Feds indict Florida police chief who framed a teen for burglaries so he could boast about perfect record

Raimundo Atesiano was chief of the Biscayne Park Police Department in 2013, and he was proud to boast about his department's 100% clearance rate for burglaries -- but according to federal prosecutors who just indicted him, Atesiano conspired with two of his officers to frame a 16-year-old child for unsolved burglaries so that they could impress local officials. Read the rest

It's really easy to steal your cellphone number, and that's a gateway to stealing everything else

Consumer Reports covers cellphone identity theft, which includes taking out cellphone accounts in your name and using them to establish credit that can be leveraged to get credit-cards and loans in your name; and to steal your cellphone numbers and hijack your other accounts by intercepting two-factor authentication texts from your bank and other services. Read the rest

Crazy Walls: screengrabs from media where obsessives create pinboards stringing together clues

It's a well-worn trope: the obsessive, the stalker, the killer or the cop, pinning photos, maps, mugshots and other detritus to a large board and then joining the dots with bits of colored string: The Crazy Walls Tumblr collects and annotates screengrabs from dozens of movies and TV shows (even a comic from Warren Ellis!) where the trope appears. (via Kottke) Read the rest

Sweden's notorious copyright troll said they'd sue, but if you ignore them, they just go away

When the Danish copyright troll Njord Law started operating in Sweden, it went to court saying that it was planning on enforcing copyright, not engaging in "speculative invoicing" -- a kind of legal blackmail that involves sending out thousands of legal threats on the off chance that some people will pay you to go away. Read the rest

Spectacular read: a profile of Anna Sorokin, a con-artist who convinced New York that she was a high-rolling socialite trust-funder

Jessica Pressler's long, gripping profile of con artist Anna Sorokin (AKA Anna Delvey) has all the making of a first-rate grifter novel, where the likable, unflappable rogue is revealed by inches to be a sociopath, a broken person who can't herself tell truth from fiction. Read the rest

Nkechi Diallo, formerly Rachel Dolezal, charged with welfare fraud

Nkechi Diallo, formerly known as Rachel Dolezal, was charged with welfare fraud this week over payments totaling about $9,000, received between 2015 and 2017. As Dolezal, she served as the Spokane Chapter NAACP President, but became infamous after it was found that her biological parents were white.

According to court documents, Diallo illegally received $8,747 in food assistance, and illegally received $100 in childcare assistance. Total restitution, according to the documents, is $8,847, allegedly stolen from August 2015 through November 2017.

The tl;dr: she kept signing on after getting a book deal and other income that put her beyond the threshold for assistance.

Previously: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on Rachel Dolezal, Isaac Hayes, and Al Jolson Read the rest

Craiglist traffic fell sharply after FOSTA

Redditor datacanbeuseful charted the wounding of Craigslist and the death of Backpage. After a political panic over sex trafficking, the latter's domain was seized by the government. Craiglist, to avoid the prospect of a similar fate, shut down all its "casual encounters" and similar categories overnight. It turns out to have been a significant but not critical element of the site's traffic: about 25 percent, but only as inferred through Google Trends.

The figure is based on Google Trends data of search for terms "Craigslist" and "Backpage" before and after Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA). It largely reflects the actual traffic at both sites. Chart created using Excel.

Because of FOSTA and the shutdown of Craigslist's Personals section, Craigslist lost a whopping 1/4 to 1/3 of the web traffic. Backpage, while enjoying a short lived traffic uptick, was soon shut down by law enforcement.

Where can this much traffic go? Does it just evaporate? Does it flow elsewhere?

Journalists usually suppose "the dark web" but reality surely involves more pimps and streetcorners. [via] Read the rest

Mugshots.com owners charged with extortion. Here are their mugshots.

Mugshots.com works like this: they post pictures of your mugshots, publicize them as part of a public database of criminals and such, then charge you money to remove them. Here are the mugshots of two guys arrested on charges of extortion who are reportedly the site's owners—not coming down at any price.

West Palm Beach TV:

California outlawed charging people money to remove their mugshot from the internet in 2014, according to the Sacramento Bee.

Last year, Florida passed similar legislation prohibiting soliciting or accepting a fee to remove a booking photograph. The law goes into effect July 1.

From the California warrant:

Mugshots.com does not remove criminal record information until a subject pays the fee. This is the case even if the subject had charges dismissed or had been arrested due to mistaken identity or law enforcement error. Those subjects who cannot pay the fee may subsequently be denied housing, employment, or other opportunities because their booking photo is readily available on the internet.

"This pay-for-removal scheme attempts to profit off of someone else's humiliation," said Attorney General Becerra. "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."

The defendants named in the complaint are Sahar Sarid, Kishore Vidya Bhavnanie, Thomas Keesee, and David Usdan. They are the alleged owners and operators of Mugshots.com. Over a three-year period, the defendants extracted more than $64,000 in removal fees from approximately 175 individuals with billing addresses in California.

Read the rest

The secret, unaccountable location-tracking tool favored by dirty cops has been hacked (and it wasn’t hard)

Securus is the widely abused location-tracking tool that exploits a loophole in privacy law to allow police to extract realtime and historical cellphone location data without a warrant or any accountability. Read the rest

Woman uses keys to fight off man who pulled off her head scarf and grabbed her

A woman delivering lunch to an Atlanta residence was assaulted, say police, but fought off her attacker with her keys.

