Federal prosecutors: Defense bid to remove Bulger judge ‘frivolous,’ immunity claim ‘absurd’

July 10, 2012

The Washington Post on July 9, 2012 released the following:

“By Associated Press,

BOSTON — Former mobster James “Whitey” Bulger’s request to remove the judge at his upcoming trial is “frivolous and unsubstantiated” and should be dismissed, federal prosecutors said Monday in a court filing.

Their motion also calls “absurd” a related claim by Bulger’s attorney that the one-time FBI informant shouldn’t be prosecuted on charges he participated in 19 murders because the government promised him immunity for past and future crimes.

Bulger’s attorney J.W. Carney Jr. filed a motion last month to remove Judge Richard Stearns because he was a top federal prosecutor during a period when Bulger is accused of having committed crimes with impunity. The defense motion argued that the judge would do what he could to shield his former colleagues and could not be impartial. Carney said he might call the judge as a witness.

Carney had said he would file a motion to dismiss the charges against Bulger, who’s 82, because “a representative of the federal government” gave Bulger blanket immunity during the 1970s.

A former Bulger cohort, who also was an FBI informant, used a similar defense, which was rejected by the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The cohort is serving a life sentence.

Prosecutors said Bulger “has utterly failed to identify anyone who supposedly promised the defendant immunity from prosecution for committing such crimes as murder. Thus, there is no factual basis for the motion and it should be summarily denied.”

They said the claims in the recusal motion “are little more than unsubstantiated speculation.”

Bulger was captured in Santa Monica, Calif., last year after 16 years on the run. His trial has been set for next March.

His girlfriend, Catherine Greig, who was captured with him, pleaded guilty last March to conspiracy to harbor a fugitive, identity fraud and conspiracy. She admitted she helped Bulger while he was a fugitive, using false identities, accompanying him to medical appointments and picking up his prescriptions. She was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Prosecutors say Bulger and Greig, who’s in her early 60s, posed as married retirees from Chicago and had a stash of more than $800,000 in cash and dozens of weapons in their apartment when they were captured.”

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

Federal Crimes – Be Careful

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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.


Federal prosecutors argue against appeal for Arkansas man convicted of federal hate crimes

May 5, 2012

The Republic on May 4, 2012 released the following:

“THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Prosecutors want a federal appeals court to deny the request of a Green Forest man to dismiss his convictions on hate crime charges stemming from a highway collision that injured five Hispanic men.

Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez responded to an appeal for Frankie Maybee, who was convicted last year of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette [] reports the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hasn’t set a date for oral arguments.

Maybee was accused of using a pickup truck to force a car off U.S. Highway 412 near Alpena on June 20, 2010. The vehicle rolled, struck a tree and caught fire.

His attorney, Byron Rhodes, argues there wasn’t enough evidence to convict Maybee on hate crimes charges.”

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

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

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.


Former media mogul Conrad Black is released

May 4, 2012

Associated Press on May 4, 2012 released the following:

“MIAMI (AP) — Former media mogul Conrad Black was released from a federal prison in Miami early Friday and faced deportation after serving about three years for defrauding investors.

Bureau of Prisons spokesman Chris Burke did not give an exact time on when Black was released and said he didn’t have any other details.

Black, whose empire once included the Chicago Sun-Times, The Daily Telegraph of London, The Jerusalem Post and small papers across the U.S. and Canada, had returned to prison last September to finish serving his sentence.

U.S. immigration officials said they had custody over Black, who doesn’t have American citizenship. Black is facing deportation and could travel to either Canada or Britain.

“I can confirm that he’s in (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) custody,” said bureau spokesman Nestor Yglesias He would not say where Black was headed, citing privacy laws.

A former member of the British House of Lords, he had been sentenced to more than six years in prison after his 2007 conviction in Chicago, but had then been released on bail two years later to pursue an appeal that was partially successful. A judge reduced his sentence to three years and he returned to prison last September. With time off for good behavior, he has completed his sentence.

