Category Archives: Organized Crime

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Killing of ‘Narcos’ scout resurfaces Escobar trademark feud

  @CNNMoneySeptember 22, 2017: 6:45 PM ET

Pablo Escobar, one of the world’s wealthiest and most notorious drug lords, met his end nearly a quarter-century ago, but his legacy continues to cast a shadow over the Netflix drama “Narcos.”

On September 11, Carlos Munoz Portal, a location manager for the Netflix television series “Narcos,” was found dead. He had suffered multiple gunshot wounds in a car on a dirt road outside Mexico City, near a site he was scouting for future episodes of the TV show.

n the wake of Portal’s death, Pablo Escobar’s brother is bringing his year-long trademark dispute with Netflix back into the headlines through an interview he gave The Hollywood Reporter (THR). In that interview, speaking of “Narcos,” which based its first two seasons on Pablo Escobar’s life, he reportedly said he would “close their little show” if the streaming service did not reach a settlement agreement with him.

Roberto De Jesus Escobar Gaviria is Pablo Escobar’s brother and former accountant. He is also the founder of holding company Escobar Inc.. In July of 2016, his company requested $1 billion compensation from Netflix for what it contends are intellectual property violations. It claims the streaming service has reaped substantial financial benefits from the popular global series by using Escobar’s name and story.

Read Full – http://money.cnn.com/2017/09/22/media/narcos-escobar-suit/index.html

Over 20 arrested in major anti-mafia sweep in Lombardy

Police placed 27 people under investigation as part of a major anti-mafia operation in Lombardy in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

A town mayor is among those accused of corruption in the investigation into ties between the ‘Ndrangheta mafia clan and the worlds of business and politics.

Edoardo Mazza, the mayor of Seregno in Monza province representing Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, was placed under house arrest. Mazza is accused of corruption for awarding construction contracts to groups linked to the ‘Ndrangheta, according to Rai News.

In total, 21 people were arrested, while three were placed under house arrest and another three also face charges. The charges include extortion, abuse of office, bodily harm, drug trafficking, and bribery, all of which are aggravated due to the connection to aggravated crime.

The investigation, which has been coordinated by Milan’s anti-mafia authority (DDA) and prosecutors in Monza, northeast of Milan, began in 2015 and included arrests across the Lombardy region, in Monza, Milan, Pavia, Como and Reggio Calabria.

The stronghold of the ‘Ndrangheta is in Calabria, the toe of Italy’s boot, but arrests over the past two years show it is operating in northern Italy.

Police believe it has grown bigger than the more well known Sicilian and Neapolitan mafias through its successful cocaine trafficking from Latin America.

Full Read  – https://www.thelocal.it/20170926/over-20-arrested-in-major-anti-mafia-operation-in-lombardy

Rocco Morabito: Italian mafia boss held in Uruguay

One of Italy’s most wanted fugitives has been arrested in Uruguay after 23 years on the run from convictions for mafia association and drug trafficking.

Rocco Morabito of the ‘Ndrangheta organised crime gang was detained in the resort of Punta del Este.

Uruguayan police said he had been living there for more than 10 years under a false identity.

He was nicknamed “cocaine king of Milan” for his involvement in shipping the drug from South America to Italy.

The ‘Ndrangheta controls much of the world’s cocaine trade and police say Morabito was behind the smuggling of hundreds of kilos of cocaine from Brazil to Italy.

South American hideaway

Morabito is believed to have arrived in Uruguay in 2002.

Police arrested Morabito in a hotel in the Uruguayan capital, Montevideo. But officials said he had settled in the resort of Punta del Este with false Brazilian identity papers in the name of Francisco Capeletto.

Read Full – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-41146886

Suspended Milwaukee lawyer faces FBI investigation into alleged international fraud scheme

, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The FBI is investigating a suspected international fraud scheme said to involve a suspended Milwaukee lawyer, $16.2 million from China, an English bank, a man who claims to be an English solicitor and … John Hancock’s signature.

At the center of the probe is veteran Milwaukee lawyer Michael Krill, whose law license was suspended by the state Supreme Court on Wednesday. The court employed a rarely used rule that allows emergency temporary suspensions before the Office of Lawyer Regulation files a formal complaint.

“Krill’s repeated acts of dishonesty, delay and contempt for the judicial process” makes his “continued practice of law … a threat to the public and the administration of justice,” Karl Wyler, an OLR investigator, wrote in a June affidavit urging the immediate suspension.

The FBI and the Racine County Sheriff’s Office are also investigating the 59-year-old attorney. The Racine investigation centers around $300,000 belonging to ex-clients that Krill received but has not turned over despite a court order that he do so.  Since May, Krill has been fined $500 a day for contempt for failing to turn the money over to the clients’ new lawyers, court records show.

Krill was ordered Monday to come up with about $350,000 — the $300,000 in client funds plus the accrued daily contempt fine — in two weeks or spend 30 days in jail.  Krill has repeatedly promised in court to produce the money in 14 days — and he repeated that pledge Monday during a brief hearing before Racine County Circuit Judge David Paulson.

Full Read – http://www.jsonline.com/story/news/crime/2017/08/28/suspended-milwaukee-lawyer-faces-fbi-investigation-into-alleged-international-fraud-scheme/595890001/

How Anti-Mafia Laws Could Bring Down Legal Pot

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RICO laws were written to combat organized crime kingpins – but now they’re being used against state-legal marijuana businesses

Most people have strong feelings about marijuana’s distinctive dank odor. Suspicious landlords sniff for it. High-school hot-boxers roll down all the windows of their cars and drive around for hours trying to get rid of it. Mainstream candle and soap companies seek to recreate it for high-end, non-psychoactive mood settings. And now, it’s quietly becoming clear that the powerful smell of legal cannabis could become its ultimate undoing ­– the thing that causes the entire legalization experiment to disappear in a poof of smoke.

Earlier this summer, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Colorado decided that the “noxious odors” from a pot farm could be lowering nearby property values and creating a nuisance. The decision came out of a civil suit by the farm’s neighbors under federal racketeering law, and could set a landmark precedent. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law, and this decision makes clear that private citizens can now circumvent state law and do what Attorney General Jeff Sessions wants but has yet to do: challenge the legitimacy of states and businesses participating in legalization. Next year, the suit will go back to district court, and unless other appeals courts issue contradictory rulings and the Supreme Court decides to take up the case, the 10th Circuit decision will stand – providing a road map for people who hate marijuana to initiate the collapse of legal weed in America.

Everything about this case is important, from its far-reaching implications to the mysterious, well-funded organization behind it. But before we get into the details, the key thing to realize here is this neighborly dispute is a microcosm for what’s wrong with America’s tangled marijuana policy: The commercialization of cannabis has had real consequences for people and places that want no involvement with the drug. Attempting, as we have, to cordon off the states and businesses and entrepreneurs and government agencies that interact with pot is delusional.

Legal weed cannot be neatly contained. Markets and odors don’t work that way. Neighbors know this. Interstate pot traffickers know this. Attorney General Jeff Sessions knows this. The question is: when will we change federal law to reflect reality?

Full Read – http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/how-anti-mafia-laws-could-bring-down-legal-pot-w499585