The woman, 29-year-old Sonya Kristina King, said that she entered the home of 55-year-old Rick Painter to drop off his lunch. She said as she tried to leave the home, Painter grabbed her by her headdress and attempted to grab her by the neck. She responded by hitting him on his face and body with her keys. When police entered the home, they say they discovered Painter had blocked the door with a couch. They found Painter naked with "scars, marks, and bruises on his head and torso."...

"Painter, who has a criminal record and was described by one of his neighbors as a "racist," declared himself to be "Jesus" during the attack," CAIR-Georgia said.

The "headdress" was described elsewhere as a niqab or "religious veil". Here's NBC News with more:

Police met the driver at the South Grand Avenue address. When they got there, they tried to get inside the apartment, but found the door was blocked by a couch.

Officers were able to move the couch aside, and found Painter laying in the bed with the covers up. When they drew the covers back, they found Painter unclothed, covered in scars, marks and bruises on his head and torso.

First responders treated Painter at the home, then transported him to Grady Memorial Detention for further treatment.

Officials charged him with misdemeanor battery. A judge set Painter's bond at $5,000, and his next court date is May 23 at 9 a.m.

Read the rest

Equifax lets identity thieves raid "frozen" credit reports through its shady, obscure secondary credit bureau

If you've had your identity stolen or if you're worried about having been doxxed by Equifax, you can freeze your credit record, and then Equifax, Experian, Trans Union and Innovis will block any requests to access your credit report. Read the rest

Someone stole a semi full of cancer drugs from a Tennessee truck-stop

Last Thursday, a trucker driving a semi carrying $965,000 worth of Octagam -- an immunotherapy drug taken by cancer patients -- pulled into Pilot Truck Stop at 9211 Lewisburg Highway, Tennessee, tailed by a red Volvo semi. Read the rest

Grandad trips up armed suspect running from cops

Columbus police report that an armed suspect fleeing on foot was tripped up by a bystander.

April 3, 2018 "Bill" was at a west Columbus library with his granddaughter. He was waiting outside to leave when he heard police sirens. He tells us he looked around and saw a man with his hand in his waistband running toward him. "Bill" assessed the situation as fast as he could, cane in hand. He heard officers yelling multiple times to drop the gun. "Bill" says with officers lagging a bit behind the suspect he did what he could to help them nab the armed man. Bill stuck out a back leg to trip the suspect who was running from police. That move likely saved the 18-year-old suspect's life. It also allowed police to catch up to him to make the arrest. Police recovered a Glock 9 MM pistol with a high capacity extended clip containing 29 rounds. The suspect, with a lengthy criminal record, went back to jail. No one was injured.

"That move likely saved the 18-year-old suspect's life" is a useful reminder that summary execution is the default response to an armed suspect. Read the rest

Bipartisan amendment forces UK government to impose transparency on its offshore tax havens

One cute side-effect of Brexit is that it got the UK out of pending EU rules limiting financial secrecy as part of a crackdown on money laundering by looting dictators, one percenters, and criminals; the Tories had put a process in train to come up with a made-in-Britain version, which was always going to be weaksauce thanks to the outsize influence of the City of London and its finance bosses on UK politics, but even that was killed by Theresa May's disastrous snap elections last year. Read the rest

Scottish Tories defeat anti-money-laundering measure aimed at shutting down the Russian oligarch-Scotland pipeline

The Scottish Limited Partnership is a notorious financial secrecy vehicle that's been used to launder at least $80 billion, mostly from oligarchs and organised crime figures from the former USSR, in only four years. Read the rest

LEGO crime boss busted in Portland

40-year-old Raji Afife Azar ran a LEGO theft and fencing operation in Portland, Oregon. Aided by the Fred Meyer market's Retail Theft Unit, Portland PD put a stop to this brick bandit.

Via the Portland PD's statement on the arrest:

This investigation began in early 2018 when Fred Meyer's Organized Retail Theft Unit Investigators learned Azar was the leader of a fencing operation that involved the theft and sale of merchandise from multiple stores in the Portland metropolitan area. During the investigation, the Fred Meyer's Organized Retail Theft Unit worked with the Northwest Organized Retail Crime Alliance and learned Azar had solicited multiple people to steal from various business throughout the area.

During this investigation, undercover investigators were contacted by Azar on multiple occasions. The undercover investigators posed as theft suspects that would sell stolen merchandise to Azar at a fraction of the manufacturer's retail suggested price. On Thursday, April 26, 2018, Azar requested undercover investigators, who he believed were theft suspects, sell him approximately $13,000 in stolen merchandise. The undercover investigators met Azar in the 10300 block of Southeast Washington Street with the supposed stolen merchandise. After Azar purchased the stolen merchandise from undercover officers, he was taken into custody without incident.

Once Azar was taken into custody, a search warrant was served at his family's residence in the 2000 block of Southeast 102nd Avenue. During a search of the residence, investigators located a large quantity of stolen Legos and other stolen merchandise (photograph provided with press release). Investigators with the Fred Meyer's Organized Retail Theft Unit estimate the recovered stolen value of the Legos and other toys taken from Portland area Fred Meyer stores to be approximately $50,000 -- this estimate does not include merchandise that was recovered at the residence that came from other retail stores.

Read the rest

The used cars that Europe sends to Nigeria are filled with illegal, toxic e-waste

EU and Nigerian law both ban the export of e-waste to Nigeria, but a new study jointly authored by scholars from UN University and the Basel Convention Coordinating Centre for Africa found that exported used cars represent a smuggler's bonanza for the illegal dumping of toxic waste. Read the rest

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