Friday, August 28, 2009

Atentatul cu bomba din Nevada

In dimineata zilei de 26 august, 1980 o bomba era plasata in interiorul unui hotel din Nevada, in apropiere de Lake Tahoe. Ulterior, cei din hotel au descoperit un bilet in care se cereau 3 milioane de dolari, fiind amenintati ca in caz contrat bomba urmand sa explodeze. Responsabilul acestui atentat a fost John Birges, Sr, un american a carui afacere cu un restaurant era pe cale sa falimenteze, si pentru ca pierduse bani la cazinoul respectiv acesta s-a gandit sa faca rost de bani planuind acest atentat cu bomba.
Aflati povestea mai jos.
In the early morning hours of August 26, 1980—29 years ago today—men wearing white jumpsuits and pretending to deliver an IBM copy machine rolled a bomb into Harvey’s Resort Hotel and Casino in Stateline, Nevada, near Lake Tahoe.
A note left with the bomb—titled STERN WARNING TO THE MANAGEMENT AND BOMB SQUAD—began ominously: “Do not move or tilt this bomb, because the mechanism controlling the detonators in it will set it off at a movement of less than .01 of the open end Ricter scale.”
“Do not try to take it apart,” the note went on. “The flathead screws are also attached to triggers and as much as ¼ to ¾ of a turn will cause an explosion. … This bomb is so sensitive that the slightest movement either inside or outside will cause it to explode. This bomb can never be dismantled or disarmed without causing an explosion. Not even by the creator."
The “creator,” we later discovered, was 59-year-old John Birges, Sr.—who wanted $3 million in cash in return for supplying directions to disconnect two of the bomb’s three automatic timers so it could be moved to a remote area before exploding.
The device—two steel boxes stacked one atop the other—contained nearly 1,000 pounds of dynamite. Inside the resort, Birges made sure the bomb was exactly level, then armed it using at least eight triggering mechanisms.
“We had never seen anything quite like it,” said retired Special Agent Chris Ronay, an explosives examiner who was called to the scene along with other experts.
After being discovered, the bomb was photographed, dusted for fingerprints, X-rayed, and studied. Finally, more than 30 hours later, a plan was agreed upon: if the two boxes could be severed using a shaped charge of C4 explosive, it might disconnect the detonator wiring from the dynamite.
Harvey’s and other nearby casinos in Lake Tahoe were evacuated, and on the afternoon of August 27, the shaped charge was remotely detonated.
The plan was the best one available at the time, but it didn’t work. The bomb exploded, creating a five-story crater in the hotel. “Looking up from ground level,” Ronay said, “you could see TV sets swinging on electric cords and toilets hanging on by pipes. Debris was everywhere.” Fortunately, because of the evacuation, no one was killed or injured.
To this day, the Harvey’s bomb remains one of the most unique improvised explosives devices (IEDs) the Bureau has ever come across.

“Today’s IEDs use more advanced electronics,” said Special Agent Thomas Mohnal, an examiner in our Explosives Unit, based at the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Virginia. “Our techniques and tools for dealing with these devices are also more advanced,” Mohnal added, “but you still probably couldn’t build a bomb much tougher to defeat than Harvey’s.”
Birges, Sr., said to be an inveterate gambler who had lost a substantial amount of money at Harvey’s, was caught (with the help of an alert clerk at a nearby hotel who had written down the license plate of the bomb delivery van) and convicted—he never did get the ransom money. His two sons, charged as accomplices, were given suspended sentences because they cooperated with authorities. Birges died in jail in 1996.
Today, a mockup of the Harvey’s bomb—built for Birges’ trial—with all its booby traps and fusing mechanisms, is used for training purposes by our Laboratory Division.
Tune in on Friday for a video that shows the actual explosion along with more details about the one-of-a-kind bomb and what we learned from our post-blast investigation.

