Synagogue vandalism suspect is accountant with a master's degree

Stuart Wright has two tattoos, writes Sam Charles of The Chicago Sun-Times: one says "Jesus is love" and the other is a swastika. This educated accountant from the suburbs was arrested late February and charged with a hate crime after someone smashed the window of a downtown synagogue and stuck swastikas on the doors.

Wright graduated from Hinsdale Central High School in 2003 and went on to the University of Iowa. He later received a master’s degree in accounting from DePaul University.

According to Wright’s LinkedIn profile, he worked as an accountant for four companies between June 2012 and September 2015. He became a certified public accountant in 2013 and his license is valid until September 2018, according to state records.

Property records show Wright’s father — a retired investment banker — owns a five-bedroom, six-bathroom house with a three-car garage in west suburban Oak Brook. It has been for sale since February 2016 with a price tag of nearly $1.5 million.

These lonely rich kids, with their SUVs and dreamy resentments, so mollycoddled they don't even notice the cameras: this is Trump's hottest demo and you'll be hearing more from it soon. Read the rest

Shark robs gas station

A man wearing a shark costume robbed a gas station in Christchurch, New Zealand. The shark and his accomplice were armed with a knife and a hammer. They robbed the store of "a haul of confectionery," aka candy. From Newshub:

The store attendants have been offered Victim Support counselling.

Police searched the area but failed to find the pair.

One was described as wearing a blue and white shark onesie, a grey cap, black gloves and socks, and had a dark blue bandana covering his face.

Read the rest

Uber uses data-mining to identify and block riders who may be cops, investigators or regulators

Greyball is Uber's codename for a program that tries to predict which new signups are secretly cops, regulators or investigators who could make trouble for the company, deployed in "Boston, Paris and Las Vegas, and in countries like Australia, China and South Korea" where the company was fighting with the authorities. Read the rest

Taser ships a pistol-holster sensor that triggers record mode in all nearby bodycams when cops draw their guns

The Signal Sidearm is a sensor designed to be fitted to a police pistol holster: when triggered, it wirelessly signals all nearby police bodycams to go into record-and-archive mode. It's made by Axon, the bodycam division of Taser International. Read the rest

Racists blubber in court as judge jails them for threatening black child's birthday party with shotgun

Jose Torres and Kayla Norton terrorized a black kid's birthday party by leading a convoy of confederate-flag flying vehicles past it while shouting racial slurs and threats—and pointing a shotgun at the children. They blubbered in court Monday as a Georgia judge sentenced them to years in jail.

Channel 2 Action News spoke to a woman who was at the birthday party in 2015.

Melissa Alford said at least seven pickup trucks displaying Confederate flags pulled up on her property on Campbellton Street and their passengers were armed and threatened to “kill y’all niggers.”

"This is behavior that even supporters of the Confederate battle flag can agree is criminal and shouldn't be allowed," Douglas County District Attorney Brian Fortner said in a statement.

Norton was sentenced on one count of violating Georgia's street gang act and one count of making terroristic threats. Torres was sentenced on three counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, one count of terroristic threats and one count of violating the street gang act.

Superior Court Judge William McClain gave Torres 20 years, with 13 served in prison, and Norton was given 15 years with 6 inside. Three things seem to have enhanced the community's righteous ire:

1. It was shortly after white supremacist Dylann Roof's killing of 9 black worshipers at a church in Charleston.

2. The Douglasville Police Department originally refused to arrest the people making the threats.

3. Only four of the people in the convoy were charged with serious crimes, despite there being "a dozen or more" involved. Read the rest

British police arrest suspect in last November's me-too Mirai botnet floods

Last October, floods of traffic from Internet of Things devices infected by the Mirai worm brought down several high profile internet services, from Level 3 to Dyn to Twitter and Reddit. Read the rest

In 1937, a judge quietly asked Meyer Lansky to form a squad of Nazi-punching gangsters to raid Bund meetings

Meyer Lansky was an infamous and ruthless gangster -- albeit one so personally charming that his life is chronicled in a book called But He Was Good to His Mother -- and no friend of New York State Judge Nathan Perlman; nevertheless, as the Nazi-supporting German-American Bund staged more and more toxic rallies in New York City, Perlman quietly asked Meyer to form a squad of Jewish gangsters to disrupt their meetings. Read the rest

Bank fraud and Dieselgate: how do we design regulations that are harder to cheat?