Black’s big chance to quash his convictions arose in June 2010, when the U.S. Supreme Court sharply curtailed the disputed “honest services” laws that underpinned part of the case against him.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago tossed out two of Black’s fraud convictions last year, citing that landmark ruling. But it said one conviction for fraud and one for obstruction of justice were not affected by the Supreme Court’s ruling. The fraud conviction, the judges concluded, involved Black and others taking $600,000 and had nothing to do with honest services. It was, they asserted, straightforward theft.

Black – who received the title of Lord Black of Crossharbour – was known for a grand lifestyle, including a $62,000 birthday party for his wife, a swanky apartment on Park Avenue in New York and a trip to the island of Bora Bora.

Black’s three-month trial drew international attention, heightened by his sometimes haughty comments. When shareholders grumbled about the cost of the Bora Bora trip, he wrote a memo saying: “I’m not prepared to re-enact the French revolutionary renunciation of the rights of the nobility.”

At the core of the honest-services charges against Black was his strategy, starting in 1998, of selling off the bulk of the small community papers, which were published in smaller cities across the United States and Canada.

Black and other Hollinger executives received millions of dollars in payments from the companies that bought the community papers in return for promises that they would not return to compete with the new owners.

Prosecutors said the executives pocketed the money, which they said belonged to shareholders, without telling Hollinger’s board of directors.

At his resentencing hearing last year, several inmates wrote letters to the judge saying Black had changed their lives through lectures he gave on writing, history, economics and other subjects. But one prison employee claimed in an affidavit that Black had arranged for inmates – “acting like servants” – to iron his clothes, mop his floor and perform other chores. Another employee told her Black once insisted she address him as “Lord Black.””

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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.


Barry Bonds files appeal to overturn his felony obstruction conviction

May 4, 2012

The Washington Post on May 4, 2012 released the following:

“By Associated Press,

SAN FRANCISCO — Barry Bonds has asked a federal appeals court to toss out his felony obstruction conviction, arguing it was based on his rambling — but truthful — answer to a grand jury question about whether his trainer ever provided him with an injectable substance.

Responding to the jury, the Major League Baseball’s career home runs leader replied that he was a “celebrity child,” rather than answering the question directly. Bonds’ father was Bobby Bonds, a 13-year major league veteran and three-time All Star.

A jury decided after a roughly three-week trial last year that the answer represented an obstruction of justice. The jury deadlocked on three other charges alleging Bonds lied to a grand jury when he denied knowing taking performance-enhancing drugs. Prosecutors dismissed those counts, bringing an anticlimactic end to their eight-year pursuit of Bonds.

Bonds attorneys filed a 60-page legal brief filed Thursday with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. His counsel stressed that federal investigators whiffed on proving the heart of their case against the slugger, which was that he lied when he denied in 2003 grand jury testimony that he took performance-enhancing drugs to boost his career. Federal prosecutors revised their indictment several times and delayed trial for a year while appealing an important evidentiary decision to the 9th Circuit.

“This case arose out of the federal government’s efforts to combat steroid use in sports,” Bonds’ appellate attorney Dennis Riordan wrote. “That crusade, while admirable in its underlying purpose, has been pursued with an intensity at times bordering on zealotry.”

Riordan also argued that Bonds answered the question earlier in his grand jury appearance when he said that only his doctor injected him with anything.

“Any competent English speaker would understand Mr. Bonds’s initial statement as answering the question in the negative,” Riordan wrote. “Mr. Bonds was no more guilty of obstruction than he would have been if, having answered one prosecutorial question, he chatted with grand jurors about the weather while the prosecutor was formulating his next one.”

Riordan further argued that the prosecutors questioning Bonds before the grand jury had a “legal obligation to clarify unresponsive testimony.” Riordan contends the prosecutors should have repeated the question until Bonds answered directly.

Federal prosecutors are expected to file their opposition later this month. The federal appeals court has no deadline to decide the case.

Prosecutors are expected to argue that Bonds’ ”celebrity child” answer was calculated to evade the steroids question and mislead the grand jury.

Bonds was sentenced to 30 days house arrest and two years of probation. That sentence was suspended pending the appeal.”

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

Federal Crimes – Federal Indictment

Federal Crimes – Appeal

————————————————————–

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.


