Miscellaneous Department
1930s-era Jewish gangster

"A Jewish couple is traveling across the country and get to a small picture-postcard town. They stop for a bite. In the diner, the waitress makes small talk and finds out that they're Jewish. She says, 'You know something? We've never had one person arrested in this town.' The Jewish wife says, 'Really? Is the jail restricted?'"
Jewish comedian
Milton Berle,
[BERLE, M., 1996, p. 309]

Maxwell, Robert. The Columbia Encylopedia, 2001
"[Robert Maxwell] grew up in a tight-knit Jewish community ... . A 1969 financial scandal cost Maxwell control over Pergamon [Press] and his political career, but he went heavily into debt and repurchased Pergamon in 1974. In the 1980s, he borrowed additional funds to create a diversified media empire that came to include the [London] Mirror Newspaper Group, the U.S. book publishing company Macmillan, the Official Airline Guides, Berlitz, and the New York Daily News. After Maxwell drowned mysteriously while cruising off the Canary Islands, investigators discovered that he had misappropriated hundreds of millions of dollars from his companies and their pension plans to finance his corporate expansion. Maxwell’s companies were forced to file for bankruptcy protection in Great Britain and the United States in 1992. In 1995 Maxwell’s sons Kevin and Ian and two former directors went on trial in one of Britain’s largest fraud cases. The charges included misusing Maxwell group pension fund stocks to assist a faltering Maxwell company and risking pension fund shares to secure a loan for another Maxwell company. They were acquitted in 1996."

The Resurrection of Michael Milken. The American Prospect, March 13, 2000
"When Milken was sentenced to prison on November 21, 1990, he was one of the most reviled men in America. But today, nearly a decade later, the 53-year-old Milken is everywhere. A survivor of cancer, he is the founder and chairman of CaP CURE (the Association for the Cure of Cancer of the Prostate) and the author of a best-selling cookbook featuring recipes for fighting cancer; he has also expanded the Milken Family Foundation, a philanthropic venture best known for its education awards, and is a lead investor in Knowledge Universe, a family of companies specializing in early childhood education, Internet commerce, technology consulting, and educational testing ... Ultimately, Milken was the target of a 98-count criminal indictment and a massive civil case filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The charges against him included insider trading, price manipulation, falsifying records, filing false reports, racketeering, and defrauding customers; the heart of the indictment accused Milken of 'stock parking,' or arranging to swap securities with his accomplice Ivan Boesky [also Jewish] to hide their true ownership. In essence, Milken used Boesky as a front to trade stocks in companies in which Drexel had a confidential interest--earning millions for both men."

Harry Helmsley, Real Estate Mogul Husband of Leona, Dead at 87.
The News-Times, January 6, 1997 [Harry Helmsley wasn't Jewish]
"Unlike modern-day real estate speculators, Helmsley kept what he bought, becoming one of the biggest landlords in the country. But his final years were stained by Mrs. [Leona] Helmsley's conviction on federal charges of tax evasion. She spent 18 months in federal prison ... By the end of his life though, Helmsley was best known not as a powerful businessman, but as the senile husband of a woman who came to symbolize the greed of the 1980s. Helmsley hired the former Leona M. Rosenthal as a real estate executive in 1971 and married her a year later after divorcing his wife of 33 years. In 1980, Mrs. Helmsley took control of Helmsley's hotels - six luxury hotels in New York and the Cleveland-based Harley chain. An ad campaign dubbed Mrs. Helmsley the hotel queen, but her reputation as a tough, often dictatorial businesswoman earned her the moniker 'The Queen of Mean.'''

Bess Myerson Reflects On Fame, Miss America, and Judaism
Jewish Bulletin of Northern California,
October 6, 1995
"Once a frequent speaker on a variety of social concerns, [Bess Myerson, a former Miss America] now speaks only for Jewish causes. 'This way I feel I am putting my celebrity to use,' she said. 'Nothing I've done in the past is as nourishing to me as my Jewishness. I never left it, but now I can do it full time. It is as if my life has evolved to where I always wanted it to be.' The Anti-Defamation League is her first love, followed by Israel and Israel Bonds ... She won't talk about the 1988 trial for bribery and conspiracy that grew out of her position as New York City cultural affairs commissioner. She was accused of hiring a judge's daughter so Myerson's lover would get favorable treatment from the judge handling his divorce case. Just before the trial began, Myerson was arrested and fined for shoplifting. The trial took more than three months, and every day Myerson walked a gantlet of reporters and onlookers to get to court. Friends took her to a Chassidic rabbi, and Myerson clung to his assurance that 'it would be all right.' She started reading psalms, lighting Sabbath candles, making the Sabbath a sanctuary. After a 15-week trial, Myerson was acquitted. Now, she said, 'When I'm low, I move toward life by reading what has been written that is substantive.'"

ABC News -- Air Date: July 8, 1991 [posted at]
"CAROL SIMPSON: Good evening. We begin tonight with the largest case of medical-insurance fraud in U.S. History. In Los Angeles, law-enforcement authorities have unsealed 12 indictments and started arresting suspects. The charge is that they devised a scheme to bill insurance companies and the federal government for expensive medical tests that either weren't needed or were never done. ABC News has learned the details of how the suspects filed more than $1 billion in phony claims ... JOHN MARTIN: Advertisements and high-pressure telephone calls promised free medical check-ups. The indictments charge that's how customers were lured to clinics, many of them set-up in shopping centers. The clients filled out insurance forms and were given a series of medical tests conducted, agents say, by unqualified workers and physicians who were accomplices in the scheme. After the patients left, the clinics made up symptoms and diagnoses on the insurance forms to justify billing insurance companies for the unnecessary and expensive tests ... A task force of state and federal investigators identified more than 900 of these phony clinics across the United States. More than half were allegedly run by these two [Jewish] Russian immigrants, David and Michael Sumushkovich ... The biggest victim of all may have been the American taxpayer. The clinics attracted many military dependents insured by Uncle Sam. WILLIAM LANDRETH, Pentagon Inspector General's Office: The Department of Defense medical program has been severely impacted by the amount of claims that they've exceeded. This is the largest medical-fraud case, I think, in the history of the United States."

Devil's Pact. Inside the World of the Teamsters' Union, Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 1996, [book review; posted here at]
"If you like tales of greed, power, sex, dirty politics, and organized crime, this is for you. Zeller, a former communications director for the Teamsters, unveils his experiences with leading figures in the Teamsters union, especially Jackie Presser. All-powerful and responsible to no one within the union, Presser embraced an apparent Teamster tradition of living up to Lord Acton's dictum that absolute power corrupts absolutely. In this world indictments, mob connections, internecine warfare, misogynist sex, and the overriding pursuit of money, money, money are simply the background, the assumed norm. For something to stand out it has to be really sensational, like tapes implicating Bobby Kennedy in the death of Marilyn Monroe, or really amazing, like Presser simultaneously holding the position of Teamster president, maintaining close contact with key figures in organized crime, and serving as an FBI informant. The story of the close, behind-the-scenes relationship between the Teamsters and the White House, including involvement in both Reagan electoral campaigns and ties to prominent Reagan administration officials, might surprise some people."

