Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu Indicted On Charges Of Bribery & Fraud

Benjamin Netanyahu (image via Flickr)

From the Washington Post:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was formally charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust on Thursday, making him the first Israeli premier to be indicted while in office and sending Israel’s already stalemated political system into further disarray.

Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit capped almost three years of investigation and months of speculation by handing down a 63-page indictment against the country’s longest-serving prime minister and its center of political gravity for the last decade.

The cases against Netanyahu center on police allegations that the prime minister and his wife, Sara, accepted more than $260,000 worth of luxury goods in exchange for political favors and that Netanyahu interceded with regulators and lawmakers on behalf of two media companies in exchange for positive news stories.

Netanyahu has consistently denied all of the allegations calling the accusations and investigation a ‘witch hunt.’

Now, where have we heard that term before? Hmm…

(image via Flickr/CC license)

Aaron “Totally Not Gay” Schock Indicted On 24 Counts Of Fraud & Theft

Former Congressman Aaron Schock has been indicted on 24 counts of fraud and theft in regard to misuse of his campaign fund and more than $1 million annual office fund.

The 35 year old Republican, who has been rumored to be a closet gay for several years, developed a reputation for flaunting not only his high-end expenditures but his well-known six-pack abs via social media.

And along the way, he attracted the attention of investigators. As such, Schock now has a November 21st court date where he’ll face 24 charges against him including fraud, theft of government funds, false statements and filing false income tax returns.

From Politico:

Schock claimed – and was paid – for “fraudulent claims for mileage reimbursements” totaling $138,663, a phenomenon first uncovered by POLITICO, according to the indictment. He charged the government and his campaign committees for “approximately 150,000 miles more than the vehicles for which he sought reimbursement were actually driven,” the indictment reads, echoing stories from 2015 in POLITICO.

In perhaps the most stunning charge, the Justice Department said Schock invited his constituents to come to Washington for a “fly in” event, and charged them a fee to cover the cost of the events. But, according to the indictment, Schock secretly asked a friend to open a bank account in Florida under the name “Global Travel International,” where Schock deposited the funds. In June 2011, he paid himself nearly $4,500 in excess fees out of the account, and closed it three years later.

Among the other charges:

• Schock charged a limited liability company he started for $11,000 for “services rendered,” and had the money sent to his residence in Illinois, prosecutors say.

• In August 2013, Schock used American Express points to book a vacation to Europe from Washington Dulles Airport. When his connecting flight from Peoria was delayed, he chartered an airplane for more than $8,000, and charged his campaign account for the cost, according to the indictment.

• In 2014, he went to a Chicago Bears game, and improperly charged the government for a private flight, his pilot’s meals and Uber expenses, and charged his campaign for hotel charges and meals, DOJ alleges.

• Schock used his campaign account to buy tickets to pricey events like the World Series and Super Bowl, then pocketed the profits when he sold the tickets to brokers. In 2014, the indictment says, he purchased four Super Bowl tickets for more than $10,000 with funds from a campaign account, and kept the $1,975 in profits from the sale. The next year, he bought four tickets to the Super Bowl with campaign money and sold them for a nearly $8,000 profit, never reimbursing the campaign account. Prosecutors allege that Schock walked away from that transaction with an $18,000 profit.

• Schock falsified expenses to cover a $1,134-per-month car payment, varying the entries to avoid suspicion, prosecutors say. He paid for camera equipment with his own credit card, then charged the government for “multimedia services,” the indictment says.

Abby Lee Miller of DANCE MOMS Fame Indicted On 20 Counts Of Bankruptcy Fraud

Reality TV celeb Abby Lee Miller, of DANCE MOMS fame, finds herself stepping in serious hot water as reports say she is the sole defendant named in a 20 count indictment by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of bankruptcy fraud, concealment of bankruptcy assets and false bankruptcy declarations.

According to the indictment, Miller attempted to reorganize her dance studio’s debt via bankruptcy court in December 2010.

From WPXI:

She is accused of concealing income she earned between 2012 and 2013 from her performances on the show and related spinoff TV shows, as well as from dance sessions and merchandise sales.

