program that allows inmates who successfully complete it to cut up to a year off their prison terms.
The news is reporting he asked for drug treatment even though Blago's attorneys gave no reason for the request. Also the reports state Team Blago asked he be placed in the program when he starts his sentence.
First of all, the program is for drug and/or alcohol treatment, so there's no reason to assume the request was based on drug use. [More...]
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The judge in Rod Blagojevich's case has recommended to the Bureau of Prisons that he be designated to the low-level prison in Englewood, Colorado, outside of Denver. (BOP website for Englewood here.)
Blagojevich isn't eligible for a camp because his sentence exceeds 10 years. So a low security facility is the next best thing. Englewood is pretty decent. Lots of clients want to go there. (Here's the Commissary list.)It also has an adjacent camp which he can get to when he does qualify.
He may even find friends there. Enron's Jeffrey Skilling is serving his sentence at Englewood, and he doesn't get out until 2028.
A judge's recommendations are not binding on the Bureau of Prisons, so it's not a certainty that's where he will go. Bed space may play a role. The judge also extended Blago's surrender date until March 15, to give him more time to sell his home.
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Former Panama General Manuel Noriega served 17 years in prison in the U.S. for drugs and 2 years in France for money laundering. This weekend, at his request, he was returned to Panama to begin serving three 20 year sentences. He's now 77 and in a wheelchair.
Noriega was toppled in a US invasion of Panama in 1989. He was convicted in absentia in three homicide cases involving 11 murders, including the 1985 beheading of a doctor who threatened to reveal Noriega’s drug ties. He was also responsible for the executions of nine officers who staged a failed coup.
Here are some photos of Noriega's arrest by U.S. DEA agents in Panama. The lead take-down agent, DEA group supervisor, Rene DelaCova, pleaded guilty 1n 1994 to stealing $700,000 from drug traffickers in an unrelated case. He got a 3 year sentence. [More...]
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