Do not move or tilt this bomb, because the mechanism controlling the detonators in it will set it off at a movement of less than .01 of the open end Ricter scale. Don’t try to flood or gas the bomb. There is a float switch and an atmospheric pressure switch set at 26.00-33.00. Both are attached to detonators. Do not try to take it apart. The flathead screws are also attached to triggers and as much as ¼ to ¾ of a turn will cause an explosion. In other words this bomb is so sensitive that the slightest movement either inside or outside will cause it to explode.
This bomb can never be dismantled or disarmed without causing an explosion. Not even by the creator. Only by proper instruction can it be moved to a safe place where it can be deliberately exploded, or where the third automatic timer can be allowed to detonate it. There are three automatic timers each set for three different explosion times. Only if you comply with the instructions in this letter will you be given instructions on how to disconnect the first two automatic timers and how to move the bomb to a place where it can be exploded safely.
The blast caused immense damage, creating a five-story chasm in the casino.
I repeat do not try to move, disarm, or enter this bomb. It will explode.
If exploded this bomb contains enough TNT to severely damage Harrahs across the street. This should give you some idea of the amount of TNT contained within this box. It is full of TNT. It is our advice to cordon off a minimum of twelve hundred feet radius and remove all people from that area.
We demand three million dollars in used one hundred dollar bills. They must be unmarked, unbugged and chemically untreated. If we find anything wrong with the money we will stop all instructions for moving the bomb.
At the time, the post-blast investigation was one of the largest ever undertaken by the FBI. Sifting stations were set up to gather evidence and to recover money and casino chips scattered among the debris.
The money is to be delivered by helicopter. The helicopter pilot is to park at 2300 hours as close as possible to the LTA building by the light at the Lake Tahoe Airport. It is to face the east. The pilot has to be alone, and unarmed. The pilot is to get out and stand by the chain link fence gate. He is to wait for further instructions which will be delivered by a taxi that will be hired. The driver will know nothing. They may also be delivered by a private individual or through the nearby public phone at exactly 0010 hours. At 0010 hours the pilot will receive instructions about where to do and what to do. Before the pilot enters the helicopter he has to take a strong flashlight and shine it around the inside of the helicopter so that it will light up the entire inside. We must be able to see it from a distance with binoculars. We want to be able to see everything that is inside the helicopter so that we can be sure there is no one hiding inside and that there is no contraband inside.
These conditions must be followed to the letter. Any deviation from these conditions will leave your casino in a shambles. Also remember that even a very small earthquake will detonate the bomb so do not try to delay the delivery of the money.
(1) All news media, local or nationwide will be kept ignorant of the transactions between us and the casino management until the bomb is removed from the building.(2) The helicopter will be manned only by the pilot. He must be unarmed and unbugged. We do not want any misunderstanding which might cause us to have to take lives unnecessarily. (3) Fill the helicopter up completely with gas.(4) The helicopter pilot after he receives the first instructions cannot communicate with anyone except the necessary instructions given and taken by the tower. All channels from 11.30 to 17.00 will be monitored.
The designer of this bomb will not participate in the exchange so it will be completely useless to apprehend any person making the exchange because they will not know how it works. They perform their duty for reward. And again if you don’t want to be stuck with a thousand pounds of TNT do not allow any investigation by local agencies, FBI or any other investigative agency action before the bomb is removed. If the instructions are violated in any way by any authority the secret of the handling of the bomb will definitely not be revealed. If the money is received without any problems six sets of instructions regarding the removal of the bomb will be given to you at different times. The pilot will receive the first set of instructions. He can carry it back with him. If the money is sold to the buyer without complications you may receive the remaining five sets of instructions one by one via the Kingsbury Post Office by general delivery, or you may receive them all at once. The extent of your co-operation will make the difference. If you co-operate fully it will insure a very speedy exchange. We don’t want to burden your business opportunities or cause more loss of money than is necessary.
There will be no extension or renegotiation. Demands are firm regardless. The transaction has to take place within 24 hours. If you do not comply we will not contact you again and we will not answer any attempts to contact us. In the event of a double-cross there will be another time sometime in the future when another attempt will be made. We have the ways and means to get another bomb in.
The helicopter has to be filled up with gas. Do not come armed with any weapon. Do not bring a shot-gun rider. All radio channels will be monitored. You are to have no communication with anyone after you reach the airport. Do not try to be a hero, Arlington is full of them and they can’t even smell the flowers. Follow the orders strictly. You will make five stops, none of which will be at an airfield. You will have ample lighting for landing. All sites are fairly level. One has about two degrees pitch. There will be a clearance of more than two hundred feet radius. We don’t want any trouble but we won’t run away if you bring it.
Happy landing.

