Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Pentagon Spokesman Describes U.S. Raid In Yemen

Terri Moon Cronk at the DoD News offers the below report:

WASHINGTON, May 23, 2017 — Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula is a formidable terror group that remains intent on attacking Americans and the U.S. homeland, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, director of Pentagon press operations, told reporters today.

Davis addressed yesterday’s U.S. Special Operations counterterrorism raid that killed seven al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula operatives in Yemen’s Marib governorate, located about 150 miles north of Aden, the country’s capital.

Special Forces raided an al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula compound comprising a few buildings, he said, adding, “[al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula was] using this as a headquarters, a place to meet and plan for external operations and to lead the group.”

First Raid Deep In Yemen

The raid marked the first time the United States conducted an operation into Marib governorate, and the location was the deepest the military has gone into Yemen to fight al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, Davis said.

“The intent of the raid was to disrupt AQAP operations,” he said, noting that “at least” seven al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula militants were killed with small-arms fire and precision airstrikes from an AC-130 gunship.

No civilian casualties were reported, and based on observations on the ground and in the sky, there are no credible indications of such casualties, Davis said.

Dangerous Terrorists

“AQAP has significant amounts of American blood on its hands,” he said. “It is an organization that has used the ungoverned spaces in Yemen to plot, direct and inspire terrorist attacks against America, our citizens and our allies around the world.”

Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula attacked the U.S. embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, in 2008; attempted to down Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Christmas Day in 2009; and conspired to send explosive-laden parcels to Chicago in 2010, he said.

Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula's English-language magazine, Inspire, also has been used to encourage attacks against the West, Davis said, citing multiple attacks that include the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, the Fort Hood mass shooting in 2009 and other lone-wolf attacks in the United States and Europe.

Yemen Authorized Operation

Yesterday’s raid was conducted under the same U.S. authorities as those granted in advance of the earlier, Jan. 28 raid, which included authorities for airstrikes and follow-on action, he said.
The operation had the support and cooperation of the Yemen government, and was done in conjunction with U.S. partners, the spokesman said.

“We will continue to support Yemen in bringing stability to the region by fighting known terrorist organizations like AQAP,” Davis said.

Sir Roger Moore, Actor, Author and UNICEF Ambassador, Dead at 89

The family of Sir Roger Moore announced that their father had died after a short but brave battle with cancer. He was 89.

Sir Roger Moore, best known for his film portrayal of James Bond and his television portrayal of The Saint, was also the author of several good books, including One Lucky Bastard: Tales From Tinseltown and My Word is My Bond,

The books, like Sir Roger himself, were witty, amusing, intelligent, and self-deprecating.

He shall be missed.

Note: You can click on the above to enlarge.

My Washington Times Review Of 'The Operator: Firing The Shots That Killed Osama Bin Laden And My Years As A SEAL Team Warrior'

The Washington Times published my review of Robert O’Neill’s The Operator.

On May 2, 2011, Osama bin Laden, founder and leader of the terrorist organization al Qaeda, the man responsible for the horrific Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, and the most wanted terrorist in the world, was shot dead by American special operators during a raid on his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

The story leaked quickly that U.S. Navy SEALs from the superelite group known to the public as SEAL Team Six were the operators who took down bin Laden and captured a treasury of intelligence about al Qaeda as well.

In 2012 Matt Bissonnette, author of “No Easy Day: The Autobiography of a Navy SEAL,” claimed that he was the operator who shot and killed bin Laden. Sources in the SEAL community, some of whom were outraged at Mr. Bissonnette’s breach of security, claimed that the “point man,” who has not come forward, was the actual shooter. In 2014 former Navy SEAL Senior Chief Petty Officer Robert O’Neill came out and announced that he was, in fact, the special operator who killed bin Laden.

Now Robert O’Neill has written “The Operator: Firing the Shots that Killed Osama bin Laden and My Years as a SEAL Team Warrior.”

In “The Operator” Mr. O’Neill not only tells of the Abbottabad raid and his shots that killed the evil mastermind bin Laden, he also recounts his involvement in the operation to rescue fellow SEAL Marcus Luttrell of “Lone Survivor” fame in Afghanistan, as well as his involvement in the rescue of Capt. Richard Phillips, who was abducted by Somali pirates. The book also chronicles lesser known, but equally interesting military operations.

Mr. O’Neill’s book also tells of his Butte, Montana boyhood and how he came to join the Navy in 1995 and became a SEAL in 1996. He describes in harrowing detail (and abundant humor) his SEAL training and how he went on to join the SEALs’ most elite unit.

… I contacted Robert O’Neill and asked him why he wrote the book. He said the book was an American piece about a kid from Montana who didn’t know how to swim but became a Navy SEAL, rose to become a member of the SEAL’s most elite team and then found himself on some of the most historic missions in recent history, including the raid on bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan.

“The story and my name had been out there for a few years and there have been movies and books made from the story,” Mr. O’Neill told me. “I wanted to tell a different part of it — my part.”

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

Note: Below is a photo of Robert O'Neill:

Monday, May 22, 2017

Defense Contractor Employee Pleads Guilty To Selling Satellite Secrets To Undercover Agent Posing as Russian Spy

The U.S. Justice Department released the below information:

Today, Gregory Allen Justice, 49, of Culver City, California, pleaded guilty to federal charges of one count of attempting to commit economic espionage and one count of attempting to violate the Arms Export Control Act. The charges are related to Justice’s selling sensitive satellite information to a person he believed to be an agent of a Russian intelligence service. Justice was an engineer who worked for a cleared defense contractor. Specifically, he worked on military and commercial satellite programs.

The announcement was made by Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security Dana J. Boente and Acting U.S. Attorney Sandra R. Brown for the Central District of California.

According to a plea agreement filed in this case, Justice stole proprietary trade secrets from his employer and provided them to a person he believed to be a Russian agent – but who in fact was an undercover FBI employee.

In addition to their proprietary nature, the documents contained technical data covered by the U.S. Munitions List and therefore were subject to controls restricting export from the U.S. under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.