Press Release. Jay Cohen Convicted of Operating an Off-Shore Sports Betting Business that Accepted Bets from Americans on the Internet, U.S. Department of Justice [cybercrime], February 28, 2000
"Mary Jo White, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that Jay Cohen was convicted today in Manhattan federal court after a two-week trial of operating a sports betting business that illegally accepted bets and wagers on sporting events from Americans over the Internet and telephones. Cohen was convicted of conspiracy to violate the Wire Wager Act and seven substantive violations of the Wire Wager Act in connection with his operation of World Sports Exchange ('WSE').Cohen was the first defendant to stand trial in a series of Internet offshore sports gambling cases that were the first prosecutions brought under the federal Wire Wager Act. Ten defendants have previously pled guilty."

Kerzner Company Accused
, Business Day [Johannesburg, South Africa], posted at, May 17, 2001
"The Clinton administration's Indian affairs chief said Sun International CE[O] Sol Kerzner and his partners evaded US law to generate greater than allowed profits from the Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut. Kerzner has a 50% interest in Trading Cove Associates, which helped the Mohegan tribe establish the federally recognised homeland between New York and Boston which the tribe needed to obtain a casino licence ... The profit limit was instituted to prevent unscrupulous operators exploiting the tribes, who were supposed to use gambling proceeds for own upliftment. Kevin Gover, who was head of the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs, told the Boston Globe he believed Trading Cove had concealed information from regulators to exceed the limit. 'They clearly evaded the law to get more money than the law was supposed to permit,' he said. 'There is no question they structured the deal to avoid federal review.'"

Boudin Says She Was Joan of Arc, New York Post, September 7, 2001
"Kathy Boudin, a onetime member of the radical Weather Underground who was convicted of murder and robbery in connection with a 1981 Brinks armored-car heist in New York, told state parole officials last month she once saw herself as a Joan of Arc. 'The very identity of being underground gave me a certain moral identity,' she told the parole officials last month. 'I kind of saw myself as Joan of Arc.' She also said it was self-doubt that led her into the radical life and that she expects to live with guilt for the rest of her life over the deaths, according to a transcript released yesterday of her parole hearing. After that 45-minute hearing on Aug. 22, Boudin's first bid for parole was denied. She can reapply in two years."

Millionaire Charged with Lying to IRS. Electronic Accountant, 1999
"A Long Island millionaire has been arrested on charges he evaded more than $6 million in income taxes and lied to the Internal Revenue Service. The federal indictment alleges that financier Barry Trupin concealed assets, including millions of dollars in real estate, collectibles and cash, to make an offer in compromise to the IRS ... Trupin submitted a false financial statement in which he claimed that his only assets were $500 in cash and a $48,000 line of credit. But the IRS claims that Trupin retained control of an extravagant mansion known as 'Dragon’s Head' in posh Southampton, N.Y., even though he sold the estate in 1992 for about $3.3 million. The indictment also alleges that Trupin owned a 16th Century suit of armor worth $1.5 million, an Alma Tedema piano worth $1 million, and a fleet of Rolls Royces."
Insurance Agent Faces Fraud Charges.
Miami Herald
[at], May 7, 1998
"Phillip Scott Plotka has the resume of a prominent insurance agent. In 1996 he received the Quality of Life Winner award by the Million Dollar Roundtable Foundation. He serves on the board of Jewish Vocational Services and on a professional advisory committee for the insurance industry. He works out of a Brickell Avenue office. But Wednesday, Plotka gained a different sort of notoriety: He became the first agent arrested in Miami-Dade County on charges of insurance fraud solicited through the Internet. The Florida Department of Insurance said he solicited clients with the AIDS virus and instructed them to falsify insurance applications so they would be accepted. State authorities arrested Plotka minutes before he was to tee off at a charity golf tournament at Don Shula's Golf Club in Miami Lakes. 'This is a particularly onerous case because this individual is a highly regarded individual in his field,' [Dade Assistant State Attorney Mark] Shapiro said. 'He sits on an ethics committee.'"

UC Davis Professor Arrested for Shoplifting.
California Aggie
[University of California at Davis], May 5, 1999
"Lawrence E. Cohen, a UC Davis sociology professor, was arrested and released Thursday after attempting to leave the UCD Bookstore without paying for a textbook. According to UCD senior public information representative Julia Ann Easley, Cohen - who was cited at 10:26 a.m. - allegedly attempted to take a $20 textbook from the store. Cohen was subsequently released. Cohen currently teaches sociology 150: criminology. Additionally, his UCD World Wide Web site lists other courses taught by the professor: SOC 152: juvenile delinquency and SOC 220: deviance, law, and social control. Cohen could not be reached for comment."

Former Thomasville Attorney Ronald Cohen Surrenders to Federal Prison. Newsmax [Thomas County News], May 2001
"Ronald Cohen, 57, the former attorney from Thomasville who pled guilty to federal money-laundering and fraud charges, has surrendered to federal prison authorities. Cohen reported around noon Friday, May 25, to the federal prison at Eglin Air force Base just north of Fort Walton, Florida. His sentence is 10 years and one month ... Cohen was accused in May, 1998, by the US Customs Service of the largest non-drug related money laundering scheme in their history."

Santa Cruz Couple Arrested on Forty Felony Counts of Insurance Fraud. California Department of Insurance, April 4, 2001
"Following a two-year joint investigation by the California Department of Insurance (CDI) Criminal Investigations Branch and the Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office, a Santa Cruz couple was cited to appear in court today on insurance fraud charges. Jeff Levine, 45, and Martha Levine, 39, were each charged with 40 counts of insurance fraud. The Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office is prosecuting the case. If convicted, the couple could each face up to 10 years in state prison and pay fines up to $50,000. Jeff Levine, a chiropractor, and his wife Martha Levine, a bookkeeper, own and operate Action Chiropractic in Santa Cruz. A patient of Jeff Levine's filed a complaint with CDI after reviewing her insurance bills and noticed additional office visits had been added to her bill. Following the reported over-billing, a CDI investigation was subsequently conducted. According to investigators, Jeff and Martha Levine allegedly billed at least 16 insurance companies for services Action Chiropractic did not render. Investigators say Action Chiropractic allegedly altered the dates of treatment for patients in order to collect payment from insurance companies."

Lizzie in Tizzy as She Faces Rap for Hamptons Smash.
New York Post
, July 9, 2001
"Publicity princess Lizzie Grubman wept in handcuffs yesterday as cops slapped her with nine felony charges for mowing down 16 people at a Hamptons nightclub with a Mercedes-Benz SUV and fleeing the scene. She faces up to 151 years in prison if convicted on all counts. Police said Grubman, 30, had bickered with two bouncers early Saturday morning about where her SUV was parked at the super-trendy Conscience Point Inn, for which she does public-relations work. Afterwards, an angry Grubman intentionally drove the vehicle in reverse, Southhampton Town cops allege. The SUV hit one of the bouncers and 15 other people at the chic club's entrance. The bloody crash left about half the victims - who included friends of Grubman - with broken bones, including one person with a broken pelvis, police said ...A stunned Grubman - daughter of high-powered celebrity lawyer Allen Grubman - was taken away from the scene by pals in another car after she stayed for about 10 minutes. The 2001 Mercedes was left behind."

