Here is what we are reading today:
From @CrimeADay : 18 U.S.C. §1731 makes it a federal crime to label your gyrocopter as a US Postal vehicle if it isn't one.
Preet Bharara Not Playing Nicely With Federal Judges (NY Times) - Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York and one of the most acclaimed prosecutors of his generation, is locked in what seems to be an escalating war of words with the federal judiciary — one that some judges fear could influence important rulings. The tension was on ample display last week in a ruling in the public corruption case against the New York Assemblyman Sheldon Silver. The tone of the opinion left federal prosecutors seething, and the extended criticism of Mr. Bharara stunned even other judges. They fear that the same issues could surface in the related investigation of the leader of the New York State senate, Dean G. Skelos.
Goldman Programmer Trial Could Henge On "Tangible" Definition (NY Post) - Former Goldman Sachs programmer Sergey Aleynikov’s fate could be decided by a dictionary definition. Aleynikov is charged in state court with making an unlawful duplication of about 32 megabytes worth of “secret scientific material” from Goldman’s high-frequency trading system — a claim he’s fighting for the second time after a conviction in federal court was overturned on appeal.
Ex-Democratic Chief In New Jersey Found Guilty (North Jersey) - Former New Jersey Democratic power broker Joseph A. Ferriero was branded a racketeer on Thursday by a jury that found him guilty of using his political clout to illicitly profit from government contracts. The 57-year-old Hackensack lawyer, credited with engineering the resurgence of his party in Bergen County more than a decade ago, was found guilty on three counts and acquitted on two counts following an eight-week trial in federal court in Newark.
Iowa Lottery Employee May Have Rigged Big Win (NY Daily News) - Iowa lottery officials are really hoping for a change of luck. As a former information security director prepares to stand trial for allegedly rigging a $14.3 million win for himself, officials announced Monday they’re revamping the system’s security to make sure no one else ever rigs the game. “I have confidence that the games we offer today are fair,” Iowa Lottery CEO Terry Rich said in a statement. “Our lottery has strong layers of security in place to protect lottery players, lottery games and lottery prizes.”
Ex-JP Morgan Adviser Charged In Theft From Client (USA Today) - A former JPMorgan Chase investment adviser was arrested Thursday on charges he stole $20 million from customers and spent the funds on unprofitable trading and other personal expenses. Michael Oppenheim, 48, took money from at least seven bank clients in a fraud scheme he operated from March 2011 to March 2015, federal prosecutors alleged. He was arrested Thursday at his Livingston, N.J., home and brought to Manhattan federal court for an initial hearing, authorities said.
Facebook Fraud Fugitive Still Missing, Appeals Court Hears (Reuters) - A lawyer for a New York man who disappeared ahead of his criminal trial over charges he tried to defraud Facebook Inc founder Mark Zuckerberg told a U.S. appeals court his client was like the fugitive protagonist of "Les Misérables." Joseph Alioto, the lawyer for Paul Ceglia, made the statement on Thursday as he urged the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York to revive Ceglia's civil lawsuit seeking half ownership of Facebook under a purported contract with Zuckerberg. That lawsuit became the basis for a criminal case, in which prosecutors contend the contract was forged.
Ex-Wyoming Fund Exec To Re-Plead To Insider Trading Charges (Reuters) - A former Wyoming Retirement System chief investment officer whose insider trading guilty plea was called into question after a major appellate ruling limited the reach of such laws has decided to enter a new guilty plea. John Johnson, who previously admitted to trading on a tip about a $3 billion merger involving Foundry Networks Inc, has decided to re-enter his guilty plea, his lawyer said in a letter filed Thursday in Manhattan federal court. The decision came after prosecutors in March conceded that admissions Johnson made in 2013 about his trading were "insufficient" to support his original plea given the appellate court's view on what constituted insider trading.
Maine Man Facing Prison For Coast Guard Hoax (Navy Times) - A 23-year-old Vinalhaven Island man faces up to six years in federal prison after pleading guilty to making a false distress message to the Coast Guard. Owen Adair pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court on Wednesday. Court records say he initiated a two-way radio conversation with a radio operator at the Coast Guard Sector Northern New England. He repeatedly told the operator he urgently needed assistance because a crewman on his fishing vessel was seriously injured.
Fmr Renaissance Hospital Owner Sentenced To 135 Months In Prison (Terrell Tribune) - The former operator and owner of Renaissance Hospital in Terrell is going to spend 135 months in federal prison for healthcare fraud and identity theft violations. Tariq Mahmood, 63, of Cedar Hills, was sentenced on Tuesday before U.S. District Judge Michael Schneider in the Eastern District of Texas. Mahmood was found guilty by a jury during a four-day trial in 2014 of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, seven counts of health care fraud and seven counts of aggravated identity theft. Besides his prison sentence, Mahmood was ordered to pay $599,128.02 to Medicare, Medicaid and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas.
Former Minn Vikings Tight End Indicted On Ponzi Scheme Charges (Fox Sports) - Former Minnesota Vikings tight end Stu Voigt is charged in a federal indictment with conspiracy and fraud in an alleged Ponzi scheme, the U.S. Attorney's office said Wednesday. The government accuses Voigt, 66, and another man, Jeffrey Gardner, 61, of using a real estate scheme to defraud investors. According to the indictment and court documents, between 2005 and 2007 Gardner and Voigt raised money from investors in connection with Gardner's business, Hennessey Financial. Investors were promised returns of between 10 percent and 20 percent annually. But the indictment alleges Gardner, Voigt and others misrepresented Hennessey's financial circumstances to investors.