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Best in all legal news.

FBI Issues Cyber Alert As Organized Criminals Drive Dating Site Fraud Up 70%

The FBI has issued a warning for Americans to be wary of “confidence/romance scams,” after the Bureau saw a 70% annual rise in reported fraud, where dating sites were used to trick victims into sending money, purchasing items or even laundering or muling money for people met online. The shift from basic fraud to money laundering is a significant worry for U.S. law enforcement and represents a nasty twist in the age-old problem of romance scams.

In 2018, more than 18,000 complaints were received with losses totalling more than $362 million. And, to state the obvious, this is likely the tip of the iceberg. For every reported incident there will be others where victims don’t come forward.

In particular the FBI warns, threat actors “often use online dating sites to pose as U.S. citizens located in a foreign country, U.S. military members deployed overseas, or U.S. business owners seeking assistance with lucrative investments.”

Read Full Article – https://www.forbes.com/sites/zakdoffman/2019/08/06/fbi-warns-americans-as-cyber-crime-on-dating-sites-up-a-massive-70/#351ad11a53e5

Tallahassee Police legal adviser seeks assurances that Hustler will comply with Florida law

A Tallahassee Police Department legal adviser contacted attorneys for adult lifestyle brand Hustler Hollywood hours after the Tallahassee Democrat reported the opening of the company’s new local store.

Theresa Flury, representing the Police Department, sent an Aug. 7 letter to the company’s attorney and stated the Florida statue that prevents adult entertainment establishments from operating within 2,500 feet of a public or private school.

“Please confirm the establishment intends to comply with the statute and does not intend to engage in any prohibited conduct as specified therein,” Flury said.

The new store, which boasts an eclectic collection of top-selling pleasure products, is near Sealey Elementary and the School of Arts and Science at the Centre of Tallahassee. But neither school appears to fall within the 2,500 feet buffer.

“While there are no local zoning restrictions in commercially zoned areas for these types of businesses, state law may apply if the property is within 2,500 feet of a school,” said Karen Jumonville, who heads the city’s Growth Management Department, in an email to the Democrat.

Read Full Article – https://www.tallahassee.com/story/news/money/2019/08/10/tallahassee-police-legal-adviser-seeks-assurances-hustler-comply-florida-law/1948099001/

The Revelations of Meek Mill’s Legal Limbo

Free Meek, the Amazon docuseries about the rapper’s 12-year criminal-justice saga, is an impressive but revealing production that joins other high-profile efforts to address institutional reform.

Midway through Episode 3 of Amazon’s new documentary Free Meek, the rapper and entertainment-industry mogul Jay-Z appears on-screen to offer a de facto thesis statement for the five-installment series. He ties the experience of the Philadelphia musician to those of the 4.5 million people whose stories of protracted injustice are less readily heard by wide audiences. “I really believe a lot of people don’t really understand what’s going on, or don’t believe it until they really see it,” Jay-Z, who is also one of the show’s executive producers, says. “Meek is not the only one. You tell people these stories—you can’t believe it, until you hear it from a source and [then] it’s like, this is not fantasy. This is fact. These are just things that are so far that I have to say something.”

Free Meek, which premieres today, follows the ongoing criminal-justice saga of Meek Mill, the rapper born Robert Rihmeek Williams. As its title suggests, the series doesn’t purport to take an ostensibly impartial view of Meek’s original case. It’s more interested in tying the story of the artist’s 12-year legal limbo to that experienced by black people around the country, especially in low-income neighborhoods. Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label, to which Meek is signed, co-produced the series with The Intellectual Property Corporation, and the show’s existence sheds light on the sometimes complicated high-profile efforts to address criminal-justice reform.

The documentary begins by establishing vignettes of Meek’s early life in Philadelphia, where his mother raised him after his “drug-dealer robber” father, as Meek calls him, was killed when Meek was 5—and where he got his start as a young battle rapper. These are some of the show’s most wrenching scenes. Meek speaks matter-of-factly about his life; of his chosen name, for example, he says, “Robert sound like a white guy’s name; Rihmeek sounded more ghetto to me.” But even the lighter moments of this introduction, such as when his aunt recalls the first time she encountered the 11-year-old Meek rapping, carry an ominous tone. The music is sinister, the lighting sometimes quite dark.

Full Read – https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2019/08/free-meek-jay-z-and-trickiness-celebrity-activism/595768/

Former Mafia killer Anthony Arillotta denies assault charge; accused of throwing lemonade carton at relative

SPRINGFIELD — The region’s most notorious mafia killer was arrested Sunday and charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon after he allegedly hurled a carton of lemonade at a female relative.

The dispute was over a sick dog, which a witness said Anthony J. Arillotta threatened to kill, according to court records.

Arillotta, 50, pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Monday in Springfield District Court. Judge John McKenna set his bail at $500.

Assistant District Attorney Tyson Fung asked the judge to set bail at $2,500 cash, saying Arillotta, of Springfield, was on federal probation.

Arillotta was the federal government’s star witness in two separate mob murder trials in New York City in 2011 and 2012. He began cooperating with law enforcement shortly after his 2010 arrest, according to court filings and testimony.

In 2010 he pleaded guilty to the 2003 murders of former mentor Adolfo “Big Al” Bruno and his former brother-in-law, Gary Westerman, and the attempted murder of a New York union boss. He served an eight-year prison sentence and opted out of witness protection. Sources said he returned to Springfield in the spring of 2017.

At his arraignment Monday, McKenna set Sept. 25 as a “clarification of counsel” date, saying Arillotta does not qualify for a court-appointed lawyer. Kevin Riva, a private practice bar advocate who was representing multiple defendants in district court Monday, represented Arillotta at the arraignment only.

Riva said Arillotta was working full time, and that a family member was at court to post bail.

According to Riva’s account of the incident, Arillotta is allergic to dogs; a family member left a sick dog at the home, and he wanted it removed.

Read Full Article – https://www.masslive.com/springfield/2019/07/former-mafia-killer-anthony-arillotta-denies-assault-charge-accused-of-throwing-lemonade-carton-at-relative.html

Biggest Mafia bust in Ontario, Canada, nets 15 arrests, $33 million worth of homes and cars

A Mafia bust — believed to be the biggest in the Canadian province of Ontario — has resulted in 15 arrests and the seizure of homes and sports cars worth $33 million.

“Project Sindicato” targeted the Figliomeni crime family which has links to Italy’s notorious ‘Ndrangehta Mafia clan in Italy, York Regional Police announced Thursday.

“(The Figliomeni crime family) has benefitted from generations of crime to live a glamorous and indulgent lifestyle at the expense of law-abiding citizens,” Police Chief Eric Jolliffe said, according to the Toronto Sun. “We have dismantled the financial structure of this organized crime organization both here and in Italy.”

The investigation led to separate arrests of 12 individuals in Calabria, Italy, according to CTV News. Those arrests were announced Wednesday by Italian State Police.

York Police launched the investigation 18 months ago in response to a spike in shootings and arsons in Vaughan, a city north of Toronto, CTV reported.

Those arrested were accused of operating nearly a dozen illegal backroom gambling dens in various cafes and extending loans to tapped-out gamblers at extortionate rates who were then threatened with harm if they didn’t pay up, CTV reported.

The arrests included the reputed head of the crime family, Angelo Figliomeni, who was charged with directing a criminal organization, money laundering and fraud, police said.

Read Full Article From – https://www.foxnews.com/world/biggest-mafia-bust-in-canada-nets-15-arrests-33-million-worth-of-homes-and-cars