The indictment alleges Miller created bank accounts to hide the income, and instructed others to conceal certain income from the bankruptcy court.

Miller is accused of concealing income totaling about $755,000.

If convicted, she faces a possible sentence of five years in prison, and a fine of $250,000 for each count of the indictment.

Texas Attorney General Arrested & Booked On Securities Fraud Charges

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was arrested and booked on three securities fraud charges.

Apparently during his time as a member of the Texas House, Paxton sold stock for Servergy Inc. In doing so, the indictment alleges that he failed to tell stock buyers he was compensated for his efforts with 100,000 shares of stock in the company.

The indictment also charges he was an investor in the company when it appears he was not.

Along the way, over $600,000 poured into the company due to his promotion.

You’ll note the smirk in his mug shot posted above.

The anti-gay Paxton has continued to fight against same-sex marriage in Texas despite the historic ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court last month.

(source)

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton Indicted By Grand Jury

NBC-DFW has the details:

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has been indicted on three charges by a grand jury in Collin County, two people close to the case told NBC 5 on Saturday.

The indictments were issued on Tuesday and immediately sealed, the sources said, adding they are set to be unsealed as early as Monday in Collin County.

A Tarrant County judge has been appointed to hear the case, the sources said.

With help from the Texas Rangers, the grand jury and two special prosecutors have been investigating whether Paxton committed a securities crime by acting as a broker without being licensed.

Paxton admitted to the Texas securities board last year that he was not registered when he solicited clients for a friend, investment broker Frederick “Fritz” Mowery, who paid Paxton a fee.

Paxton paid a $1,000 civil fine. He has said he thought that the fine ended the matter.

Paxton’s relationship with a McKinney computer company called Servergy, has also come under scrutiny. Servergy, which claims to make an energy-efficient computer server, is under investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for possible fraud.

Rep. Chris Turner, a Democrat who serves Arlington and Grand Prairie, also was critical.

“Three felony charges, resulting from a Texas Rangers investigation, are an extremely serious matter,” he said in a statement. “As the top law enforcement official in Texas, AG Paxton owes the public a full, candid explanation for these charges, as well as an explanation of how he can continue to do his job as he deals with three felony indictments.”

Paxton has been a virulent opponent of same-sex marriage in Texas.

Former Speaker Of The House Dennis Hastert Indicted Over Payments To Conceal Past “Misconduct” With Another Man

Former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Dennis Hastert was indicted yesterday on federal criminal charges for allegedly paying a male from his past to try to conceal prior “sexual misconduct,” the Los Angeles Times reported on Friday, citing two unnamed federal law enforcement officials.

More from Reuters:

One of the officials cited by the newspaper said the alleged misconduct involved a male and occurred during Hastert’s time as a high school wrestling coach and teacher in Yorkville, Illinois, before becoming a lawmaker.

Prosecutors said the charges related to Hastert’s alleged effort to hide $3.5 million in payments he was making to a person to conceal past misconduct, but did not detail the nature of the misconduct.

Asked why Hastert, an Illinois Republican who become his party’s longest-serving House speaker before leaving Congress in 2007, was making the payments, the official told the Times that it was intended to conceal Hastert’s past relationship with the male.

“It was sex,” said the official, whom spoke on condition of anonymity.

Hastert, 73, was charged on Thursday with structuring the withdrawal of $952,000 in cash to evade the requirement that banks report cash transactions over $10,000, and lying to the FBI about his withdrawals.

Each count of the two-count indictment carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The unnamed sources underscored that the “misconduct” had nothing to do with his time in office and reached back to his days as a teacher and coach before his political career.

The Republican from a small suburb of Chicago was his party’s longest serving Speaker of the House at 8 years.

The issue of hypocrisy comes up should the allegations be true. Hastert had an abysmal voting record against LGBT issues. From Raw Story:

As a federal legislator, Hastert voted regularly against bills to empower gay people. In Congress from 1997 to 2007, Hastert voted for the so-called “Marriage Protection Act,” and in favor of a constitutional amendment to “establish that marriage shall consist of one man and one woman.” The year he stepped down, Hastert voted no on the “Employment Non-Discrimination Act,” a bill to prohibit companies from discriminating against employees “on the basis of sexual orientation.”

