Category Archives: Organized Crime

Legal news for Mafia continually updated from thousands of sources on the web – Global Mafia News. News about organized crime. Commentary and archival information about organized crime from Lawstarz.

AlphaBay, Hansa Shut, but Drug Dealers Flock to Dark Web DreamMarket

Two of the largest online black-market sites have been shuttered in a law enforcement crackdown, but drug dealers have moved in a hurry to a third “dark net” emporium, where listings of fentanyl and heroin have already spiked, according to analysts.

The newfound popularity of DreamMarket highlights the whack-a-mole challenges of policing drugs sold online even as government officials touted the the death of the other two sites, AlphaBay and Hansa.

The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Justice Department announced Thursday that AlphaBay — described as a major source of fentanyl and heroin that has been linked to overdose deaths — had been seized and closed down.

“This is likely one of the most important criminal investigations of the year — taking down the largest dark net marketplace in history,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

The so-called dark net is a part of the Internet that can only be accessed by specialized software or hardware and contains clandestine websites not found through normal search engines.

Alphabay and Hansa advertised drugs, chemicals, counterfeit documents, weapon and computer malware among many other items and services, cloaking users in anonymity. Authorities said AlphaBay alone was responsible for at least a billion dollars worth of commerce, using bitcoin and other crypto-currencies.

AlphaBay’s suspected founder, Alexandre Caze, was arrested earlier this month in Thailand at the request of U.S. officials. A week later he was found dead in his cell.

As soon as authorities shut down AlphaBay, sellers began migrating to other sites, according to Kela Targeted Cyber Intelligence, a Tel Aviv company that specializes in monitoring the dark net.

Full Read  – http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/alphabay-hansa-shut-drug-dealers-flock-dark-web-dreammarket-n785001?cid=sm_npd_nn_tw_ma

THE MAFIA IS TEAMING UP WITH NIGERIA’S ‘VIKING’ GANGSTERS TO RUN SEX RINGS IN SICILY

Mafia members in Sicily are teaming up with a Nigerian gang that uses machetes on its enemies and only accepts degree-qualified members, to run sex rings on the Italian island.

Police sources told The Times that members of the Vikings—a gang that sprung out of Nigerian universities in the 1980s and demands that members have no criminal record—have collaborated with the local Cosa Nostra, or the Sicilian Mafia in Ballaro, a town in Sicily, and were threatening to expand into the capital Palermo.

The groups have worked together on vice rings involving Nigerian women who have been trafficked to Italy as sex workers. Nigerian women began traveling to Italy in the 1980s to work as fruit pickers but soon turned to sex work, and an estimated 30,000 have since been trafficked from the West African country to work as prostitutes in Italy and elsewhere in Europe, The Guardian reported.

Read Full – http://www.newsweek.com/mafia-nigeria-migration-sex-work-trafficking-629627

Factbox: Donald Trump Jr.’s lawyer has experience with the mob and music

Alan Futerfas, the lawyer Donald Trump Jr. has hired to represent him in connection with Russia-related probes, has over 25 years experience in handling government investigations and criminal cases.

John Moscow, a former assistant district attorney in Manhattan, described Futerfas as a “top-flight lawyer” who is both “high-powered and low-key.”

Here are some facts about Futerfas:

He became a top mob defense lawyer early on

Miami-born Futerfas joined the law firm of veteran criminal defense lawyer Gerald Shargel after graduating from Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York in 1987, and quickly became a partner. He left to form his own firm in 1994.

In one of his biggest cases from that period, Futerfas won a new trial in 1997 for mob captain Anthony Russo after it was revealed that a Federal Bureau of Investigation agent may have leaked information to fuel an organized crime war in the early 1990s.

He expanded into white-collar cases

Futerfas encountered Moscow in the early 2000s case against former Tyco International chief executive L. Dennis Kozlowski. Futerfas represented Christine Berry, Kozlowski’s art consultant, in the sales tax avoidance investigation that led to the larger case over Kozlowski’s corporate “looting.”

In 2010, he represented hedge fund group HFV Management in connection with a wide-ranging probe by the New York attorney general’s office into corruption in the state’s pension fund.

He has also handled cybercrime cases

Futerfas is defending Ziv Orenstein, one of three Israelis charged by federal prosecutors with hacking into JPMorgan Chase & Co and the Wall Street Journal, among other rtargets, as part of a massive “pump and dump” scheme. Orenstein pleaded not guilty.

