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Category Archives: Victimless Crimes

Five victims rescued from online sexual exploitation – Eternity News

Posted: October 27, 2019 at 3:07 pm

Five trafficking suspects will face court in the Philippines following a series of operations earlier this month that led to the rescue of five under-age girls from sexual exploitation.

The suspects were caught offering under-age girls for sexual exploitation online in exchange for money from an online predator. The five victims rescued were aged from 14 to 17 years old.

In addition to five rescued victims, four other children were removed as at-risk for assessment to determine if they too were victimised, according to a statement from Australian Federal Police. They include a 10-month-old, an 11-month-old and two two-year-olds.

The operations were the result of referrals from the Australian Federal Police to the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Centre and supported by International Justice Mission.

Its happening because there is demand from our side as consumers. Caroly Houmes

International Justice Mission is the largest anti-trafficking organisation in the world. In an episode forEternityspodcastUndeceptions,Caroly Houmes, head of IJM in Australia, told John Dickson that cybersex trafficking is rife in places such as the Philippines and Cambodia and Australians sitting at home behind their screens are among the perpetrators.

Its happening because there is demand from our side as consumers, said Houmes.

Philippines is a country where vulnerability is high. But almost every household has access to the internet and they speak English really well. Those are two things that make it actually quite easy to commit this crime.

Houmes told Dickson that, in the past, children in the Philippines were at risk of exploitation in brothels. Sex tourism from the West has historically created real problems in the country.

But now, there is rapid growth in a whole new crime known as Online Sexual Exploitation of Children (OSEC). According to IJM, officials in the Philippines received 60,000 reports of OSEC in 2018 almost 20,000 more than the previous year.

Australian Federal Police are working with IJM as part of the Philippine Internet Crimes Against Children Centre a collective effort of law enforcement representatives from Philippines, Australia and the UK to try to prevent online exploitation of children.

This type of abuse can be even worse than being in a brothel because home is not safe. Caroly Houmes

Houmes says there is a damaging misconception that online sexual exploitation is a victimless crime or in some way less damaging than children working in brothels.

Theres this idea that, well, at least these children forced to pose naked in front of the camera might still be allowed to go to school.

But to me, this type of abuse can be even worse than being in a brothel because home is not safe. Its their own parents or neighbours people close to them making them do these things. They have to do things that their minds and their bodies cant even comprehend yet. Its real abuse.

IJM says it has supported Philippines law enforcement agencies in the arrest of 232 OSEC suspects and in the rescue of 549 victims around the country since 2011.

Erica Merrin, Acting Commander of the Australian Federal Police in South East Asia, said the recent operation that led to the rescue of five child victims and the arrest of five alleged facilitators showed the effectiveness of the collaborative approach of law enforcement with International Justice Mission.

No child should have to experience sexual exploitation and suffer the lifelong impacts of this abhorrent crime. [This] outcome shows the commitment of the AFP and our partners to combat transnational child sexual exploitation, whether the offenders and victims are in Australia or abroad.

Listen to the full episode eight of Undeceptions here: Cybersex Trafficking. Undeceptions is hosted by author and historian John Dickson and seeks to tackle common myths and misconceptions about the Christian faith.

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Iowa considers stepping backward on criminal justice reform – The Gazette

Posted: October 24, 2019 at 11:05 am

As state and federal policymakers are brainstorming ways to reduce prison populations and establish alternatives to incarceration, Iowa Auditor Rob Sand wants to go backward.

Sand is asking the Iowa Legislature to pass a bill requiring prison time for people convicted of a felony for stealing $1,000 or more of taxpayer money.

White-collar criminals frequently receive soft sentences, Sand laments, and often avoid jail time altogether. His bill would not impose mandatory minimums, but would mandate some amount of jail time, perhaps only days or weeks in some cases.

If we tell people who do this youre going to be treated like a criminal, I think we actually can deter people from doing it because theyre less likely to risk that reputational value, Sand told me in an interview last week.

