Category: Crime

Bacon busted for fighting over the last sausage

A New Jersey man with the surname Bacon found himself under arrest following a breakfast dispute over the last piece of sausage.

Madison police said Officer Lisa Esposito responded to a home about 3:30 a.m. May 12 on a report of a dispute and arrived to find Thomas Bacon, 19, had allegedly assaulted another person in the home for eating the last piece of sausage.

I wonder if folks who believe in things like karma feel it can be affected by pork products.

Arrest warrant out for nuclear powerplant developer


“Don, honey, we can put the executive swimming pool over there”

Don Gillispie — who pitched a plan to build a nuclear power plant in Southwest Idaho until federal investigators accused his company of fraudulent activity — didn’t show up for two arraignment hearings this week in an ongoing criminal case.

The first time, on Tuesday, U.S. Magistrate Larry M. Boyle rescheduled the arraignment for Thursday, court documents state. When Gillispie also missed that hearing, prosecutors asked the judge to issue a warrant for Gillispie’s arrest, the U.S. Attorney’s Office confirmed.

Gillispie is accused of duping investors to buy stock in Alternate Energy Holdings Inc. (AEHI) at an artificially inflated price and then funnelling the money to himself and his company’s former vice president, Jennifer Ransom. Prosecutors could now charge him with failure to appear in the case. For one count, wire fraud, that could mean up to 10 additional years in prison if he is convicted…

Also, U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge reissued a judgment against Gillispie and AEHI in a several-year-old civil case brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission…

From the $14.6 million in investor money received, Gillispie and Ransom “received significant salaries and other compensation that they did not report as income to the Internal Revenue Service,” according to court files.

Do your due diligence, folks, before you invest a penny of your hard-earned income. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably ain’t.

Republican former Speaker of the House indicted by federal grand jury

J. Dennis Hastert, the longest serving Republican speaker in the U.S. House, was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges that he violated banking laws in a bid to pay $3.5 million because of “past misconduct” against an unnamed individual from their hometown west of Chicago.

Hastert, 73, who has been a high-paid lobbyist in Washington since his 2007 retirement, schemed to mask more than $950,000 in withdrawals from various accounts that violated federal banking laws that require disclosure of large cash transactions, according to a seven-page indictment delivered by a grand jury in Chicago.

The indictment did not spell out the exact nature of the “prior misconduct” by Hastert against the individual from his hometown, Yorkville, but noted that before entering politics in 1981, Hastert spent more than a decade as a teacher and wrestling coach at the local high school. The unnamed individual has known Hastert for most of that person’s life, the indictment states…

Oops! Sounds like Republican family values strikes again.

The indictment, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern Division of the Northern District of Illinois, also alleges that Hastert lied to FBI agents last December when asked about the withdrawals.

Prosecutors said that in 2010, when the unnamed individual confronted Hastert about the allegations of misconduct, the former speaker agreed to pay out $3.5 million “to compensate for and conceal his prior misconduct against” this person.

Over the next five years Hastert withdrew about $1.7 million in cash from his various bank accounts, at one point last year delivering $100,000 at a time to the person, the indictment alleges.

Beginning in 2013, the FBI and Internal Revenue Service began investigating “possible structuring of currency transactions to avoid the reporting requirements.” Hastert had made more than a dozen withdrawals of $50,000 in cash, which was provided to the unnamed individual every six weeks, the indictment said.

After bank representatives questioned him about the withdrawals, he began taking out less than $10,000 at a time, providing it to the unnamed person at set locations and times, prosecutors say. When Hastert was asked about the withdrawals, the indictment states that he told agents: “I kept the cash.”

However, the indictment states that this is a lie, and Hastert was trying to keep his agreement to pay the unnamed person “secret so as to cover up his past misconduct.”

I’ll never excuse Democrats or Independents for committing the same crimes a number of Republicans have been found guilty of. The crusher is that Republicans present themselves, time after time, as the holy standard for honesty and upright behavior. And that’s just pure hypocrite hogwash.