Einhorn Loses Court Appeal, Attempts Suicide.
Philadelphia Inquirer
, July 12, 2001
"American fugitive Ira Einhorn lost his last chance under French law to avoid extradition to the United States, and later today tried to slit his throat at his house in southwestern France, his lawyer said. A few hours after that, France agreed to a one-week postponement of the extradition at the request of the European Court of Human Rights, to which Einhorn has appealed. The 61-year-old former anti-war activist, who was convicted in absentia of bludgeoning his girlfriend Holly Maddux to death more than two decades ago in Pennsylvania, broke skin, but suffered no major injury ... A French TV crew invited inside the home found Einhorn sitting in the kitchen, blood soaking his shirt, an open wound at the base of his neck. A doctor bandaged the wound only after Einhorn had given his interview, in which he railed against Prime Minister Lionel Jospin for his predicament. 'He created this. He is responsible.' Einhorn said, pointing to his wound. 'He is sending me back to America, where I will stay for the rest of my life in prison, without mercy.'"

Robbery Suspect Says He's Good for 60 Heists.
Columbia Missouri Tribune
, June 9, 2001
"The suspect, Joel Franklin Levine, 64, is cooling his heels in Jackson County, where he is accused of a similar holdup in December in Lee’s Summit. When Lee’s Summit police caught up with Levine, he indicated he had been involved in 60 robberies over a 20-year period. 'He’s been arrested before,' Columbia police Sgt. Stephen Monticelli said. 'He’s been in prison before.'"

$5G Fine in Mall Bomb Threat.
The Journal News [White Plains, NY], May 23, 2001
"Alkobi, an Israeli national and electrician, called in a bomb threat on November 4 from the fourth floor of the West Nycack shopping center."

What Turns a War Hero into a Bank Robber?
Chicago Daily Herald
. May 16, 2001
"Just as [Harry Rabin] left Germany a decorated World War II hero, he left the bank that day a bank robber. And he has to believe it, because he stuck up two more banks that same Fall ... He's going to Federal prison at age 77."

News Release: Four Arrested. Four More Charged in Crackdown on Pharmaceutical Fraud Ring. Florida Attorney General, April 19, 2001
"Four south Florida men, including a Miami pharmacy owner, were arrested today and charged with conspiring to defraud the state's Medicaid program out of more than $1.2 million ... Those arrested were: Alan S. Cohen, 39, owner of The Global Marketing Center Inc., ... Ehab H. Coriaty, 36, owner of Corico International Inc., ... James M. Davis, ... and Steve A. Lutz ... Also charged with participating in the fraud conspiracy were: Larry J. Bradshaw, 41, formerly of Melbourne; Dr. Jerome H. Feldman, 59, operator of Second Chance in Life clinic, located at 240 North Frederick Avenue in Daytona Beach; Jeffrey B. Fields, 47, formerly of Delray Beach; and Gilbert G. Lukat, 48, formerly of Melbourne Beach. All four are currently being sought by authorities. Feldman, who faces unrelated federal health care fraud charges, has been missing since failing to show up for a meeting with law enforcement officers in 1999."

Indictments Seen Soon in Scheme Over Settlements
New York Law Journal [posted at], September 11, 1995
"Indictments of a half-dozen lawyers are expected to be handed down within the next several weeks resulting from a three-year investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney into allegations of widespread fraud in personal injury claims and settlements, according to attorneys familiar with the probe. The investigation has led to two arrests in the past seven months. The investigation has focused on alleged schemes by attorneys, insurance claims adjusters and "claims expediters" or middlemen to inflate the value of claims in personal injury suits ... The probe has so far netted one lawyer, with the arrest and conviction this summer of Joel H. Cohen, 61, of Lawrence, N.Y., on a single count of commercial bribery."

Sims Dies By Lethal Injection. Florida Times-Union, February 23, 2000
"For the first time in its history, Florida has executed an inmate by injection ... [Terry Melvin] Sims, who was Jewish, also met with a rabbi, said Florida State Prison spokesman C.J. Drake. During the execution, a small group of Jews gathered outside to say mourning prayers. Sims' death marks the first time in almost 73 years that Florida has executed anyone by a method other than electrocution. Florida joined 34 other states that also use lethal injection ... On the day of the 1977 slaying, George Pfiel, 55, who became a deputy after retiring from the New York City Police Department after 22 years, was off duty and had stopped to pick up a prescription for his wife, Florence. Sims and another man, Curtis Baldree were holding up the pharmacy, while two other men waited in a car. When Sims spotted Pfeil's uniform, he opened fire. The fatally wounded deputy fired and hit Sims in the hip. Sims was not arrested until June 1978 after an attempted robbery in California. Sims steadfastly maintained his innocence."

Struggle for a 'Jewish Death' on Hold for a Texas Prisoner,
[Jewish] Forward, August 31, 2001
"After 20 years on the nation's most populous death row, a federal court panel has handed [Max] Soffar his first partial victory, ordering that he be either released or retried because of flaws in his 1981 murder conviction. A three-judge panel from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-to-1 decision, ruled last December that his conviction relied 'almost exclusively' on confessions illegally made to the police in the absence of a lawyer. Soffar said he sought to recant the confessions almost immediately after making them, claiming he had been tricked into confessing a crime he never committed ... A former drug addict and police informer, Soffar was charged with committing an execution-style murder in the course of an armed robbery at a bowling alley in northwest Houston on the night of July 13, 1980. Four people were shot in the head at point-blank range. One survived. Soffar was arrested three weeks later for speeding on a motorcycle that turned out to be stolen ... Interrogated for three days without a lawyer, Soffar initially told police that he went to the bowling alley with Latt Bloomfield, the son of a Houston police officer, who he said committed the robbery and murders while Soffar waited outside. He then confessed to participating in the crimes, saying that Mr. Bloomfield shot two of the four victims and then he shot the other two, including the one who survived, Greg Garner."

Who Killed Morris Lax? Solid Waste Recycling, December/January 2001
"The street-smart immigrant was well suited for the ruthless all-cash subculture of the scrap industry where deals are sealed with a handshake and disputes are sometimes settled with fists, or worse. Scrap is easy to sell; it's acquiring the material in the first place that's difficult. A foreigner like [Morris] Lax could easily have found himself shut out. Instead, Lax became an industry leader. By 1969 he was at (or close to) the middle of most big deals. Even Lax supporters don't deny he was crooked (though perhaps not more so than some others in the business). He pled guilty to criminal charges in the early 1960s after being caught with stolen brass. On February 16, 1977 he was fined $34,000 after pleading guilty to three counts of falsifying company records. Lax had issued 180 fraudulent invoices (worth a total of $188,600) in an elaborate scheme to help business associates evade taxes and hide kickbacks. (Lax took a 10 per cent commission on each invoice.) The scam was discovered when police uncovered a kickback paid by another firm to former Hamilton [Canada] harbour commissioner Ken Elliott as part of a dredging contract ... Money allowed Morris Lax one important luxury. He was a prominent supporter of Israel and, in stunning contrast to his usual crudeness, moved easily in the highest circles of Israeli political life, counting among his friends [former Israeli Prime Minister] Mr. Begin (with whom he'd fled Russia) and Yitzhak Shamir. While he was as abrasive as metal polish in Hamilton, in the Jewish homeland Lax was accepted as a wealthy philanthropist of poise and aplomb. Lax received awards from institutions and hospitals to which he gave money and was a successful fundraiser, obtaining over $100,000 each year for the Hamilton Supporters of Israel ... Any number of people might have wanted the feisty merchant dead, including people who were involved in his various illicit schemes."