In exchange for providing these materials during a series of meeting between February and July of 2016, Justice sought and received thousands of dollars in cash payments. During one meeting, Justice and the undercover agent discussed developing a relationship like one depicted on the television show “The Americans,” and during their final meeting, Justice offered to take the undercover agent on a tour of his employer’s production facilities where Justice said all military spacecraft were built, according to the plea agreement.

Justice faces a maximum sentence of 35 years in prison. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes. If convicted of any offense, the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Justice pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge George Wu, who scheduled a sentencing hearing for September 18. Justice has been in custody since his arrest in July 2016.

This case was investigated by the FBI and the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.

Attorneys from the Terrorism and Export Crimes Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section are prosecuting the case. 

A Look Back At The First War On Terror

Whenever someone laments the war on terrorism and states that it never-ending, I always suggest that they read history.

Our current worldwide conflict with terrorists is in fact our second war on terror. 

Then, like now, many people believed the conflict was never-ending.

The FBI offers a report that looks back at our first war on terror:

One of these issues was anarchism—an often violent offshoot of Marxism, with its revolutionary call to overthrow capitalism and bring power to the common man. Anarchists took it a step further—they wanted to do away with government entirely. The prevailing anarchistic creed that government was oppressive and repressive, that it should be overthrown by random attacks on the ruling class (including everyone from police to priests to politicians), was preached by often articulate spokesmen and women around the world. There were plenty who latched onto the message, and by the end of the nineteenth century, several world leaders were among those who had been assassinated.

The anarchists, in a sense, were the first modern-day terrorists—banding together in small, isolated groups around the world; motivated by ideology; bent on bringing down the governments they hated. But they would, ironically, hasten into being the first force of federal agents that would later become the FBI.

It happened at the hands of a 28-year-old Ohioan named Leon Czolgosz, who after losing his factory job and turning to the writings of anarchists like Emma Goldman and Alexander Berkman, took a train to Buffalo, bought a revolver, and put a bullet in the stomach of a visiting President McKinley.

Eight days later, on September 14, 1901, McKinley was dead, and his vice president Teddy Roosevelt took the oval office. 

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

Note: Then, like now, many people believed the conflict was never-ending, but it did end. There are some anarchists active today and they often come out and participate in public demonstrations, but they are no longer a major threat. I suspect that our current war on terror will also end in time.

Reputed Philadelphia Organized Crime Boss Turns Down Plea Offer In Big East Coast Mob Case

Veteran organized crime reporter and author George Anastasia (seen in the bottom photo) offers a piece at Bigtrial.net on Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino (seen in the above photo) and the Fed’s big East Coast mob case

Brad Sirkin has folded his cards.

The prolific, enterprising mob associate and sometime driver for Philadelphia Mafia boss Joseph (Skinny Joey) Merlino has agreed to cop a guilty plea in that sweeping but flawed racketeering conspiracy indictment in Manhattan Federal Court, and also to conspiracy to commit health care fraud in a more pointed and apparently airtight case against him and seven co-defendants in federal court in Tampa.

Merlino, on the other hand, is hanging tough and is prepared to go to trial in Manhattan where several other defendants also have opted to take deals. The insurance scam, the central charge in the Tampa case, is just a small piece of the broader New York indictment.

Sirkin, in a plea agreement filed in Florida, admitted his role in what authorities have alleged was a $157 million insurance fraud scheme that included kickbacks to doctors and pharmacist who knowingly wrote and filled bogus prescriptions for what authorities said were "compound medications, chiefly pain creams and scar creams, irrespective of medical necessity."

Sources said insurance companies were billed from $500 to $1,000 for a tube of the bogus cream with many prescriptions written with up to 10 refills. The mob was late arriving to the scam involving compound creams which have been described by insurance company investigators as the "snake oil of the 21st century" and which have, according to early investigations, generated tens of millions of dollars in fraudulent insurance reimbursements.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

No Hero: Convicted Spy Manning Is Not A Whistleblower

Kyle Smith at National Review offers his view of the former U.S. Army private and convicted spy formerly known as Bradley Manning (seen above in his U.S. Army photo) being called a “whistleblower" by the media.

Let’s say you published something controversial on the Internet and you started getting death threats. How would you like being “doxed”? In other words, what would your reaction be if someone who didn’t like you tweeted out to the world your home address? And your phone number? And your photo? And photos of your children? And the address of their school? And information about when you left the house each day, the license-plate number of your car, and the location where it was parked? 

Would you call someone who published this information a “whistleblower”? Let’s say the same person simultaneously published accurate information about wrongdoing by your neighbors or colleagues. Would that make you feel any better? 

Picture such an information dump on a massive scale. That’s roughly what then-Bradley Manning did when he threw hundreds of thousands of secret military and diplomatic documents into the public square. Manning made no effort to filter out information that didn’t show evidence of wrongdoing. He indiscriminately stole as many classified documents as he dared and sent them off for publication on the Internet. 

Chelsea Manning is not a whistleblower. Shame on you, NBC News, for saying that he is. Shame on you, Time. You, too, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, Sky News, Canada’s public broadcaster CBC News, and many other outlets. 

You would expect extremists at InfoWars and The Intercept to label Chelsea Manning a whistleblower, and that is what they have done. But mainstream-media outlets have blithely taken to using the preferred terms of radicals when describing Manning’s actions. 

Even if we assume that Manning (who legally changed his name from Bradley to Chelsea in 2014) successfully exposed some wrongdoing, it must be conceded that what he did was reckless. He endangered the lives of countless American and allied military personnel, diplomats, and others associated with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The only way his act constitutes mass exposure of wrongdoing, and nothing more, is if you think everybody in the U.S. military and everyone who worked with it is automatically a moral criminal. Exposing personal information about people fighting a war isn’t close to seeking justice for malefactors. It’s more like vigilantism.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

A Sad Tale Of A Chinese Counterintelligence Triumph

Jim Geraghty at National Review offers his take on the report of a Communist Chinese take down of American intelligence assets in China.