Top 10 stiri FBI in saptamana 22-28 august 2009

1. Houston: Stanford Financial Group CFO Pleads Guilty in Connection with $7 Billion Fraud Scheme
James M. Davis, the former chief financial officer of Houston-based Stanford Financial Group, pled guilty to fraud and obstruction charges related to a $7 billion scheme to defraud investors. Davis was charged with conspiracy to commit mail, wire and securities fraud; mail fraud; and conspiracy to obstruct a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigation. The criminal information also seeks forfeiture of up to $1 billion in fraud proceeds. Full Story
2. Albany: Former State Supreme Court Justice Convicted of Attempted Extortion and Bribery
Former New York State Supreme Court Justice Thomas J. Spargo was convicted of attempted extortion and soliciting a bribe. Evidenced introduced at trial showed that Spargo solicited a $10,000 payment from an attorney with cases pending before him in Ulster County. Full Story
3. St. Louis: Two Missouri Lawmakers & Associate Plead Guilty to Federal Obstruction Charges
Missouri State Senator Jeff Smith, Missouri State Representative Mark Brown, and Nicholas Adams pled guilty to federal obstruction charges involving their conspiracy and attempt to obstruct a Federal Election Commission proceeding. In addition, Smith and Adams pled guilty to federal obstruction charges involving their conspiracy and attempt to obstruct a Federal Grand Jury proceeding Full Story
4. Houston: Six Charged in Domestic Sex Trafficking Case
Five men and one woman were charged in a 16-count indictment with conspiracy and sex trafficking of children and forcing and coercing adults to engage in commercial sex acts. This case represents the single largest domestic sex trafficking case in the history of the Southern District of Texas. Full Story
5. Phoenix: South Phoenix Gangs Disrupted by Operation Tri Dent
The FBI Violent Street Gang Task Force and the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office announced the execution of 14 search warrants and the indictment of over 100 gang members as a result of Operation Tri Dent. The defendants indicted in this matter are charged with drug trafficking, weapons trafficking, aggravated robbery, and conspiracy. Full Story
6. Washington: Former Department of Defense Contractor Sentenced for Scheme to Steal Fuel from U.S. Army in Iraq
Lee William Dubois, a former Department of Defense contractor, was sentenced to three years in prison for his participation in a scheme to steal fuel worth approximately $39.6 million from the U.S. Army in Iraq. Full Story
7. Anchorage: Final Defendant Sentenced in Alaska’s Largest Mortgage Fraud Investigation
Lance Lockard, the final defendant to be sentenced in the largest mortgage fraud investigation in Alaska’s history, was sentenced to 70 months in prison for his leadership of a scheme to defraud 13 mortgage lenders and banks of over $1.7 million in profits and causing over $2.5 million in losses to the financial institutions. In total, nine individuals and one corporate defendant were convicted and sentenced for their roles in the scheme. Full Story
8. Portland: Son of Imprisoned Spy Pleads Guilty to Two Counts of Federal Indictment
Nathaniel James Nicholson pled guilty to conspiracy to act as an agent of the Russian Federation and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Nicholson’s father, Harold J. Nicholson, a former CIA employee, is serving a 283-month sentence for a 1997 conviction of conspiracy to commit espionage. Harold J. Nicholson, working through his son, allegedly received cash proceeds for his past espionage activities from agents of the Russian Federation between 2006 and 2008. Full Story
9. San Francisco: Electronics Manufacturer Agrees to Pay $26 Million Fine for Price-Fixing Conspiracy
Japanese electronics manufacturer Epson Imaging Devices Corporation agreed to plead guilty and pay a $26 million criminal fine for its role in a conspiracy to fix prices in the sale of Thin Film Transistor-Liquid Crystal Display panels sold to Motorola Inc. Full Story
10. New York: Nemazee Capital Corporation CEO Charged with Bank Fraud
Hassan Nemazee, the chairman and chief executive officer of Nemazee Capital Corporation, was arrested and charged with bank fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud Citibank, N.A. (Citibank). According to the complaint, Nemazee engaged in a fraudulent scheme to induce Citibank to lend up to $74 million to Nemazee based on false representations that Nemazee owned millions of dollars in collateral. Full Story