I get it. Fraudsters are bad people. Bad people deserve to go to jail, or so weve been told. Most Iowans probably agree with Sands idea.

However, I challenge Iowans to reconsider the knee-jerk reaction to lock up people who do bad things. There are other ways to enforce laws and manage offenders, some of which actually work, unlike mass incarceration.

The open secret about our criminal justice system is that prison is not a great way to deter criminals. A significant body of research shows this, but people who write and enforce laws often ignore it.

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In a brief published during the Obama administration, the National Institute of Justice summarized it as such: Prisons are good for punishing criminals and keeping them off the street, but prison sentences unlikely to deter future crime.

There is relatively little research about whether short prison sentences are an effective deterrent to financial crimes like the ones Sands proposal focuses on, but given everything else we know about incarceration, we have to wonder.

In most cases, incarceration is not a strategy to prevent future crimes or physically restrain people who are imminent threats to others. Its a tool to satisfy our desire for vengeance.

Tough-on-crime policymaking has been a disaster, making the United States the world leader in incarceration. There are an estimated 2.2 million people in American prisons and jails, a 500 percent increase over the last 40 years, according to the Sentencing Project.

It cannot be the case that Americans are simply more criminal than other people. This is a systematic problem.

Encouragingly, Americans are evolving on the issues of crime and punishment. There is an emerging consensus that mandatory sentences are bad, and that imprisoning people has negative unintended consequences on society.

I admit it is difficult to get too worked up about thieves serving short jail sentences for stealing taxpayer money at a moment when we know peaceful people have been sent away for decades for victimless crimes.

We must recognize that jailing people who deserve it does not set free the people who dont. Quite the opposite, new sentencing mandates will grow and embolden the incarceration state, tightening its grip on current victims and claiming new ones.

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The movement to radically diminish the role of incarceration got national attention this month following the sentencing of Amber Guyger, a Texas police officer convicted of murdering a black man in his own apartment last year.

Many Americans were rightly frustrated that Guygers 10-year sentence seemed out of line with punishments handed down to people of color who have committed far less serious crimes.

In an essay published in the Appeal, lawyer and justice reformer Elisabeth Epps made the case that Guyger should be held accountable in some form, but not in a jail cell.

Abolitionists want and work to create a world where prisons need not exist. A necessary step in abolishing prisons, a prerequisite to ending mass incarceration, is stopping the inhumane practice of keeping people in cages even people like killer cop Guyger. Why?

Because people do not belong in cages, Epps wrote.

We have other tools besides cages. There are promising models for restorative and rehabilitative justice that seek to right whats wrong, rather than simply building more jail cells that we cant afford.

Prison abolition is a radical movement, but one whose vision a world where prisons need not exist we all should embrace.

We cant close the prisons tomorrow. But we can stop passing new laws to mandate prison time.

Comments: (319) 339-3156; adam.sullivan@thegazette.com

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Congress puts heat on Saudis for helping fugitives flee country – Al-Monitor

Posted: at 11:05 am

Congress is drawing up legislation to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for allegedly whisking its citizens out of the United States after they run afoul of the criminal justice system, some of whom are wanted for manslaughter, rape and child pornography.

The Senate on Thursday unanimously passed theSaudi Fugitive Declassification Act, the latest legislative salvo targeting the kingdom as it continues to hemorrhage credibility on Capitol Hill.

The bill, introduced by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., would require the FBI to declassify any and all information regarding Saudi efforts to extricate their citizens while they were awaiting trial or sentencing for a criminal offense committed in the United States.

These are not academic matters, and this is not about a series of victimless crimes, Wyden said on the Senate floor shortly before his bill passed. When individuals charged with egregious, violent crimes manage to escape and when the United States government fails to do much of anything about it it undermines public safety and harms the US justice system.

Assuming the bill also passes the House with a veto-proof majority, the FBI declassification could prompt Congress to pass harsher legislation cracking down on Riyadh for allegedly spiriting Saudi students charged with serious crimes out of the United States.