Family Scrap, Solid Waste Recycling, October/November 2000
"By the 1980s, the Waxmans [Chester and Morris] were multi-millionaires whose personal and professional lives were chronicled in Hamilton [Canada] papers like local royalty. Charismatic and outgoing Chester was even venerated as the Jewish community's Man of the Year in 1979 and Hamilton's Distinguished Citizen of the Year in 1985. Family came first for the brothers who garnered a reputation as religious family men, supporters of local charities, sports teams and hospitals. Now the brothers are enemies who exchange neither word nor glance. Their legal battle has lasted 14 long years and the 21-month civil trial, which began December 7, 1998 has seen a veritable parade of witnesses who have leveled accusations of fraud, conspiracy, diversion of funds, racehorse-breeding schemes, evidence tampering and betrayals of deathbed promises. Some of what the court heard was unsettling even by the standards of the waste industry. And soon Judge Sanderson will decide whom -- on a balance of probabilities -- is telling the truth."

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? The Mob!
Thistle (this article adapted from an "underground" newspaper -- sub(Tex) -- in Austin Texas
"Aramark also has a reputation for engaging in unfair business practices. A former Executive Vice President of ARA's transportation division testified in a Hawaii court that ARA conspired to kill competition by submitting below-cost bids to clinch a contract, with the intention of raising prices once the competition had gone out of business. According to The Wall Street Journal, Aramark also has links to organized crime. Reportedly, Aramark paid an ex-FBI agent-and former ARA employee - $167,000 plus lawyers' fees out of court not to discuss his deposition, which highlights the dining service corporation's organized crime connections." (The CEO of Aramark is Joe Neubauer).

Magistrate Sets Hearing on Bond for Abrams,
Palm Beach Daily News, November 2001
" Investment manager Thomas D. Abrams will stay in jail until his Nov. 28 bond hearing on a mail fraud charge, a federal magistrate ruled Friday. The FBI arrested Abrams Thursday, alleging he was involved in a scheme to defraud an 82-year-old woman of $6 million ... The FBI affidavit says Abrams, through his Phoenix Financial Groups, operated a pyramid-style Ponzi scheme, using money from new investors to pay old investors while siphoning some money for personal use. Abrams, founder of the Phoenix Foundation for Children, used $161,000 of the woman's money to pay expenses related to the charity, the affidavit says. Abrams' troubles surfaced last week when federal agents raided his West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale offices and his Wellington home, seizing computers and records from Phoenix Financial Groups and the foundation. An Oct. 30 affidavit alleged Abrams misappropriated at least $19 million from multiple investors and created false documents as a coverup. The foundation canceled a four-day Champions of Children fund-raiser scheduled to be held in Palm Beach last weekend."

WTC Broker Charged in $1M Fraud,
Guardian [London], November 20, 2001
"Two executives from a World Trade Center brokerage have been charged with plotting to steal $100 million from investors - a theft discovered days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. An indictment unsealed Monday accuses Andre Koudachev [Jewish?], 38, owner of First Equity Enterprises, of transferring the missing money to overseas bank accounts before becoming a fugitive. The government has so far seized $5.5 million in accounts in New York, New Jersey, Chicago and Switzerland. Also charged with conspiracy was former First Equity president Gary Farberov, 32, who pleaded innocent Monday and was released on $500,000 bond ... Koudachev's investment firm 'was basically a boiler room operation, soliciting investors worldwide, then stringing along those investors with blatant lies,' said Barry Mawn, head of the FBI's New York office."

Life Not Kosher for Mitnick,, August 18, 1999
"Jailed computer hacker Kevin Mitnick wants out of his current facility because it doesn't serve kosher food. Mitnick wouldn't eat for the first two days of his stay at the San Bernardino County Detention Center after being transferred there from the Los Angeles Metropolitan Detention Center. He only recently began eating the jail's vegetarian meals, which it offers as a substitute. But those meals don't meet rabbinical standards. Mitnick insists that maintaining a kosher diet is extremely important to him ... At sentencing, Mitnick's attorney failed to persuade US District Judge Marianne Pfaelzer that Mitnick serve his time at the MDC to ensure his access to kosher meals. Currently, Mitnick shares one large cell with approximately 60 other inmates, each of whom is issued a small mattress, sheet, and blanket. The cell contains one toilet and one shower, each in open view of the cell. Mitnick calls the conditions 'dehumanizing.'" [There is even a book written about Mitnick, subtitled "America's Most-Wanted Computer Outlaw." He was hunted down by the FBI].

Con Cuts Jail Time By Going to Israel,
New York Post
, December 4, 2001
"A former Sunset Park electronics dealer, extradited from Israel in a massive bank-fraud scam, plans to cut his 11-year sentence to less than half by serving his time in the Jewish state. A citizen of both the United States and Israel, Dov Engel relocated to Israel in 1997 just as the feds were catching on to his $115 million scheme. Under a 1999 extradition-treaty amendment, he can serve his sentence in that country, where fraud charges carry a maximum of five years' imprisonment. The move may also save him a bundle of cash. Brooklyn federal Judge Nina Gershon ordered Engel to pay the bank nearly $87 million following his release from prison - money he claims he doesn't have. But under current Israeli law, the restitution order is not enforceable."

18 Indicted in McDonald's Plot, Miami Herald, December 8, 2001
"Eighteen new suspects in an alleged ring to scam McDonald's out of millions of dollars were indicted in federal court Friday, including two Miami men. The latest round of indictments raises to 51 the number of people charged nationwide in the alleged conspiracy, 11 from Florida. 'Our work is not done,'' said Steve Cole, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office. 'We are continuing the investigation.'' Cole said there will be more indictments, but he could not speculate how many. Miami residents Bernard Weintraub, 43, and Adam Zucker, 54, were among those indicted Friday. Federal investigators allege that the individuals conspired to defraud McDonald's out of $20 million, by manipulating the fast-food restaurant's promotional prize contests. Jerome P. Jacobson, the director of security for Simon Marketing Inc., embezzled more than $20 million worth of winning McDonald's game pieces from his employer, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Devereaux. Authorities say Jacobson distributed the game pieces to individuals who collected the prize money or recruited others to collect the winnings. Simon Marketing was contracted by McDonald's to administer its promotional games." [See also related article below]

FBI Arrests 8 in Fraud Scheme Targeting McDonald's Game,
, August 22, 2001
"The FBI on Tuesday arrested eight people allegedly involved in a scheme to defraud the McDonald's Corp. of some $13 million by rigging several of the fast food company's promotional games since as early as 1995. The scheme -- involving friends and close-knit family members, including a husband and wife -- was initially reported by a citizen who 'came forward and roughly described a conspiracy' that was confirmed by further investigation, said acting FBI Director Thomas Pickard. Attorney General John Ashcroft said the eight suspects are charged with fixing the outcome of the contests -- including the recent 'Pick Your Prize Monopoly' game -- by controlling the distribution of the high prize values. More arrests are expected, the officials said. Ashcroft identified the ringleader of the scam as Jerome P. Jacobson, 58, known as 'Uncle Jerry,' a security official with Simon Marketing -- the Georgia-based company that McDonald's hired to run the Monopoly game. 'The complaint alleges that Jacobson provided the winning game pieces to his friends and associates who acted as recruiters,' Ashcroft said. 'These recruiters then solicited others who falsely and fraudulently represented that they were the legitimate winners of the McDonald's games.' Simon Marketing handles virtually all of McDonald's major promotions, including its 'Happy Meal' menus. Jacobson was a security officer with the firm and had been responsible for placing the winning high prize pieces into circulation since at least 1995. Prosecutors alleged that for $1 million pieces, he would charge $50,000 in cash from the "winner," often money he demanded in advance before giving over the piece. The recruiters also got a cut ... McDonald's Chairman and CEO Jack Greenberg announced the fast food chain had terminated its relationship with Simon Marketing "effective immediately."

