“High-profile cases drained federal court system, judge says”

September 20, 2013

The Boston Globe on September 20, 2013 released the following:

“By Milton J. Valencia

A series of high-profile cases have begun to financially tax the federal court system in Massachusetts as the system is absorbing budget cuts and is expecting still more hardships, the chief judge of the US District Court in Boston said in a letter released Thursday.

US District Court Chief Judge Patti B. Saris said in a letter to US Senator Elizabeth Warren and addressing the state’s congressional delegation that budget cuts have started to stretch court security and staff, and services such as drug and mental health treatment and legal representation.

“Any further budget cuts will hurt public safety, the administration of justice, and the independence of the judiciary,” Saris wrote.

She added, “The financial difficulties have hit this district at a time when we have experienced some of our most difficult, high-profile criminal cases.”

Those cases include the trials of Tarek Mehanna, who was convicted two years ago in a closely watched terrorism proceeding, and James “Whitey” Bulger.

The notorious gangster’s court-appointed lawyers recently submitted a $2.6 million bill for their work since his arrest in June 2011, and that does not include their work on his two-month trial this past summer.

In addition, Saris noted, the district is set to begin the high-profile legal proceedings for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the suspected Boston Marathon bomber, and is also handling proceedings related to the state drug lab scandal, in which defendants are seeking to have their cases reheard based on possibly tainted evidence.

Further taxing the court are civil liability cases related to the meningitis outbreak involving the New England Compounding Pharmacy.

“These high-profile cases have taxed court staff and security resources,” the judge said. The financial woes have been attributed in large part to the so-called sequester of federal funds, or the $85 billion in across-the-board cuts that went into effect on March 1.

Asked about the letter, Warren also criticized the budget cuts. “The sequester is stupid, and it’s hurting families here in Massachusetts and across the country,” she said. “We’ve seen how across-the-board federal spending cuts are hitting powerfully important programs like Head Start and Meals on Wheels and slashing critical investments in infrastructure and research. It’s time to get rid of this senseless and irresponsible policy.”

In her letter, Saris argued that funding for federal public defenders and probation officials has been hit hardest.

Lawyers and staff in the Federal Public Defender Office, which represents indigent defendants, had to take 14 furlough days in 2013.

The lawyers had to suspend work on Fridays throughout the summer, and withdrew participation in the drug court program. Positions have also gone unfilled.

Miriam Conrad, the head public defender in Boston, said, “We’re going to keep doing what we can and maintain quality representation, but it’s going to be a challenge to maintain our caseload.”

Meanwhile, the Probation Office has had to cut drug addiction and mental health treatment for defendants on supervised release, threatening to increase their recidivism.”

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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

Federal Crimes – Appeal

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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.


“NSA leaker’s father lives in Upper Macungie”

June 10, 2013

The Morning Call on June 10, 2013 released the following:

“Lonnie Snowden and his wife, Karen, aren’t talking about Edward Snowden.

By Colby Itkowitz and Daniel Patrick Sheehan, Call Washington Bureau

The father and stepmother of Edward Snowden, the man who said he leaked news of the government’s classified surveillance program, live in Upper Macungie Township and were visited this afternoon by two people who identified themselves as FBI agents.

Karen Snowden, 48, said the couple had been “bombarded” by media, including ABC’s “Good Morning America,” since the story broke Sunday. Lonnie Snowden, 52. briefly spoke to ABC News Sunday, saying he had last seen his son months ago for dinner and the two parted with a hug. The elder Snowden told ABC he was still “digesting and processing” the news about his son.

Cordial, but firm, Karen Snowden refused to offer any information about her stepson, including whether he ever lived in the Lehigh Valley. She and her husband would be making a public statement but were not planning to do so today, she added.

A short time later, two people arrived at the home and identified themselves to a newspaper photographer as FBI agents from the Allentown office. An FBI spokesperson in Philadelphia said she could not comment.

Lonnie Snowden was an officer in the Coast Guard, according to public records. He would have had Edward Snowden when he was 22 years old.

Edward Snowden revealed himself to the British newspaper The Guardian as the person responsible for outlining the U.S. National Security Agency’s practice of monitoring Americans’ calls, e-mails and Internet usage.

A high-school dropout who most recently worked as a government contractor in Hawaii, Edward Snowden said that as an analyst he had the capability to wiretap anyone.

After leaking the information, he fled to Hong Kong without telling his family, he told The Guardian.

“No. My family does not know what is happening … My primary fear is that they will come after my family, my friends, my partner. Anyone I have a relationship with …,” Snowden said in the interview.