At some point during the Trump administration, we’re going to hear about something going terribly wrong in the intelligence community. It’s just the way it is; this is exceptionally difficult work, going up against relentless and insidious enemies. The list of recent spy scandals is long and depressing: Aldrich Ames, Robert Hanssen, the Convicted Spy Formerly Known As Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden… This isn’t even mentioning the Office of Personnel Management hack or Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s e-mails… 

We have embarrassing and frustrating setbacks in our intelligence work under both Republican and Democratic administrations. There is no policy that can eliminate the motives of spies, turncoats, and traitors, usually summarized as money, ideology, coercion and ego. 

We had another huge setback to our intelligence efforts during the Obama years that we are only learning about now. The Chinese government systematically dismantled CIA spying operations in the country starting in 2010, killing or imprisoning more than a dozen sources over two years and crippling intelligence gathering there for years afterward.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

On This Day In History Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Creator Of Sherlock Holmes, Was Born

As History.com notes, on this day in 1859 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of the iconic fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, was born.

You can read about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle via the below link:


Note: My favorite Sherlock Holmes actor, Jeremy Brett, appears as Holmes in the above photo.

On This Day In History The Opening Battle In The War Of The Roses

As History.com notes, on this day in 1455 the opening battle of the War of the Roses occurred.

In the opening battle of England’s War of the Roses, the Yorkists defeat King Henry VI’s Lancastrian forces at St. Albans, 20 miles northwest of London. Many Lancastrian nobles perished, including Edmund Beaufort, the duke of Somerset, and the king was forced to submit to the rule of his cousin, Richard of York. The dynastic struggle between the House of York, whose badge was a white rose, and the House of Lancaster, later associated with a red rose, would stretch on for 30 years.

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

Sunday, May 21, 2017

President Trump: Drive Them Out!: Trump Urges Muslim Leaders To Cut Off Islamic Terrorism At The Root In Their Own Countries

S.A. Miller at the Washington Times offers a piece on President Trump speech to Muslim leaders.

President Trump called on Muslim leaders Sunday to begin stamping out radial Islamic terrorism within their own countries, giving a blunt assessment to the poisonous ideology within their religion and offering a path forward to peace.

In a historic speech to leaders from 50 Muslim countries, Mr. Trump described the struggle against Islamic extremists as a “battle between good and evil.”

“There can be no coexistence with this violence. There can be no tolerating it. No accepting it. No excusing it and no ignoring it,” he said in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. “They don’t worship God. They worship death.”

He offered a partnership with the U.S. to defeat terrorist groups such as the Islamic State, but he said they must take the lead to end the bloodshed and violence it is spreading in their own homelands.

The president also called for a unified front to combat Iran, which supplies weapons and training to terrorists and spreads destruction and chaos across the region.

You can read the rest of the piece and watch a video clip of the speech via the below link:

Saturday, May 20, 2017

FBI Remembers Fallen Heroes During National Police Week 2017

The FBI released the below report:

The FBI this week honored seven special agents who responded to the 9/11 attacks and later died from illnesses linked to their exposure to toxic air and hazardous materials at the sites. The agents were recognized as part of National Police Week, an annual event that draws thousands of law enforcement officers to Washington, D.C. each May to honor their fallen colleagues.

In the weeks following the 9/11 attacks, Special Agents Steven Carr, William Craig, Jerry Jobe, Robert Roth, Gerard Senatore, Paul Wilson, and Wesley Yoo were among the FBI personnel who recovered the deceased and gathered critical evidence in the largest investigation in FBI history. After scientists confirmed a connection between 9/11 responders and their illnesses, the agents—who passed away between 2007 and 2015—were added to the FBI’s Hall of Honor this week. They ranged in age from 44 to 68 at the time of their deaths.

During a memorial service on May 17 at FBI Headquarters for all agents who have died in the line of duty, FBI Acting Director Andrew McCabe called the fallen 9/11 responders “peacemakers dedicated to protecting the lives of Americans.”

“They did their jobs not knowing that responding to the scene of a tragic attack would set into motion another tragedy that they would not realize until many years later,” he said.

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy designated May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which it falls as National Police Week. Multiple events are held in the nation’s capital each year in the days leading up to and during the week, including a candlelight vigil, a Blue Mass at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, a wreath-laying ceremony at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, and several others.

This year’s events were underscored by the release of a preliminary FBI report that shows 66 law enforcement officers were feloniously killed last year in the line of duty. An additional 52 officers were killed in line-of-duty accidents, according to preliminary statistics compiled by the Bureau’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program, which will release a full report, Law Enforcement Officers Killed and Assaulted, 2016, in the fall.

Armed Forces Day 2017

Today is Armed Forces Day and we salute all members of the U.S. military.

The Defense Department offers the below history of the day:

On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy and Air Force Days. The single-day celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces under one department -- the Department of Defense. Each of the military leagues and orders was asked to drop sponsorship of its specific service day in order to celebrate the newly announced Armed Forces Day. The Army, Navy and Air Force leagues adopted the newly formed day. The Marine Corps League declined to drop support for Marine Corps Day but supports Armed Forces Day, too.
In a speech announcing the formation of the day, President Truman "praised the work of the military services at home and across the seas" and said, "it is vital to the security of the nation and to the establishment of a desirable peace." In an excerpt from the Presidential Proclamation of Feb. 27, 1950, Mr. Truman stated:

"Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 20, 1950, marks the first combined demonstration by America's defense team of its progress, under the National Security Act, towards the goal of readiness for any eventuality. It is the first parade of preparedness by the unified forces of our land, sea, and air defense".

The theme of the first Armed Forces Day was "Teamed for Defense." It was chosen as a means of expressing the unification of all the military forces under a single department of the government. Although this was the theme for the day, there were several other purposes for holding Armed Forces Day. It was a type of "educational program for civilians," one in which there would be an increased awareness of the Armed Forces. It was designed to expand public understanding of what type of job is performed and the role of the military in civilian life. It was a day for the military to show "state-of- the-art" equipment to the civilian population they were protecting. And it was a day to honor and acknowledge the people of the Armed Forces of the United States.

According to a New York Times article published on May 17, 1952: "This is the day on which we have the welcome opportunity to pay special tribute to the men and women of the Armed Forces ... to all the individuals who are in the service of their country all over the world. Armed Forces Day won't be a matter of parades and receptions for a good many of them. They will all be in line of duty and some of them may give their lives in that duty."

