November 18, 2010 |
Not long ago, Tom DeLay commanded the spotlight of the Republican Party and the support of legions of Texas conservatives with his legendary enforcement of political loyalty. But today, as the former U.S. House majority leader spends a third week on trial for money laundering and conspiracy, some wonder how many are still paying attention. "For a while, DeLay really occupied the popular imagination here," said James Henson, director of the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas at Austin.
October 26, 2010 |
A Downey man accused of operating a Ponzi scheme that targeted Spanish speakers has agreed to plead guilty to federal criminal charges, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office said Monday. Juan Rangel, 46, agreed Friday to plead guilty to charges of mail fraud and money laundering. Federal prosecutors said they would ask a judge to sentence Rangel to 15 years in federal prison. Rangel used advertisements in Spanish-language media to recruit investors to his Commerce company, Financial Plus Investments.
October 23, 2010 |
Russian prosecutors said Friday they would seek a 14-year prison sentence for onetime oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, who is on trial for embezzlement and money laundering while already in his seventh year of incarceration on a tax evasion conviction, all charges he has vehemently denied. Khodorkovsky, once the head of Yukos Oil and the richest man in Russia, is widely seen as the nation's leading political prisoner and a personal foe of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The current trial is seen by some observers as a referendum on whether Russia has changed since Putin was succeeded as president by Dmitry Medvedev, a lawyer who has complained about judicial corruption and manipulation, which he described as "legal nihilism.
August 26, 2010 |
As part of his administration's fight against organized crime, Mexican President Felipe Calderon proposed new steps Thursday to curb money laundering. Calderon said he will give Congress a package of legislation that would limit big-ticket cash purchases through which drug traffickers launder billions of dollars smuggled south across the U.S.- Mexico border. It would also stiffen reporting requirements for businesses and strengthen the government's hand in detecting transactions aimed at helping drug lords launder proceeds.
August 12, 2010
Congress cracked down on most forms of online gambling four years ago, concerned that the explosion in unregulated (and questionably legal) poker and sports betting sites was promoting organized crime, money laundering, underage betting and a host of other ills. The effect, though, was simply to drive U.S. residents to sites in other countries where online gambling is legal — no less convenient and, potentially, just as unregulated. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.
June 29, 2010 |
Manuel Noriega, the aging former dictator of Panama, went on trial here Monday on charges of laundering money by stowing profits from drug trafficking in French bank accounts and purchasing luxurious Parisian apartments. Noriega, 76, was extradited to France two months ago from U.S. custody, where he was held for 20 years after being deposed and convicted of helping Colombian cartels ship drugs to American soil. He did not speak in his defense Monday, but called out his name and birth date in a surprisingly strong voice that contrasted with his hunched-over physical appearance.
June 15, 2010 |
In a step aimed at thwarting money laundering by drug cartels, the government of Mexico announced strict limits Tuesday on the deposit and exchange of U.S. dollars in banks, noting that the nation's economy is being flooded with illicit drug profits. The money helps traffickers buy military-grade weapons used to kill tens of thousands of people and recruit small armies all over the country who battle rival gangs and government forces. Failure to intercept the money has long been singled out as a major flaw in President Felipe Calderon's military-led offensive against the cartels.
May 29, 2010 |
Wesley Snipes is hoping that the arrest of his former financial advisor could help reverse the actor's tax-charge conviction on which he has been sentenced to three years in prison. Kenneth I. Starr, who was arrested Thursday and charged with fraud and money laundering in federal court in New York, was Snipes' financial advisor in the 1990s. Starr, a prosecution witness in Snipes' 2008 tax-evasion trial, testified then that he told the movie star he needed to file tax returns, despite contrary advice the actor obtained from an anti-tax outfit.
May 13, 2010 |
An Orange County insurance broker was sentenced Wednesday evening to 10 years in federal prison for stealing millions in investor dollars that he spent on exotic cars, expensive jewelry and a Las Vegas house. James R. Halstead, who pleaded guilty to three charges in the case, had persuaded victims to invest $50 million from 2004 to 2006 by offering to pay them returns of 25% to 35% over three to four months. Instead of investing the money as promised, however, Halstead used new investors' deposits to make interest payments to earlier investors and kept millions for himself, federal prosecutors said.
April 18, 2010 |
His gambling associates in New Jersey were keeping lousy records, and their business was failing. In Chicago, a $51,000 debt had to be collected. And in Florida, a pile of money needed to be transported north. The question was whether to put it in a car or take it on a plane. So, according to detectives, went the day-to-day travails of Joseph Mastronardo Jr., the gentleman gambler caught in the cross hairs of a bookmaking and money-laundering investigation. Local and federal authorities say they intercepted his phone calls and taped his words.