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NEWS
October 26, 1989 | By Robert J. Terry and Amy S. Rosenberg, Inquirer Staff Writers
Joseph "JoJo" Rhone, a reputed member of the old Black Mafia who jumped bail in 1976 while awaiting trial on a murder charge and had been on the lam ever since, was arrested yesterday in South Philadelphia, police said. At 3:35 a.m., FBI agents and Philadelphia police found Rhone asleep on a sofa in a house in the 2000 block of Watkins Street - just a half-block from his old address on 20th Street, police said. Rhone did not resist arrest, police said, adding that a loaded gun was found in the house.
NEWS
November 27, 2012
LOS ANGELES - A murder suspect on the FBI's most wanted list gained weight and switched identities to evade authorities for 14 years, but his notoriety and a $100,000 reward finally led to his capture, the agency said Monday. Jose "Joe" Luis Saenz was arrested in Guadalajara, Mexico, on Thursday on suspicion of four murders and remained jailed in Southern California, the FBI said. Saenz, 37, a former East Los Angeles gang member who once went by the nicknames "Peanut Joe" and "Zapp," had been a fugitive since being suspected of two Los Angeles killings in 1998.
NEWS
January 21, 1999 | Inquirer photographs by Michael S. Wirtz
In appreciation for the return of a rare Civil War flag that had been stolen, a group of African American soldiers yesterday presented the FBI with a miniature buffalo soldier. Authorities last week recovered the battle flag of the 12th Regiment Corps d'Afrique, whose members included many former slaves. The flag, one of only five known to have survived from black Civil War units, was stolen in the mid-1970s.
NEWS
March 5, 1987
The conventional wisdom is that CIA director-designate William H. Webster is a pro who not only knows the intelligence game from his nearly completed tenure as FBI chief, but who also can be trusted to keep the CIA honest. He came to the FBI when it was in trouble nine years ago, restoring the credibility it had squandered dogging political dissidents and noisy civil rights advocates. There's no reason to think he won't bring sensible restraint to a post-Casey CIA, as well, although getting firm control over the agency's well-entrenched bureaucracy won't be easy.
NEWS
July 26, 2001 | By Lenny Savino and Roxanne Stites INQUIRER WASHINGTON BUREAU
The FBI will be asking the questions when Rep. Gary A. Condit (D., Calif.) is next interviewed about Chandra Levy, the missing intern with whom he reportedly had an affair, law enforcement officials close to the case said yesterday. The FBI yesterday also renewed the questioning of residents of the apartment building from which Levy disappeared May 1, reported a resident who asked not to be identified. Washington's Metropolitan Police Department questioned the residents earlier.
NEWS
June 17, 1988
In 1980, the FBI and Frank Varelli, a former Salvadoran evangelist, found each other in Dallas. Exactly who ended up using whom is hard to figure. But what the combination spawned is clear: It got the FBI back into the bad old business of spying on law-abiding citizens who happened to disagree with their government. Mr. Varelli supplied - concocted, he says now - information that peace groups protesting U.S. policy in Central America were part of a terrorist network whose reach extended to members of Congress, liberal Roman Catholic bishops and a former U.S. ambassador to El Salvador.
BUSINESS
June 11, 2005 | By Todd Mason INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
The FBI is investigating the collapse of a Bucks County equipment-leasing firm in 2003 amid charges of accounting irregularities. U.S. District Judge Legrome Davis suspended civil lawsuits against former officers and directors of DVI Inc. for 120 days on May 31 "pending completion of the ongoing investigation" by the Justice Department. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Philadelphia had asked for the stay so the FBI could interview principals in the case before they were questioned under oath in the civil cases, an FBI spokeswoman said.
NEWS
December 17, 1996 | by Scott Flander, Daily News Staff Writer
Vernon Dunn, wanted by the FBI for his alleged part in a $3 million cocaine ring, was standing by a car in an East Falls gas station Sunday night when three gunman walked up from behind and started blasting away. Three of the bullets apparently hit Dunn, and another struck the hand of a 14-year-old girl sitting in the car. A 1-year-old boy and 16-year-old girl, also in the car, weren't hit. Dunn, 28, jumped into the car and sped away, and yesterday police and the FBI were asking the public's help in finding him. Philadelphia Police Detective Jim Coughlin gave this account: Shortly before 10 p.m., Dunn was standing next to the car at the gas station at Fox and Abbottsford streets.
NEWS
July 16, 2004 | By Emilie Lounsberry INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Missing files. Improperly notarized documents. Applications whisked through with dispatch - for those with political juice. Such were some of the problems at Philadelphia's Minority Business Enterprise Council, according to an audit released yesterday by City Controller Jonathan A. Saidel. The report comes as the minority council has emerged as an area of interest to the FBI in the ongoing investigation into possible corruption in city government. In a raid at the agency last October, the FBI seized some files and left behind a subpoena seeking other information about city contracts.
NEWS
February 13, 1987 | By Emilie Lounsberry, Inquirer Staff Writer
An FBI agent testified yesterday during the extortion trial of former Philadelphia police Officer Joseph W. McCook that he would have urged federal officials not to prosecute McCook - if McCook had agreed to cooperate in the federal investigation focusing on Roofers Union Local 30-30B. The testimony by Special Agent Quinn John Tamm Jr. came on the first day of the trial of McCook, 47. McCook was indicted in November on charges that he used his position as a police officer and his wife's position as a Municipal Court bail commissioner to obtain $500 from Roofers Union leader Stephen J. Traitz Jr. and Traitz' son in late 1985.