The first Armed Forces Day was celebrated by parades, open houses, receptions, and air shows. In Washington D.C., 10,000 troops of all branches of the military, cadets, and veterans marched past the President and his party. In Berlin, 1,000 U.S. troops paraded for the German citizens at Templehof Airfield. In New York City, an estimated 33,000 participants initiated Armed Forces Day "under an air cover of 250 military planes of all types." In the harbors across the country were the famed mothballed "battlewagons" of World War II, the Missouri, the New Jersey, the North Carolina, and the Iowa, all open for public inspection. Precision flying teams dominated the skies as tracking radar were exhibited on the ground. All across the country, the American people joined together to honor the Armed Forces.

As the people gathered to honor the Armed Forces on this occasion, so too did the country's leaders. Some of the more notable of these leaders' quotes are stated below:

"Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 20, 1950, marks the first combined demonstration by America's defense team of its progress, under the National Security Act, towards the goal of readiness for any eventuality. It is the first parade of preparedness by the unified forces of our land, sea, and air defense."

Former Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson

"The heritage of freedom must be guarded as carefully in peace as it was in war. Faith, not suspicion, must be the key to our relationships. Sacrifice, not selfishness, must be the eternal price of liberty. Vigilance, not appeasement, is the byword of living freedoms. Our Armed Forces in 1950-- protecting the peace, building for security with freedom--are "Teamed for Defense ..."

General Omar N. Bradley
Former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff 

Chinese National Pleads Guilty To Economic Espionage And Theft Of A Trade Secret From U.S. Company

The U.S. Attorney’s Office Southern District of New York offers the below information:

Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Dana Boente, Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security, announced today that XU JIAQIANG pled guilty to economic espionage and theft of a trade secret, in connection with XU’s theft of proprietary source code from XU’s former employer, with the intent to benefit the National Health and Family Planning Commission of the People’s Republic of China. XU pled guilty earlier today to all six counts with which he was charged, before the U.S. District Judge Kenneth M. Karas in White Plains federal court.

Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said: “Xu Jiaqiang admitted and pled guilty today to stealing high tech trade secrets from a U.S. employer, intending to benefit the Chinese government. What Xu did was not only a federal crime, but a threat to our national security and the American spirit of innovation. Our Office is committed to finding, arresting and holding accountable those who take advantage of American businesses by engaging in economic espionage.”

Acting Assistant Attorney General Dana Boente said: “Today, Xu pleaded guilty to stealing trade secrets from his former employer for his own profit and intending to benefit the People’s Republic of China. The Economic Espionage Act is a key tool in protecting our economic and security interests. The National Security Division will pursue and prosecute any individual who steals intellectual property from American businesses to benefit a foreign government.”

According to the allegations contained in the Complaint and the Superseding Indictment filed against XU, as well as statements made in related court filings and proceedings:

From November 2010 to May 2014, XU worked as a developer for a particular U.S. company (the “Victim Company”). As a developer, XU enjoyed access to certain proprietary software (the “Proprietary Software”), as well as that software’s underlying source code (the “Proprietary Source Code”). The Proprietary Software is a clustered file system developed and marketed by the Victim Company in the United States and other countries. A clustered file system facilitates faster computer performance by coordinating work among multiple servers. The Victim Company takes significant precautions to protect the Proprietary Source Code as a trade secret. Among other things, the Proprietary Source Code is stored behind a company firewall and can be accessed only by a small subset of the Victim Company’s employees. Before receiving Proprietary Source Code access, Victim Company employees must first request and receive approval from a particular Victim Company official. Victim Company employees must also agree in writing at both the outset and the conclusion of their employment that they will maintain the confidentiality of any proprietary information. The Victim Company takes these and other precautions in part because the Proprietary Software and the Proprietary Source Code are economically valuable, which value depends in part on the Proprietary Source Code’s secrecy.

In May 2014, XU voluntarily resigned from the Victim Company. XU subsequently communicated with one undercover law enforcement officer (“UC-1”), who posed as a financial investor aiming to start a large-data storage technology company, and another undercover law enforcement officer (“UC-2”), who posed as a project manager, working for UC-1. these communications, XU discussed his past experience with the Victim Company and indicated that he had experience with the Proprietary Software and the Proprietary Source Code. On March 6, 2015, XU sent UC-1 and UC-2 a code, which XU stated was a sample of XU’s prior work with the Victim Company. A Victim Company employee (“Employee-1”) later confirmed that the code sent by XU included proprietary Victim Company material that related to the Proprietary Source Code.

XU subsequently informed UC-2 that XU was willing to consider providing UC-2’s company with the Proprietary Source Code as a platform for UC-2’s company to facilitate the development of its own data storage system. XU informed UC-2 that if UC-2 set up several computers as a small network, then XU would remotely install the Proprietary Software so that UC-1 and UC-2 could test it and confirm its functionality.

In or around early August 2015, the FBI arranged for a computer network to be set up, consistent with XU’s specifications. Files were then remotely uploaded to the FBI-arranged computer network (the “Xu Upload”). Thereafter, on or about August 26, 2015, XU and UC-2 confirmed that UC-2 had received the Xu Upload. In September 2015, the FBI made the Xu Upload available to a Victim Company employee who has expertise regarding the Proprietary Software and the Proprietary Source Code (“Employee-2”). Based on Employee-2’s analysis of technical features of the Xu Upload, it appeared to Employee-2 that the Xu Upload contained a functioning copy of the Proprietary Software. It further appeared to Employee-2 that the Xu Upload had been built by someone with access to the Proprietary Source Code who was not working within the Victim Company or otherwise at the Victim Company’s direction.

