Millions wasted on worthless polygraph tests
When an applicant for a job as a customs inspector or border patrol agent admits to a past criminal record, you’d think that would be a deal breaker for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. But, apparently not. A surprising report from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General discloses that CBP wasted more than $5 million for polygraph tests of applicants whose admissions of past crimes—including illegal drug use, drug trafficking and human trafficking—should have ended the employment process dead in its tracks. OIG examined a sample of 380 polygraph tests and found 20% were administered to applicants whose criminal past rendered them ineligible for employment.
Court upholds funeral anti-picketing law
The U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a Nebraska law that keeps the hate-filled Westboro Baptist Church from staging protests at funerals. The Topeka, Kan., church, which reportedly has fewer than 100 members, has gained high visibility for its angry protests at funerals of U.S. service members, celebrities and politicians, as well as homosexuals, Catholics, Muslims, and Jews. Nebraska’s law bans picketing within 500 feet of a cemetery during a three-hour period before and after a funeral service. The court held it was a time, place and manner restriction that didn’t infringe on First Amendment speech and assembly rights.
Court allows FBI to keep mobster’s records secret
Angela Clemente struck out at the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia but that doesn’t necessarily mean the “citizen investigator” will abandon her mission of releasing several men who are imprisoned for murders they didn’t commit. Clemente used a Freedom of Information Act request to pry documents from the FBI but the court ruled the FBI properly withheld them from disclosure. Clemente claimed more than a decade ago that R. Lindley DeVecchio, an FBI agent, assisted Colombo mob captain Gregory Scarpa Sr. commit four murders during a time when Scarpa, who died in 1994, was also an FBI informant. Clemente’s sensational charges against DeVecchio led to his 2006 indictment but his trial collapsed because a witness gave untruthful testimony.
Airline staffing exec admits immigration fraud
Eleno Quinteros Jr., 45, of Chula Vista, Calif., pleaded guilty to selling visas to immigrants who he hired to work as airline mechanics, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said. Quinteros was an executive for two staffing companies that provided mechanics to airline companies. Quintero claimed he received no payments but USCIS said he collected as much as $567,480 from as many as 85 employees who he recruited from Mexico to work in the U.S.
Life prison sentence ordered for MS-13 gangster
Jorge Moreno-Aguilar, 24, a member of an MS-13 gang that operates in suburban Washington, D.C., was given a life prison sentence for murdering another gang member. Moreno-Aguilar became the fifth member of his local gang sentenced to life terms, and 10 others are serving sentences ranging from seven to 30 years, U.S. Immigration and Customs said. The gang operated in three Maryland counties—Prince George’s, Montgomery and Frederick—that are suburbs of Washington, D.C. Besides planning and committing murders, the gang also extorted payments from brothel operators and tampered with witnesses, ICE said.
MS-13 fugitive on FBI “Top Ten” list is arrested
The Federal Bureau of Investigation credits tips received from “the public” for apprehending Walter Gomez who’d been on the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives” list since April. Gomez, an MS-13 narco-violence gang member who was a fugitive for nearly four years, was arrested in Woodbridge, Va., and will face charges relating to the 2011 murder of another MS-13 gang member who was suspected of socializing with a rival gang member.
Trio charged with fake investment scheme
The Securities and Exchange Commission filed charges against three men—David Greenlee and David Stewart Jr., both of Tennessee, and Richard Underwood, of Florida—who bilked $15 million by selling investments in a phony oil drilling scheme. The SEC said the trio claimed they were using enhanced oil recovery techniques such as fracking to squeeze oil from wells in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas, and used a portion of the investment funds to maintain oil production at a few wells to dupe investors who wanted to see activity in-person.
Rip ‘n Read is a daily compilation of press releases found on hundreds of websites that are maintained by the federal government, think tanks, watchdog groups and national advocacy organizations. Press releases selected for this feature are, in the opinion of the editor, exceptionally newsworthy, interesting or just plain curious.
The press releases and documents linked to this report were posted on their websites on Friday, August 11