“FBI to probe fatal beating by Kern County deputies”

May 15, 2013

The Los Angeles Times on May 14, 2013 released the following:

“The sheriff requests federal assistance amid charges of tampering with video of assault captured on cellphones.

By Diana Marcum, Paul Pringle and Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times

BAKERSFIELD — The FBI launched an investigation Tuesday into the death of a man who was beaten by authorities amid questions over whether officials tampered with cellphone videos confiscated from witnesses.

Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood said he asked the FBI to get involved after learning that one of two phones seized from witnesses had no footage on it.

Two witnesses told The Times that they watched the videos on each of the phones last week in the wake of David Silva’s death. The case is generating widespread attention because several witnesses have come forward to say deputies ruthlessly beat Silva with batons on the head, even after he was motionless on the ground.

“Our credibility is at stake here,” Youngblood said in an interview. He did not dispute the witnesses’ accounts about the videos but said he would not draw any conclusions until the investigations were complete.

The phones were flown to the FBI’s Sacramento office Tuesday for analysis.

Youngblood said he asked the federal agency to conduct a parallel investigation into Silva’s death, a move he described as unprecedented for his department. The FBI said it had agreed to launch an inquiry and emphasized that it would be independent of the sheriff’s own work.

It appears several videos captured parts of the incident. Last week, KERO-TV broadcast grainy footage from a security camera. The Times on Tuesday reviewed a security video provided by a source, which showed blurry images of figures swinging batons or sticks at a man on the ground.

Youngblood said the Bakersfield Police Department found a video on one of the phones; he asked the department to do the analysis to avoid a conflict of interest. He declined to elaborate on the length or condition of the video, but confirmed that it shows baton blows.

“I have seen the video,” said Youngblood at a news conference Tuesday afternoon. “I cannot speculate whether they acted appropriately or not just by looking at the video.”

“Baton strikes were used but what I don’t know is how many and where they were on the body and if they caused significant injury that caused death,” he added.

Youngblood said the sergeant and six deputies at the scene of the beating had been placed on paid administrative leave, in part because they had received emailed threats.

In interviews Tuesday, the two witnesses insisted that the videos on both phones — each several minutes long — clearly captured deputies repeatedly striking Silva with batons.

“They must have gotten rid of one of the videos,” said Melissa Quair, 31, who told of seeing deputies pummel and kick Silva after confronting him across the street from Kern Medical Center in East Bakersfield. Quair and several relatives and friends were at the hospital because a family member had been in a car crash.

Quair said a phone video shot by her mother showed a deputy trying to block her view of the beating. “She went around him and told him, ‘I’m still recording,’ ” Quair said.

Laura Vasquez, 26, a friend of the Quair family, said she also watched both videos — the other shot by a friend of Melissa Quair — and they vividly depicted the violence she witnessed.

Echoing the account of two other people interviewed, Vasquez said the first two deputies at the scene woke Silva, who was sleeping in front of a house, and ordered him not to move. When Silva sat up, looking confused or scared, a deputy hit him in the head, Vasquez said.

“He fell back and then the other officer got out and swung toward his head,” she said. “Mr. Silva was reaching for his head and the officers said ‘stop moving’ and ‘stop resisting.’ He wasn’t resisting. … He rolled on his back and they kept hitting.”

More deputies and two California Highway Patrol officers arrived at the location. Vasquez said the deputies hogtied Silva, lifted him off the ground and dropped him twice, and delivered more baton blows and kicks to his head and body until he went limp.

“He was screaming for help. He was laying on his chest. The cops were still on top of him, still hitting him. My family and I screamed at them to stop hitting him.… The blood was all over Mr. Silva’s face. We couldn’t even tell if he had eyes or a mouth.”

Vasquez said her girlfriend yelled, ” ‘Somebody call the cops,’ and everybody looked at her and said, ‘They ARE the cops.’ “”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


“SAC Capital portfolio manager pleads not guilty in NYC insider trading case”

March 29, 2013

The Washington Post on March 29, 2013 released the following:

“By Associated Press

NEW YORK — A portfolio manager for the hedge fund operator SAC Capital Advisors has pleaded not guilty to federal charges in an insider trading probe.

The FBI arrested Michael Steinberg at 6 a.m. Friday at his home in New York City.

His attorney says in a statement that Steinberg “did absolutely nothing wrong.”

Attorney Barry H. Berke says Steinberg was “caught in the crossfire of aggressive investigations” into other people’s activities.

At least four other people associated with the Stamford, Conn.-based firm have been arrested over a period of about four years.