One again, part of the holier-than-thou crowd, one of the whiners who is paid to campaign against change and progress, gets caught breaking the law.

Shadow pricing, highway robbery, and the price of medication

It’s often difficult to pinpoint the moment a revolution starts, but when it comes to the issue of drug pricing, it’s quite possible that we’ll look back at Dec. 6, 2013, as the day that everything changed.

That was the day that Gilead’s Sovaldi was approved for sale by the FDA. Sovaldi’s launch — and its $84,000 price tag — set off a tsunami of media attention on the issue of medication costs. Never mind that Sovaldi has an incredible cure rate, all of the attention fell squarely on its $84,000 price tag.

Since then pharmaceutical drug pricing has been a regular media hot topic. There was coverage of a recent study that found older drugs were being priced higher in an apparent attempt to keep their prices in parity with newer alternative treatments. That was followed by a report in the Wall Street Journal about how pharmaceutical companies buy the rights to drugs from other manufacturers and then dramatically increase prices:

“On Feb. 10, Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. bought the rights to a pair of life-saving heart drugs. The same day, their list prices rose by 525% and 212%.

Neither of the drugs, Nitropress or Isuprel, was improved as a result of costly investment in lab work and human testing, Valeant said. Nor was manufacture of the medicines shifted to an expensive new plant. The big change: the drugs’ ownership…”

Many years ago, back before I got into the healthcare analytics space, I was an investment banker and subject to the rules and regulations laid down by the SEC and FINRA. In that business, we had to be aware of potential client red flags like market manipulation and insider trading. Maybe it’s the training that’s kicking in here, but when I see stories like those strung together above I can’t help but feel like someone’s getting one over on someone else. And while I’m a tried and true capitalist who believes in letting market demand dictate pricing, it’s evident that this pharma pricing strategy may have pushed too far…

What many healthcare professionals have come to realize is that these high prices actually have little to no bearing on the safety, efficacy, or comparative effectiveness of the drug…Talking as a whole, the media coverage on drug pricing is revealing how the system is starting to push back. Companies like Express Scripts are putting their foot down on basic drug pricing and are demanding more information and data regarding the overall cost and safety of drugs.

We also see an emerging trend among payer and provider clients that are now realizing the huge impact that the shadow costs from drug side effects have on their bottom line and patient outcomes, and they too are demanding more transparency in financial and safety drug data in order to make more effective and accurate drug purchasing decisions.

We expect the national debate around drug pricing to intensify and morph to include evaluating drug pricing based on their “fully loaded” costs. After all, it’s we as taxpayers who foot the bill for the bulk of these expenses through the Medicare and Medicaid systems. And we as patients who suffer because we simply can’t afford needed medications anymore.

Brian Overstreet is co-founder and president of AdverseEvents, a California-based healthcare informatics company that improves patient safety and reduces systemic healthcare costs through the comprehensive analysis of postmarketing drug side effect data. This post originally appeared on the company’s RxView blog.

The medical-industrial complex now owns more Congress-creeps than the military-industrial complex. To the same result. American taxpayers pay more and get less for their money than any other citizens in the industrialized West. Money for nothing or less. Subsidizing phony research – or no research – under the blanket description of advancing healthcare.

Keeping up with Mexican drug cartels — New Generation


Click to enlargephotos from Getty, EPA, etc.

A shootout between members of a powerful drug cartel and Mexican security forces in the western state of Michoacan left at least 40 people dead Friday, according to Mexican officials.

The violence unfolded in the morning near the town of Tanhuato, along Michoacan’s border with the state of Jalisco, a troubled region where two drug cartels have waged a long-running battle and where attacks against Mexican authorities have recently spiked.

Mexican authorities offered few details Friday afternoon about the killings, which involved the New Generation cartel of Jalisco and a convoy of federal police and soldiers. The governor of Michoacan, Salvador Jara, said on a radio address that at least one policeman died, as well as 42 gunmen, although those numbers were not confirmed…

A priest at a nearby church, Manuel Navarro, said that he and his parishioners could see black smoke rising at the scene of the violence but that the townspeople continued to work and go out in the streets.

