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Panama Papers Name Americans Accused of Fraud

Seems Mossack Fonseca failed to vet its clients

(Newser) - The Panama Papers database went online Monday and revealed the names of over 360,000 people and companies involved in offshore companies—including 36 Americans accused of financial wrongdoing, USA Today reports. Among them is Leonard Gotshalk, a former Atlanta Falcons offensive tackle who was accused in 2010 by federal... More »

'Dungeon Woman' Learns Her Fate

Linda Weston is sentenced in Philadelphia courtroom

(Newser) - A woman who kept mentally disabled adults captive in the basement of a Philadelphia home and in other states for their disability checks was sentenced Thursday to life in prison. Linda Weston, 55, apologized during the hearing, saying, "I believe in God and God knows what happened." US... More »

Veteran Congressman Charged With Racketeering

Pennsylvania Democrat Chaka Fattah vows to stay in office

(Newser) - Rep. Chaka Fattah paid off a campaign loan with charitable donations and federal grants, funneled campaign money to pay down his son's student loan debt, and disguised a lobbyist's bribe as payment for a car he never sold, prosecutors said today in announcing a racketeering indictment against the... More »

Why LA Gangs Are Fading Away

Pacific Standard looks at surprising decline in gang activity

(Newser) - Seven years ago, Simon Tejada tried selling his house in a gang-ravaged part of Los Angeles. But the three-bedroom appraised at $350,000 only drew a $150,000 offer: "Your house is fine," said the guy making an offer. "The neighborhood's awful." Last year, however,... More »

Indictment: Philly Cops Went Rogue, Made a Fortune

Feds say 6 narcotics officers stole $500K in cash, drugs

(Newser) - Six officers in Philadelphia's Narcotics Field Unit were among the biggest crooks in the city over a six-year period in which they used violence and threats to steal more than $500,000 in cash and drugs, according to a federal indictment. The 26-count indictment against the six men, who... More »

Whitey Bulger Found Guilty of Racketeering

Bulger acquitted on some murders, convicted on others

(Newser) - James "Whitey" Bulger has been found guilty of a raft of racketeering charges that carry a maximum sentence of life in prison. The jury also found that the state had proven Bulger's guilt in 11 of the 19 murders he was accused of, along with several instances of... More »

Ex-Detroit Mayor Kilpatrick Found Guilty

Kwame Kilpatrick headed back to prison after racketeering conviction

(Newser) - Kwame Kilpatrick is headed back to prison after a jury today convicted the former Detroit mayor and rising Democrat star on a host of corruption-related charges, including racketeering conspiracy, extortion, mail fraud, and tax charges. Kilpatrick shook his head as the verdicts were read out, the Detroit Free Press reports.... More »

Wall Street Scammer Ducks Prison by Working for CIA

Felix Sater tracked down Stinger missiles on the black market

(Newser) - A Russian businessman charged with cheating investors on Wall Street struck a deal with the CIA: Reduce my punishment to nearly nothing, and I'll help you buy missiles on Russia's black market, the Miami Herald reports. Felix Sater apparently pulled off the plan, tracking down the Stinger missiles... More »

Feds Want Big Tobacco to Admit It Lied

...in print, and pretty explicitly

(Newser) - The federal government wants tobacco companies to admit they lied about the addictiveness of nicotine and the benefits of light cigarettes—in print, and pretty explicitly. On Wednesday, a federal judge unsealed a government proposal that would have tobacco companies cop to the lies in national ads and on cigarette... More »

Feds Focus Crime Probe on Karzai Brother

Afghan president's bro linked to tax evasion, extortion

(Newser) - Federal prosecutors in New York have launched a corruption investigation into business operations belonging to Afghan president Hamid Karzai's brother. Mamood Karzai, who is a US citizen, is being probed for tax evasion, extortion, and racketeering that may be linked in part to US loans he obtained to build his... More »