On March 15, the Securities and Exchange Commission said that two affiliates of SAC Capital Advisors would pay more than $614 million in what federal regulators called the largest insider trading settlement ever. The settlement is subject to court approval.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

A senior portfolio manager for one of the nation’s largest hedge funds was arrested Friday, accused of making $1.4 million illegally in a widening insider trading probe involving an investment company founded by billionaire businessman Steven A. Cohen.

Michael Steinberg, 41, was arrested at 6 a.m. at his Manhattan home on insider trading charges lodged in an indictment unsealed in U.S. District Court in New York City. A senior portfolio manager at SAC Capital Advisors, he was scheduled to appear in court Friday.

His attorney, Barry Berke, said in a statement that Steinberg “did absolutely nothing wrong.” He said Steinberg’s trading decisions were based on detailed analysis along with other information he properly obtained.

“Caught in the crossfire of aggressive investigations of others, there is no basis for even the slightest blemish on his spotless reputation,” he said.

In a statement, SAC Capital said Steinberg “has conducted himself professionally and ethically during his long tenure at the firm. We believe him to be a man of integrity.”

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement that Steinberg “was another Wall Street insider who fed off a corrupt grapevine of proprietary and confidential information cultivated by other professionals who made their own rules to make money. With lightning speed in at least one case, Mr. Steinberg seized on the opportunity to cash in and tried to keep his crime quiet, as charged in the indictment.”

George Venizelos, head of the FBI’s New York office, said the arrest was the latest in an FBI probe that has resulted in more than 70 arrests.

“Mr. Steinberg was at the center of an elite criminal club, where cheating and corruption were rewarded,” he said. “Research was nothing more than well-timed tips from an extensive network of well-sourced analysts.”

At least four other people associated with the Stamford, Conn.-based firm have been arrested over a period of about four years.

The arrest of Steinberg and the January arrest of a former hedge fund portfolio manager for an affiliate of Cohen’s firm has increased speculation that the government is taking a hard look at the practices of the billionaire hedge fund owner. In the January case, Cohen is repeatedly referenced as a “Hedge Fund Owner” in a criminal complaint. He has not been charged in the case and SAC spokesman Jonathan Gasthalter has said the company and Cohen are cooperating with the inquiry and “are confident that they have acted appropriately.”

In the latest case, Steinberg is charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud and four counts of securities fraud, accused of using inside information as he made trades involving Dell Inc. and Nvidia Corp. securities. If convicted, he could face up to 85 years in prison.

Civil charges against Steinberg also were filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

On March 15, the SEC said that two affiliates of SAC Capital Advisors would pay more than $614 million in what federal regulators called the largest insider trading settlement ever. The settlement is subject to court approval.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

Federal Mail Fraud Crimes

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


11 charged in alleged $80M drug heists

May 4, 2012

Philly.com on May 4, 2012 released the following:

“By Curt Anderson
Associated Press

MIAMI – A Florida-based crime ring that stole at least $80 million worth of prescription drugs, including one of the nation’s biggest heists in Connecticut in 2010, has been broken up following a three-year undercover FBI probe, federal authorities said Thursday.

Eleven people were charged in an 18-count indictment returned in Miami, with others charged in locations where thefts occurred including Connecticut and New Jersey, U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer said. The thieves hit warehouses and stole tractor-trailers around the country, often from highway rest stops, and brought the drugs to South Florida in an attempt to sell them.

The medications included antidepressants, antipsychotics, and treatments for cancer, acne, epilepsy, arthritis, autoimmune disorders, and other ailments, authorities said.

Undercover FBI agents were able to buy all of the stolen drugs to prevent them from entering the marketplace, said John Gillies, chief of the Miami FBI office. “This investigation represents the largest takedown in U.S. history involving cargo theft,” Gillies said. “There were a lot of missing pieces to this case. We had no idea of the scope.”

Besides the drugs, Gillies said, the ring stole more than $20 million in other goods, including Johnnie Walker Scotch whisky, cigarettes, cellphones, and inflatable boats.

One man charged in the Miami indictment, Amaury Villa, 37, was also charged with his brother, Amed Villa, 46, in the March 2010 theft of more than $75 million in drugs from an Eli Lilly & Co. warehouse in Enfield, Conn.

Although the drugs in this case were intercepted by undercover FBI agents, Ferrer said there’s a real danger to consumers from such thefts if the medicines aren’t properly stored or are tampered with before reentering the marketplace. “This can be life-threatening,” he said.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

Federal Crimes – Be Proactive

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Detention Hearing

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.