Friday, August 21, 2009

Top 10 stiri FBI in saptamana 15-21 august 2009

1. FBI Headquarters: FBI Responds to Decision to Release Abdel Basset Mohamed al-Megrahi
A statement was issued by FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III regarding the decision of the Scottish Executive to release Abdel Basset Mohamed al-Megrahi from prison. Megrahi was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for his role in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103, which blew up over Scotland on December 21, 1988. Full Story
2. Detroit: Clinic Owner and Patient Recruiter Plead Guilty in $15 Million Fraud Scheme
Miami residents Jose and Arnaldo Rosario pled guilty to participating in a conspiracy to defraud the Medicare program of approximately $15.3 million. Full Story
3. Atlanta: Lawyer Sentenced for Operating a $40 Million Ponzi Scheme
Robert P. Copeland was sentenced to serve over 10 years in federal prison on a charge of wire fraud related to a $40 million investment fraud scheme. Full Story
4. Los Angeles: Five Sentenced for Forcing Guatemalans to Work as Prostitutes
Five members of an extended family were sentenced terms in federal prison ranging from 30 to 40 years for their roles in an international sex trafficking ring that lured young Guatemalan women and girls to the Los Angeles area and forced them into prostitution. Full Story
5. San Diego: Two Contractors Plead Guilty to Bribing SPAWAR Official
Elizabeth Ramos and her husband, Louis Williams, pled guilty to wire fraud in connection with the continuing corruption prosecution involving Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR). They admitted paying Gary and Kelly Alexander in return for Gary Alexander using his influence as a SPAWAR official to ensure that Ramos’ and Williams’ company, Technical Logistics Corporation, be hired to perform work under government contracts. Full Story
6. Atlanta: Georgia Man Sentenced to Prison for Sending Terroristic Threats to FBI
Michael Robert DeJong was sentenced to one year in federal prison for using the Internet to threaten to destroy FBI buildings by fire or explosives. DeJong was previously convicted for threatening the United States Secret Service. Full Story
7. Kansas City: California Man Pleads Guilty to $12.6 Million Mortgage Fraud Conspiracy
Jerome Shade Howard pled guilty to his role in a $12.6 million mortgage fraud conspiracy that involved 25 upscale residential properties. Howard admitted that he received more than $900,000 in illegal kickbacks as part of nearly $8.5 million in fraudulent mortgage loans. Full Story
8. New York: Federal and Local Government Employees Charged for Operating Illegal Gambling Ring
Nine individuals, including current and former employees of the United States Postal Service, Metropolitan Transit Authority, and the City of New York Department of Sanitation were arrested and charged with operating an illegal gambling business out of various workplaces including government facilities. A tenth individual was previously arrested in a related case. Full Story
9. San Francisco: Former Taiwanese Executive Indicted in Price-Fixing Conspiracy
Wen Jun (Tony) Cheng, a former assistant vice president of sales and marketing for a large Taiwanese company, was indicted for participating in a global conspiracy to fix prices of CDTs, a type of cathode ray tube used in computer monitors and other specialized applications. Cheng allegedly conspired with unnamed co-conspirators to suppress and eliminate competition by fixing prices, reducing output, and allocating market shares of CDTs. Full Story
10. New York: U.S. Army Captain Charged with Accepting Bribes While Stationed in Iraq
U.S. Army Captain Bryant Williams was charged in an indictment for allegedly steering more than $500,000 in U.S. Army contracts to favored contractors in exchange for tens of thousands of dollars in bribe payments while he was stationed in Baghdad, Iraq. Full Story