Wyden and his fellow Oregon Democrat, Sen. Jeff Merkley, first introduced a series of harsher bills earlier this year afterThe Oregonianpublished a series of reports outlining Riyadhs suspected role in helping at least 25 Saudi suspects flee the United States and Canada.

The Oregonians investigation began after a Saudi college student allegedly killed 15-year-old Fallon Smart in a hit-and-run incident. The Saudi consulate in Los Angeles provided the student,AbdulrahamSameer Noorah, with private defense attorneys and posted $100,000 for his bail. After his release on bail, Noorah sliced off his ankle tracking monitor, obtained a fake passport and reemerged in Saudi Arabia after fleeing the country on a private jet.

The Department of Homeland Security suspects that Riyadh facilitated the escape of Noorah and several other suspects, including seven in Oregon alone. Lawmakers believe that Saudi Arabias Los Angeles consulate has coordinated the escape of several other suspects.

The Oregon suspects includeAli Hussain Alhamoud and Abdulaziz Al Duways on rape charges, Suliman Ali Algwaiz for striking a homeless man with his car and Waleed Ali Alharthi on child sex abuse charges. Saudi Arabia has also allegedly removed suspects wanted in Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Utah, Washington and Wisconsin.

Should the Justice Department provide information on the cases, Wyden and Merkley could move forward with harsher legislation.

WydensPreserving American Justice Actwould ban visas for descendants of King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud as well as members of Saudi Arabias Council of Ministers and their immediate family members until Riyadh extradites the suspects to the United States. It would also remove US tax exemptions for the Saudi sovereign wealth fund as long as Riyadh continues helping suspects flee.

For his part, Merkley succeeded in adding a provision to the annual State Department funding bill in September that would require Attorney General William Barr and Acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire to report to Congress on the role Saudi diplomats have played in removing suspects from the United States.

And MerkleysEscape of Saudi Nationals Actwould shut down Saudi Arabias Los Angeles consulate unless it expels any diplomats involved in helping the suspects flee. Upon introducing the bill, Merkley likened the consulates flaunting of diplomatic norms to Saudi Arabias assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at its Istanbul consulate.

In fact, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman James Risch, R-Idaho, included Merkleys Escape of Saudi Nationals Act in a bill that would have sanctioned Saudi Arabia for the Khashoggi murder. However, Risch withdrewthe White House-backed billafter committee members amended the legislation with more stringent sanctions that had drawn a veto threat from President Donald Trump.

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The persistent problem of hazing – Yellowhammer News – Yellowhammer News

Posted: at 11:05 am

Two Troy University fraternities were recently suspended for hazing, which is a recurring problem at our nations colleges. According to Wikipedia, 20 college students have died in hazing incidents this decade. Economics can offer insight into how initiation rituals help build groups and why hazing persists.

In addition to fraternities and sororities, bands, sports teams, firefighters, and military units have all had abusive initiations exposed. Economists would hope that our insights will apply across different groups.

Economics distinguishes between positive and normative analysis. Positive analysis focuses on factual questions, cause and effect, and how things work. Normative economics deals with questions about what should be.

My discussion is positive. Personally I did not join a fraternity and consider initiation rituals ridiculous. Economists focus on understanding practices in society without imposing personal biases. We should understand what rituals do before we possibly ban hazing.

Enduring initiation signals a new members commitment to a groups cause or purpose. Initiation differs from training. Training develops skills used in group tasks; initiation generally does not. Demanding training can cause many applicants to drop out, similar to initiation.

What types of groups benefit from making prospective members signal commitment? Ones where the group experience or its performance depends on members actions and effort, and where the valued types of effort are difficult to describe. Fires and coworkers carelessness can put firefighters in grave danger. Firefighters need to have each others backs, and in ways that go beyond training protocols. Initiation signals this willingness.

