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SO META: Here Are the Mugshots of the Guys Who Allegedly Run Mugshots.com (And Why They Were Booked)

The AG’s statement claims that Mugshots.com owners got $64,000 from about 175 people with billing addressed in the state. That’s over a three-year period. Of course, that falls way, way short of how much they raked nationwide: The four got over $2 million in “de-publishing” fees from 5,703 people.

 reports: The alleged owners of Mugshots.com have been charged and arrested. These four men–Sahar Sarid, Kishore Vidya Bhavnanie, Thomas Keesee, and David Usdan–only removed a person’s mugshot from the site if this individual paid a “de-publishing” fee, according to the California Attorney General on Wednesday. That’s apparently considered extortion. On top of that, they also face charges for money laundering, and identity theft.

“This pay-for-removal scheme attempts to profit off of someone else’s humiliation.”

If you read a lot of articles about crime, then you’re probably already familiar with the site (which is still up as of Friday afternoon). They take mugshots, slap the url multiple times on the image, and post it on the site alongside an excerpt from a news outlet that covered the person’s arrest.

“Those who can’t afford to pay into this scheme to have their information removed pay the price when they look for a job, housing, or try to build relationships with others. This is exploitation, plain and simple.”

— Attorney General Xavier Becerra

According to the AG’s office, the owners would only remove the mugshots if the person paid a fee, even if the charges were dismissed or if the suspect was only arrested because of “mistaken identity or law enforcement error.”

You can read the affidavit here.

According to the complaint, a man identified as Jesse T. tried to have his mugshot removed. A friend had reached out to him, concerned he might be prison. T. discovered that his arrest information from Sept. 2, 2013 was posted on the site. It had his full name, address, gender, and the charge he was arrested for. He went to the link to get rid of the mugshot–unpublisharrest.com–but they demanded a $399 fee. He got in touch with the 800 number listed on the site, and when the man on the phone told him he needed to pay the fee, T. said that was illegal.

[Read the full story here, at Law & Crime]

“The man laughed and hung up,” the affidavit said. The man hung up again when T. tried calling back to say he had proof clearing him of the charges. T. tried calling again three times on July 23, 2016. It went to a recording every time. After that, he got an unlisted call on his home phone, and he turned on a recorder before answering, the affidavit said. T. played the following message for investigators [sic, as written in the affidavit; his name is alternately spelled “Jesse” and “Jessie” in the document]:

Jessie T.: Hello

Unknown Male: -this third time tell you fucking bitch we’ll never answer your calls again you’ve been permanently published faggot bitch.

Jessie T.: Hey I’d like my stuff removed.

Call ended.

Records cited by the affidavit showed that T. was only detained by cops, but his case was dropped due to lack of evidence. Even so, the damage was done. The incident was treated as “detention only.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Sessions Orders Dept of Justice to Review Obama Admin’s Hinky Hezbollah Pass

Project Cassandra leaders, who were working out of a DEA facility in Chantilly, Virginia, sought approval for some significant investigations, prosecutions, arrests and financial sanctions, Obama Justice and Treasury Department officials delayed, hindered or rejected their requests.

Alex Pappas reports: Attorney General Jeff Sessions is launching a review of a law enforcement initiative called Project Cassandra after an investigative report was published this week claiming the Obama administration gave a free pass to Hezbollah’s drug-trafficking and money-laundering operations to help ensure the Iran nuclear deal would stay on track.

The Justice Department said in a statement to Fox News that Sessions on Friday directed a review of prior Drug Enforcement Administration investigations “to evaluate allegations that certain matters were not properly prosecuted and to ensure all matters are appropriately handled.”

“While I am hopeful that there were no barriers constructed by the last administration to allowing DEA agents to fully bring all appropriate cases under Project Cassandra, this is a significant issue for the protection of Americans,” Sessions said in a written statement. “We will review these matters and give full support to investigations of violent drug trafficking organizations.”

According to a bombshell exposé in Politico on Sunday, an elaborate campaign led by the Drug Enforcement Administration, known as Project Cassandra, targeted the Lebanese militant group’s criminal activities.

“We will review these matters and give full support to investigations of violent drug trafficking organizations.”

– Attorney General Jeff Sessions

But when Project Cassandra leaders, who were working out of a DEA facility in Chantilly, Virginia, sought approval for some significant investigations, prosecutions, arrests and financial sanctions, Obama Justice and Treasury Department officials delayed, hindered or rejected their requests, according to Politico. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Krauthammer: It’s Obvious Obama ‘Did Not Want Anybody to Know’ About Iran Ransom

Arguing that the Obama administration is affected by the Iran payment, Charles Krauthammer said that the information as well as how it came to light are humiliating.