“The people must be scared,” he said. “But what are we going to do?

The New Generation cartel has grown into one of the country’s most powerful drug gangs and has been involved in several large-scale attacks against authorities in recent months. In April, the group ambushed a convoy of state police officers as they drove through a rural gorge, killing 15 of them. This month, gunmen shot down a Mexican military helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade, killing six soldiers.

Over the past two years, the gang has battled Michoacan’s dominant cartel, the Knights Templar, as well as members of the citizens militia group that emerged there to combat the drug gangs’ killing and extortion. Authorities in Jalisco have expressed concern that they are not getting enough help from the federal government to halt the expansion of the New Generation cartel.

I have no idea what “army” is needed to sort out the history of Mexico’s corruption. It is as deeply ingrained within the structure of everyday life and governance as any failed state in history.

Although the comparative casualty rate of Federales vs gangsters was pretty impressive this time. Ahem, assuming this account is the truth.

2010 BP oil spill blamed for rise in dolphin deaths in Gulf of Mexico


Click to enlargeRon Wooten

A new study by the NOAA concludes that the 2011 BP oil spill, the largest marine-based oil spill in U.S history, is to blame for the ongoing die-off of bottlenose dolphins in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

The new paper — authored by 22 scientists as part of unusual mortality event investigation by the NOAA — confirms the conclusions of a number of other studies. The research validates the findings of a 2011 study that showed live dolphins in Louisiana’s Barataria Bay suffered poor health, adrenal disease, and lung disease linked to contaminants from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill…

The latest findings build on the the 2011 Barataria Bay study. In examining dead dolphins in and around the Louisiana bay — one of the areas most contaminated by spilled oil — between June 2010 and November 2012, researchers found nearly half of all specimens had a thinning adrenal gland cortex.

Contaminants from oil are proven to damage adrenal glands, and adrenal insufficiency can make sea mammals susceptible to a range of other diseases and stressors.

Scientists also found that a third of all deceased dolphins collected and examined across Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama had lung lesions consistent with oil contamination. Only 7 percent of the dead or stranded dolphins from non-oil spill areas showed signs of a thinning adrenal cortex, and only 2 percent had lung lesions.

Who will BP repay for the wildlife carnage from the oil spill? They payback business, individual humans. But, the world is diminished by the loss of natural life from the Gulf of Mexico as surely as the loss of income.

San Francisco coppers can’t be sued for shooting unarmed woman

The Supreme Court says police are immune from a lawsuit arising from the arrest and shooting of a mentally ill woman in San Francisco.

The justices ruled that police did not violate the rights of Teresa Sheehan when they forced their way into her room at a group home and shot her five times after she came at them with a knife.

The officers had been called to take Sheehan for an emergency psychiatric evaluation after she threatened a case worker, but the situation quickly escalated.

Sheehan, then 56, was shot in the hip and the head. She survived, but had to undergo two hip replacement operations.

The high court, which heard oral arguments in the case in March, on Monday left undecided the question of whether police should take special precautions when arresting armed and violent people suffering from mental illness.

Sheehan claimed police must make reasonable accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act for suspects with mental illnesses.

The court said it would not take up that question because it had not been fully considered by lower courts.

Is there any way someone might stage a confrontation between these shit-for-brains justices and the average copper, say, in Oakland?

Could be a potential learning opportunity for a few elitist arch-conservative know-nothings. I’d gladly pop for the cleaning bill after they crap their Heidi Whities.

NRA/Biker Jamboree in Waco, Texas – 192 arrested, 9 dead


Click to enlargeAP Photo/Jerry Larson

Texas police announced on Monday that 192 people will face organized crime charges following the Waco bike-gang shooting where nine people were killed and 18 were injured.

Nine people were shot to death after rival biker gang members opened fire at the Twin Peaks Sports Bar and Grill in Central Texas on Sunday. The incident initially started as a fist fight, which then turned into a battle with knives, clubs and chains, and later, guns.