Initiation screens prospective members. Sometimes a group can enroll all applicants and boot those failing to perform. Natural limits on group size make signaling more valuable. Only eleven players play football at once, only so many firefighters ride on a truck, and an exclusive fraternity or sorority cannot admit everyone.

Signaling also generates value when other ways of screening fail to identify high quality applicants. The inability of resumes, interviews, and background checks to identify the best potential members makes signaling more important.

An action works as a signal when only outstanding potential members willingly take the action. That is, a good signal separates the prospective great members from others. Many things serve as signals in life; I recently wrote about Professor Bryan Caplans book on higher education as a signal.

Economic models of signaling reveal an unpleasant truth: a signal is valuable because it is costly. Initiation rituals consequently must be unpleasant or humiliating. A pleasurable initiation would not deter any would-be members.

Initiation likely persists because it helps sustain cohesive groups. Yet even if hazing works, alternatives may exist. Perhaps a less costly signal could still separate the prospective good and bad members. The initiation could be less demeaning and dangerous and not cross the line into hazing and still help a fraternity or fire department function effectively.

Human emotions can make initiations unnecessarily dangerous or persist when no longer needed. Turnabout may not be fair play, but is a natural reaction after we undergo a trial. Rituals may not be precise and are carried out by members with imperfect memories. Members may believe they endured worse abuse than occurred and unintentionally push exercise and drinking into hazing.

Economics also suggests that preventing hazing will be difficult. A cooperative victim greatly facilitates criminal prosecutions. Normally crime victims want their attacker punished. Prosecuting victimless crimes like drugs or gambling is difficult because all parties voluntarily participate; few gamblers want their bookie arrested and put out of business.

Young men and women choose to join fraternities and sororities and undergo initiation. Pledges will be reluctant to report hazing, even with websites and hazing hotlines. And illegality serves as a further barrier to reporting; a fraternity member risks punishment when reporting an initiation that went too far.

Should initiations be done away with as a relic of the past? Perhaps, but we should recognize that they play a role in building valued groups in society. We should constantly assess if safer initiations can serve the signaling function.

Daniel Sutter is the Charles G. Koch Professor of Economics with the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy at Troy University and host of Econversations on TrojanVision. The opinions expressed in this column are the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Troy University.

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Lori Loughlin Charged With ANOTHER Crime As Daughters Chill Out At Jonas Brothers Concert! – PerezHilton.com

Posted: at 11:05 am

Prosecutors are NOT willing to letLori Loughlin off the hook so easily.

Earlier, we heard theFull House stars chances of getting a late game plea deal had gone up thanks to a departmental dispute.

She and fashion designer hubbyMossimo Giannulli were arrested as part of the infamous Operation Varsity Blues and accused of bribing USC officials $500,000 to get their daughters fraudulently put on the crew team (despite the fact neither rowed) to ensure their conditional acceptance to the college.

The couple pleaded not guilty, but with their acknowledgement of the crimes caught on audio recording and others involved having already confessed and pled guilty, the case seems like a slam dunk.

However, insiders said prosecutors were worried after theprobation departments sentencing report of fellow college admissions scandal participantFelicity Huffman, which judged the crime to be victimless.

Related:Alec Baldwin Doesnt Think Felicity Or Lori Should Serve Jail Time!

Considering colleges only admit a certain number of students every year, cheating your way into those opportunities definitely knocks innocent people off the list, but OK. Lets say enough people think this way. Does it mean Lori is more likely to win her trial? Or to face an incredibly light sentence if she is found guilty?

Well, it turns out prosecutors are open to a plea deal, but theyre coming at it from a position of strength they just hit the Giannulllis with yet ANOTHER new charge to go along with mail fraud and money laundering.

The US Attorney out of Boston just charged 11 of the 15 parents who had pleaded not guilty with a new crime: federal program bribery.

The bribery chargecarries a max 5-year sentence btw, bringing Lori and Mossimos possible sentence to an intimidating 45 years.

Apparently the families were all given the heads up. They had a chance to reverse their pleas or else they would face even more charges, and four of the parents took deals.