Jersey Shore Slapped With Racketeering Lawsuit

Bodyguard takedown triggers explosive charges

(Newser) - Oh, Snooks, you've really done it this time. A Jersey resident who charges she was thrown to the ground by four Jersey Shore bodyguards after a spat with the top-heavy reality star and her chums is suing the cast and MTV for racketeering. The woman, identified only as JP, claims... More »

'Teflon Gotti Jr.' Dodges 5th Trial

Feds drop racketeering case against Don Gotti's spawn

(Newser) - Federal prosecutors have given up on trying to make racketeering charges stick against John Gotti Jr. Gotti—chip off the old block and son of the late "Teflon Don" John Gotti Sr.—was tried four times on murder and racketeering charges, and all of them ended in hung... More »

Gotti Dodges Conviction for 4th Time

Mob racketeering charges don't stick to Teflon Don's son

(Newser) - Mob son John "Junior" Gotti has evaded conviction again, walking free yesterday after his fourth racketeering trial in five years ended in a fourth hung jury. Charges against Gotti, the son of the notorious Gambino crime family boss, included murder, kidnapping, robbery, extortion and drug dealing. "Why me?... More »

Ex-Rep. Jefferson Sentenced to 13 Years

Pol busted with $90K in freezer betrays little emotion

(Newser) - A federal judge sentenced former Congressman William Jefferson to 13 years in prison today, less than the 27-plus years prosecutors called for but more than the 10-year term the Louisiana Democrat's lawyer wanted. Jefferson, who was convicted in August of 11 of the 16 counts relating to the public corruption... More »

Cigarette Companies Lied, Appeals Court Rules

(Newser) - Tobacco companies engaged in “deceits” and knowingly marketed cigarettes without regard for consumers’ health, violating civil racketeering laws, a federal appeals court ruled today. In upholding the verdict in a landmark case brought by the Clinton Justice Department in 1999, the court refused to overturn a district judge’s... More »

Lawsuit Targets Cruise, Scientology 'Crime Syndicate'

Files harassment lawsuit under federal RICO statute

(Newser) - An ex-Scientologist says the organization is a “crime syndicate” in a $250 million federal lawsuit that names Tom Cruise as the head honcho's "right-hand man," reports the Daily News. The suit uses a statute designed to counter organized crime in an attempt to have the Church of... More »

Hollywood Private Eye Found Guilty

'Ultimate problem solver' Pellicano faces hefty term after racketeering conviction

(Newser) - Celebrity private detective Anthony Pellicano was found guilty today of 76 of the 77 charges he faced, including racketeering, wire fraud, and illegal wiretapping, the Los Angeles Times reports. Pellicano, 64, could face a life sentence after prosecutors won conviction on charges he illegally threatened and placed several prominent celebrities... More »

Gambler Sues Casinos for $20M

Gambling 'addict' says dens failed to stop her from blowing $1 million

(Newser) - A former New York attorney is suing seven casinos for $20 million, claiming they helped woo her to the tables, and let her continue to play and lose despite an obvious gambling addiction. Workers at Atlantic City and Las Vegas gambling dens should have stopped her from blowing $1 million... More »

Private Eye's Assistant Spills on Stand

Arranged wiretaps, transcribed tapes for Hollywood's Pellicano

(Newser) - A former assistant to Anthony Pellicano, improbably named Tarita Virtue, told a packed courtoom yesterday that she transcribed many wiretapped conversations for the Hollywood private eye, Variety reports. She explained Pellicano's wiretapping process step by step, and described the detective's security system, including punch-code locks on every room  and files... More »

Swindler Black Ordered to Jail

Court rules tycoon must spend appeal process in prison

(Newser) - Former media tycoon Conrad Black, convicted of swindling millions from his newspaper empire, will be behind bars by Monday night, reports the Chicago Sun-Tribune. A Chicago court ruled that he couldn't remain free on bail while awaiting a decision on his appeal. Black has been sentenced to six-and-a-half years in... More »

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