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.

Drug industry hired dozens of officials from the DEA as the agency tried to curb opioid abuse

By Scott Higham, Lenny Bernstein, Steven Rich and Alice Crites

Pharmaceutical companies that manufacture or distribute highly addictive pain pills have hired dozens of officials from the top levels of the Drug Enforcement Administration during the past decade, according to a Washington Post investigation.

The hires came after the DEA launched an aggressive campaign to curb a rising opioid epidemic that has resulted in thousands of overdose deaths each year. In 2005, the DEA began to crack down on companies that were distributing inordinate numbers of pills such as oxycodone to pain-management clinics and pharmacies around the country.

Since then, the pharmaceutical companies and law firms that represent them have hired at least 42 officials from the DEA — 31 of them directly from the division responsible for regulating the industry, according to work histories compiled by The Post and interviews with current and former agency officials.

The number of hires has prompted some current and former government officials to ask whether the companies raided the division to hire away DEA officials who were architects of the agency’s enforcement campaign or were most responsible for enforcing the laws the firms were accused of violating.

“The number of employees recruited from that division points to a deliberate strategy by the pharmaceutical industry to hire people who are the biggest headaches for them,” said John Carnevale, former director of planning for the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, who now runs a consulting firm. “These people understand how DEA operates, the culture around diversion and DEA’s goals, and they can advise their clients how to stay within the guidelines.”

Read Full – https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/key-officials-switch-sides-from-dea-to-pharmaceutical-industry/2016/12/22/55d2e938-c07b-11e6-b527-949c5893595e_story.html?utm_term=.a6e6664d1a03

Top Trump business adviser admitted role in Mafia-linked stock fraud scheme

Donald Trump tapped a man to be a senior business adviser to his real-estate empire even after the man’s past involvement in a major mafia-linked stock fraud scheme had become publicly known, according to Associated Press interviews and a review of court records.

Portions of Trump’s relationship with Felix Sater, a convicted felon and government informant, have been previously known. Trump worked with the company where Sater was an executive, Bayrock Group LLC, after it rented office space from the Trump Organization as early as 2003. Sater’s criminal history was effectively unknown to the public at the time, because a judge kept the relevant court records secret and Sater altered his name.

When Sater’s criminal past and mafia links came to light in 2007, Trump distanced himself from Sater.

But less than three years later, Trump renewed his ties with Sater. Sater presented business cards describing himself as a senior adviser to Donald Trump, and he had an office on the same floor as Trump’s own office in New York’s Trump Tower, The Associated Press learned through interviews and court records.

Trump said during an AP interview on Wednesday that he recalled only bare details of Sater.

“Felix Sater, boy, I have to even think about it,” Trump said, referring questions about Sater to his staff. “I’m not that familiar with him.”

According to Trump lawyer Alan Garten, Sater’s role was to prospect for high-end real estate deals for the Trump Organization. The arrangement lasted six months, Garten said.

The revelation about Sater’s role is significant because of its timing and directness, and marks the first time the Trump Organization has acknowledged publicly that Sater worked for Trump after the disclosures of Sater’s criminal background. Trump has said that among his secrets of success is that he surrounds himself with the “best and most serious people” and with “people you can trust.”

Sater never had an employment agreement or formal contract with the Trump Organization and did not close any deals for Trump, Garten said.

“He was trying to restart his life,” Garten said. “I believe he was regretful of things that happened in the past.”

Trump did not know the details of Sater’s cooperation with the government when Sater came in-house in 2010, Garten said. But Garten noted that U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch praised Sater’s cooperation with the federal government, when senators asked about him during her confirmation hearings early this year. She said Sater cooperated against his mafia stock fraud co-defendants and assisted the government on unspecified national security matters.

“If Mr. Sater was good enough for the government to work with, I see no reason why he wasn’t good enough for Mr. Trump,” Garten said.

