Corporate crooks falsified tests on rocket materials = 2 failed missions + $700 million loss

❝ An aluminum manufacturer charged with crimes and civil claims of fraud has agreed to pay $46.9 million to NASA, the Department of Defense, and many commercial customers. This comes after a NASA investigation uncovered a 19-year scheme by Sapa Profiles, Inc. that involved faked test results and the selling of faulty materials — actions which eventually led to two failed NASA missions and more than $700 million in losses… “Corporate and personal greed perpetuated this fraud against the government and other private customers, and this resolution holds these companies accountable for the harm caused by their scheme.”

More detail in the article. The feds seem satisfied. I’m not. Long ago, in another time and place, I performed MILSPEC tests – for a metals producer – that required periodic personal witnessing by an inspector representing the Pentagon. You can be certain there was no fudging of results. I imagine there was some “cost-saving” lie out of Congress that subverted that process.

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.

Upset with “unsavory” neighbors – have their trailer demolished!


Keep your neighborhood tidy

When a 62-year-old St. Johns County woman decided she didn’t like the sort of people who had been living next door, a bulldozer solved the problem.

Except the demolished trailer wasn’t hers.

The woman told a heavy equipment operator she owned the trailer on Dusty Road and wanted it and its septic tank destroyed, according to her arrest report…She had a key and showed the contractor no one was currently living there before he started work Monday.

But then the owner showed up. And a deputy was called…Ana Maria Moreta Folch was charged with criminal mischief, a third-degree felony…

The arrest report said Moreta Folch had the trailer bulldozed because people who had lived there were unsavory and she suspected they had broken into her car. She said she considered it a favor to her neighborhood.

Damage was estimated at $25,000.

Here in New Mexico we have a number of villages adjudged “traditional” that easily bend zoning regulations to allow mobile homes. Always good for a laugh at the expense of True Locals.

The rationale consistently accepted by local bureaucrats is this is a temporary measure to provide home and shelter until something substantial and keeping with traditional look and feel is built. But, uh, 20 years later, 40 years later – guess what? That single-wide is still there and providing rental income whether a house was also built on the lot – or not.

That’s not a rant about mobile homes. But, there are reasons for zoning. Cripes, I used to live in a lovely double-wide in the Navajo Nation.

Oklahoma nutball declares sovereignty from government

Shane Farrell Thomas, 37, a Del City contractor accused of embezzlement, is among those who say they do not recognize government’s authority to impose laws or taxes…

“We know they are in Oklahoma because we see and hear about their paper activity in our court system,” said Tamara Pratt, deputy director of the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism in Oklahoma City. “That’s their method of operation.”

‘Sovereign citizens’ such as Thomas, a defendant in multiple embezzlement cases, usually represent themselves in court, filing nonsensical paperwork on their own behalf.

“They like to flood the courts with false liens against public officials,” Pratt said, adding that ‘sovereigns’ don’t pay taxes, create false license plates and driver’s licenses and sometimes make currency as a means of defiance.

On Friday, Thomas was taken into custody by courthouse deputies before the start of his preliminary hearing. An arrest warrant for Thomas was issued after he failed to appear for a previous hearing.

Handcuffed and with his mother in tow, the Del City man reappeared before Oklahoma County Special Judge Larry A. Jones and promptly asked the judge to remove himself from the case…

Jones fired back, telling Thomas a counterclaim he filed that names the judge as a defendant has no merit because “there is no such creature” in criminal cases…“The arguments you’re making today are nonsensical and not relevant to these proceedings,” the judge told Thomas. “You’re clueless.”

Thomas, a contractor, is accused in four felony cases of embezzling more than $100,000 from friends and neighbors who paid him to complete home repairs, court records show…

Thomas, who referred to himself in court papers filed this week as “a living son of our Father God” and “one of the sovereign people of Oklahoma,” declined to comment about his beliefs or the rights of his alleged victims outside of court.

We don’t recognize him as anything more than a criminal defendant,” District Attorney David Prater said Friday…

A useless representative of nutball politics, the silliest sort of anarchy come full circle from left to right. He whines about paying his fair share as thoroughly as the 1% at the top of corporate America.

Military contractor lets staff load P2P. Files leak. Surprise!


Daylife/Getty Images

Employees of Tiversa, a security company that specializes in peer-to-peer technology, reportedly found engineering and communications information about Marine One at an IP address in Tehran, Iran.

Bob Boback, CEO of Tiversa, told WPXI-TV: “We found a file containing entire blueprints and avionics package for Marine One, which is the president’s helicopter.”

The company was able to trace the file back to its original source.

“What appears to be a defense contractor in Bethesda, Md., had a file-sharing program on one of their systems that also contained highly sensitive blueprints for Marine One,” Boback said. Tiversa also found sensitive financial information about the cost of the helicopter on that same computer,

Someone from the company most likely downloaded a file-sharing program, typically used to exchange music, not realizing the potential problems, Boback said.

A minor number of Web-ignorant ideologues have announced this was Iran’s government “hacking” into U.S. secrets. No doubt the “enemy” source in Iran was another file-sharing geek as ignorant of security requirements as the unnamed Pentagon contractor’s IT department.

There is no patch for stupidity.