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Top 10 stiri FBI in saptamana 8-14 august, 2009

1. Miami: Former FBI Top Ten Fugitive Pleads Guilty
Diego Montoya Sanchez, a leader of the Norte Valle Colombian drug cartel and a former FBI Top Ten Fugitive, pleaded guilty to drug trafficking, murder, and racketeering charges. Full Story
2. Columbia: More Than 100 Indicted in South Carolina Drug Case
Six federal indictments were unsealed charging 108 individuals with various federal drug, weapon, and immigration violations. The indictments stem from an investigation started in May 2008 by the FBI-led Columbia Violent Gang Task Force. Full Story
3. Los Angeles: Two Convicted in $40 Million Mortgage Fraud Scheme
A federal jury convicted a prominent Beverly Hills real estate agent and a licensed real estate appraiser on federal charges for their roles in a massive mortgage fraud scheme that caused more than $40 million in losses to federally insured banks. Full Story
4. Atlanta: Defendant Found Guilty of Supporting Terrorists
A federal jury found Ehsanul Islam Sadequee guilty on all four counts of an indictment charging him with supporting terrorists and a foreign terrorist organization. Full Story
5. Miami: Florida Man Arrested in $4 Million Foreign Currency Investment Scheme
Paul Robert Karr was arrested on mail and wire fraud charges arising from an investment fraud scheme in which more than 100 investors lost approximately $4,000,000. From January 2002 through November 2004, Karr defrauded investors for the purported purpose of trading foreign currencies in the international foreign exchange market. Full Story
6. Sacramento: Man Sentenced to Prison in Tomato Industry Corruption Case
Robert Watson was sentenced by United States District Judge Lawrence K. Karlton to two years and three months in prison to be followed by two years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $1,858,000 in restitution to his former employer, Kraft Foods. Watson pled guilty to two counts of honest services mail fraud in connection with a scheme in which he accepted over $158,000 in bribes from a supplier of tomato products to the company. Full Story
7. Washington Field: Former Navy Master Chief Petty Officer Convicted of Stealing Fuel From U.S. Army in Iraq
Robert Jeffery was convicted for his role in a scheme to steal fuel worth approximately $39.6 million from the U.S. Army in Iraq. Full Story
8. New York: Former Madoff Employee Pleads Guilty to Securities Fraud
Frank DiPascali, Jr., formerly an employee of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, pleaded guilty to conspiracy, securities fraud, investment adviser fraud, falsifying records of a broker-dealer, falsifying records of an investment adviser, mail fraud, wire fraud, international money laundering, perjury and attempting to evade federal income taxes. Full Story
9. Cleveland: 34 Charged in Drug Trafficking Case involving the Latin Kings Gang
The USAO announced a 106-count, 34-defendant indictment on a drug case involving the Latin Kings gang in Cleveland, OH. Twenty-seven of the 34 subjects were arrested by FBI Cleveland, Buffalo, and Pittsburgh, along with other law enforcement agencies. Full Story
10. Baltimore: Title Agent Indicted in Mortgage Fraud Scheme
Jay Leonard was indicted on mail and wire fraud charges in connection with a scheme involving the fraudulent purchase of 25 properties in Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Virginia used in a scheme to solicit investors for a resort property that did not exist. According to the indictment, almost all of the properties Leonard was involved with went into foreclosure, causing actual losses of over $7 million. Full Story