He pleaded guilty in 1998 to one count of racketeering for his role in a $40 million stock fraud scheme involving the prominent Genovese and Bonanno crime families, according to court records. Prosecutors called the operation a pump-and-dump scheme, in which insiders manipulate the price of obscure stocks and then sell them to hapless investors at inflated prices. Five years earlier, a New York State court had sentenced Sater to more than a year in prison for stabbing a man in the face with a broken margarita glass.

Sater declined to discuss his work with Trump.

“Obviously a Donald-and-the-bad-guy piece is not interesting for me to participate in,” Sater wrote in an email to AP. His lawyer, Robert Wolf, said information about Sater in public records and lawsuits obtained by the AP was defamatory. He credited Sater’s stint as a government cooperator with potentially saving American military lives, although he did not provide details. Wolf told the AP to write about Sater’s past “at your own risk” but did not cite specific concerns.

After his 1998 racketeering conviction, Sater spent more than a decade as an informant on the mafia and on national security-related matters. Federal prosecutors kept even the existence of Sater’s racketeering case out of publicly available court records for 14 years.

During that time, Sater launched a luxury real estate development career. Sealed court records prevented potential customers or partners from learning about his past association with organized crime. Sater altered his name, to Satter, and became a top executive in Bayrock, a development firm that partnered with Trump on the Trump Soho high-rise hotel in Manhattan and other branded luxury real estate deals.

Civil lawsuits have alleged that Bayrock engaged in a pattern of misconduct during Sater’s tenure, sometimes involving potential Trump projects. Bayrock’s attorney told AP the firm did not mislead anyone about Sater’s past and denied any misconduct.

The firm has not yet responded to a version of the complaint refiled in U.S. court last month.

Trump’s lawyer, Garten, said Trump had no knowledge of alleged improprieties at Bayrock or reason to believe that Sater was a major stakeholder in Bayrock’s projects. Trump only learned of Sater’s troubled past when The New York Times reported details in December 2007. In the article, Trump distanced himself from Sater, saying: “I didn’t really know him very well.”

Garten said Trump had no further interactions with Sater at Bayrock following the revelations of his criminal history. But a new relationship was formed in 2010 when Trump offered Sater office space and a chance to round up new business possibilities for the Trump Organization.

“The guy’s been in business a long time, he’s got a lot of contacts,” Garten said of Sater.

Full Article – http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/12/04/top-trump-business-adviser-admitted-role-in-mafia-linked-stock-fraud-scheme.html

Since Obama can’t handle ISIS, what say we outsource the job to the mafia?

POSTED AT 2:01 PM ON NOVEMBER 29, 2015 BY JAZZ SHAW

A significant majority of the country recently spoke up in a NY Times/CBS poll saying that they had essentially given up hope that the President was going to figure out what to do about the JV Team. These perceptions were likely buttressed a bit when the White House informed us that ISIS was largely “contained” just hours before they lit up Paris like a pinball machine. So maybe we need a new approach? Anonymous apparently declared war on the terrorists recently, though aside from ruining their credit rating I’m not sure exactly what they’re going to accomplish. But lo and behold, a new force is stepping up to the plate and may be positioned to do something a little more… forceful. It arrives in the person of Giovanni Gambino (yes, from those Gambinos) and if nothing else he seems to have the messaging right. (Apologies for NSFW language in graphic and several quotes to come.)

“These people are like walking machines. ISIS brainwashes them through the Internet,” Giovanni Gambino told Mic of the terrorist threat. “You need to beat the fuck out of them to the point where they stop coming back to life.”

Gambino, a prolific author of mob history and a scion of the family that saw the rise of the likes of John Gotti and Paul Castellano, said the nature of the mob made it fundamentally better equipped than traditional law enforcement to handle a threat like ISIS.

“Back in the day, probably the safest place ever was an old Sicilian neighborhood like Bensonhurst or Knickerbocker Ave.,” said Gambino of two Brooklyn neighborhoods. “We got our kids going to those schools. We got families in those neighborhoods.”

Read Full Article – http://hotair.com/archives/2015/11/29/since-obama-cant-handle-isis-what-say-we-outsource-the-job-to-the-mafia/

Mafia trial puts the ‘Pirate’ of Rome in the dock

Massimo Carminati, a former member of a neo-fascist group, is charged along with dozens of politicians and businessmen.