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Jury Convicts Raymond ‘Shrimp Boy’ Chow in Chinatown Racketeering, Murder Case

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Prosecutors said Chow ordered the slaying of the head of a Chinese fraternal organization with criminal ties that Chow then took over. They also charged him with conspiracy to murder another rival.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) —  Sudhin Thanawala reports: A jury convicted a key defendant Friday of racketeering, murder and scores of other counts after a years-long federal undercover investigation centered in the Chinatown district of San Francisco that also ensnared a California state senator.

“Investigators say Chow used the organization as a front for drug trafficking, money laundering and the sale of stolen cigarettes and alcohol. He was convicted of all 162 counts against him, most of which involved money laundering and theft.”

Defendant Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow, in a black sports coat and tie, stared straight ahead and showed no reaction as the verdicts were announced. He could face life in prison during his March 23 sentencing.

Defense attorneys said they plan an appeal, claiming Senior District Judge Charles Breyer unfairly limited their case by refusing to let a number of witnesses testify and did not appear to be paying attention during the trial. Breyer did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Defense attorney J. Tony Serra said Chow was “noble in his acceptance of defeat” and told his attorneys they would prevail in the next round.

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“The agent, who testified under a false name, said he wined and dined Chow and his associates for years. Chow willingly accepted envelopes stuffed with thousands of dollars in cash for setting up various crimes, including illegal liquor and tobacco sales.”

Prosecutors said Chow ordered the slaying of the head of a Chinese fraternal organization with criminal ties that Chow then took over. They also charged him with conspiracy to murder another rival.

Investigators say Chow used the organization as a front for drug trafficking, money laundering and the sale of stolen cigarettes and alcohol. He was convicted of all 162 counts against him, most of which involved money laundering and theft.

[Read the full story here, at The Seattle Times]

The prosecution’s main witness against Chow was an undercover FBI agent who posed as a foul-mouthed East Coast businessman with mafia ties while infiltrating Chow’s organization.

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The agent, who testified under a false name, said he wined and dined Chow and his associates for years. Chow willingly accepted envelopes stuffed with thousands of dollars in cash for setting up various crimes, including illegal liquor and tobacco sales, the agent said. Read the rest of this entry »


[BOOKS] Now In Paperback: Hillary Clinton is ‘Payola Woman: The Intimate Inside Story of a Woman’s Fight for Stardom’

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FOOD STAMP BANDIT! Prosecutors: Illinois Man Stole $1 Million via Food-Assistance Cards

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BURBANK — Prosecutors say a southwest suburban Chicago man used more than 3,000 Link cards to steal almost $1 million in government funds by purchasing energy drinks and candy and then reselling them.

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The Chicago Tribune reported that 46-year-old Wael Ghosheh has been charged with theft of government property, identity theft, money laundering and unauthorized use of food stamp benefits, and wire fraud.

He’s being held in Cook County Jail after appearances Wednesday and Thursday at the Leighton Criminal Court Building.

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Officials say Ghosheh used multiple Link cards, which provide federal funding to low-income individuals for nutrition assistance, to make large-volume purchases at a store, which alerted law enforcement. Read the rest of this entry »


The Usual Suspects: Putin Critic Alexei Navalny and Brother ‘Found Guilty’ of Fraud

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MOSCOW, Dec. 30 (UPI) — Prominent Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny and his brother, Oleg, were found guilty of fraud and sentenced Tuesday.

The Navalny brothers were found guilty of embezzling 26.7 million rubles ($470,000) from cosmeticsupi_RUSSIAN-ELECTION company Yves Rocher Vostok and stealing more than 4.4 million rubles ($80,000) from a processing company between 2008 and 2013.

Critics have called the charges politically motivated. Alexei, an anti-corruption blogger and critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has maintained his innocence.

The judge on Tuesday gave Alexei a suspended sentence of three years and six months while Oleg was sentenced to prison for the same amount of time.

Alexei yelled angrily as the sentence against his brother was read in the courtroom.

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The brothers were also ordered to pay a fine of more than 4 million rubles ($70,000) to the Multi-Profile Processing Company. Read the rest of this entry »


Corrupt Apple Executive Sentenced to a Year in Prison

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A former Apple executive who sold some of the iPhone maker’s secrets to suppliers will serve a year in prison and repay $4.5 million for his crimes.

Paul S. Devine was sentenced in San Jose federal court earlier this week, more than three years after he pleaded guilty to wire fraud, conspiracy and money laundering.

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The U.S. Attorney’s office announced Devine’s penalty Friday, but declined to explain the reason for the lengthy delay in his sentencing.

Devine faced up to 20 years in prison. Read the rest of this entry »