(Some of the athletic officials involved were also hit by the bribery charges, as well asnew fraud conspiracy charges. The prosecutors are NOT messing around.)

However, since Lori and Moss chose not to fold under the threat of another charge, they likely wont take a plea deal at all. They vowed to fight this and they apparently still plan to.

So how are the girls taking all this? You know, the beneficiaries of all the alleged crimes,Olivia Jade andIsabella Giannulli?

Theyre still living their best lives following officially cutting ties from USC; on Monday night they went to see theJonas Brothers!

The infamous young women were spotted at the concert sharing a 4-seat box with with two girlfriends. Olivias on-again boyfriendJackson Guthy was in a nearby box with three other guys.

According to witnesses spilling toET, the couple met in the middle for a big kiss whenNick Jonas sangJealous!

Awwww. How romantic! Its like all the criminal charges and lifelong ignominy just melt away

[Image viaAdriana M. Barraza/WENN/Olivia Jade/Instagram.]

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Lori Loughlin Charged With ANOTHER Crime As Daughters Chill Out At Jonas Brothers Concert! - PerezHilton.com

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Helping Reduce the Human Cost of Cannabis Prohibition in Georgia – Ladybud Magazine

Posted: October 8, 2019 at 4:42 pm

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Peachtree NORML, which operates out of Georgia, is helping to raise funds for expungement and reform efforts through Reform Georgia. Expungement efforts are critical because the criminal process for cannabis offenders often isnt very fair, and the consequences of a victimless crime can last a lifetime.

The more you know about cannabis, the more obvious it is that the most dangerous thing you can do with this popular plant is get caught by law enforcement with it in the wrong state. Because cannabis crimes have been such a massive source of civil asset forfeiture funds federal law enforcement funding, police officers who could be solving rapes, murders, and other violent crimes are instead knocking down the doors of people accused of possessing small amounts of a plant.

Sharon Ravert is the founding director of Peachtree NORML. Shes also felt the effects of the War on Drugs close to home when her daughter, Brittany, became the target of local police. The story of Brittany is one that combines the abuses of the War on Drugs with a shocking lack of perspective from both the law enforcement officers involved and the prosecutor who handled the case.

Brittany was a college hopeful when she went to bed. Unfortunately for her, the Lumpkin County Sherrifs Department showed up at her home that night in a military-style raid. She reports that they pulled her out of her bed by her hair while threatening her with a firearm before they marched her up into the living room while officers, including a man she had previously dated, went through her personal belongings and even her underwear. In the end, all they found was about one-and-a-half grams of cannabis. Still, they charged her with misdemeanor possession, felony distribution, and felony manufacturing charges for that one little bag of weed.

Overall, the sentences associated with those penalties could have resulted in 26 years in prison for young Brittany, and her family had to empty her college savings to help her fight them. Many others also find that the charges they face are so exaggerated and carry such a long sentence that they dont dare do anything but plead guilty, resulting in a criminal record that can haunt them forever.

While legalization and medical cannabis laws have changed the experiences of some people, there are still many others left vulnerable by draconian prohibition laws. In addition to pushing for legalization, it is also important that activists remember the need to expunge the records of those who became victims of the War on Drugs.

Organizations like Peachtree NORML and Reform Georgia are helping push for change in states that dont have good cannabis policies. Donating or helping them by spreading the word can help them undo the harm caused by years of prohibition.

Peachtree NORML, which operates out of Georgia, is helping to raise funds for expungement and reform efforts through Reform Georgia. https://www.facebook.com/ReformGeorgia. Expungement efforts are critical because the criminal process for cannabis offenders often isnt very fair, and the consequences of a victimless crime can last a lifetime.

The more you know about cannabis, the more obvious it is that the most dangerous thing you can do with this popular plant is get caught by law enforcement with it in the wrong state. Because cannabis crimes have been such a massive source of civil asset forfeiture funds federal law enforcement funding, police officers who could be solving rapes, murders, and other violent crimes are instead knocking down the doors of people accused of possessing small amounts of a plant.