On December 7, 2015, XU met with UC-2 at a hotel in White Plains, New York (the “Hotel”). XU stated, in sum and substance, that XU had used the Proprietary Source Code to make software to sell to customers, that XU knew the Proprietary Source Code to be the product of decades of work on the part of the Victim Company, and that XU had used the Proprietary Source Code to build a copy of the Proprietary Software, which XU had uploaded and installed on the UC Network (i.e., the Xu Upload). XU also indicated that XU knew the copy of the Proprietary Software that XU had installed on the UC Network contained information identifying the Proprietary Software as the Victim Company’s property, which could reveal the fact that the Proprietary Software had been built with the Proprietary Source Code without the Victim Company’s authorization. XU told UC-2 that XU could take steps to prevent detection of the Proprietary Software’s origins – i.e., that it had been built with stolen Proprietary Source Code – including writing computer scripts that would modify the Proprietary Source Code to conceal its origins.

Later on December 7, 2015, XU met with UC-1 and UC-2 at the Hotel. During that meeting, XU showed UC-2 a copy of what XU represented to be the Proprietary Source Code on XU’s laptop. XU noted to UC-2 a portion of the code that indicated it originated with the Victim Company as well as the date on which it had been copyrighted. XU also stated that XU had previously modified the Proprietary Source Code’s command interface to conceal the fact that the Proprietary Source Code originated with the Victim Company and identified multiple specific customers to whom XU had previously provided the Proprietary Software using XU’s stolen copy of the Proprietary Source Code.
* * *
XU, 31, formerly of Beijing, China, pled guilty to three counts of economic espionage, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, and three counts of theft of a trade secret, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. The maximum potential sentences in this case are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.
Xu's sentencing is scheduled for October 13, 2017.

Mr. Kim praised the FBI’s outstanding investigative efforts. He also thanked the U.S. Department of Justice’s National Security Division.

The case is being handled by the Office’s Terrorism and International Narcotics Unit and its White Plains Division. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Benjamin Allee, Ilan Graff, and Shane T. Stansbury, with assistance from Trial Attorney David Aaron of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section, are in charge of the prosecution.

Friday, May 19, 2017

FactCheck: Q&A On Special Counsels And The Trump-Russia Probe

Philly.com offers a piece by Robert Farley at FactCheck.org on questions and answers about the appointment of a special counsel to investigate the Russian connection, if any, to Trump.

On May 17, the Justice Department announced the appointment of former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III as special counsel to investigate any possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government’s efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Trump responded by calling the investigation a “witch hunt.”

At a May 18 press conference, Trump said: “Well, I respect the move, but the entire thing has been a witch hunt. And there is no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign — but I can always speak for myself — and the Russians, zero.”

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein made the decision to appoint a special counsel just days after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. Comey told Congress on March 20 that the FBI had opened an investigation last July into “the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”

Amid ongoing investigations by the FBI and House and Senate intelligence committees, what exactly does the appointment of a special counsel mean? Here we answer some questions that readers may have.

You can read the Q&A via the below link:

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Fat Leonard Case: U.S. Navy Admiral Sentenced To Prison For Lying To Federal Investigators About His Relationship With Foreign Defense Contractor In Massive Navy Bribery And Fraud Investigation

The U.S. Justice Department released the below information:

U.S. Navy Rear Admiral Robert Gilbeau was sentenced today to 18 months in prison for lying to investigators to conceal his illicit 20-year relationship with Leonard Glenn Francis, the owner of Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA), the foreign defense contractor at the center of a major bribery and fraud scandal.

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Alana W. Robinson of the Southern District of California, Acting Director Dermot O’Reilly of the Department of Defense’s (DOD) Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS), Director Andrew Traver of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) and Director Anita Bales of Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) made the announcement.

On June 9, 2016, Gilbeau, 56, pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements and was sentenced before U.S. District Judge Janis L. Sammartino of the Southern District of California. Gilbeau is the highest-ranking U.S. Navy officer to be sentenced in the investigation so far.

In connection with his plea, Gilbeau admitted that he lied when he told agents from DCIS and NCIS that he had never received any gifts from Francis. Gilbeau also admitted that he lied when he told investigators that he “always paid for half of the dinner” when he and Francis met about three times a year. Gilbeau further admitted that when he became aware that Francis and others had been arrested in connection with the fraud and bribery offenses in September 2013, he destroyed documents and deleted computer files. Francis previously pleaded guilty to plying scores of other U.S. Navy officials with gifts such as luxury travel, meals, cash, electronics, parties and prostitutes.

By way of background, GDMA provided ship husbanding services such as trash and sewage removal, food, water, security and fuel to U.S. Navy ships. As stated in his plea agreement, in 2003 and 2004, Gilbeau was the supply officer on the USS Nimitz, where he was responsible for procuring all goods and services necessary for operation of the ship. He later served as head of the Tsunami Relief Crisis Action Team in Singapore, heading the Navy’s logistics response to the Southeast Asia tsunami in December 2004, and in June 2005, Gilbeau was assigned to the office of the Chief of Naval Operations as the head of aviation material support, establishing policies and requirements for budgeting and acquisitions for the Navy’s air forces, according to the plea agreement. In August 2010, after he was promoted to admiral, Gilbeau assumed command of the Defense Contract Management Agency International, where he was responsible for the global administration of DOD’s most critical contracts performed outside the United States, according to admissions made in connection with his plea.

Twenty current and former Navy officials have been charged so far in the fraud and bribery investigation. Of the 20 Navy officials, 10 have pleaded guilty, and 10 cases are pending. Five GDMA executives and the GDMA corporation have pleaded guilty.

The DCIS, NCIS and the DCAA are investigating this case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark W. Pletcher and Patrick Hovakimian of the Southern District of California and Assistant Chief Brian R. Young of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case.

Anyone with information relating to fraud or corruption should contact the NCIS anonymous tip line at www.ncis.navy.mil or the DOD Hotline at www.dodig.mil/hotline, or call (800) 424-9098.

U.S. Justice Department Announces Appointment of Special Counsel

The U.S. Justice Department released the below information:

Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein today announced the appointment of former Department of Justice official and FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III (seen in the above photo) to serve as Special Counsel to oversee the previously-confirmed FBI investigation of Russian government efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election and related matters.

“In my capacity as acting Attorney General, I determined that it is in the public interest for me to exercise my authority and appoint a Special Counsel to assume responsibility for this matter,” said Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein. “My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted. I have made no such determination. What I have determined is that based upon the unique circumstances, the public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command.”

Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein added, “Each year, the career professionals of the U.S. Department of Justice conduct tens of thousands of criminal investigations and handle countless other matters without regard to partisan political considerations. I have great confidence in the independence and integrity of our people and our processes. Considering the unique circumstances of this matter, however, I determined that a Special Counsel is necessary in order for the American people to have full confidence in the outcome. Our nation is grounded on the rule of law, and the public must be assured that government officials administer the law fairly. Special Counsel Mueller will have all appropriate resources to conduct a thorough and complete investigation, and I am confident that he will follow the facts, apply the law and reach a just result.”

Special Counsel Mueller has agreed to resign from his private law firm in order to avoid any conflicts of interest with firm clients or attorneys.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Producer Don Pearson: Ralph Natale And 'Last Don Standing' Will Do For Philadelphia What 'Goodfellas' Did For New York

Linda Stein at the Delaware County Daily Times offers a piece on former Philadelphia Cosa Nostra boss Ralph Natale, author and crime reporter Larry McShane and Don Pearson, a TV producer who is attempting to bring Natale’s life of crime to the big screen.

Open the “Last Don Standing” and you’re transported to the mafia underworld in Philadelphia through the eyes of former mob boss Ralph Natale.

The new book, by New York Daily News veteran reporter Larry McShane and television producer Dan Pearson, reads like an episode of “The Sopranos” except that it’s true. Natale — who, in 2000, became the highest ranking Mafioso to become an FBI witness testifying against fellow mobsters — rose through the ranks of the Philadelphia mafia. The story details a who’s who of mobsters, crooked labor bosses and politicians, who siphoned money out of Atlantic City casinos. Natale lived through the bloody period of mafia in-fighting marked by murders in South Philadelphia bars, restaurants and along the Schuylkill Expressway as mobsters vied for control after Angelo Bruno, known as “the Docile Don,” met his untimely demise.

“I’ve been in trouble since the day I came out of my mother’s womb,” Natale says in the book.

McShane, who reported for The Associated Press before his current newspaper job, said that he covered New York City in the 1980s when “the big FBI crackdown on the mob” happened. And, McShane is also the author of another mafia book, “Chin: The Life and Crimes of Mafia Boss Vincent Gigante.”

…Pearson, who produced the Discovery Channel’s “I Married a Mobster,” said that he met Natale after Kitty Caparella, a former Philadelphia Daily News reporter, introduced him to a woman who was Natale’s girlfriend. As he got to know Natale, Pearson said, “I realized the things he told me were true. I reached out to different people in La Cosa Nostra and guys that had done time with him.” Natale was known for “loyalty and as a stone-cold killer,” said Pearson. “As we went on with the relationship and the conversations, I realized this was American history with the mafia.”

Pearson is now turning “Last Don Standing” into a movie with actor Frank Grillo lined up to play Natale.

“It’s going to do for Philadelphia what ‘Goodfellas’ did for New York,” Pearson said. “The Ralph Natale story is about a boss,” he said. “It ensconces the mafia world from all around the country with legendary names like Teamsters union leader Jimmy Hoffa.” Natale admitted to eight murders while “in ‘Goodfellas’ Henry Hill never admitted to one,” said Pearson, 57. “There’s a big difference between being a (mob) associate and being a boss. We’re going to set the record straight.”

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

You can also read my interview with Ralph Natale via the below link:

A Look Back At 'The Sword And the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive And The KGB's Secret History'

One of the best books on Cold War espionage and the Soviet Union's KGB was Vasili Mitrokhin and Christopher Andrew's The Sword and the Shield: The Mitrokhin Archive and the Secret History of the KGB.

I wrote a piece for the Philadelphia Daily News in 1999 on the book. You can read my piece below:

Note: You can click on the above to enlarge.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Sailors At Parade Rest

The U.S. Navy released a photo of sailors standing at parade rest on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) as the ship prepares to commence its 2017 patrol.

Ronald Reagan is the flagship of Carrier Strike Group 5, which provides a combat-ready force that protects and defends the collective maritime interests of its allies and partners in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region.

The above photo was taken by Mass Communications Specialist 2nd Class Kenneth Abbate.

You can click on the photo to enlarge.

Note: The photo brings back memories. I recall standing at parade rest on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk in San Diego, California in 1971 when then-President Nixon visited.     

Monday, May 15, 2017

Conversation With Robert O'Neill, Author of 'The Operator: Firing The Shots That Killed Bin Laden And My Years As A SEAL Team Warrior'

I had an interesting conversation today with Robert O'Neill, the former Navy SEAL who shot and killed Osama bin Laden, the evil mastermind of the horrendous 9/11 attack on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center in 2001.

Robert O'Neill (seen in the below photo) is the author of The Operator: Firing the Shots That Killed Bin Laden and My Years as a SEAL Team Warrior. 

I'm reviewing the book for the Washington Times and my interview with him will appear in an upcoming issue of The Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International.

I'll post both pieces here after they are published.

You can visit Robert O'Neill's website via the below link:


Actor Powers Boothe Dead At 68

The New York Post reports that actor Powers Boothe has died.

LOS ANGELES — Powers Boothe, the character actor known for his villain roles in TV’s “Deadwood,” and in the movies “Tombstone,” ”Sin City” and “The Avengers,” has died. He was 68.

Boothe’s publicist said he died of natural causes at his home in Los Angeles on Sunday.

Fellow actor Beau Bridges tweeted the news and called him “a dear friend, great actor, devoted father and husband.”

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

You can watch a couple of clips of Powers Boothe in Tombstone, one of my favorite western films, via the below link: 

Note: Powers Boothe was a fine actor. I liked him in Tombstone and he was also very good as Raymond Chandler's iconic detective Philip Marlowe in the HBO series. He will be missed.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Former FBI Official Says Promotion Of Interim FBI Director Is 'Disgraceful'

Mark Moore at the New York Post offers a piece on former FBI official James Kallstrom (seen in the above photo), who believes that Andrew McCabe should not have been named acting director of the FBI. (I agree).

