Hundreds of millions of dollars paid out to criminals in coronavirus aid fraud

Convicts at prisons such as the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in California received millions in coronavirus aid.    Prisoners in California, including serial killers on death row, have received hundreds of millions of dollars in aid related to the coronavirus pandemic, prosecutors called it one of the largest embezzlements of public funds in the state’s history, as they documented how illegal unemployment claims made on behalf of prisoners had already led to hundreds of millions being paid out. Investigators, alerted to the illegal claims filed from prisons to access funds released during the pandemic, discovered tens of thousands of claims made … Continue reading Hundreds of millions of dollars paid out to criminals in coronavirus aid fraud

US man tries to escape from FBI using sea scooter

It was a getaway attempt worthy of Ian Fleming, but in the end, a suspected US fraudster proved he was no James Bond. Matthew Piercey, 44, a California man accused of financial crimes, briefly evaded justice when the FBI tried to arrest him on Monday morning, he first fled by car and then used a sea scooter to hide from agents underwater in a frigid lake. Agents watched his bubbles on the surface for around 25 minutes before he emerged and was handcuffed, he is accused of leading a $35m (£27m) Ponzi scheme at his local church. Sea scooters, also … Continue reading US man tries to escape from FBI using sea scooter

New Yorker fires Jeffrey Toobin for exposing himself on Zoom

A star reporter has been suspended by the New Yorker magazine after he exposed himself on a staff Zoom call, Jeffrey Toobin, 60, who is also senior legal analyst for CNN, confirmed in a tweet that he had been sacked. The New Yorker’s parent company Conde Nast wrote in an email to staff: “I want to assure everyone that we take workplace matters seriously.” After he was suspended last month Mr Toobin said he had believed himself to be off-camera during the incident. Vice News, which broke the initial story, reported that senior colleagues had seen Mr Toobin masturbating while … Continue reading New Yorker fires Jeffrey Toobin for exposing himself on Zoom

US sanctions more officials over China’s crackdown in Hong Kong

The United States has slapped sanctions on four more officials in the mainland and Hong Kong, accusing them of threatening the peace and security of the semi-autonomous city over their role in enacting the national security law imposed by Beijing at the end of June. The US Department of State identified the four as Deng Zhonghua, deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office; Edwina Lau, deputy commissioner of police in Hong Kong, and Li Jiangzhou and Li Kwai-wah, two officials at the newly established national security office in Hong Kong. “These individuals will be barred from travelling … Continue reading US sanctions more officials over China’s crackdown in Hong Kong

US state of Oregon to decriminalize hard drugs

Voters in Oregon are being asked to decide whether to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of hard drugs, including heroin and cocaine. Measure 110 aims to expand access to drug treatment and recovery services, in place of jail time, if approved, it would be the first legislation of its kind to be passed in the US. Opponents say it risks normalizing the most dangerous drugs. The vote on Tuesday coincides with the US presidential election, it is just one of many measures that voters in US states are being asked to approve or reject, others include proposals on abortion … Continue reading US state of Oregon to decriminalize hard drugs

Nxivm leader Keith Raniere sentenced to 120 years in prison

The US leader of a sex cult has been sentenced to 120 years in prison, Nxivm founder Keith Raniere was convicted last year of racketeering, sex trafficking, child pornography possession and other crimes, as leader of the group he recruited women as slaves and forced them to have sex with him. Prosecutors said the 60 year old should spend his life behind bars for the “immeasurable damages” he caused to victims of the cult. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis also fined Raniere $1.75m (£1.34m) at the sentencing hearing in Brooklyn on Tuesday, Raniere himself never took the stand during the case … Continue reading Nxivm leader Keith Raniere sentenced to 120 years in prison

Padres outfielder Pham stabbed outside strip club

San Diego Padres outfielder Tommy Pham was recovering in hospital Monday night after suffering a stab wound in an altercation outside a southern California strip club on the weekend, US media reported on Monday. Pham, 32, was stabbed after he asked two people who were arguing near his car to move, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported. Police told the newspaper the incident happened around 10:30 pm local time outside the Pacers Showgirls International club. Pham was listed in good condition. Pham was stabbed in the lower back but his injuries are not life-threatening, the newspaper said. There were no further … Continue reading Padres outfielder Pham stabbed outside strip club

FBI busts militia ‘plot’ to abduct Michigan Gov Gretchen Whitmer

The FBI says it has thwarted a plot to abduct and overthrow Michigan’s Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Mrs Whitmer has become a target for coronavirus sceptics after enacting strict measures that were overturned by a judge last week, officials say the kidnapping plot involved six men who planned to hold a “treason trial” for her. “Hatred, bigotry and violence have no place” in Michigan, Mrs Whitmer said, describing the accused as “depraved”. According to a sworn FBI affidavit, an undercover law enforcement source attended a June meeting in Dublin, Ohio, where a group of Michigan-based militia members discussed overthrowing state … Continue reading FBI busts militia ‘plot’ to abduct Michigan Gov Gretchen Whitmer

Boy, 9, accidentally shoots himself in the head

A 9-year-old boy was critically wounded when he accidentally shot himself Wednesday inside an Austin home on the West Side. The boy was playing with a gun about 1:45 p.m. in the 1500 block of North Lorel Avenue when the gun went off, hitting him in the head, according to Chicago police, he was taken to Stroger Hospital in critical condition, police said. It was not immediately clear who the gun belonged to or whether anyone had been taken into custody as Area Five detectives continue to investigate, police said. Chicago has seen at least two other shootings this year … Continue reading Boy, 9, accidentally shoots himself in the head

Instead of arresting a woman accused of shoplifting, these NYPD officers paid for her meal

When New York City Police officers saw a woman accused of shoplifting at a Manhattan Whole Foods store on Thursday, they didn’t arrest her; instead, they paid for her meal.New York Police officers paid for a woman’s meal at a Manhattan Whole Foods. A store security guard asked three officers on a break from patrol Thursday to confront a woman who was suspected of shoplifting. Lt. Louis Sojo says he found prepared-food containers in the woman’s bag, and she tearfully told him she was hungry. We’ll pay for her food, Sojo said, to the surprise of the security guard and … Continue reading Instead of arresting a woman accused of shoplifting, these NYPD officers paid for her meal

A Marine veteran’s military medals were stolen from his home. Detectives on the case replaced them

Retired Marine Corps Lt. Col. Thomas Faleskie holds a box containing the medals next to Det. Frank Corona, who helped organize the plan to replace them. For nearly 25 years, Thomas Faleskie served in the United States Marine Corps before retiring with the rank of lieutenant colonel. During that time he served in Vietnam and was awarded with several medals, including the National Defense Service Medal and Vietnam Service Medal. But a burglary at the veteran’s home last year resulted in the loss of tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of items including his military medals, ribbons and pilot’s wings, … Continue reading A Marine veteran’s military medals were stolen from his home. Detectives on the case replaced them

Mass Shooting: Multiple people dead in Oregon hostage situation

Oregon State Police investigators work near the scene of an officer-involved shooting in Salem. Multiple people died during a hostage situation that unfolded in Salem, Oregon, Monday afternoon, officials said. Deputies from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call of a possible hostage situation on Juneva Place SE around 12:30 p.m., according to a press release issued by the sheriff’s office. Salem is about 45 miles southwest of Portland. A trained hostage negotiator was on scene and attempted to speak with the suspect over the phone but “shots were fired,” the release said. There were multiple fatalities during this … Continue reading Mass Shooting: Multiple people dead in Oregon hostage situation