Shoplift Rap for Winona
, New York Post, December 14, 2001
"A sticky-fingered Winona Ryder was busted for shoplifting at a ritzy Beverly Hills department store, cops said yesterday. Ryder, whose real name is Winona Laura Horowitz, tried to lift $4,760 in and clothes and accessories from Saks Fifth Avenue on Wednesday night, police said. Police treated a humiliated - but cooperative - Ryder like any common criminal, taking her fingerprints and snapping off mug shots, sources said. Ryder spent less than four hours at the Beverly Hills Police Department before she posted $20,000 bail. Cops also said Ryder, 30, was carrying painkillers that had not been prescribed for her. She was booked on suspicion of grand theft and possessing pharmaceutical drugs without a prescription."

JDL Head Arrested, Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, December 14, 2001
"Irv Rubin, national chairman of the Jewish Defense League (JDL), and a fellow member, have been charged with conspiracy to blow up Arab and Muslim targets in Southern California. Federal authorities charged at a Wednesday press conference that Rubin, 56, and Earl Krugel, 59, intended to blow up the King Fahd Mosque in Culver City, the offices of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) in the Mid-Wilshire area, and the offices of Republican Rep. Darrell Issa. Issa, whose district includes parts of San Diego and Orange counties, is an Arab American of Lebanese descent."

Two Life Terms for Road Rage Killer. Judge Calls Ex-BU Student 'Cruel and Vicious,' Boston Herald, December 22, 2001
"After labeling him a 'cruel and vicious' executioner, a judge imposed two life sentences yesterday against a former Boston University medical student convicted of murdering one man and trying to murder another to avoid paying a $118,000 road rage settlement. A Suffolk Superior Court jury deliberated only six hours before returning guilty verdicts on all six counts - including home invasion and armed assault with intent to murder - against ex-Israeli army commando Daniel Mason, 35, of Malden. Judge Christine McEvoy accepted prosecutor Joshua Wall's recommendation of the two life terms and told Mason, 'You are a destroyer and an executioner, a cruel and vicious person' ... A Dartmouth College graduate, Mason was fond of telling people at BU Medical School that he was the Israeli military equivalent of a U.S. Navy SEAL. 'I spent the first half of my life taking people apart. I want to spend the second half putting them back together,' he told a doctor at Boston Medical Center."

Ailing Slumlord Acts Like Landlord Now,
Los Angeles Times (Orange County), December 30, 2001
"Case files bulge with the bureaucratic legacy of Sam Menlo's life as a landlord: code violations, thousands of them, at rental units beset with everything from vermin and mold to wretched plumbing. With a real-estate empire spanning Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and Orange counties, Menlo has a 30-year track record of skirmishes with city and state agencies, capped last fall with a sentence to live for a time in his own filthy Anaheim complex ... Burke heard about similar problems with Menlo and his Century Quality Management in Fullerton and Los Angeles. Then, a city attorney in Pico Rivera gave Burke a bit of professional advice that changed his outlook on the case. He told Burke to research Menlo's history. And what Burke uncovered during a simple database check stunned him. Menlo was no small-time landlord without the means to fix the place up. He was an extremely wealthy man--and one continually in trouble with cities throughout the region. 'I suspected that he probably had problems,' Burke said. 'Ididn't realize that he had so many.' Menlo declined to be interviewed. But even his attorneys concede the long history of broken plumbing, moldy walls and vermin infestations at many of his holdings ... Menlo, as owner and operator of the homes, battled Los Angeles County and the state Department of Health Services for eight years during the 1970s over more than 2,000 health code violations and 78 counts of alleged criminal neglect at his nursing homes. Investigators found patients lying in beds full of excrement and urine and one patient with bedsores infested by maggots ... At synagogues and charities throughout the region, Menlo has an entirely different reputation: that of a Holocaust survivor of exceptional decency and philanthropy. In letters to the court in the Anaheim case asking for leniency, at least 10 rabbis or directors of Southern California Jewish schools, synagogues or associations enumerated Menlo's generosity. 'He's a fine man. He's just a marvelous person,' said Rabbi Yonason Denebeim of the Chabad of Palm Springs, where Menlo has donated thousands of dollars over the last 15 years. 'I wish there were more folks like him.'"

New Warning: Landlord Must Act More Like Neighbor,
Columbus Dispatch, June 14, 2001
"Landlord Stuart H. Kaplow can't just sneak into a run-down apartment on E. 9th Avenue late at night to catch a few winks, a frustrated Franklin County judge warned yesterday. In order to comply with a penalty imposed last month, Kaplow, 51, must move his property-rental business into the apartment he owns at 112 E. 9th Ave., sit on the front stoop of the building and talk with his neighbors, who also are his tenants. 'If the defendant merely sleeps there, that's not enough,' asserted Judge Richard C. Pfeiffer Jr. Pfeiffer's warning came after E. 9th residents reported that Kaplow was not complying with a May 29 order by the judge after the landlord pleaded guilty to four housing-code violations. Pfeiffer told Kaplow that he must live in one of his apartments until he fixes code violations in more than 20 of the 700 housing units he owns throughout Columbus. To comply with Pfeiffer's order, Kaplow was to move by midnight Monday from his $1.3 million home in Bexley to E. 9th, southeast of Ohio State University. But area residents reported that he did not show up at the second-floor apartment."

Stress, Depression Often Underlie 'Five Finger Discount
[Jewish] Forward, December 28, 2001
Probably the last thing you want to do when you're on the lam and facing murder charges is get caught stealing a hero sandwich. Which means the last person you probably want to be is Robert Durst, scion of one of New York's most powerful real-estate families. After seven weeks of dodging charges for a gruesome murder, Mr. Durst got himself arrested in Lehigh, Pa., earlier this month for shoplifting a $5.99 sandwich, a bandage and a newspaper, despite having $200 in his pocket and thousands more in the bank. As it turns out, Mr. Durst is not the only well-known name on the roster of shoplifters who steal for no apparent reason. Actress Winona Ryder was arrested two weeks ago for allegedly lifting $4,700 in clothes and accessories from a Beverly Hills Saks Fifth Avenue — items she could have easily afforded. Back in 1988, the former Miss America and New York City cultural affairs commissioner Bess Myerson, was arrested in Pennsylvania for lifting $40 in sundries at a drug store — when again, money was not the problem ... Rock band Jane's Addiction, fronted by alternative impresario and sometime kabbalist Perry Farrell, addressed the subject in its 1990 hit song 'Been Caught Stealing.' On the other side of the coin, shoplifting sometimes goes hand in quick-fingered hand with compulsive shopping — long a hobby among some upper-class ladies who lunch. In his 1989 novel 'I'll Take It!,'playwright and screenwriter Paul Rudnick writes about a trio of New York Jewish ladies who go on a massive expedition to outlets in New England to shop-till-they-drop and to 'shop without money' ... For example, Mr. Cupchik — who holds intervention seminars for what he calls 'atypical theft offenders' — had a wealthy patient, a Holocaust survivor, who was arrested for stealing a $15 pair of Dr. Scholl's insoles from a drug store. 'He had no reason, no excuse for the theft behavior,' he recalled. Still, as Mr. Cupchik spoke to the man about his past, he learned that the day of the theft was the 50th anniversary of his liberation from a concentration camp, when 'inmates were awakened at 3 a.m. and were forced to march, most of them without shoes, along a rock-laden rail line.' 'It was an anniversary reaction, manifested in an atypical theft behavior,' Mr. Cupchik said."

