Tag Archives: organized crime

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

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

Fyre Festival founder arrested and charged with wire fraud

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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

No Italy ‘baby bonus’ for Mafia boss’s daughter Lucia Riina

Sicilian authorities have refused to pay Italy’s “baby bonus” to the youngest daughter of jailed Mafia boss Toto Riina, 36-year-old Lucia.

A painter, Lucia lives in Corleone and gave birth earlier this month.

Salvatore “Toto” Riina, former boss of the notorious Cosa Nostra, was jailed in 1993 and now has terminal cancer.

Italy’s top court ruled this month that he had a right to “die with dignity” under house arrest but there were protests and he may not be let out.

A parole board will have to decide in the northern city of Bologna, where 86-year-old Riina is in jail for his role in dozens of Cosa Nostra murders.

Two anti-Mafia judges – Giovanni Falcone and Paolo Borsellino – were killed in 1992, in Riina’s “war against the state”.

Read Full – http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-40326094