His name was Joseph Castello. But for years he was known to his associates as “Joey Checks.” That’s because for almost a decade Castello handled other peoples’ checks – more than $600 million worth, in fact. And about a third of that sum was laundered. On July 7, a three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, ruled that Castello had to pay forfeiture in the amount of $12,012,924.31 and vacate all claims to his $9 million Greenwich, Connecticut home. The decision reverses an earlier ruling by U.S. District Judge Leonard Wexler who had deemed any forfeiture excessive. Evidence indicates the circuit court made the right call.
Joey Castello, now 46, aided by wife Dana Schwartz Castello and three other persons, during 1995-2004 ran what on the surface was a legitimate check-cashing operation in the New York City area. About $200 million of the estimated $660 million … Read More ➡
Bill Lann Lee, a former U.S. Assistant Attorney General who served during the Clinton administration, is deeply involved with a group that donated thousands of dollars for the legal defense of convicted terrorist lawyer Lynne Stewart.
Five-and-a-half years after being convicted of providing material support for terrorism, Stewart last month was resentenced to ten years.
Lee, who was Bill Clinton’s top civil rights officer from 1997-2000, is a donor to, and serves on the advisory board of, the Impact Fund. The Berkeley-based foundation directed a $5,000 grant to the Lynne Stewart Defense Committee in 2006.
The grant came as Stewart was appealing her February 2005 conviction on five felonies, including providing material support for terrorism and obstruction of justice. A jury found she had passed messages from her client, “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdel Rahman – the man convicted in 1993 of plotting to blow up the United Nations, … Read More ➡
Josef Stalin’s bust remains at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia despite mounting criticism. A chorus of voices is asking what Stalin had to do with D-Day, and why a mass murderer is being honored at all.
The National D-Day Memorial officially opened in June 2001. Congress authorized the small town of Bedford as the site of the memorial because it proportionally suffered the severest D-Day losses. Nineteen soldiers from Bedford’s town of about 3,200 died on D-Day.
On June 2 of this year, Stalin joined the existing busts of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, President Harry S. Truman and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The weekend after Stalin’s bust was installed, the memorial commemorated the 66th anniversary of D-Day. Critics immediately asserted that the bust disrespects the others honored at the memorial as well as the victims and the their families of the Soviet Union dictator.
One Washington, … Read More ➡
Could the headline-making arrest last July of Harvard African-American Studies Professor Henry Louis Gates by a white Cambridge, Massachusetts police officer be justified? While the official civil-rights narrative continues to cast Gates as a victim, the facts, as National Legal and Policy Center reported in detail at the time, appear to vindicate Police Sergeant James Crowley. Now a new report by a Boston University-affiliated journalism think tank is providing even more fuel for the latter view. The study, which examined arrests for disorderly conduct in Cambridge over several years, concludes that local police have not engaged in a pattern of racial profiling. One hopes that President Obama, who played no small role in this affair, will give it a close read.
A recap is in order. On the afternoon of July 16, 2009, Henry Louis Gates, fresh from a research trip to China, found the front door of his home … Read More ➡
Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) used campaign cash to repay the costs of his corporate-sponsored Caribbean trips after being asked to pay for the trips himself by the House Ethics Commitee, according to Federal Election Commission (FEC) records. Rangel has also continued to pay legal fees connected to his ethics problems from his campaign funds.
After being publically admonished by the House Ethics Committee for accepting travel gifts from corporations, the congressman spent $3,480 from his campaign on Caribbean “travel refunds,” according to his April FEC campaign report.
Records also show that Rangel spent nearly $57,860 in attorney fees from January to March. The congressman has been consistently mired in legal problems since it was first revealed that he occupied three rent-stabilized apartments in a luxury building in New York City. In the months that followed, the NLPC helped expose Rangel’s corporate sponsored trips taken in 2007 and 2008, as well as … Read More ➡
The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, better known by the acronym ACORN, exists only in shell form, having formally disbanded on April 1. Yet whatever name(s) the radical nonprofit organizing network and its countless affiliates currently go under, the issue of its right to receive federal funds is anything but a dead letter. A court ruling several days ago ensures as much. On Wednesday, April 21, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit temporarily reinstated a congressional ban on further public funding of the scandal-ridden group. The three-judge panel in Manhattan effectively overturned a lower court order barring enforcement of the cutoff, concluding that full arguments must be heard first. And they will be this summer.
National Legal and Policy Center on many occasions has skewered ACORN and its hundreds of state and local chapters for internal mismanagement and flagrant lawbreaking in the service of its … Read More ➡
If Al Sharpton was radioactive to future President Barack Obama during the 2008 campaign, he’s become a shadow member of Obama’s cabinet. The working relationship between the radical black civil rights leader and the administration was very much in evidence last week at the Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers where Sharpton’s nonprofit group, National Action Network (NAN), held its 12th annual convention. Three cabinet members – Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and Housing & Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan – spoke at the corporate-bankrolled four-day event, which featured top-echelon personalities from politics, business, labor, clergy, philanthropy and entertainment. The administration believes Reverend Al’s newfound “pragmatism” is a political asset. Yet the older, incendiary Sharpton remains just beneath the surface.
Al Sharpton is now arguably the nation’s number-one black political activist, even more influential than his one-time mentor, Jesse Jackson. And like Jackson, … Read More ➡
A Democratic National Committee donor was arrested on Monday for death threats that he made toward Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA), but many journalists are still blaming the conservative “tea party” movement for allegedly fomenting political violence.
Philadelphia resident Norman Leboon, 33, was charged for posting a YouTube video in which he threatened to kill Cantor and his family, just days after a bullet was fired through the window of Cantor’s Richmond campaign office by an unknown gunman.
“You receive my bullets in your office, remember they will be placed in your heads. You and your children are Lucifer’s abominations,” Leboon reportedly said in the video. According to Federal Election Commission filings, Leboon is a Barack Obama supporter, who donated $505 to the Democratic National Committee in June, 2008.
But despite the fact that no conservatives have been charged with committing violent acts related to the recent Congressional health care vote, … Read More ➡
The word “reform” in the age of Obama has taken on a clear meaning: aggressive expansion of government control over economic decision-making by businesses and consumers. The recently-passed health care bill, rammed through Congress via highly unorthodox parliamentary procedures, is evidence enough of that. Yet even supporters of new financial services reform legislation now before the full Senate may be hard-pressed to explain how the mammoth 1,336-page measure is supposed to improve efficiency and integrity in credit markets. The bill’s most likely legacy, if passed into law, would be the creation of powerful federal bureaucracies that in the long run not only would fail to avert future banking crises, but may well increase their likelihood. The House of Representatives, led by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., passed its own somewhat different package last December 11 by a 223-202 vote.
The Senate bill, unveiled last Monday, March 15, is called the Restoring … Read More ➡
If character is destiny, then the demise of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, was almost inevitable. ACORN, or what’s left of it, yesterday announced that it will officially cease to exist as of next Thursday, April 1. The move wasn’t entirely unexpected. Only a week earlier, the nationwide nonprofit anti-poverty group’s Maryland chapter announced it had closed shop, with no plans to reopen; the New York and California state chapters did likewise shortly before, reopening under new names. The national group is currently considering whether to file for bankruptcy.
A virtual adjunct of the Democratic Party’s hard Left, the 400,000-member nationwide nonprofit anti-poverty network had undergone a severe loss of credibility in the wake of publicized investigations into embezzlement, tax fraud and voter registration fraud by its members. As a result, much of its funding has dried up. The ACORN national board on Sunday closed its … Read More ➡