Another client of Futerfas was Nikita Kuzmin, a Russian national who agreed last year to pay $6.9 million for creating computer malware that made users’ bank accounts vulnerable to cyber criminals.

He worked one summer for a longtime lawyer to Donald Trump

In the summer of 1985, while he was in law school, Futerfas worked for lawyer Jay Goldberg, who went on to become Trump’s divorce lawyer.

Futerfas said he did not come to Trump Jr. through Goldberg.

He studied at Juilliard

Futerfas earned his undergraduate degree from the prestigious performing arts school. He still plays bass trombone for the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony.

(Corrects paragraph 5 to “may have leaked” instead of “deliberately leaked”)

(Reporting by Karen Freifeld; Editing by Anthony Lin and Jonathan Oatis)

Sourced From – https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-russia-factbox-idUSKBN19V2T3

Super Talkative in Court LEMME TALK TO ALL MY LAWYERS!!!

Suge Knight talked up a storm in court Thursday, begging a judge to let him talk to ALL his lawyers but the judge made it clear — his hands are tied.

The former rap mogul went on a diatribe, the likes of which we haven’t seen since he was arrested on murder charges in January 2015.

Suge was complaining he was not given access to his full team of lawyers and therefore couldn’t adequately prepare for trial. We won’t bore you with the legal mumbo jumbo, but this judge said he didn’t have the power to unleash Suge’s full legal team … another judge has to do that.

It’s interesting to hear Suge … he’s super engaged in the legal process.

Sourced From – http://www.tmz.com/2017/07/06/suge-knight-courtroom-lawyers-murder-robbery-case/

Fyre Festival founder arrested and charged with wire fraud

By  

Fyre Festival founder Billy McFarland was arrested and charged with one count of wire fraud Friday for allegedly defrauding investors with his disastrous music festival that left hundreds of well-heeled millennials stranded in the Bahamas and millions of dollars in investments and ticket sales unaccounted for.

McFarland, the 26-year-old CEO of Magnises, a concierge company, and Fyre Media, an app to book performing artists for private events, will spend the night in jail. He is expected to be arraigned before a judge on Saturday, Joon Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement.

 “As alleged, William McFarland promised a ‘life changing’ music festival but in actuality delivered a disaster,” Joon said. “McFarland allegedly presented fake documents to induce investors to put over a million dollars into his company and the fiasco called the Fyre Festival. Thanks to the investigative efforts of the FBI, McFarland will now have to answer for his crimes.”

Prosecutors allege McFarland began the criminal scheme in late 2016, right around the time he announced the Fyre Festival through a well-orchestrated marketing campaign involving hundreds of so-called Instagram “influencers,” including Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid and Hailey Baldwin.

According to the criminal complaint, filed in the Southern District of New York, McFarland lied to at least two investors about how much the company was worth, eventually inducing them to invest around $1.2 million in the festival based on assertions that Fyre was making millions of dollars in revenue. In fact, prosecutors say, the company had earned only $60,000 over the past year.

McFarland also allegedly doctored a stock ownership statement to convince one of those unnamed investors that he held more than $2.5 million in shares in an unnamed company to use as collateral in the deal.

Though the complaint doesn’t specifically list the stock or the investor, a brokerage statement purporting to show McFarland as the owner of $2,565,079.18 in Facebook stock is listed as an exhibit in a civil suit filed by investor Oleg Itkin, who gave McFarland a $700,000 loan. Prosecutors say McFarland did own shares of Facebook stock — but only about $1,400 worth.

It’s not clear who is representing McFarland, who was dropped by his legal team Hughes, Hubbard & Reed LLP, on Wednesday. Michael Levine, a Westchester attorney, is listed as McFarland’s incoming attorney in a signed affidavit in the Itkin case. But reached by phone Friday night, Levine denied any involvement in the criminal case and said he was merely involved in the civil case as local counsel for a California firm which he declined to name.

Here’s a promotional video for the ill-fated Fyre Festival, which was canceled soon after it began in April:

Cover: Billy McFarland and Carol Mac attend The 23rd Annual Watermill Center Summer Benefit & Auction at The Watermill Center on July 30, 2016 in Water Mill, NY. (Photo by Patrick McMullan/Patrick McMullan via G Images)

Sourced From – https://news.vice.com/story/fyre-festival-founder-arrested-and-charged-with-wire-fraud