Tim Harford points out that Dieselgate -- when VW designed cars that tried to guess when they were undergoing emissions test and dial back their pollution -- wasn't the first time an industry designed its products to cheat when regulators were looking; the big banks did the same thing to beat the "stress tests" that finance regulators used to check whether they would collapse during economic downturns (the banks "made very specific, narrow bets designed to pay off gloriously in specific stress-test scenarios" so that they looked like they'd do better than they actually would). Read the rest

For the past 40 years, the presence of immigrants in US cities was correlated with a reduction in violent and property crime

In a new paper published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Ethnicity in Criminal Justice, sociologists and criminologists from University at Buffalo (SUNY), the University of Alabama, Kennesaw State University, the State of Georgia, and Georgia State University review 40 years' worth of FBI data on violent crimes and property crimes, correlating this data series with Census data on the influx of immigrants to US cities. Read the rest

Hereditary Samsung chieftain arrested for bribing disgraced president's "Shamanic" cult leader

Lee Jae-yong is nominally "vice-chairman" of Samsung, but his father, Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee, is considered to be a mere figurehead, with Lee Jae-yong as the true boss of the company. Read the rest

Italy unveils a legal proposal to regulate government hacking

Internet traffic nowadays is mostly encrypted (“HTTPS”). Thus, for a few years now, Law Enforcement Agencies (LEA) have been facing far more challenges at gathering data through the interception of connections than they used to.

Trump wants to reinstate and expand civil asset forfeiture so cops can steal your stuff

Civil asset forfeiture is a perfectly foreseeable outcome of the overbroad War on Drugs: it allows the cops to seize your belongings and charge them -- not you! -- with being the proceeds of a crime. Then it's up to you to figure out how to prove that your cash, car, house, or other belongings are innocent, otherwise the cops get to keep your stuff and use it to fund their operations. Read the rest

Russia's slot-machine bans let criminals buy machines on the cheap and reverse-engineer them

In 2009, then-PM Vladimir Putin engineered a Russian ban on slot machines in a bid to starve Georgian mafiyeh of funds, the resulting glut of used slots gave Russia's own criminal gangs cheap testbeds to use in a project to reverse-engineer the machines and discover their weaknesses -- now, Russian gangs roam the world's casinos, racking up careful, enormous scores. Read the rest

Mobile recharging station operators in India sell tens of thousands of women's phone numbers to stalkers

Tens of thousands of women in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh have complained to police about harassing phone calls from creepy men who bought their phone numbers from the operators of mobile phone recharging stations; they say the operators sneakily captured their phone numbers and sold them off to the stalkers. Read the rest

Suspecting arson, cops subpoena homeowner's pacemaker logs, then charge him with multiple felonies

Ross Compton, a 59-year-old homeowner in Middletown, Ohio called 911 in September 2016 to say that his house was on fire; there were many irregularities to the blaze that investigators found suspicious, such as contradictory statements from Compton and the way that the fire had started. Read the rest

19 crooks, 7,000 false identities, 1,800 drop addresses, and $200 million in credit card fraud

The New Jersey DA's office just announced that it had arrested New York's Habib Chaudhry in connection with a $200M credit-card fraud; Mr Chaudhry joins 19 others who've pleaded guilty to the frauds. Read the rest

France aggressively prosecutes citizens for "solidarity crimes": feeding and housing migrants

In 2016, French prosecutors have brought more cases for "solidarity crimes" -- offering shelter, food, and assistance to migrants, refugees and Roma people -- than were brought in all the years 2012-2015 combined, despite the promise of the Hollande regime to end such prosecutions. Read the rest

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