Sharon Ravert is the founding director of Peachtree NORML. Shes also felt the effects of the War on Drugs close to home when her daughter, Brittany, became the target of local police. The story of Brittany is one that combines the abuses of the War on Drugs with a shocking lack of perspective from both the law enforcement officers involved and the prosecutor who handled the case.

Brittany was a college hopeful when she went to bed. Unfortunately for her, the Lumpkin County Sherrifs Department showed up at her home that night in a military-style raid. She reports that they pulled her out of her bed by her hair while threatening her with a firearm before they marched her up into the living room while officers, including a man she had previously dated, went through her personal belongings and even her underwear. In the end, all they found was about one-and-a-half grams of cannabis. Still, they charged her with misdemeanor possession, felony distribution, and felony manufacturing charges for that one little bag of weed.

Overall, the sentences associated with those penalties could have resulted in 26 years in prison for young Brittany, and her family had to empty her college savings to help her fight them. Many others also find that the charges they face are so exaggerated and carry such a long sentence that they dont dare do anything but plead guilty, resulting in a criminal record that can haunt them forever.

While legalization and medical cannabis laws have changed the experiences of some people, there are still many others left vulnerable by draconian prohibition laws. In addition to pushing for legalization, it is also important that activists remember the need to expunge the records of those who became victims of the War on Drugs.

Organizations like Peachtree NORML and Reform Georgia are helping push for change in states that dont have good cannabis policies. While national expungement week may be over, the fight continues all year. Donating or helping them by spreading the word can help them undo the harm caused by years of prohibition.

For previous Ladybud articles about police raids, click here.

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Operators Join Forces With Law Enforcement, Driving Down ATM … – Vending Times

Posted: August 20, 2017 at 6:43 pm

NEW YORK CITY -- By 2013, the Big Apple's ATM operators were in crisis. According to industry sources, an estimated four to five automated teller machines fell victim to robberies once a week. That number would often jump to multiple robberies a day. As overall crime decreased to record lows in New York City, robberies of ATMs were incongruously soaring to new heights. Even for the city that never sleeps, this was a profoundly distressing pattern.

Jim Shrayef of Everything ATM (Brooklyn, NY) told Vending Times that the robberies took various forms. These included simply removing a freestanding ATM, using a handtruck, from a location during business hours, to well-coordinated efforts that saw machines yanked out of locations with a chain or rope. In several instances, the criminals attacked closed stores, breaking in with the specific purpose of robbing the ATM. Most disturbing, he said, were robberies of route personnel filling machines. Aside from the robberies, there was also a fair amount of vandalism taking place.

Shrayef operates equipment through Everything ATM, which also provides consulting services and support material to those entering the cash machine field. He found the stealing and crime situation particularly alarming. "These were not random attacks, and this was not stealing lunch money," he said. "They were specialized criminals who saw ATMs as easy targets."

Local police were initially less than responsive in the face of the crime wave, often only taking a report without a follow-up investigation. Sometimes suspicion would fall on the ATM operator or location owner. Part of the problem was the age-old view among law enforcement and the general public that ATM robberies, like those of vending machines, were so-called "victimless crimes." As such, they were given low priority status.

The solution came when Shrayef began organizing independent operators to address the problem. Forming the Northeast Regional ATM Association, which unified ATM deployers from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. The concept behind the new association was not only to create a means of sharing information, but also to offer a way to lobby locally.

A first step for the new association was to educate ATM operators in best practices when it came to safety and security. This begins with identifying suspicious behavior and obtaining details of a robbery. The regional organization, which works osely with the much larger National ATM Council, also began lobbying the New York Police Department, eventually landing meetings with community affairs officers

Calling All Cars

Shrayef recalled that the initial meetings with the New York Police Department were often less than pleasant. "We thought it was going to be just a formality," he said. "And some of the operators made angry comments to the officers. However, our complaints worked their way up to Police Commissioner William Bratton, and he lent an ear. He actually sent people out to do some fact finding."

