Press Release

For Immediate Release
December 11, 2009

Washington D.C.
FBI National Press Office
(202) 324-3691

FBI’s Top Ten News Stories for the Week Ending December 11, 2009

  1. Chicago: Chicagoan Charged with Conspiracy in 2008 Mumbai Attacks in Addition to Foreign Terror Plot in Denmark

    New federal charges allege that David Coleman Headley of Chicago, who was arrested in October for planning terrorist attacks against a Danish newspaper and two of its employees, also conducted extensive surveillance of targets in Mumbai for more than two years preceding the November 2008 terrorist attack on India’s largest city that killed approximately 170 people, including six Americans, and injured hundreds more. Headley allegedly attended terrorism training camps in Pakistan maintained by Lashkar e Tayyiba and conspired with its members and others in planning and executing the attacks in both Denmark and India. A criminal complaint was also unsealed charging Abdur Rehman Hashim Syed, a retired major in the Pakistani military, with conspiracy in planning to attack the Danish newspaper and its employees. Tahawwur Hussain Rana, a Canadian citizen and native of Pakistan, was arrested in October on federal charges filed in Chicago relating to the Danish terrorism plot. Full Story
  2. FBI Headquarters: Director Asks Judge Webster to Conduct Independent Review

    FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, III has asked Judge William H. Webster to conduct an independent review of FBI policies, practices, and actions prior to the tragic events at Fort Hood. Following the November 5, 2009 shootings, Director Mueller ordered an immediate, preliminary review of the FBI’s actions, as well any relevant policies and procedures that may have impacted FBI efforts before the shootings. The preliminary review has been completed, and Judge Webster will now lead an independent, outside effort that will look both at the initial findings and allow for additional review as he and his staff determine. Full Story
  3. Philadelphia: Five Indicted in Foreclosure Rescue and Mortgage Fraud Scheme Involving More Than $14.6 Million in Loans

    A 15-count indictment was filed against five defendants charged in a $14.6 million mortgage fraud scheme that resulted in at least 35 fraudulent mortgage loans. Those charged include Edward G. McCusker and John Alford Bariana, owners of Axxium Mortgage, Inc., McCusker’s wife, Jacqueline, and Jeffrey A. Bennett and Stephen G. Doherty, owners of the Doylestown law firm Bennett & Doherty, P.C. Full Story
  4. Washington Field: Former Military Officer Sentenced for Role in Bribery Conspiracy

    Curtis Whiteford, a former colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves, was sentenced to five years in prison for his participation in a wide-ranging bribery conspiracy in Al-Hillah, Iraq. He was also ordered to pay $16,200 in restitution and to serve two years of supervised release following his prison term. Full Story
  5. Little Rock: Four Arkansas Men Sentenced on Civil Rights Charges in Cross Burning Conspiracy

    Jacob Wingo, Clayton Morrison, Darren McKim, and Richard Robins were sentenced on federal civil rights and obstruction of justice charges related to a conspiracy to drive a woman and her children from their home because the victims associated with African-Americans. Full Story
  6. Miami: Six Remaining Defendants Plead Guilty in $18 Million Fraudulent Investment Scheme

    Defendants Jimmy L. Barker, Jr., Theodore Ginocchio, Ronald Bowsky, Jack Maddock, Robert Pozsony, and Rodger Brownson each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in connection with a scheme that defrauded more than 600 investors throughout the United States. Codefendants Robert Ladrach and Marc Rifkin previously pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and are awaiting sentencing. Full Story
  7. Memphis: Drug Kingpin Sentenced to 24 Life Sentences

    After an eight-month trial in federal court, Jamal Shakir was sentenced to multiple life sentences after being convicted in 2008 of multiple murders, being the kingpin of a violent interstate gang-based drug trafficking operation, money laundering, and obstruction of justice. The United States requested the jury sentence Shakir to death, but the jury did not unanimously agree on a sentence as required to impose the death penalty. The presiding judge sentenced Shakir to 16 life sentences, to be followed by an additional nine consecutive life sentences for the murders and the other criminal conduct. Judge Nixon also imposed a forfeiture verdict of $3 million on each of three counts, totaling $9 million. Full Story
  8. Albany: Former New York State Senate Majority Leader Convicted

    Following a three-week trial, Joseph L. Bruno, the former majority leader of the New York State Senate, was convicted Bruno on two felony counts of honest services mail fraud. Bruno was acquitted on five counts; jurors were unable to reach a verdict on one count of the indictment. Full Story
  9. San Francisco: Taiwan LCD Producer Agrees to Plead Guilty and Pay $220 Million Fine for Participating in LCD Price-Fixing Conspiracy

    A Thin-Film Transistor-Liquid Crystal Display (TFT-LCD) producer and seller has agreed to plead guilty and pay $220 million in criminal fines for its role in a conspiracy to fix prices in the sale of liquid crystal display panels. According to court documents, Chi Mei Optoelectronics participated in a conspiracy to fix the prices of TFT-LCD panels sold worldwide from 2001 through 2006. Full Story
  10. Atlanta: Couple Charged with Human Trafficking and Immigration Violations

    A federal grand jury in Atlanta indicted an Ellenwood, Georgia husband and wife, Juna Gwendolyn Babb and Michael J. Babb, on charges of conspiracy, forced labor, document servitude – which is confiscating someone’s passport and visa – and harboring an alien for financial gain. Full Story

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