Fraudulent Friend, Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles, January 11, 2002
"The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) had accused [Reed] Slatkin of running a Ponzi scheme shortly after he filed for bankruptcy in May 2001. (A Ponzi scheme is a phony investment plan in which money provided by later investors is used to pay artificially high returns to the initial investors, with the goal of attracting as many investors as possible.) Slatkin’s alleged scheme is said to be one of the biggest cases of investment fraud in American history ... Slatkin, 52, lives in Santa Barbara. He was born Jewish but turned to the Church of Scientology when he was a teenager, eventually becoming a minister for the church, according to news reports. When Slatkin saw that he could not live off the salary he was getting as a minister, he started investing to help his family and other members of the church earn some extra money. He experienced a financial windfall in 1994 when he was asked to put up some money to help a fledgling Internet company. That Internet company was Earthlink, and Slatkin’s $75,000 investment grew to be worth more than $100 million."

Court-Free Speech: Journalist Pleads Guilty in Ohio to Impersonating Official, (Tampla, FL; from Associated Press), January 21, 2002
"A journalist pleaded guilty Jan. 14 to impersonating federal officials to get documents in the case against two Japanese scientists accused of stealing research from the Cleveland Clinic. Avi Lidgi, 27, of Thousand Oaks, Calif., falsely identified himself in three telephone calls May 17 to get a list of the government's exhibits faxed to him, the U.S. attorney's office said. Lidgi pretended to be a federal prosecutor and an assistant to a federal judge. He got the secret list from the U.S. attorney's office and a law firm representing one of the scientists, according to court documents. Lidgi faces up to three years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 when he is sentenced April 12. Lidgi was a research assistant in the Los Angeles bureau of the Tokyo-based Yomiuri Shimbun, which has more than 10 million subscribers. The newspaper issued a statement last month saying it prohibits employees from falsely identifying themselves and that the reporter acted on his own."

Casino Plan Puts Secretive Family into the Spotlight
Gambling Magazine
, 1999
"A secretive and powerful family that controls a worldwide development empire, including some of the largest and most well-known malls in North America, has quietly been acquiring an extensive real estate portfolio in the Las Vegas Valley. Beginning nearly 15 years ago, when they played a key role in developing Peccole Ranch, a quartet of Iranian-born Canadian brothers has quietly amassed some high-profile Las Vegas properties while steadfastly avoiding publicity themselves. If not for a controversial plan to develop a neighborhood casino in Spring Valley, the family probably could have kept out of the public eye. But their effort to establish a 300-room, eight-story casino in the heart of a residentially zoned area sparked protests from hundreds of nearby residents, a controversial Clark County Commission vote, a lawsuit and a state appeal panel to review that vote ... Keeping the Ghermezian name out of the newspapers has been a goal of the family for two decades; only a handful of reporters have gotten access to the family. But a few facts about the family have come to light. Brothers Nader, Eskander, Raphael and Bahman Ghermezian are the heart of the family's business interests. And the family's development efforts frequently land them in court ... Even those who know the Orthodox Jewish family -- such as Clark County Commissioner Mary Kincaid -- are surprised by the level of the brothers' investment in the Las Vegas Valley. All of those who have dealt with the family describe them as deeply private, but also intensely combative. They also are described by journalists and politicians who have dealt with the family as hard-as-nails political and legal operators. The family has been dogged by lawsuits and charges of improper influence over public officials since the 1970s, when the Canadian government called a Royal Commission -- a court of judicial inquiry -- to investigate allegations of bribes paid to Edmonton City Councilors."

Enron Staff Ran Secret Sidelines, Guardian [UK], February 4, 2002
"Senior Enron employees made millions of dollars from secret partnerships that violated basic rules of accounting and ethics, according to an internal report which seeks to shift blame for the firm's implosion away from its chief executive and directors. The 218-page report, released on Saturday night, shows that the company hid losses of $1bn (Ł700m) in the year to September 2001 - not the $586m over five years that had previously been announced. It portrays Andrew Fastow, Enron's chief financial officer until last October, as the central villain, accusing him of making personal gains of at least $30m from the off-the-book partnerships. Chief executive Kenneth Lay, the report finds, did not have full knowledge of the partnerships and was merely 'inattentive,' although he must take 'ultimate responsibility' for the energy trader's collapse."

Attorney: Enro's Fastow Not 'In Hiding'
Houston Chronicle, January 17, 2002. "Andrew Fastow, [scandal-plagued] Enron Corp.'s chief financial officer until he was replaced in late October, hasn't left the country, one of his lawyers said today. Fastow has been in Houston, though today he is in New York meeting with lawyers. 'He's here. ... He is not going anywhere,' said Houston attorney Craig Smyser. 'Andy was teaching a Hanukkah class yesterday in Houston and then he was in my office. Obviously, he tries to keep his public appearances as private as possible. He receives death threats. His family is subject to anti-semitic slurs. It doesn't behoove him to be any more visible than he has to be.' Tuesday a spokesman for the Houston Energy and Commerce Committee, which is investigating Enron and is seeking to interview Fastow, said the committee was unable to find him."

Former Enron Exec Expected to Stay Silent,
Los Angeles Times, February 7, 2002
"The last time Andrew S. Fastow got in a public brawl about money, it was with a cabdriver and concerned a 70-cent tip. The cabbie got so upset he punched Fastow in the face. This morning on Capitol Hill, Fastow will get slammed again. Members of Congress are lining up to lambaste Enron's financial genius for the utter collapse of a company worth $60 billion only a year ago. Fastow, who was subpoenaed to testify, is all but certain to stay silent, invoking his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination. He's kept quiet ever since his forced resignation from Enron at the end of October in the wake of disclosures that obscure partnerships he controlled had soured. It was an admission that led to Enron's Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing Dec. 2. If Fastow has been unwilling to explain himself, a stream of revelations is yielding a portrait. An internal Enron report released Saturday showed him bullying employees into giving his partnerships a better deal at the expense of Enron. Meanwhile, through just one partnership, Fastow converted a $25,000 investment to $4.5 million in two months. The picture that emerges is of a greedy, self-dealing executive whom others dared not cross. Friends say they find that image impossible to reconcile with the synagogue-going, happily married, stand-up guy they know. It's as though there were two Andy Fastows."