One witness described the scene as a “war zone.”…

According to police, three rival biker gangs began fighting at the Waco restaurant while multiple officers were out in the parking lot arranging protection for residents. The fight started in the restaurant and spilled outside…

The officers were in the area because they had anticipated possible trouble at the restaurant — which has been the scene of ongoing tensions between bikers in recent weeks…

Police immediately secured the scene. District attorney Abel Reyna told police two weeks ago that trouble had been brewing among the biker gangs for some time.

“Thank goodness the officers were here, and took the action that they needed to take to save numerous lives,” Swanton said.

The officers at the scene engaged the gunmen in the fight — firing their weapons, as well. However, Waco police said no officers were wounded in the gun battle…

No doubt the NRA will provide legal aid for the bikers involved in the shoot-out. Gangs like these are only defending the same rights and policies that concern the NRA – nowadays. Although they don’t get the same cut in gun sales profits the NRA does.

Remember when Philly coppers killed 11 – including 5 children – in a Black neighborhood?

Thirty years ago…in an act of state-sponsored terrorism, police in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, dropped powerful bombs on a home that served as the headquarters of the MOVE organization, resulting in the deaths of 11 people, including 5 children.

The MOVE organization was a Black liberation group that also exposed a radical environmental outlook. The organization and its members were seen as a thorn in the side of Philadelphia police and city officials.

Police and MOVE members had clashed before, resulting in the death of one police officer in 1978 and the imprisonment of 9 members of the organization for their role. That incident would pale in comparison to the events of May 13, 1985.

City officials, firefighters, and heavily-armed police arrived at the headquarters of the organizations, a fortified row house in a residential area of West Philadelphia. Police had come to arrest four members of the group for relatively minor offenses such as parole violations.

When members — who were adamantly opposed to police actions — put up resistance, police responded with startling brutality.

Firefighters attempted to flush people out of the building using powerful fire houses. When that didn’t work police fired tear gas into the building before firing thousands of rounds of live ammunition. None of those actions were successful. It was then that Philadelphia police commissioner George Sambor ordered a police helicopter to drop two bombs on the roof of the house.

The resulting explosion tore through the building and ultimately burned approximately 60 neighboring houses. Ramona Africa, one of two survivors, stated that police shot live rounds at people who attempted to flee the inferno.

The firefighters on scene were ordered to let the building burn.

Despite a commission ordered by then Mayor Wilson Goode that deemed the actions “unconscionable,” not one city official or police officer was ever prosecuted. A grand jury, steered by police-friendly prosecutors, cleared all involved of any criminal liability.

If we had a Justice Department and a President back then who at least allowed an investigation – do you think something might have been done? Something that had sufficient effect upon police violence to have prevented some of the murders of unarmed civilians by cops, nowadays?

How did identity thieves get passport data? From passport agency contractor!

Three women from Houston, Texas, stand accused of engaging in an identity theft scheme in which one of them, a contract employee of the Department of State Passport Agency, was in charge of stealing personally identifiable information of persons applying for a passport.

The information was then used to create counterfeit identification documents, which the other two women would use to successfully impersonate the affected individuals in order to fraudulently obtain commercial lines of credit and to purchase iPhones, iPads and other electronic merchandise.

This scheme went on for over five years.

There are no more details about how Chloe McClendon, the Passport Agency contractor, exfiltrated the personal data in question, but according to The Washington Post, the US Passport Agency has decided last month to ban both federal employees and private contractors from bringing devices equipped with a camera into the offices where they review and process requests for passports…

Technically, banning devices with cameras won’t stop determined insiders from stealing information.

No surprise. The majority of cases like this stem from a disgruntled employee or a plant.

Another problem in this particular case might be cost cutting. According to Rob Arnold, in the last few years the Passport Agency has been employing contractors to do jobs that used to be higher responsibility government posts.

Life with beancounters in charge of Congress produces exactly the most predictable result.