Bratton's investigation discovered what equipment owners and operators had long suspected: ATM robberies were not random. Neither were they "inside jobs" committed by operators or storeowners. They were the work of organized criminal gangs operating throughout New York City's five boroughs.

"Commissioner Bratton took the time to hear what we had to say," Shrayef said. "And he understood how dangerous it was. He understood how our industry is necessary to neighborhoods underserved by banks." In many New York neighborhoods, an ATM that goes out of service at the local grocery store can prove disruptive for the storeowner and the community at large. The ATM crime spree represented a quality of life issue.

A police taskforce was formed that soon led to arrests. Robbery incidents of ATMs began to drop quickly once the NYPD took action and allocated resources to the problem. "After some arrests were made, it was clear these were gangs that had knowledge of the industry," Shrayef explained. "The criminals also realized the police were on to them, and they were taking a major risk by robbing ATMs. Within a year, there was a marked drop from the height of 2013, and within two years a major improvement."

Present incidents of ATM robberies, as Shrayef reported, have dropped dramatically from the 2013 highs of several a week to one or two a month throughout the city. "Some months have been completely robbery free," he added.

While Bratton may have left office in 2016, his successor, Commissioner James O'Neill, has kept up the proactive approach that has seen ATM robberies drop to new low levels that reflect the city's historic low crime rate. And all it took was a group of dedicated operators who wanted their voices heard.

TEAMWORK CONTINUES: George Sarantopoulos (l.), chairman of the National ATM Council, Jim Shrayef (second from l.), president of the Northeast Regional ATM Association, and Danny Frank (r.), NRATMA's executive director, meet with NYPD Commissioner James O'Neill, who succeeded Bill Bratton last year.

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New police chief appointed in Middletown – Middletown Transcript

Posted: at 6:43 pm

By Christopher Kersey

chris.kersey@doverpost.com

Michael Iglio is Middletowns newest police chief, capping almost 20 years in law enforcement.

In his new position, he plans to work on the drug problem, certify the department with national standards, and work with local communities about policing.

Middletown Mayor and Town Council on Monday, Aug. 7, appointed Iglio as police chief, replacing Daniel Yeager, who retired after a 40-year policing career.

Iglio, who was promoted from captain to chief, sat down for an interview on Aug. 11, which was his first official day as police chief and Yeagers last day.

Originally from Long Island, N.Y., Iglio began his career with the New Castle County Police and then joined Middletown Police Department on Oct. 1, 2007, which was the same time frame as when the department started.

Middletown has 34 police officers, up exponentially from the 20 when the department was re-started in 2007.

The department grew, he said, because of residential and commercial growth and annexation in both types of development.

Over the past couple years, calls for police assistance have been steady, but weve seen an increase in heroin use and overdoses, he said. Drugs are the biggest problem when it comes to crime in the town, he added.

Drug addiction fuels many different types of crime [like] property crime such as theft from motor vehicles, burglaries, persons-related crimes such as robberies, and, of course, you have your shoplifters, he said.

Enforcement alone wont solve the drug problem, he said, but hopefully the departments new angel program will help.

As announced by the previous police chief, the angel program allows people, who have a drug addiction and are taken into police custody for victimless crimes, to opt for a treatment program and the charge is eventually dropped.

So, we are hoping that aspect of the solution to this problem will also help in addition to the fact we carry Narcan, he said. Narcan is medication administered to victims of an overdose.

Middletown police dont have anyone in the schools right now, but the department will hopefully be involved next summer with the Youth Academy, a two-week leadership school, held in partnership with the Southern New Castle County Communities Coalition.

The Youth Academy focuses on life skills, including vocational, social and substance abuse issues, he said.

On another issue, the department is in the middle of accreditation with the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), whose purpose is to improve law enforcement service by creating a national body of standards developed by law enforcement professionals.

Officials from CALEA will review departmental procedures and ride-a-long with police officials to ensure those national standards are adhered to.