Houston Jews Quaking Over Enron Scandal,
[Jewish] Forward, February 22, 2002
"For most, the unfolding Enron scandal is a tangle of corporate deception, of private partnerships with names like Raptor and Jedi, of hidden losses, dizzyingly complex tax-evasion schemes and tense congressional hearings. For members of Houston's Jewish community, however, the scandal is something more: a potential public-relations nightmare. At its center is Andrew Fastow, Enron's chief financial officer and an active member of the fast-growing, upwardly mobile community. Publicly, community members go out of their way to dismiss concerns that Mr. Fastow's religion is part of the story. 'I don't think it is an issue,' said Lee Wunsch, executive vice president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston. Even so, Houston dinner tables are buzzing with talk. Some Houston Jews say Mr. Fastow is being singled out for blame even more than former Enron chairman Kenneth Lay and CEO Jeffrey Skilling. Others see Mr. Fastow's prominence at Enron as a sign of just how far Jews have come in an oil town where memories of anti-Jewish discrimination are still fresh. Yet even as some Jews voice concern that the media is focusing unnecessarily on Mr. Fastow's Judaism, it appears that Mr. Fastow himself has been playing the religion card by directing calls to his rabbi, who has vouched for his moral character ... .Mr. Fastow is not the only Jew in the Enron scandal. New York oil financier Robert Belfer, chairman of Belco Oil & Gas Corp., has served on Enron's board of directors since 1983. One of two Jewish board members, he is Enron's largest individual shareholder. "

A Saga of Political Influence for Sale to Big Business
San Diego Union-Tribune, February 8, 2002
"It was a darling of Wall Street, its market value soaring past that of General Motors. Its share price increased by more than 400 percent as recently as three years ago. The company's chairman and founder [Jewish mogul Gary Winnick] became a billionaire faster than anyone in U.S. history. His $60 million mansion boasts a private workspace modeled after the White House. And why not? The high-flying company spread a lot of money around Washington, lining the pockets of lawmakers from both parties. As to the company chairman himself, he personally contributed more than $1 million to the president's pet project. Alas, the once-prosperous company has fallen upon hard times, filing one of the largest bankruptcies in the annals of American business. A former officer of the company alleges that the company and its accounting firm, Andersen, cooked the financial books to mislead investors. Meanwhile, there are revelations that company insiders cashed in more than $1 billion worth of stock in recent years as the company's fortunes deteriorated. Yet, even as the company slouched toward bankruptcy, even as its share price melted down to the point that it was delisted by the New York Stock Exchange, it prevented its rank-and-file employees from selling company shares in their 401(k) retirement plan. By now, I suspect, most readers assume they know the company to which I am referring. But it is not Enron Corp., the target of multiple inquiries on Capitol Hill, the subject of saturation news coverage by the national news media. It's Global Crossing."

Global Crossing Head Under Scrutiny,
Washington Post, March 4, 2002
"John D. Rockefeller took 25 years to make his first billion. Gary Winnick needed only 18 months. Yet nearly five years after he took bold steps to create the world's most advanced fiber optic network, Winnick is at the center of a spectacular implosion of shareholder wealth. The descent of Global Crossing Ltd., of which Winnick was founder and chairman, was just as precipitous as the ride up. Losing almost $50 billion in market capital, on Jan. 28 it became the fourth-largest Chapter 11 bankruptcy on record. Winnick, 54, cashed in beforehand, selling $734 million in stock before the company hit bottom. Claiming they were duped, shareholders have filed more than two dozen lawsuits, claiming among other things that executives inflated financial results. Some people believe Winnick is trying to profit from his company's collapse. The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating Global Crossing's accounting practices. The FBI has also launched a probe ... In 1999, Winnick was named by the Los Angeles Business Journal as Los Angeles' richest man, worth an estimated $6 billion on paper. He spread the wealth around. His architect, rabbi and maid all reaped handsome gains. He also has donated or pledged more than $100 million to favorite causes. The Wiesenthal Center doesn't expect Global Crossing's troubles to interfere with Winnick's $40 million pledge to build a Jerusalem branch with his name on it."

Smart, Generous, Low-Key and Indicted in Bribery Plot, by Janny Scott,
New York Times, February 26, 2002
"There was nothing flashy about Albert Schussler, people in the real estate industry said yesterday about the 85-year-old tax consultant at the center of the city's alleged $10 million tax-assessment bribery scheme. Quite the contrary, they said; he always struck them as quiet, knowledgeable, down to earth. And generous, too. Mr. Schussler, who was indicted on Monday, was a major supporter of many Jewish charities — a past president of the American Friends of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, a director of the UJA-Federation of New York, a longtime supporter of the New Israel Fund and American Friends of the Open University of Israel."

NYC Investigators Uncover Tax Scam,
Washington Post, February 26, 2002
"In the largest tax scam in city history, more than a dozen assessors took bribes ranging from expensive meals to thousands of dollars during a 35-year scheme that cheated the city of hundreds of millions of dollars, investigators said. Seventeen people were arrested Monday and an additional defendant was expected to surrender Tuesday on charges of taking or giving more than $10 million in bribes to alter the assessed values of commercial properties. 'These folks sold their office and sold out the people of New York by taking bribes,' U.S. Attorney James Comey said. 'In doing so, they undermined a bedrock of this city's finances – a fair and honest tax assessment system.' The indictment, filed in federal court, accused the assessors of accepting bribes for at least 35 years to under-assess values of more than 500 properties worth a total of $8 billion. Lower assessments mean smaller property-tax bills for the owners ...Authorities said two individuals accused in the indictment of paying bribes to tax assessors included Albert Schussler, 85, a major property manager, owner and former longtime assessor who allegedly engaged in the plot since 1967."

Here Comes the Bribe, New York Post, February 26, 2002
"A massive payola scheme led to the indictment yesterday of 18 people - including a cadre of allegedly corrupt city assessors - on charges they ran a decades-long scam to lower property taxes for some of the biggest names in New York real estate. In one of the most sweeping conspiracies - and biggest rip-offs - in city history, authorities said, consultant Albert Schussler was charged with handing out $10 million in bribes to assessors since 1967 to get reductions in property-tax assessments on some of the city's best-known buildings ... The scandal is so far-reaching that even the building where Bloomberg's media company rents space for its headquarters - 110 E. 59th St., owned by Jack Resnick and Sons - was one of those that prosecutors said was under-assessed ... The indictment also charges Alan Edelstein - a former assessor-turned-consultant, whose brother Joel was also indicted - with bribing his former colleagues starting in July 2001."

Five Charged in $4.6M Fraud Scheme,
Bucks County Courier Times, March 8, 2002
"Five former employees of a hardware telemarketing firm, including two from Bucks County, were indicted yesterday on 19 counts of mail fraud for allegedly overbilling customers and pocketing the difference - about $4.6 million. U.S. Attorney Patrick Meehan announced the indictment against the five, all former employees of Star Maintenance Products Inc., a firm with offices in Morrisville and Southampton. Steve Pearlman of Holland, Ira Kazatsky of Northamption, Steven Brill and Joe Katz, both of Philadelphia, and Ross Ackerman of Huntingdon Valley worked as telemarketers for the maintenance supply firm. From 1993 to 1998, the men allegedly used a multitiered pricing system to overcharge customers for such items as hand tools, drill bits, nuts and bolts, the indictment says. Customers ended up being charged $6.5 million for merchandise that was actually worth about 30 percent of that."