Friday, August 7, 2009

Top 10 stiri FBI in saptamana 1-7 august, 2009

1. Washington Field Office: Former Congressman William J. Jefferson Found Guilty
After hearing evidence for more than one month in a federal court in Alexandria, Va., a jury found Jefferson guilty on 11 charged counts, including solicitation of bribes, honest services wire fraud, money laundering, racketeering and conspiracy. Jefferson was acquitted on three counts of honest services wire fraud, an obstruction of justice charge and of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Full Story
2. Los Angeles: Three Sentenced to Federal Prison for Illegally Exporting Highly Sensitive U.S. Technology to China
In two separate cases, three men have been sentenced to federal prison for attempting to transport sensitive and advanced U.S. technology to the People's Republic of China (PRC). The defendants in the two cases were charged under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and Export Administration Regulations (EAR) for procuring and illegal exporting sensitive technology in violation of United States export laws. Full Story
3. Chicago: Chicago Man Arrested for Interfering with Operation of CTA Trains and Busses
Marcel Carter, age 20, was arrested by officers of the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and subsequently turned over to members of the Chicago FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). The JTTF conducted additional investigation resulting in the filing of a criminal complaint charging Carter with Interfering with the Operation of a Mass Transit Vehicle, which is a felony offense. Full Story
4. New York: Ten Charged in Carpenters Union Corruption Case
An indictment was unsealed Aug. 5, 2009, charging the head of the Carpenters Union District Council in New York City and seven other Carpenters Union officials, one construction contractor, and a contractors’ representative, with a series of offenses stemming principally from a scheme by which Carpenters Union officials, in return for bribes, allowed construction contractors to avoid full payment of union wages and benefits at various job sites in New York City. Full Story
5. Las Vegas: USA Capital President Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud
Joseph D. Milanowski, the owner of a Nevada investment company, who misappropriated over $50 million of client monies to fund loans for his own pet projects, pled guilty on Aug. 4th, 2009, to wire fraud. Full Story
6. Los Angeles: New York Rabbi Pleads Guilty to Scheme to Defraud I.R.S.
Grand Rabbi Naftali Tzi Weisz, the Grand Rabbi of Spinka, a religious group within Orthodox Judaism, pled guilty this morning to a criminal conspiracy charge, admitting that he worked with others to obstruct the Internal Revenue Service by soliciting charitable donations with secret promises to refund donors the vast majority of the money they “donated.” Full Story
7. Newark: FBI Arrests Two in Foreclosure Scheme
Garth Celestine and Phil A. Simon – better known collectively as “Home Savers Consulting Corporation” – were arrested and charged with attempt and conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with a home foreclosure scheme. Celestine and Simon caused lenders to fund more than $10 million worth of fraudulent loans and stole $1.5 million worth of equity from the properties. Full Story
8. Washington Field Office: Husband of Former Army Officer Pleads Guilty to Laundering Money Stolen From Iraq
William Driver, a New Jersey accountant, pled guilty to laundering portions of more than $300,000 stolen from the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in the Republic of Iraq and brought back to the United States by his wife, a former U.S. Army lieutenant colonel. Full Story
9. Albany: Three Charged in Wire Fraud Involving Kickback Scheme
A federal grand jury returned a 29- count indictment charging defendants Joseph Queri, Jr., Benjamin Viloski, and Gary Gosson relating to a conspiracy and scheme from 1998 through 2005 to receive and conceal kickback payments in connection with the development of new Dick’s Sporting Goods, Inc. stores. The indictment alleges that there were approximately $2 million in kickbacks paid. Full Story
10. Atlanta: Former Polk County Jail Sergeant Pleads Guilty to Federal Civil Rights Charges
Joshua David Lowe, a former sergeant at the Polk County Jail, pled guilty in federal court to a civil rights charge of using excessive force against an inmate in his custody. Lowe admitted during the guilty plea hearing that he abused his authority as a law enforcement officer when he unnecessarily and repeatedly struck an inmate in his head and face while the inmate was strapped in a restraint chair. Full Story