Sara Manisera |

Rome, Italy – Dozens of politicians, businessmen, and alleged gangsters go on trial on Thursday on charges including corruption, money laundering, and weapons possession in one of Italy’s most important mafia prosecutions in the past decade.

Italy’s Special Operation Squad (ROS) has, since 2012, investigated Mafia Capitale, a mysterious organisation based in the Italian capital that prosecutors allege involves politicians and other public officials working alongside mob figures.

  Italy’s long road of corruption

Important businessmen have been implicated and, according to the prosecutor of the case, alleged Mafia Capitale leader Massimo Carminati delivered envelopes full of money to bribe officials involved in managing public tenders.

Carminati is a former member of the neo-fascist group Armed Revolutionary Nuclei (NAR), which was active from 1977 to 1988 and carried out several terrorist attacks, including the bombing of the Bologna train station that killed 85 people.

Known as “The Pirate” because of his one eye, Carminati gained a reputation as a ruthless mafia boss who controlled large parts of Rome.

Local legend has it that Carminati is immortal after he miraculously survived a close-range gunshot to the head by a police officer in 1981.

The trial opens at Rome’s Palace of Justice on Thursday before moving to Rebibbia prison. It is expected to last until July.

Luca Odevaine, a former deputy head of the mayor of Rome’s cabinet, has confessed to receiving 5,000 euros ($5,500) monthly from Mafia Capitale. Paolo Pozzessere, the former commercial director of Finmeccanica, an Italian public company, has been charged with corruption.

Like other organised crime groups, Mafia Capitale is allegedly involved in extortion, smuggling, and money-laundering, as well as above-board activities that have allowed it to effectively control large parts of Rome.

But Mafia Capitale is not a conventional mafia group, according to Nando dalla Chiesa, who heads the Observatory on Organised Crime.

“Rather than having a hierarchical structure, it is organised as a network with different members – those in charge of using violence, and those who apply a partial territory control,” dalla Chiesa told Al Jazeera.

A wounded woman receives assistance following the Bologna train station bombing on August 2, 1980 [The Associated Press]

Perhaps Carminati’s greatest power is his impunity, observers say.

In 2011, l’Espresso journalist Lirio Abbate wrote one of the first articles published about Carminati headlined The Four Kings of Rome.

Abbate, who has lived under police escort for the past seven years because of his journalism on the mafia, explained that Rome was divided among four bosses and one of them is Carminati – also dubbed the “Last King of Rome”.

Read Full Article – http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2015/11/mafia-trial-puts-pirate-rome-dock-151104055722963.html

Cybersecurity Cyber conmen target pensioners after TalkTalk hacking scandal

The criminals are reported to be trawling through the private details of thousands of victims

Cyber conmen are targeting pensioners in the wake of the TalkTalk security hack and attacks on other major companies, it has been reported.

The criminals are reported to be trawling through the private details of thousands of victims , especially those aged over-65 as they believe the elderly are more vulnerable to fraudulent cold calls or emails.

It is believed that newly cash-rich pensioners are an attractive target as new legislation means they are able to withdraw all their retirement savings or pension pot in one go.

Hackers sell stolen data on the Dark Web using software that allows their identities to be hidden from the police.

Once conmen have bought these details they pretend to offer compensation for the data breach before asking for victims’ bank account details.

Some send emails with a message including a link that claims to direct victims to an official website.

But clicking on the link merely enables conmen to take over the victim’s computer and gain access to their bank account.

A cyber-crime officer said: “The fraudsters look for victims o their 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s.

“Some of the conmen have call centre training which means they sound genuine when they call up pretending to be from a telecoms company.”

A Met Police spokesman said: “We are aware data stolen from TalkTalk had surfaced on the internet or criminal forums and have already taken proactive steps to remove any data where possible.”

Read Full Article – http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/cyber-conmen-target-pensioners-after-6749423