Former top FBI official James Kallstrom said on Sunday that it’s “disgraceful” that Andrew McCabe is the acting director of the agency despite his wife’s cozy relationship to Hillary Clinton operatives.

“It’s actually disgraceful,” Kallstrom, the former assistant director of the FBI, told John Catsimatidis on his “Cats Roundtable” radio program. “Here’s a guy who’s still in the chain of command.”

McCabe, who took over as acting FBI director when President Trump fired James Comey last week, is married to Jill McCabe who took $467,500 from Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s political action committee during her run for state senate.

She also received $207,788 from the Virginia Democratic Party, which is heavily influenced by Clinton loyalist McAuliffe.

The funds began flowing to Jill McCabe two months after the FBI launched its investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server in July 2015.

At that time, Andrew McCabe was promoted from running the bureau’s Washington field office to the No. 3 position at the FBI. She eventually lost to her GOP opponent.

“And Comey lets all this pass. He doesn’t do a thing about it. It’s an outrage,” Kallstrom said. “Today’s he’s the acting director and I hope in two or three days he’s no longer the acting director because he has no judgment. And it just shows that Comey has no common sense.”

You can read the rest of the piece via the below link:

Note: I'd like to see President Trump appoint Ray Kelly, the former NYPD Commissioner, to the top FBI job. 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

A Pope, A President, And Mary

Kathryn Jean Lopez at NationalReview.com offers an interview with Paul Kengor, author of A Pope and a President: John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Extraordinary Untold Story of the 20th Century.

This weekend, Pope Francis marks the 100th anniversary of events in Fatima, Portugal, important to the life of Pope John Paul II and even — as Paul Kengor argues in a new book — President Ronald Reagan. In A Pope and a President: John Paul II, Ronald Reagan, and the Extraordinary Untold Story of the 20th Century, Kengor presents both the pope and the president as understanding Divine Providence’s role in their lives and in history. We talk a bit about the bonds between these men and the Marian events in Fatima, which John Paul II believed were intimately connected to the sparing of his life, and more.

You can read the interview via the below link:

FBI: Hogan’s Alley Turns 30: The Evolution of the FBI’s Mock Training Ground

The FBI offers the below report:

It has been called the nation’s most crime-ridden town and even the crime capital of the world, but no one has ever been victimized there. This town isn’t listed on any official map, but it is visited nearly every day and appears often in the movies and on television.

Hogan’s Alley is no ordinary place. It’s a mock town where new FBI agents and their law enforcement partners learn the ropes through a series of realistic and often stressful scenarios. Whether investigating criminal and terrorist activities, gathering intelligence, processing evidence, getting into simulated gunfights, or making arrests, agents and other trainees are taught the latest techniques and challenged to make the right decisions—with the help of actors playing criminals, victims, and bystanders.

This year, Hogan’s Alley celebrates its 30th anniversary on the grounds of the FBI’s Training Academy in Quantico, Virginia. Over the years it has evolved into the cornerstone of the Bureau’s practical training program. Every FBI agent hired over the past three decades has gained valuable, real-world experience in this tiny yet always bustling town.

The name—and the training concept—have actually been around quite a bit longer in law enforcement circles. Many decades ago, the use of fake storefronts with mechanical, pop-up bad guys were a staple of police firearms training. The first exercise of this kind appears to have been in 1919 at the U.S. Army’s Camp Perry in Ohio on a set built to look like a war-torn French village. It was created for a firearms contest called the National Matches and later used in police training sponsored by the Army. Contestants were scored on their shooting time and accuracy when hand-controlled cutouts of threatening persons were raised in windows.

 Surprise target ranges were used at Hogan’s Alley in the 1940s and 1950s. Cutouts of targets would mechanically pop up in windows and doors of these ranges and agents would have to quickly react; they were scored on accuracy and response time.

By the mid-1920s, these training exercises came to be called “Hogan’s Alleys.” The name came from a comic strip in the 1890s called the Yellow Kid, which was a romanticized look at the daily life a young boy who lived in a crime-ridden New York tenement called Hogan’s Alley.

In its early days, the Bureau used actors and mannequin victims from time to time in its practical exercises. The FBI began including “Alleys” in its training program in the 1940s. In 1945, it started building its first “surprise scenario” training range that incorporated mechanically controlled cutouts. This first FBI Hogan’s Alley cost the Bureau $3,000, according former Special Agent Larry Wack. By the early 1950s, Hogan’s Alley took on further prominence in FBI training, becoming a centerpiece of Bureau plans to revamp its ranges. When completed, the new Alley included a row of false house fronts, 120 feet long and 10 feet high. Surprise targets appeared in windows along this street front, and agents chose whether or not to shoot.

In 1972, when the FBI opened its Training Academy in Quantico, new facilities were created for agent training. In the mid-1980s, the Bureau began constructing a new home for practical instruction—this time filled with actual buildings, including a bank, a motel, a jewelry shop, and a luncheonette. This new crime town was officially launched in 1987, and it has been a key staple of FBI training ever since.

Over time, the town has grown, adding warehouse facilities, single-family homes, and other typical places where Bureau agents might interact with the public and those who would prey on them. Hogan’s Alley may have the highest crime rate in the world, but the Bureau’s agent and police trainees have ensured that it also has the highest arrest rate, too.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Philadelphia District Attorney Rufus Seth Williams Indicted On Additional Fraud Charges

The U.S. Attorney’s Office District of New Jersey released the below information:

PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia District Attorney Rufus Seth Williams was indicted today on additional fraud charges stemming from his alleged use of political action committee (PAC) funds and official government vehicles for his personal benefit, Acting New Jersey U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.

Williams, 50, of Philadelphia, is now charged in a superseding indictment with 11 counts of travel and use of interstate facilities to promote and facilitate bribery contrary to Pennsylvania law (the “Travel Act counts”), two counts of Hobbs Act extortion under color of official right, two counts of honest services wire fraud, 12 counts of wire fraud and two counts of mail fraud.

 Williams was originally charged in a 23-count indictment on March 21, 2017. The superseding indictment now contains 29 counts, including Counts 22 to 29 regarding Williams’ use of PAC funds and official vehicles.