Hastert resigned as speaker of the House following allegations that he failed to report former Representative Mark Foley (R-FL) for inappropriate relationships with boys employed as pages at the U.S. Capitol.

Gov. Rick Perry gets a mug shot following felony indictments

Having been indicted on two felony charges for abuse of power, Texas Gov. Rick Perry reported to the Travis County Court in Austin today to have his mug shot taken.

Following the photo shoot, Perry held a short press conference where he addressed the indictment by a grand jury:

“The actions that I took were lawful, they were legal and they were proper. This indictment is fundamentally a political act that seeks to achieve at the courthouse what could not be achieved at the ballot box.”

And then he got an ice cream cone.

(via CBS News)

Gov. Rick Perry responds to his grand jury indictments regarding abuse of power

Gov. Rick Perry addressed his recent indictments by a grand jury regarding abuse of power.

It’s interesting here that Perry says he had the authority to veto the funding of the state’s ethics watchdog unit.  Apparently no one disputes that.

The  problem seems to be that he threatened to cut funding unless Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg resigned after being arrested for drunken driving in April 2013.

The issue at hand seems to be that he THREATENED to do so first, which is what made the case that Perry seemed to leverage his power and force an elected official from office.

A Texas judge then assigned a special prosecutor to investigate. That is how the grand jury – after months of testimony – arrived at charges of abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public servant, which are both felonies and carry possible prison sentences.

The idea that Gov. Perry would “defund” an elected official’s office because they were arrested for being drunk – in TEXAS – is a difficult thing to wrap one’s head around.  I grew up in Texas.  If every elected official was run out of office for being arrested while intoxicated, there would be a LOT of offices with revolving doors.

Note Perry’s pivot to the border crisis for deflection…

Texas Gov. Rick Perry indicted for abuse of power

Texas Gov. Rick Perry has become the first sitting Texas governor in over a century to be indicted.

Raw Story has the details:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), a possible Republican presidential candidate, was indicted on Friday for allegedly threatening to cut a state agency’s funding unless a local district attorney quit, Politico reported.

The indictment by an Austin grand jury states that Perry threatened to veto $7.5 million slated for the state public integrity unit, which operates out of the office of Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg. Perry reportedly demanded Lehmberg, a Democrat, resign after spending 45 days in jail on drunk driving charges. When she refused to comply, Perry allegedly carried out his threat, forcing the agency to cut staff by either firing or laying off prosecutors and other employees.

The indictment is the first against a sitting Texas governor in more than a century.

Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and wife indicted for illegally accepting luxury gifts and large loans

Former Governor of Virginia Bob McDonnell was indicted today, along with his wife, of 14 felony charges for accepting lavish gifts and vacations

The former Governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen were indicted today on 14 felony charges of accepting lavish gifts, vacations and huge loans of more than $160,000 in gifts from the CEO of Star Scientific, Jonnie Williams.

Authorities alleged that McDonnell and his wife received gifts from executive Jonnie R. Williams again and again, lodging near constant requests for money, clothes, trips, golf accessories and private plane rides.

In exchange, authorities alleged that the McDonnells worked in concert to lend the prestige of the governorship to Williams’s struggling company, a small former cigarette manufacturer that now sells dietary supplements.

The two were charged with 14 felony counts, including wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, obtaining property under color of their official office and conspiring to the do the same.

They were also charged with making false statements to a federal credit union.

McDonnell was also charged with making a false statement to a financial institution, and Maureen McDonnell was charged with obstructing the investigation.

McDonnell was virulently anti-gay during his life as a politician.

While running for governor, he advocated for a state ban on same-sex marriage; said gay parents threaten the ability of their children to achieve the American dream: only straight parents can give children the right start in life; he wanted to block adoptions by same-sex couples.

Immediately after taking office, McDonnell signed a new state policy that specifically removed LGBTQ protections from state workers.

And now we learn he is, allegedly, a crook.

There you have it, kids.

(source)