“I will have to live with that for the rest of my life. I am not going to be able to communicate with them. They [the authorities] will act aggressively against anyone who has known me. That keeps me up at night.””

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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.


“Former Guatemalan President Pleads Not Guilty After Extradition”

May 29, 2013

The Wall Street Journal on May 28, 2013 released the following press release:

“Samuel Rubenfeld
Wall Street Journal

A former Guatemalan president was extradited last Friday to New York to face money laundering charges, the latest in the Justice Department’s heightened efforts to get defendants detained internationally to face corruption charges.

Alfonso Portillo,who led Guatemala from 2000 to 2004, embezzled tens of millions of dollars in state assets, some of which he laundered through U.S. and European bank accounts, prosecutors alleged Tuesday.

Portillo pleaded not guilty on Tuesday in a hearing before U.S. District Judge Robert Patterson. If convicted, Portillo faces a maximum of 20 years in prison.

He has long denied the allegations against him, telling CNN en Español in January the charges are a political witch-hunt borne of his opposition to the U.S.-led Iraq war.

“If deposits were made, they are deposits that first of all come from institutions that are not illicit,” he was quoted by CNN as saying. “In order for there to be laundering, the first requirement is that the money is from an illegal origin or comes from an illegal activity.”

Portillo’s extradition to the U.S. highlights a recently favored tool in corruption cases by law enforcement authorities, in which people are detained overseas and brought to the U.S. to face the charges against them.

The Justice Department built up its capacity and bolstered its relationships with foreign counterparts, allowing it to more frequently pursue cases and defendants internationally, said Peter Carr, a spokesman, in an email.

“The result is we are pursuing the extradition of more defendants, including high-profile defendants, such as [Viktor] Bout and Portillo,” Carr said.

However, the results of these efforts are somewhat mixed, based on a review of recent cases.

Bout was extradited and convicted, and sentenced to 25 years in prison. His associate was extradited to New York last week.

In January, a U.K. businessman was extradited, pleaded guilty and was sentenced in El Paso, Texas, federal court to three years behind bars for trying to help ship missile parts to Iran.

And in April 2012, the leader of a Mexican drug cartel was brought to the U.S. to face racketeering and money-laundering charges, for which he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

But prosecutors are struggling to bring a former Thai official to the U.S. to face money-laundering charges in a case that’s been stayed until March 2014, and their support to Bahamian authorities in another case still ended in failure.

In another case, prosecutors have been trying to extradite a South Korean man since 2009 to face U.S. foreign bribery charges, but court papers from the man’s lawyers say Seoul won’t do it because the people he’s accused of bribing aren’t considered public officials under local law.

Carr declined to comment on the Justice Department’s record of extradition.”

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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.


“International fugitive Richard Chichakli requests extradition to US to face charges linking him to Russian arms dealer”

April 4, 2013

Herald Sun on April 4, 2013 released the following:

Emily Portelli From: Herald Sun

“INTERNATIONAL fugitive Richard Chichakli, arrested in Melbourne after applying to become a protective services officer, has asked to be sent back to the US to face charges linking him to a Russian arms dealer.

“I consent to the extradition and ask the court to kindly send me home to the United States as soon as possible,” the Syrian-born US citizen said today via video link at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court.

“I thank Australia for its hospitality, I just need to go home.”

The alleged associate of war criminal Viktor Bout arrived in Australia in June 2010 on a false Syrian passport and left and returned to Australia six times before his arrest in January.

The 53-year-old was living in Melbourne’s north and was arrested after his fingerprints were matched to an Interpol alert when he applied for a job as a PSO.

He had already passed Victoria Police psychological and fitness screening.

The US sought to extradite Mr Chichakli to New York to face charges relating to his alleged conspiracy with Bout to purchase planes to transport arms to international conflict zones.

Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg told Mr Chichakli he was facing charges of conspiracy to violate the International Economic Emergency Powers Act, conspiracy to launder money, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and six wire fraud offences.

“Of course I deny all of them but that is for a United States court to try,” Mr Chichakli said.

“I am ready for extradition, sir.”

Mr Rozencwajg told him he would send a letter this afternoon to the Attorney-General, who would then likely order his surrender to the US.

Bout, who is currently serving 25 years on US terror charges, inspired the character played by Nicholas Cage in 2005 war film Lord of War.

It is alleged the pair provided arms to former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor, who was last year sentenced to 50 years’ jail for war crimes.

Mr Chichakli had been on the run from American authorities since 2005.”

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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.