The Fraud Involving PAC Funds Friends of Seth Williams, a/k/a “The Committee to Elect Seth Williams,” was a political action committee that accepted contributions from individuals to support Williams’ campaigns for public office. Under applicable law, the PAC funds could only be used in relation to political campaigns.

According to the superseding indictment, from August 2010 through August 2016, Williams allegedly defrauded the PAC by using its funds for personal expenditures, which he concealed by providing false or incomplete reports to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and to the City of Philadelphia.

For instance, between August 2010 and September 2010, the PAC disbursed two checks to a political consultant totaling approximately $4,136.59. The memo line on these checks falsely stated, “Political Consulting.” Within days of the political consultant receiving the PAC checks, Williams obtained checks from the political consultant’s account and deposited them into his own bank account. In total, Williams received approximately $4,036.59 of the approximately $4,136.59 that the political consultant received from the PAC between August 2010 and September 2010. Williams used these funds for personal expenses.

In addition, from October 2011 through April 2015, Williams incurred expenses at a social club for his personal benefit, including dinner parties, lodging, and family events, none of which were incurred in connection with any election. Williams used the PAC’s debit card to pay for these expenses, including charges of $677.98 for a New Year’s Eve celebration at the social club on Dec. 31, 2013 for Williams and his girlfriend; $195.50 for a facial and massage in January 2014; $777.19 for an April 10, 2014 birthday dinner that Williams held for his girlfriend; $491.50 for a massage, facial, gift card, and fitness classes in January 2015; approximately $2,674.41 for an April 10, 2015 birthday dinner that Williams held for his girlfriend; and approximately $211.50 for massages in May 2015.

From January 2013 through May 2015, Williams incurred expenses at a health club for his own personal benefit, including massages, facials, and clothing, none of which were incurred in connection with any election. Williams also used the PAC’s debit card to pay for these expenses, including charges for massages of $222.50 in January 2013, $209 in July 2013, $251.50 in September 2013, and $90 in November 2013.

The Fraud Involving Official Government Vehicles Williams also allegedly engaged in a scheme to use official vehicles – which were provided by the City of Philadelphia and a federal narcotics law enforcement program – for his personal benefit.

Some of those vehicles were obtained through grants provided by the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program. The purpose of the HIDTA program was to reduce illegal drug trafficking and drug production in the United States by, among other things, facilitating cooperation among federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. The HIDTA program provided resources and funding to enhance and promote regional drug control strategies within defined geographic areas. Each geographic area designated as a HIDTA was governed by an Executive Board comprised of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.

Williams was a member of the Executive Board for the HIDTA of Philadelphia and Camden, New Jersey. The District Attorney’s Office (DAO) assigned HIDTA vehicles to detectives in its Dangerous Drug Offender Unit (DDOU), which often conducted narcotics investigations with federal and state HIDTA partners. Vehicles owned or leased by these agencies could not be used for personal purposes.

According to the superseding indictment, Williams repeatedly used city and HIDTA vehicles for his personal use during non-working hours, including weeknights and weekends. Williams directed his security detail to leave a city or HIDTA vehicle at his home every weeknight, so that he would have access to it during all non-working hours. Williams used the vehicles to transport himself, family members, friends and other non-employees on non-DAO business, including personal trips outside of Philadelphia.

During the scheme, Williams had full-time access to city or HIDTA vehicles for nearly all of his personal vehicular needs and personally incurred almost no expenses related to the use of a personal vehicle for years, including costs of purchasing, leasing, or renting a vehicle, or paying for insurance, fuel, and maintenance.

In addition, Williams’ acquisition and use of the HIDTA vehicles, including a Nissan Armada SUV and two Chevrolet Tahoe SUVs, reduced the number of vehicles available to members of the DAO’s DDOU for undercover operations, surveillance, and other aspects of narcotics investigations.

Bribes Involving Business Owners and Fraud on a Nursing Home and Family Friends

Williams remains charged with the same three schemes that were detailed in the March 21, 2017 indictment:

• From July 2010 through May 2015, Williams allegedly had an arrangement with an individual identified in the superseding indictment as “Business Owner #1,” in which Williams, while serving as the Philadelphia District Attorney, accepted trips, money, and other things of value in exchange for performing and agreeing to perform official acts on behalf of Business Owner #1.

• From March 2012 through July 2015, Williams allegedly had an arrangement with an individual identified in the superseding indictment as “Business Owner #2,” in which Williams accepted airline tickets, money, an automobile, and other things of value in exchange for performing and agreeing to perform official acts on behalf of Business Owner #2.

• From February 2012 through November 2013, Williams allegedly diverted a relative’s pension and Social Security payments to pay for his own personal expenses instead of applying them to the relative’s nursing home costs. In addition, after accepting $10,000 from friends of his relative intended to cover expenses for the relative’s nursing home care, Williams spent the money on his personal expenses instead.

The 29-count superseding indictment presents some alterations to the original counts, without changing the substance of the above allegations. Williams was arraigned on March 22, 2017, and entered a plea of not guilty. The trial is presently set for May 31, 2017.

Each of the Travel Act counts is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison. The Hobbs Act extortion under color of official right and the wire and mail fraud charges are each punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison. Each count carries a potential fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of a total of approximately $64,878.22, representing the sum of approximately $33,765.52 worth of bribe proceeds and approximately $31,112.70 worth of fraud proceeds.

Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Harpster in Philadelphia; special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, Philadelphia Office, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Gregory Floyd, and special agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) Philadelphia, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Marlon V. Miller, with the investigation. He also thanked the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Nick DiGiulio, for its participation in the investigation.

The U.S. Attorney in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania recused his office from the investigation involving the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, and the matter was assigned to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey. Two prosecutors from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania office were assigned to the case, subject to the supervision of prosecutors in the New Jersey office.

The government is represented by Deputy Chief Eric W. Moran of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Newark and Chief of Appeals Robert A. Zauzmer and Assistant U.S. Attorney Vineet Gauri of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia.

The charges and allegations contained in the superseding indictment are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.