Loughner loses appeal over forced medication

March 5, 2012

The Associated Press (AP) on March 5, 2012 released the following:

“By JACQUES BILLEAUD
Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) — An appeals court denied a request by the Tucson shooting rampage suspect’s lawyers to stop their client’s forced medication with psychotropic drugs and end his treatment at a Missouri prison facility where experts are trying to make him psychologically fit for trial.

The ruling Monday by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals clears the way for authorities to continue to medicate Jared Lee Loughner.

He has pleaded not guilty to 49 charges stemming from the Jan. 8, 2011, shooting in Tucson that killed six people and wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 12 others.

His lawyers have vigorously fought efforts to medicate him even though psychologists say he is improving.

This summer, the appeals court temporarily halted Loughner’s medication but resumed it after experts concluded that his condition was deteriorating.”

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

Federal Crimes – Appeal

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch 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 and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

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


Forcing Defendant to Decrypt Hard Drive Is Unconstitutional, Appeals Court Rules

February 25, 2012

Wired on February 24, 2012 released the following:

“By David Kravets

Forcing a criminal suspect to decrypt hard drives so their contents can be used by prosecutors is a breach of the Fifth Amendment right against compelled self-incrimination, a federal appeals court ruled Thursday.

It was the nation’s first appellate court to issue such a finding. And the outcome comes a day after a different federal appeals court refused to entertain an appeal from another defendant ordered by a lower federal court to decrypt a hard drive by month’s end.

Thursday’s decision by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said that an encrypted hard drive is akin to a combination to a safe, and is off limits, because compelling the unlocking of either of them is the equivalent of forcing testimony.

The case at hand concerns an unidentified “Doe” defendant believed to be in possession of child pornography on 5 terabytes of data on several drives and laptops seized in a California motel with valid court warrants.

The Atlanta-based circuit held:

First, the decryption and production of the hard drives would require the use of the contents of Doe’s mind and could not be fairly characterized to a physical act that would be non-testimonial in nature. We conclude that the decryption and production would be tantamount to testimony by Doe of his knowledge of the existence and location of potentially incriminating files; of his possession, control and access to the encrypted portions of the drives; and of his capability to decrypt the files.

The court added: “Requiring Does to use a decryption password is most certainly more akin to requiring the production of a combination because both demand the use of the contents of the mind, and the production is accompanied by the implied factual statements noted above that could prove to be incriminatory.”

The defendant in April had refused to comport with a Florida federal grand jury’s orders that he decrypt the data, which was encrypted with TrueCrypt. A judge held him in contempt and jailed him until December 15, when the circuit court released him ahead of Thursday’s ruling.

“The government’s attempt to force this man to decrypt his data put him in the Catch-22 the Fifth Amendment was designed to prevent — having to choose between self-incrimination or risking contempt of court,” said EFF senior staff attorney Marcia Hofmann, who had filed an amicus brief in the case.

In the other decryption case, the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday sided with the government’s contention that Colorado bank-fraud defendant Ramona Fricosu must be convicted before the circuit court would entertain an appeal of a decryption order.

The court did not address the 5th Amendment arguments and instead said the case was not procedurally ripe for appeal.

Fricosu’s attorney, Philip Dubois, said in a telephone interview Friday that new developments in the case may moot the constitutional showdown in his client’s case.

He said a co-defendant, Scott Whatcott, has forwarded passwords to the authorities.

Dubios said it was not immediately known whether those passwords would unlock the hard drive in the Toshiba laptop seized from Fricosu with valid warrants in 2010. If they do, then the 5th Amendment issue is off the table, Dubois said.

If the passwords don’t work, Dubois said, Fricosu “will definitely make her best effort” to decrypt the laptop, although she may have forgotten the password.

U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn has ordered Fricosu to decrypt the laptop by month’s end.

Dubois said that, on Monday, he would provide Judge Blackburn with the 11th Circuit’s opinion in the child pornography case as part of a last-ditch effort to halt the decryption order.

That said, Blackburn is not bound by the 11th Circuit decision because his court is in the 10th Circuit.”

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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

————————————————————–

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch 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 and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

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