For example, when involved in certain crimes, we have a written procedure that must be followed. They will come in and inspect those policies to make sure we are adhering to those policies, he said.

On a personal note, Iglio has a bachelors degree, two masters degrees and recently graduated from Northwestern University School of Public Safetys course in police staff and command.

His career started with New Castle County Police where he served almost 10 years. He started with Middletown police as a K-9 officer in 2007 and gradually moved up in rank.

I never expected to be in this [chief] position, but Im ecstatic that mayor and council chose me to lead this department and I will dedicate myself to ensuring the continued explementary service to the community, he said.

The Middletown Police Department was established on July 2, 2007, with the approval of mayor and council after previously paying New Castle County to patrol the town.

Town officials broke ground on a new 20,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art police station on March 25, 2008, which had its grand opening on Feb. 28, 2009. The police station is located at 130 Hampden Road, Middletown.

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Shipyard repays $9.2M to US government to settle overbilling – Sacramento Bee

Posted: at 6:42 pm


The Sun Herald
Shipyard repays $9.2M to US government to settle overbilling
Sacramento Bee
"Corruption, fraud and bribery are not victimless crimes," Mike Wiest, special agent in charge of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service Southeast Field Office, said in a statement. "Overcharging for work not done is not only criminal on its face ...
Whistleblower Receives $1.6m in HII SettlementThe Maritime Executive

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Beware at the pump: Black market fuel is making millions – Waco Tribune-Herald

Posted: August 13, 2017 at 2:41 am

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. A black market for diesel and gasoline has rapidly spread around the nation, with organized crime gangs using fraudulent credit cards to syphon millions of dollars in fuel from gas stations into large tanks hidden inside pickup trucks and vans.

Stealing fuel can be less risky than selling drugs or other illegal endeavors, and criminals can make $1,000 or more a day re-selling the stolen fuel at construction sites and unscrupulous gas stations, or to truckers looking to cut costs, investigators and industry experts say.

Its pretty rampant, said Owen DeWitt, whose Texas-based company, Know Control, focuses solely on helping gas stations prevent fuel theft. He said the crime is worst along Interstate 10, from Jacksonville, Fla., to the Los Angeles area. California and Florida are the two worst; Texas is No. 3.

Black market diesel started becoming a big business when credit card skimmers became more prevalent around 2006, DeWitt said. Thieves install these devices at gas station pumps, where they record card information as unsuspecting customers fuel up. The information is later transferred to a magnetic strip on a counterfeit card. The problem has only grown as the devices become more sophisticated.

The black market has grown quickly in part because the thefts total a few hundred dollars at a time, and prosecutors were slow to prioritize them.

Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Adam Putnams department takes the lead on prosecuting these crimes in Florida. He said they used to be considered a victimless crime, and yet they were making more money doing this than a lot of other criminal activities that had a lot higher sentences.

The U.S. Secret Service, which investigates financial crimes, is involved because the gangs use credit card skimmers. Agent Steve Scarince says Miami, Los Angeles and Las Vegas are hot spots, together accounting for about 20 million gallons a year in stolen diesel.

The crews that weve investigated over the past couple of years the least profitable group is $5 million a year. And then there are groups that will gross $20 million plus, Scarince said. The gang-bangers in Los Angeles have been migrating to financial crimes instead of street crimes because its much more profitable and if you get caught, you get probation.

Agents in the Los Angeles area surveilled a group with seven pickup trucks and SUVs with hidden fuel tanks holding up to 300 gallons each. For 10 months, they observed drivers using credit card information stolen from about 900 people to fill up three times a day. They transferred the diesel into a 4,500-gallon industrial fuel tanker that made daily runs to sell the fuel to gas stations.

Agents estimated they stole close to $16,000 in fuel every day, with the potential to steal $7 million a year. Records indicated it was in operation for about five years before agents shut it down.

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Beware at the pump: Black market fuel is making millions - Waco Tribune-Herald

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