Spam ... It's Not Just Luncheon Meat Anymore, Cyberangels (originally from New Jersey Law Journal, January 26, 1998
"One of the earliest examples of [Internet] spamming was actually done by lawyers. Laurence Canter and Martha Siegel, former practitioners in Florida, in 1994 invented 'spamming.' They advertised that they would prepare the documents for the INS lottery, which permitted non- residents of the U.S. to enter a lottery for a green card. Their advertisement was posted across the Internet. And the Internet was outraged. To understand the outrage of the Internet community, you need to understand the origins of the Internet. In 1994, roughly one year after the World Wide Web came into use, the Internet was primarily populated by academics, scientists and students. Commercialism was frowned upon and violated the terms of service for most of the Internet service providers then in existence (including the terms of service of the provider used by Canter and Siegel to spam the Internet). Many Usenet groups, inundated with the spammed message, crashed or were forced offline ... .Notwithstanding the furor caused by their spamming, in 1995 Laurence Canter and Martha Siegel published How to Make a Fortune on the Information Super Highway, a book that became the 'spamming bible' to the next generation of spammers. Inevitably, given the low cost and ease of mass mailings online, spamming caught on."

Ex-Lieberman Aide Lobbied for Enron,
Yahoo!News (from Associated Press), January 16, 2002
"Sen. Joseph Lieberman's former top aide, working as an Enron lobbyist, met three times with the senator's staff and tried unsuccessfully to arrange a meeting between Enron's chairman and Lieberman - now leading an investigation of the oil giant. Lobbyist Michael Lewan served three years as Lieberman's chief of staff and remains a political adviser, but the relationship won't affect the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee inquiry, Lieberman spokesman Dan Gerstein said Wednesday. The lobbyist and Lieberman talked from time to time 'but not about Enron,' Gerstein said. 'The senator was aware that Enron added him (Lewan) as a client.' The revelation adds to a growing list of Washington politicians whose ties to Enron have come under scrutiny in the aftermath of the jolting financial collapse of one of America's largest companies. Lieberman, the unsuccessful vice presidential candidate in 2000, was one of the first lawmakers to announce an investigation of Enron after its December bankruptcy ... Enron executives were among the largest source of donations to President Bush's campaign, and just a week before filing for bankruptcy protection the company donated $100,000 to the Senate Democrats' fund-raising committee."

Morris Fishbein, AMA Enemy of American Health,
"Dr. Morris Fishbein (1889-1976) originally studied to be a clown. Realizing he could make more money as a doctor, he entered medical school (where he failed anatomy), then barely graduated. He never treated a patient in his life. Why is he so important? Because he became head of the AMA, a position that he used to enrich himself and crush legitimate therapies out of existence. He appeared to be motivated solely by money and power. As head of the AMA (and editor of the Journal of the American Medical Association from 1924-1949), he decided which drugs could be sold to the public based only how much advertising money he could extort from drug manufacturers, whom he required to place expensive ads in the JAMA. There were no drug-testing agencies, only Fishbein. It was irrelevant if the drugs worked. Fishbein was a shakedown artist. Yet, today, there is a Morris Fishbein Center for the History of Science and Medicine at the University of Chicago."

Goldman May Face Insider Trading Charges,
Business Times (Asia), March 30, 2002
"Goldman Sachs Group Inc has been notified that the Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement staff plans to pursue a case against the third-biggest securities firm for trading Treasury bonds based on inside information, a person familiar with the case said. The agency began investigating Goldman after a consultant the firm had hired gave traders advance warning on Oct 31 that the US Treasury Department would stop selling 30-year bonds. The US$3 trillion Treasury market rallied, with the 30-year bond having its biggest one-day gain in 14 years. The SEC notification, called a Wells notice, is one of the last steps before the agency's staff asks the commission to discipline a securities firm by filing a civil lawsuit or administrative proceeding. 'It means the staff has reached a conclusion, subject to your persuading them otherwise, that your client ought to be charged with some violation of the federal securities laws,' said John Olson, senior partner at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher in Washington. A case against Goldman would be the first insider-trading bond case in memory, some lawyers said."

Ex-Candidate Admits to Second Shoplifting Citation,
KnoxNews (Tennessee), April 28, 2002
"Nashville Vice Mayor Ronnie Steine, who withdrew from the 5th District congressional race last week after admitting he shoplifted from a Target store last December, says he has been cited one other time for stealing from the same store. Steine, 46, was one of several viable candidates for the Democratic nomination in the heavily Democratic district to succeed U.S. Rep. Bob Clement, who is running for U.S. Senate. He disclosed the incident in Sunday editions of The Tennessean. The admission came two days after he told the Nashville paper that his only criminal charge, aside from minor traffic violations, was a Dec. 22, 2001, offense involving the theft of a pack of trading cards. 'I didn't tell you the complete truth (Friday),' he said in a telephone call he initiated Saturday. 'I need to tell you about it. Lord knows everyone is going to think it was intentional, and it was not.'"

"The unlikely romance between Maddux, a beautiful former cheerleader and Bryn Mawr graduate, and [Ira] Einhorn, the disheveled, local hero radical, was thought to be finally over when Maddux disappeared without a trace in September, 1977. Maddux's relatives decided to pursue their own investigation, which finally led Philadelphia police to Ira Einhorn's apartment in March 1979. Neighbors had complained for months about a terrible stench that emanated from Einhorn's floorboards. Detective Michael Chitwood led a group of policemen to a closet that Einhorn had padlocked. The gruesome discovery of Maddux's decomposed body made national headlines and sent shockwaves throughout the entire city. Einhorn, who had established himself as a respected peacemaker in the community, claimed he was framed by the CIA or FBI. As a testament to his standing in the community, he initially enlisted the legal services of future Republican Senator Arlen Specter. Specter lined up community leaders, clergymen and prominent corporate executives to testify on Einhorn's behalf at his bail hearing. Bail was set at a relatively low $40,000 and socialite Barbara Bronfman, former wife of Seagram's liquor magnate Edgar Bronfman, Sr., provided Einhorn with the $4000 bond he needed to get out of prison before trial. Friends who wanted to believe Einhorn's version of the events were shocked when he disappeared a few weeks before his trial was scheduled to begin. Investigators pursued the elusive Einhorn throughout Europe for 16 years. Einhorn was tried and convicted in absentia in 1993, yet this proceeding stalled France's willingness to extradite him after he was caught in 1997."


The Urge to Punish Cheats: Not Just Human, But Selfless,
New York Times, January 22, 2002
"Some scientists see a vivid example of humanity's evolved and deep-seated hatred of the Cheat. The Cheat is the transgressor of fair play, the violator of accepted norms, the sneak who smiles with Chiclet teeth while ladling from the community till. Human beings are elaborately, ineluctably social creatures, scientists say, and are more willing than any other species to work for the common good - to cooperate with nonkin and to help out strangers, sometimes at great cost to oneself, as the death of hundreds of rescue workers at the World Trade Center only too sadly showed. Such a readiness to trust others, to behave civilly in a crowd, to share and empathize, to play the occasional Samaritan - all the behaviors that we laud and endorse and vow to cultivate more fully in ourselves - could not have evolved without a corresponding readiness to catch, and to punish, the Cheat. Only recently have researchers realized that a willingness, even eagerness, to punish transgressors of the social compact is at least as important to the maintenance of social harmony as are regular displays of common human decency. And while the punitive urge may seem like a lowly and unsavory impulse, scientists point out that the effort to penalize cheaters is very often a selfless act. In an article titled 'Altruistic Punishment in Humans,' which appears in the Jan. 10 issue of the journal Nature, Dr. Ernst Fehr of the University of Zurich and Dr. Simon Gachter of the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland offer evidence that people will seek to punish a cheat even when the punishment is costly to them and offers no material benefit - the very definition of altruism."