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NEWS
May 16, 2016
ISSUE | CORRUPTIONStung by the FBI John Estey is my neighbor - I know him. There is not a doubt in my mind, whether it meets the definition of entrapment or not, that he would have never been involved in funneling illegal campaign contributions to Pennsylvania legislators as part of an FBI sting operation if he had not been expertly targeted and then tempted ("More shame on Harrisburg - and the FBI," Thursday). He's a good man who was given the use of a Ferrari and then got caught speeding.
NEWS
May 13, 2016
By Bruce S. Marks We have yet another scandal in Harrisburg. This one not only uncovered a corrupt lobbyist but exposes the FBI, which began a curious "pay to play" sting operation when Republicans controlled Pennsylvania state government in 2009. So far, though, only a Democratic power broker, who received a financially lucrative deal and apparently leniency to wear a wire, has been snared. Based on the known facts, the sting operation appears to be a classic example of the federal government threatening our liberties and making things worse, not better.
NEWS
May 12, 2016 | By Angela Couloumbis and Craig R. McCoy, STAFF WRITERS
HARRISBURG - John H. Estey, a former top aide to Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell, pleaded guilty Tuesday to funneling illegal campaign contributions to Pennsylvania legislators to help a phony company set up by the FBI in an elaborate pay-to-play sting. Estey, a lawyer from Ardmore, pleaded guilty to a count of wire fraud committed in 2011, when he was snared in an investigation in which FBI agents posed as businessmen seeking influence with state legislators, according to court documents.
NEWS
May 9, 2016 | By Mark Fazlollah, Craig R. McCoy, and Angela Couloumbis, STAFF WRITERS
The pay-to-play investigation that snared political power broker John H. Estey involved an elaborate FBI sting in which agents created a fake Florida recycling company and spent lavishly on lobbyists and campaign contributions to push the firm's agenda in Harrisburg, according to an Inquirer review of records and interviews with sources close to the case. As that phase of the sting unfolded between 2009 and 2011, legislation was even drafted to help the bogus firm and sped through the state Senate, passing unanimously.
NEWS
May 8, 2016 | By William Bender, STAFF WRITER
The FBI is investigating Philadelphia's process for selling public land to developers amid a pair of lawsuits contending that a city councilman steered vacant lots to campaign contributors, according to people familiar with the probe. The investigation was initially disclosed last October, when an attorney for Point Breeze developer Ori Feibush deposed Tania Nikolic, deputy executive director of the Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority. Feibush is suing City Councilman Kenyatta Johnson, whose district includes Point Breeze, alleging that Johnson blocked the sale of vacant lots to Feibush after Feibush launched an unsuccessful bid for Johnson's seat in 2013.
NEWS
April 23, 2016 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Staff Writer
An Allentown political consultant whose cooperation with the FBI fueled one of the state's most significant municipal corruption probes resurfaced Thursday for the first time in months, this time to admit his own role in the scandal. Appearing in federal court in Philadelphia, Michael Fleck, 40, pleaded guilty to tax evasion and conspiracy to commit extortion and bribery, charges tied to a wide-ranging pay-to-play investigation that has roiled city halls in Allentown and Reading, has implicated mayors in both cities, and led to the collapse last year of Allentown Mayor Ed Pawlowski's U.S. Senate bid. Fleck's plea came nine months after he abruptly shuttered his political consulting business and packed up his Allentown home, when word leaked he had worn an FBI wire to catch his clients shaking down government contractors for political donations.
NEWS
April 17, 2016 | By Mark Fazlollah, Staff Writer
Not long after Dawn Segal parlayed a high ballot position into a Philadelphia judgeship, a corrupt colleague pulled her into the middle of an FBI investigation. "I got something in front of you at one o'clock today," Municipal Court Judge Joseph C. Waters Jr. told Segal in a telephone conversation in 2011, as he asked her to give favorable treatment to a politically connected defendant appearing before her in a minor lawsuit. "Oh, OK. OK," Segal said, unaware that federal agents had secretly recorded that conversation - and others in which Waters asked for favors in cases.
NEWS
April 16, 2016 | By Chris Brennan, Staff Writer
Democratic committee members in Center City's Eighth Ward are being asked to sign declarations that they were "not offered anything of pecuniary value" to select State Sen. Larry Farnese as their leader. The reason: FBI agents are asking questions. The apparent cause of the investigation? Farnese spent $6,000 from his campaign account five months before the 2011 ward election to pay for a committeewoman's daughter's college semester abroad. Three people connected to the ward election confirmed that they had been questioned by FBI agents.
BUSINESS
April 7, 2016 | By Erin Arvedlund, STAFF WRITER
Update 1:45 p.m.:  The Federal Bureau of Investigation has opened a case looking into the failure of six local credit unions in Bensalem – all of which were headed by the same chief executive, a woman by the name of Joni Brown, according to law enforcement sources. Local FBI officials wouldn't confirm or deny the existence of an investigation, and whether the offices had been shut down. Ms. Brown couldn't be reached for comment at the main number for all six credit unions.
BUSINESS
April 5, 2016 | By Erin E. Arvedlund, Staff Writer
Those pesky cyber-criminals are targeting us where it hurts: on the job. Hackers now pose as our bosses or supervisors, law enforcement officials say - asking us to send emails with sensitive W-2 tax returns or payroll information and employee Social Security numbers. Main Line Health was just the latest victim, according to Brian Thomas, supervisor from the IRS criminal investigations branch, and Benjamin Stone, who leads the new cyber criminal squad for the FBI's Philadelphia office.
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